Were you yelling at your TV or your tablet when Ricky Gervais was making all those jokes about Cats because they didn’t cut away from him to show anyone in the audience?! Because they definitely cut to Leonardo DiCaprio when he talked about his film being so long that by the time it was over, Leo’s girlfriend was too old for him. And they also cut away to Martin Scorsese when Ricky made that (bad) joke about his height. And there were several cutaways to various people in the audience (like Gwyneth Paltrow) when he went for that joke about Dame Judi Dench. 

But this was the expectation – how mean would Ricky be? Because when you invite him back for the fifth time, it’s basically an all access pass, right? He’s done it four times before, he was scathing about the people in the room the four previous times, and if he’s coming back, it means the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was, like, yeah, Ricky, do your thing. One final hurrah, what did he have to lose? So I don’t know that there’s any point in talking about whether or not Ricky Gervais was off-side or if he should have or shouldn’t have. Nobody should have been expecting anything different. He stood there and scolded a room full of privileged people and told them not to, during their acceptance speeches, talk about anything other than show business. And then one by one, so many of them got up there and gave impassioned speeches about equality and reproductive rights and the environment and war and equality and, well, maybe that was a f-ck you to what Ricky was doing. Maybe that was their way of saying… no, Ricky, go f-ck yourself. Or maybe nobody was all that offended because… that’s just Ricky? 

Ricky, after all, is definitely not Ellen DeGeneres. And I wonder if that was a programming decision – to put Ellen’s award up earlier in the show, instead of towards the back half, when career achievements are usually given out, knowing perhaps what the vibe in the room would be after his opening monologue. Of course it’s also a good decision to load up Ellen earlier in the broadcast for possible ratings. The people who turn it off halfway through because they have to get to bed are the ones who know and adore Ellen. Still, the contrast was obvious: Ellen is not an acerbic comic and Ricky, well, Ricky seemed extra misanthropic last night? I don’t know if he was performing impatience and truculence to go along with the theme of his bit about celebrities generally being spoiled assholes and yelling at them to “shut up” several times but there was an edge to him, and he didn’t giggle much, which seemed different from his energy before. That’s Ricky’s thing, right? No matter how cutting he was about someone in the past, there was always a cheeky naughtiness underneath his jokes that was missing last night. As in…was he having any fun? 

Ellen was having fun. That speech was fun. Her delivery is always fun. You know the ride she’s taking you on won’t end up with you all road-rashed and bruised. Two comedians, two award show hosts, two different styles right up on the same stage. It was an interesting study in comedy – is one more essential than the other? 

You know whose speech I loved? Bong Joon-ho’s acceptance for Parasite. Please, if you can, go see Parasite. As Sarah wrote in her review, Bong Joon-ho has been influencing film for years now, and what he does in Parasite you will see in three or four years in Western films, guaranteed. It’s time he’s properly credited.   

"Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films." 

Seriously. SERIOUSLY. Not just films but also series. I think I mentioned last week that all I did during the holidays was fully explore the Korean, Japanese, and Chinese content on Netflix. It’s my whole life right now, watching their television dramas and the soapy, young adult offerings that are every bit as entertaining and insightful as the Western content people are consuming. How can reading be an obstacle? 
Anyway, Parasite’s win at the Globes makes the Oscar nominations much more interesting. Brad Pitt crossed the room at the AFI gala last week just to meet the Parasite team and star Song Kang-ho. Can Parasite break through in the Best Picture category?