BY FRANK HAVILAND
Award ceremonies have long since been redundant, but it was not always the case. In the Golden Age of cinema, they provided a rare opportunity for stars to go off-script, and actually say something of significance. It wasn’t perhaps until 1973 with Marlon Brando refusing the Best Actor Oscar for The Godfather that politics became infused with self-congratulation.
For the record, in choosing to highlight the plight of Native Americans, I suspect Brando was entirely genuine in his motives. Fast forward 40 years though, and there is nothing authentic about multi-millionaire con-artists flying in on private jets to lecture the plebs on climate change; or otherwise pledging their allegiance to #MeToo, even before the last Weinstein cheque has been cashed.
The tawdriest Soho knocking shop at least has the good taste to be discreet about its wares, keeping them firmly behind closed doors. Hollywood however, revels in such second-rate wankathons, preferring to keep them in full view. It’s high time for a shake-up.
Cue Ricky Gervais, British comedy’s answer to Andy Ruiz Jr – a little fat guy taking on the might of Hollywood’s body beautiful. He met them on their own turf, in a fight he couldn’t possibly hope to win. Like Ruiz-Joshua, it was a bloody massacre.
Hollywood stuck to the script, but Gervais wasn’t acting. As the liposuctioned tushes lolled around luxuriantly, expecting to be entertained for a few rounds, Gervais skipped the intro and threw a lead right hand which paralysed them instantly:
Let’s go out with a bang, let’s have a laugh at your expense. Remember, they’re just jokes. We’re all gonna die soon and there’s no sequel, so remember that.
But you all look lovely all dolled up. You came here in your limos. I came here in a limo tonight and the license plate was made by Felicity Huffman. No, shush.
The smiles faded and tightened. Were they supposed to laugh? It was a joke, right? Gervais set them up for every punch and combination masterfully, taking each of their causes célèbres in turn, and nailing them with it.
Talking of all you perverts, it was a big year for paedophile movies. Surviving R. Kelly, Leaving Neverland, Two Popes. Shut up. Shut up. I don’t care. I don’t care.
We were going to do an In Memoriam this year, but when I saw the list of people who died, it wasn’t diverse enough. No, it was mostly white people and I thought, nah, not on my watch.
Spoiler alert, season two is on the way so in the end he obviously didn’t kill himself. Just like Jeffrey Epstein. Shut up. I know he’s your friend but I don’t care.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, nearly three hours long. Leonardo DiCaprio attended the premiere, and by the end his date was too old for him. Even Prince Andrew was like, “Come on, Leo, mate. You’re nearly 50-something.”
Gervais’ timing was immaculate, steadily building the pace to the crescendo. Just as the crowd relaxed, thinking the end was near, he threw the perfect uppercut in the dying seconds of the twelfth round, and laid them out cold:
Well, you say you’re woke, but the companies you work for in China — unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?
So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.
So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent, and your God and fuck off, OK? It’s already three hours long. Right, let’s do the first award.
As for our Hollywood luvvies, their acting skills deserted them. Had the ceremony been livestreamed or merely tweeted, Gervais would have been instantly blocked, reported for hate speech, and currently facing the wrath of limitless Twitter lynch-mobs.
Instead, Hollywood’s finest were powerless to the truth of his words. It was all they could do to feign indulgent smiles, or grimace professionally like Tom Hanks, whose four-decade-long on-screen good guy image was shattered in two seconds flat. This is what ‘woke’ really amounts to – untouchable hypocrisy; untouchable no more.
We live in a time where nonentity politicians routinely profess to ‘speaking truth to power’, without the vaguest idea of what such a phrase means, or the risks involved in such behaviour. Gervais knows, and so do the public; they’ve had enough. Enough of being told how to vote, enough of being labelled racist for simply questioning the benefits of multiculturalism, and enough of being lectured by those least qualified to do so.
It is with the common man wherein sanity resides, not 200 pampered deadbeats, peeved that their tummies weren’t tickled. And, in Britain at least, it may just be that 2020 is the year reality is reasserting itself. With a resounding Conservative majority, the delivery of Brexit in sight, and now the Golden Globes – it’s been a long time coming, but a genuine fightback against Liberal insanity appears to be underway.
For Gervais meanwhile, his monologue will go down in history as the greatest 7-minutes in award ceremony history. If he never works in Hollywood again, his stock has still risen tenfold. Bravo Ricky!