Best Actress: 'It Was Like Fireworks' | Hollywood: Golden Ghost Town | Brits Present; New Sounds

Best Actress: 'It Was Like Fireworks'

What was Marion Cotillard doing when she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress Sunday night? She was lying on the ground in her Beverly Hills hotel room watching TV while her friends were sitting in chairs.

“We didn’t expect the Best Actress to come up so fast,” the adorable 32-year-old French actress told me after the show at a dinner thrown for her by Picturehouse at the Chateau Marmont.

“Suddenly they were all jumping up and down screaming and I was lying there watching them,” Cotillard said. “They looked like fireworks.”

Her face glowed at the memory.

Within 30 seconds she got a call from her brother — one in a pair of twins — who lives in San Francisco.

“He was very excited,” Cotillard said.

Her parents in Paris, however, do not know what the Golden Globes are.

“They know the Oscars,” she said. “But they are serious theater actors. My father won the Moliere Award a couple of years ago. If I said Golden Globes, they would say, that’s nice.”

Cotillard had a dress being made by Nina Ricci for the Globes show, but told the designer not to hurry once the Globes were cancelled. Now it will be used for the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 28.

Meanwhile, we wondered why the much older character actor Harry Dean Stanton was one of her dinner guests, as was Matt Dillon. Were American actors hitting on her like crazy these days?

“No,” she laughed, as she drank a glass of Champagne. “I am very lucky with my man right now.” Her boyfriend is French. Stanton is simply one of her idols. Dillon came as the guest of another guest. Later, Tim Robbins stopped by after rehearsing a theater workshop. He’s another new friend.

But then it was well past midnight, and Harry Dean Stanton was volunteering to play the piano in the hotel lobby. What else can we find out about Marion Cotillard before she wins the Oscar, and becomes the biggest French actress in America since Juliette Binoche?

“My nickname is Yonks,” she said gleefully. “It’s spelled Ionx,” she explained. “My best friend calls me that. Sometimes she says 'Yo, Yonks.'"

Hollywood: Golden Ghost Town

Sunday, Jan. 13 was the loneliest, most boring day in Hollywood history.

Where all the hotels would ordinarily be buzzing with life and the restaurants full to the brim, Sunday you could hear a pin drop in Beverly Hills.

At the Beverly Hilton, where the Golden Globes were being given out, there was emptiness. No cars, no people, a little press, fewer people. All afternoon, tumbleweeds could have blown across Merv Griffin Way. There was that much space. At one point, a young couple riding bikes with yellow baskets pedaled up the circular drive way. No one stopped them. There was no reason.

On a regular Golden Globes day, the red carpet would take up the whole drive, security would be overzealous and members of the Hollywood Foreign Press would be overdressed and underqualified.

Instead, we were left with the brisk but basically inane presentation on the E! Channel. Ben Lyons, the much-too-young son of veteran movie critic Jeffrey Lyons, said a lot of crazy things. Ryan Seacrest looked bored. Kristin, the wildly loud co-anchor who must stop screaming like Crazy Eddie, seemed typically overcaffeinated and just ready for electroshock on the subject of TV shows. I mean, honestly, no one can care that much if David Duchovny beat Alec Baldwin, can they?

It took a little less than 30 minutes to present all the Globe winners. I am hopeful this set a precedent. Maybe next year they can do it in 20 minutes! It was simple, clean and efficient. I like that it ended with the heavily accented, elegant Mexican HFPA president Jorge Camara and that all the other HFPA members were hidden from view. It doesn’t matter that no one knows who Camara is or what he does.

The Globe choices were not especially different or interesting. In my Sunday column, I noted that both Miramax and Focus Features were the only studios to give the HFPA special dinner parties this week. So Miramax’s Julian Schnabel won Best Director and Focus’ “Atonement” won Best Drama. Coincidences! Schnabel, at least, made a perfect film with “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” He deserved it.

“Atonement” puts Focus back where it was two years ago, when “Brokeback Mountain” won the Globe but lost the Oscar to “Crash.” There’s a good chance this time that “Atonement” won’t even be nominated for an Oscar. The five Best Picture nominees for the Oscar, I think, will be “Sweeney Todd,” “Juno,” “No Country for Old Men,” “There Will Be Blood” and “Into the Wild.”

That the HFPA didn’t give Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild” one nomination other than Best Song speaks volumes. Insiders say the group of 80 simply detests Penn for not playing their game.

“He didn’t come when he won for 'Mystic River,' he doesn’t do their interviews or luncheons or take pictures with them,” a Penn intimate told me.

Nevertheless, the Academy will likely correct that situation. The Academy will also nominate Schnabel for Best Director. He will have strong competition from Paul Thomas Anderson, the Coens, Penn and, I think, Sidney Lumet. We’ll see.

And where is everyone while Hollywood stews with the Writers Guild strike and the TV networks play games? Well, Leonardo DiCaprio and his posse (Kevin Connolly, etc.) have apparently spent the last few nights at a new hotspot on Melrose called Villa.

Justin Timberlake — who wants to keep doing movies — came by limo the other night. Lindsay Lohan’s been hanging around the Beverly Hills Hotel. So has Russell Crowe, who enjoyed a tuna melt in the coffee shop Sunday.

They’d all be better served, frankly, on the picket lines at this point if they ever want to see this crisis resolved and the town that bends to their every whim back to work.

Brits Present; New Sounds

Among the terrific turnout for BAFTA/LA on Saturday: David Cronenberg, Hal Holbrook, Tom Wilkinson, Alison Janney, Lauren Holly, Marg Helgenberger, Jurnee Smollett, James McAvoy, Ridley Scott, “Great Debaters” screenwriter Robert Eisele, Jason Isaacs, Maxwell Caulfield and Juliet Mills, Anna Friel, Saffron Burrows, Eddie Izzard and Brad Bird. …

The best new music of 2008: Seth Adams’ brand-new CD “Where You Come From.” You can find it on Seth’s MySpace page or at sethadam.com. This is the best “unsigned” group in America, and the hardest-working best live act in indie rock. All the songs on “Where You Come From” are potential radio hits, so catchy that once you’ve heard them it’s hard to get them out of your head. That is, if there were still pop/rock radio, they’d be all over “Promise” … I promise …