That tedium makes you appreciate the high-wire moments. Matt Damon, presenting a lifetime achievement award to Robert DeNiro, pretended not to know who DeNiro was until he was cast in The Good Shepherd. The routine didn’t entirely work, and neither did DeNiro’s joking response read haltingly from a teleprompter (he mocked the HFPA too!) but I loved the freshness and irreverence, the idea that they weren’t going to swallow the sanctimonious pretense of awards shows.
Matt Damon was sitting next to Robert De Niro and pretty thrilled to be presenting him with a career award. "This is nuts, right?" the actor asked. But the "True Grit" star couldn't hide a bad case of the Boston blues. "I missed the monologue -- I was watching the end of the Patriots game. I can't believe they lost. There's a great disturbance in the Force," he said. He couldn't stop replaying a first-half fake punt. "It was there, the whole right side was open." He shook his head and reached for a drink.