The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night was dubbed "Hollywood's party of the year," and it certainly brought out some of Hollywood's biggest names. But a closer look under the show's "Holly-hood" reveals New York, like Hollywood, as big a star of the ceremony.
Yes, Hollywood pillars such as Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise, Jack Lemmon and Peter Fonda hugged statuettes for, respectively, "Man on the Moon," "Magnolia," "Inherit the Wind" and "Passion of Ayn Rand." And DreamWorks' "American Beauty" and Disney/Pixar's "Toy Story 2," both, cinematically speaking, very much American beauties, are most definitely brilliant Hollywood creations.
But, moving right along and Hollywood aside, New Yorkers couldn't get enough awards and recognition. Central Park West's Michael J. Fox, who sadly is leaving "Spin City" for health reasons, copped the Globe's best actor (comedy or musical) series. New York-based HBO (though creepily migrating West) swept the TV awards, thanks to movies such as "RKO 281" and "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge" (Halle Berry got a Best Actress nod). And HBO's miniseries "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City," both shooting in New York, took a bundle of prizes, including those for performances by New Yorkers such as "The Sopranos'" James Gandolfini, Edie Falco and Nancy Marchand and "Sex and the City's" Sarah Jessica Parker of New York's West Village.
As for New York's Columbia University Film Division contingent that was "Golden Globing," we spotted director Ben Ross, recognized as director of "RKO 281"; Kimberly Peirce (director and co-scripter of "Boys Don't Cry," whose Hilary Swank took honors as best actress in a drama); writer/director James Mangold, whose "Girl, Interrupted" brought Angelina Jolie her best supporting actress award; and a beaming Milos Forman, Columbia's former film division chairman and director of "Man on the Moon," who was immediately thanked when its star and Golden Globe winner, Jim Carrey, jumped on stage to grab his best actor (comedy) award.
Among the many other New Yorkers spotted at tables were the French Film Office's evergreen Catherine Verret; Gotham's Sony Pictures Classics execs (thrilled that their "All About My Mother" took best foreign language film); Tribeca-based Talk magazine's Tina Brown; and New York producer John Hart ("Boys Don't Cry") who ambushed Hilary Swank for a kiss as she headed for the stage and her award for "Boys Don't Cry."
And who could miss New York filmmaker, writer and actor Gavin O'Connor, who grew up in Dix Hills in Long Island and now runs a Tribeca-based production company with his twin brother Greg. Gavin and bro hit it big at the Globes with Janet McTeer taking a best actress (comedy or musical) prize for "Tumbleweeds," which marked O'Connor's directorial, feature film screenwriting and acting debuts.
And when Gwyneth Paltrow ("The Talented Mr. Ripley"), having left the comfort of her home in New York's West Village, stepped up onto the Beverly Hilton's Golden Globe podium, the first thing out of her mouth and into the mic was "It's not the same without you, Harvey!" Harvey, of course, is Miramax Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein, who left Queens for Buffalo, N.Y., and has never gotten past Manhattan.
And let's take note that more of New York's once-feared Teamster drivers were thanked by winners than were moms, pops, spouses, even acting mentors. And a final New York coup had Brooklyn's Barbra Streisand -- that most New Yawky of New Yorkers in spite of her repatriation to the Left Coast -- the subject of the evening's long, elaborate and much-deserved tribute as recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for outstanding contribution to the entertainment field. (In the interest of fairness, Hollywood can definitely lay claim to Cecil.)
IT'S LIKE, C'MON! It's not often this column can come to the rescue of both a Hollywood studio and a hit sitcom that are both in trouble, but when opportunity knocks this loudly, Buzz/Saw responds.
DreamWorks SKG is in a pickle. Steven Spielberg's", Jeffrey Katzenberg's and David Geffen's" studio, heading into TV's development season, is in desperate need of a hit. Their "Spin City" is in real danger of folding because Golden Globe winner Michael J. Fox recently announced that he is leaving the show. What's a hit sitcom to do when its star leaves? Duh ... find another star, of course, especially if he's already in your stable!
Which brings us (and maybe the geniuses at DreamWorks) to Chris Eigeman. One of film and TV's most achingly-charming-yet-not-quite-discovered comedic actors, Eigeman starred in the recently cancelled sit-com "It's Like, You Know," produced by (drumroll, please) DreamWorks!
So why not cast Eigeman in the Fox role? Like Fox, Eigeman has a real flair for comedy and has a very cute face with personality to match. He's just a few years younger than Fox and has already proved his high Q-rating in a number of critically acclaimed indie films, including three from now Paris-based director Whit Stillman -- "Metropolitan", "Barcelona" and "The Last Days of Disco."
We hear Chris is available for work and is a real fan of "Spin City." It's like, c'mon, you DreamWonks!