LIZ SMITH: Farewell Bowie; Golden Globes Recap

The Glittering Genius Master of Every Music Genre is Gone

But whatever lies behind the door

There is nothing much to do

Angel or devil, I don’t care

For in front of that door there is, Thank You

LIZ SMITH: Farewell Bowie; Golden Globes Recap

GROUND CONTROL to Major Tom — Ziggy Stardust is Dead.

I THOUGHT when I woke up this morning, I’d have a few offhand remarks on the raucous partying and strange nominations/winners of Sunday night’s Golden Globes fete.

But I was faced with the shocking news of David Bowie’s unexpected death from liver cancer at the far too young age of 69. Perhaps I had not paid attention, but I had no idea Bowie was even ill. He always had that cadaverously glamorous look — which made him so right for the few movies in which he appeared, such as Catherine Deneuve’s vampire lover in “The Hunger.”

All the Bowie news I was aware of was good publicity around his latest album, “Blackstar.” I can’t say I was always “into” Bowie’s music, but I appreciated him as a genuine artist and visionary, as well as one of the most charming men I ever ran into, He was usually with his gorgeous, equally appealing, wife Iman — at various Manhattan events.

He was invariably impeccably dressed, better-looking in the flesh (he had more flesh than photos conveyed), witty and, well, quite normal. (I hope this is not distressing to those who hoped he was was still playing with his groundbreaking otherworldly personas, or thought that was the real Bowie. Long before Madonna was trying on new ways to intrigue her audiences, Bowie had mastered reinvention, effortlessly. We’ll never really know if he was sexually ambiguous/adventurous or just going with the bi-sexual flow of the early 1970’s. Whatever — it worked at the time.)

Bowie said, long ago: “I’m an instant star. Just stir and mix.” Maybe the youthful David believed that at the time. It had all come so fast. But Bowie carved out an indelible legend, one that suffered pitfalls, lack of popularity, comebacks and a seemingly effortless ability to make his art fascinating, complex and yet accessible.

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He is survived by the wonderful Iman and two children. The world is far less interesting, not so divinely stylish, less musically inventive and no longer as strangely beautiful without him.

P.S.  A singer named Lucky Blue was recently profiled in GQ, touted as “The Second Coming of David Bowie.” Lucky is pretty and blond and wears clothes well — the comparison ends there. There will never be another Bowie.

******

WELL, what is there to say about The Golden Globes? The best part, always, is watching the stars candidly react at their tables — often well juiced — or caught before the commercial break, wandering up to other stars to gossip or meet for the first time. The Oscars don’t have a patch on that kind of lively and revealing cinema verite.

LIZ SMITH: Farewell Bowie; Golden Globes RecapRicky Gervais was his patented self, and I think now the stars get off on the masochistic thrill of perhaps being dissed. I mean, their whole lives are spent being told how wonderful they are. Everybody needs a change. (Mel Gibson clearly wasn’t holding onto a Gervais grudge that night. And it was very nice to see him back.)

I didn’t really find Ricky offensive. He is for sure politically incorrect, when not playing a role. But isn’t that what we are supposed to be embracing now, according to at least one presidential candidate? (Gervais, known to be a drinker, although I sense it might be a Dean Martin-style act, was asked on his way in: “What’s in your system now?” He giggled.) Comic actor — and I use those two words loosely — Jonah Hill, was the offensive slob of the night.

And I was annoyed that so many of the stars apparently used expletives that had to be bleeped. Come on, tiresome. Use some imagination.

I AM okay with the winners, especially as Gervais kept coming out and saying, “You know, this award means absolutely nothing!” Which, to be honest, a great deal of the audience seemed to agree.

LIZ SMITH: Farewell Bowie; Golden Globes RecapLeo DiCaprio was a charming winner, and looked less bloated and dissipated than he generally does. His performance in the cinematically stunning but rather soulless “The Revenant” was an impressive physical task. I don’t know if it’s really acting, but he deserves an Oscar for other, earlier truly deep performances.

LIZ SMITH: Farewell Bowie; Golden Globes RecapJennifer Lawrence seemed suddenly quite grown up accepting her “Joy” award … “Mad Men’s Jon Hamm’s sobriety has whittled him down to his chiseled matinee idol looks … so very happy for Sylvester Stallone, who is truly brilliant in “Creed.” And I love how he gives so much credit to his young co-star Michael B. Jordan … Taraji P. Henson, taking her “Empire” statuette seems more than a little like her TV character. (“get off my train!”) … Gael Garcia Bernal was charming onstage with his “Mozart in the Jungle” award … “The Affair’s” Maura Tierney didn’t give a damn, with her heavy Mr. Magoo eyeglasses … always good to see the down-to-earth Matt Damon, who made no mention of the incongruous category in which “The Martian” was placed — “Musical or Comedy” — but he was obviously aware of the joke … Kate Winslet seemed genuinely, and I think a little unhappily shocked by her “Steve Jobs” win. (Personally, I was rooting for Jennifer Jason Leigh’s all-out tour de force in “The Hateful Eight.” I hope Jennifer is Oscar-nominated.)

OTHER GG notes: Channing Tatum is always a doll but he featured bad hair and an increasingly beefy, mature look. (But you gotta love a guy who threatened to kill everybody else who might be up for his “Hateful Eight” role. And he spoke so reverently about working with the great Bruce Dern) … Kate Hudson looked like a weary party girl fallen on hard times … Rooney Mara, one of the delicious stars of “Carol” wore a distressed chenille bedspread … LOVED Katy Perry’s deliberately over-the-top Vampira-in-lavender look, with a giant 1960’s style false “hair bump” that she was very proud of … Brad Pitt appeared remarkably refreshed … Jane Fonda’s dress seemed to be devouring her — head last. Helen Mirren — goddess and queen; what else can one say?

BUT the sight of the night was without a doubt, pop icon Lady Gaga, who appeared in super-duper platinum blonde hair and tight black velvet Versace. She was channeling Marilyn and Monica Vitta.

Gaga seemed a little out there in stellar-goddess space, and was rightfully stunned when she won her GG. (The singer is not yet an actress, but I guess the Hollywood Foreign Press wanted to encourage her after her fascinating appearance on “American Horror Story.”)

The long, long trip to the podium that the GG’s always put the winners through, worked out especially well, for Lady G., who seemed to be moving in slo-mo trance. She accepted the arms of the two gentlemen who escorted most of the ladies up the sets as if she really needed support. So dramatic, so near to swooning.

I liked her speech, in which she acknowledged the efforts of her staff, who “do everything” for her, when she is fully engaged in a show or concert — “I am like a child, I can’t do anything, and you accept that and help me.”

It was a touch of truth during a show that rarely touches reality. Not that we’d want it to.

This is an election year. Boy, do we need a little unreality now! Because the real stuff can’t raise a laugh. Unless depressing gallows humor is your thing.

*****

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