Top Jewish moments at the 2011 Golden Globes
1. Ricky Gervais kicks off the night by introducing Scarlett Johansson as “beautiful, talented and Jewish, apparently,” a declaration that came with a deeply quizzical look, as if to say, ‘She’s too pretty to be Jewish!’ Then again, consider his source: “Mel Gibson told me that – he’s obsessed.”
2. Legendary songwriter Diane Warren (who grew up Jewish in Van Nuys, according to Wikipedia) dedicates her Golden Globe for Best Original Song to slain publicist Ronni Chasen. “This is for her,” Warren said upon accepting the award for the Cher-crooned ballad “You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me” from the movie “Burlesque”. The movie premiered the night of Chasen’s murder and was the last place she was seen alive. “I loved Ronni,” Warren told the press backstage, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “The saddest thing about this is that she’s not here to celebrate this with me.” Warren, a longtime client of Chasen’s, is responsible for such hits as “Because You Loved Me” and “Un-Break My Heart”. From the podium, she also singled out Chasen’s former business partner, Jeff Sanderson, who is running the PR firm Chasen and Co. solo: “You’re doing great,” Warren said, encouragingly.
3. Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Amy Pascal is caught chewing gum during an audience close-up. The studio head, otherwise elegant in a glittery black evening gown was seated next to “Social Network” star Jesse Eisenberg and the film’s screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.
4. Aaron Sorkin continues with his sweep of screenwriting awards for “The Social Network,” the controversial fiction about the founding of Facebook, with an earnest message for the real Mark Zuckerberg: “I want to say to Mark Zuckerberg tonight,” Sorkin began, “Rooney Mara’s character makes a prediction at the beginning of the movie. She was wrong. You turned out to be a great entrepreneur, a visionary and an incredible altruist.” Sorkin also spoke directly to his daughter, saying, “I want to thank all the fellow nominees tonight for helping demonstrate to my daughter that ‘elite’ is not a bad word, it’s an aspirational one. Honey, look around, smart girls have more fun—and you’re one of them. I love you.” (This was particularly amusing considering all the flack Sorkin got for “Social Network’s” implicit misogyny.)
5. Paul Giamatti triumphs on behalf of schlubby, curmudgeonly Jewish men who only dream of three trips to the chupah. “I had three wives in this movie—a trifecta,” Giamatti declared. Giamatti won for his portrayal of the title character Barney Panovsky in the film “Barney’s Version” based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Canadian-Jewish author Mordecai Richler. In the film, Giamatti indeed marries thrice, though he finds his Jewish wives unbearable and instead falls in love with a Grace Kelly type (played by Rosamund Pike). During a recent Q-and-A at the Museum of Tolerance, Giamatti said of his character: “I suppose the thing that was useful for me—was the sense of him seeming like an outsider, a kind of observer, a guy who can’t participate—he’s shut out from things. That sort of notion can be ascribed to Jewishness, I suppose. Other than that, it was just great fun to be a Jew.”
6. And last but certainly not least: a beautiful and pregnant Natalie Portman is awarded Best Actress for her role in “Black Swan” (so it wasn’t my favorite movie of the year, she still deserves it). And being such a nice Jewish gal, she thanks her parents and grandmother first, before addressing her fiancé, Benjamin Millepied.
“I want to say hi to my grandmother Berniece—I hope you’re having a drink Grandma, I thank you for bringing my Mom into the world…and thank you to Benjamin, who is helping me continue this creation of creating more life,” Portman said, before revealing a wee little insecurity: “Benjamin choreographed the film, and also you might remember him in the movie as the guy when they ask, ‘Would you sleep with that girl?’ And he’s like, ‘Pffsh, no.’ He’s the best actor. It’s not true: He totally wants to sleep with me!”
Portman’s acceptance speech: