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Golden Globes Solution: A Clip Show?

On Monday morning, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, desperate to retain an ounce of dignity but equally hard up for their $6 million fee from NBC, will make some kind of announcement about Sunday night’s Golden Globes telecast.

The latest I’ve heard is that the HFPA would give NBC a "clip" show with elements from past shows and currently nominated movies.

If, at the same time, they put on a non-televised event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, I suppose they could break in with the names of the winners in each category.

The prospect of a non-televised Globes dinner, meanwhile, is tantalizing to some actors.

"That will be some party," one of them laughed Sunday night. "Everyone will be drunk."

The Globes are already famous for supplying the dinner tables with magnums of Champagne and all the liquor that’s requested.

In any case, it’s a lose-lose situation. The Writers Guild of America is not going to permit a televised show or Internet Webcast or taped show to be broadcast at a future date. The Globes are seriously in trouble. And that $6 million fee, as I’ve discussed in prior columns, is making them sweat.

Meantime, other awards ceremonies are going forward. On Sunday night, the New York Film Critics — a far more prestigious and reasonable group — gave out their awards at a dinner at Spotlight restaurant in Times Square.

Everyone came except the notoriously shy Julie Christie, who won Best Actress for "Away from Her." ("The only reason I came tonight was to meet Julie Christie," Steve Buscemi joked on stage. "And that was a bust!")

Producer Scott Rudin dedicated his win for the Coen Brothers’ "No Country for Old Men" to fellow producer Sydney Pollack, who is ailing.

The Film Critics more or less stole the thunder of the ludicrous National Board of Review of Motion Pictures by putting on their dinner first this year. By the time the NBR — a fan-based, fee-paying group — gives out its kudos next week, they will also have been beaten by the Globes, the Los Angeles Film Critics and Monday night's Critics Choice Awards on VH1.

The latter event is not being picketed by the WGA, although the union has asked at least screenwriters not to attend.

So we were lucky to have the New York Film Critics, which bestowed Best Actor on a newly friendly Daniel Day-Lewis for "There Will Be Blood." Day-Lewis also presented Best Supporting Actor to Javier Barden for "No Country."

Ellen Barkin presented legendary director Sidney Lumet with the group’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award. Lumet’s masterful "Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead" is a possible contender for Best Picture this year, and he’s a likely nominee for Best Director.

Lumet told the crowd of his Oscar campaign: "I’m finding it very difficult to vote for myself." He paused. "But I did." He said it was also "odd to say thanks to critics after 50 years of enmity."

Actor Steve Buscemi a regular in most Coen movies, but didn’t appear in "No Country." Introducing the writing and directing brothers for Best Picture in the funniest speech of the night, Buscemi got a lot of laughs by reminiscing about "Fargo": "One of their movies that I was in."

Director Robert Benton ("Places in the Heart," "Kramer vs. Kramer") got off a few laughs himself describing Bardem’s cold-blooded killer in "No Country."

"I’ve been in the movie business a long time," he said. "I know a lot about evil. Mr. Bardem, if you get bored with acting, will you consider being my agent?"

Some other presenters included Campbell Scott, Patricia Clarkson, Amy Adams, Jonathan Demme, Thelma Schoonmaker and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Philip Seymour Hoffman came by to salute Lumet, but couldn’t stay. "I have an early morning call." He’s filming "Doubt."

Some things we learned: Ellen Barkin said that if you’re a friend of George Cloooney — and she is one — four or five or six times a year he calls you up and invites you over to see Sidney Lumet’s "Network." "He says it’s a perfect movie."

And: Oscar-nominee Patricia Clarkson ("Pieces of April") is joining the cast of Martin Scorsese’s "Shutter Island" starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley and Michelle Williams. Clarkson has two films at this month’s Sundance Film Festival and at least three more in the can.

Clarkson is doing the rounds supporting best pal Amy Ryan, who won Best Supporting Actress Sunday night for "Gone Baby Gone." Ryan is one of many nominees skipping the Golden Globes next week. She’s off to Spain Monday to shoot Paul Greengrass’ "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" with Matt Damon.

Amy, an "overnight success" at 37, told me she loved getting the New York Film Critics Award. "It’s a hometown thing," she said. Her real last name, by the way, is a Polish one "that’s long and has no vowels." She took her mom’s maiden name to make it easier professionally.

And another thing: Daniel Day-Lewis, who was positively giddy at the prospect of being introduced by Oscar-winner film editor Schoonmaker, won’t say if he stayed in character while shooting "There Will Be Blood."

"I’m not saying," he said. "It’s up to you people to figure it out."

A big deal was made of his acting habits when he was nominated for "Gangs of New York" several years ago. What’s he doing next? "My wife [Rebecca Miller] is shooting a movie in Connecticut this spring. She’s going to need me around for domestic duty." The couple has three young sons.

Miller’s movie, by the way, is called "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee." It stars no less than Julianne Moore, Robin Wright Penn and Winona Ryder.

And one last thing: Contrary to tabloid reports over the holidays, Penelope Cruz is not pregnant. And Javier Bardem is not about to be a father.

"Do I look like a father?" he laughed at Sunday night’s dinner.