Seen and Heard on the Golden Globes Red Carpet

 Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Perhaps the best way of viewing the Golden Globes experience was put forward by James Schamus as he went down the red carpet.

"There's two ways to look at this," the Focus Features CEO said. "We're salmon going up jumps on the way to Oscars. Or it's the best party of the year. I'm going with No. 2."

That sentiment was reflected by Edie Falco, a nominee for her role in Showtime's Nurse Jackie, who said: "I rate award shows by my comfort level. Here, you eat, drink and walk around."

"It's the first steppingstone, and then there's the Oscars," producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura said. "But this is the fun one."

This year's arrivals seemed more crowded, but not necessarily by stars, as in years past. This did not bring joy to some.

"Too many lookiloos; to many non-celebrities with auto-focus cameras walking around," one photographer said. "Twice there were hotel employees with whisk brooms and pans sweeping the carpet. All of this diminishes the chance of getting a clean fashion shot."

Still, there were enough stars that Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich said the scene was "like a wax museum, but everyone is alive."

HFPA president Phil Berk said he was happy with the turnout and said, "Getting these stars is back-breaking work. What makes it happen is having a continuing relationship with the celebrities."

And as much as the Globes being a fun night was mentioned, for most it came down to business.

Mike Medavoy, who qualifies as an expert since he's been attending since 1974 with Lenny, said getting Black Swan nominated "christens it as more than just an art movie."

"It's easy for Europeans to be cynical about Hollywood glamour," said British producer Bob Last, who had a nom with The Illusionist. "But all this gliz will help us find an audience."

An interesting take on the night's big career award came from Art Linson, who said, "They should be giving Cecil B. De Mille the Bob De Niro Award. Did you see The 10 Commandments?" He then rolled his eyes.

There was a small change in the scene on Wilshire Boulevard, where every year a Christian sect's extreme wing hold signs promising eternal damnation for anyone attending. This time there was a guy standing nearby with a sign that had an arrow pointing at them with one word on it: "Morons."

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