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Luisa Browett reviews the Golden Globe Awards presentation and finds that black is back (so is fruit), but the young ones are notable by absence, while golden oldies dominated the telecast.

You have to love the Globes for what they are. With several (scripted and unscripted) references to the sobriety of the audience and bottles of Moet propped up for the camera you wonder just how much of the alleged debauchery is real. Certainly this year you didn’t see a hazy-eyed, mascara-streaked Diaz anywhere or anyone misbehaving really. But then there was one.

"I’m new at this" was uttered a few times during the night, but none more disturbingly so than by Elizabeth Taylor, who set tongues wagging with her presentation. The elevator music was pumping in the background as Taylor floundered, fumbled and was finally assisted in presenting the Best Motion Picture - Drama award. Her bizarre farewell speech left us wondering why they let her stay out on stage any longer than necessary.

"The boy from Oz"

Perhaps the question on everyone’s lips was not who was going to take out the top honours, but who Russell Crowe would be bringing to the show. He came alone, adding fuel to the rumours that he and Meg are no longer a couple. There are whispers that they may have never been - a careful construction of a clever PR company. Not entirely doubtful considering a year ago Russell became known simply as Russell when he combined bringing Jodie Foster to the Globes with a brilliant performance in The Insider. Russell actually called Foster to ask her to the Globes again this year, but his casual "Hey Jodes" was greeted with a simple "No." The boy from Oz had certainly been given a touch-up, his trademark ‘bad-boy’ look polished into carefully crafted messy hair and stylised stubble.

Kate Hudson was refreshingly innocent, young and believably excited when she picked up her gong for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. She looked ravishing in a simple black dress, and indeed black certainly was back this year at the Globes. Kidman, Zellweger, Bullock and Brockovich winner Roberts looked equally stunning in all black, proving that elegant simplicity was back in season.

"fashion disasters"

If you weren’t in black then you were surely in the ‘fruits’ - peach, apricot and watermelon graced the likes of Frances O’Connor, Jamie Lee Curtis and Angelina Jolie.

There were only a few notable fashion disasters - Reese Witherspoon’s above the knee netted skirt with a rose at the waist did nothing for her, Charlize Theron sported a few too many rips and tears and the talented Lisa Gerrard (who picked up an award for her musical efforts in Gladiator) looked to be rugged up for a Russian winter.

Sarah Jessica Parker was nauseatingly unoriginal. Her stammering, ‘stuck for words’ effort was barely cute last year and it was simply tired this year. She may be incredibly stylish and somewhat talented but if the woman utters ‘Oh My Gawsh’ while holding her face one more time…

Knowing the lengths Tom Hanks goes to prepare for a role you have to wonder what he has up ahead. Sporting a disturbingly Hitler-ish moustache and eyebrows Hanks deservedly won Best Actor in Motion Picture - Drama for Cast Away, and charmed every woman in the audience when he choked up while thanking his wife Rita Wilson.

"a lippy check"

Renee Zellweger did a ‘Christine Lahti’, forcing Hugh Grant to stall while she finished up in the toilet. Given the fact they are provided a program, you’d think the stars could plan a lippy check a little better.

Ang Lee won over the Hollywood crowd with his claim that his wife was the influence for the feisty women in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Lee won Best Director, and the film picked up the award for Best Foreign Film.

‘Shamelessly filled with joy’ was Julia Robert’s claim but ‘shamefully filled with gibberish’ may have been a more apt description. She told us about everything from her broken dress to her cooking to her philosophies on life and relationships. But as the real Erin Brockovich said she did ‘get it right … the struggle, the emotion, the cleavage’, picking up her third Globe, this time for her representation of the hard-working single mum.

Suprisingly, there was little to no sign of the Hollywood young guns on the television coverage - Gwyneth, Matt, Ben, Winona, Jennifer and Brad were all noticeably absent. The cameras kept the focus firmly on the tried and trusted Hollywood heavyweights - Kidman, Pacino (Cecil B. de Mille Award winner), Hanks and Curtis. It was definitely their year at the Globes.

Published January 23, 2001

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