The film “12 Years a Slave” took the coveted Golden Globe for best drama and “American Hustle” won best musical or comedy on Sunday in a kick-off to the Hollywood awards season that foreshadows a wide scattering of honours for a year crowded with high-quality movies.
Only two films garnered more than one award at the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards, an important but not entirely accurate barometer for the industry’s highest honors, the Academy Awards to be held on March 2.
“American Hustle,” a romp through corruption in the 1970s directed by David O. Russell, was the top winner with three Globes for its seven nominations, while modest AIDS film “Dallas Buyers Club” starring Matthew McConaughey, took home two acting awards for him and co-star Jared Leto.
British director Steve McQueen’s brutal depiction of pre-Civil war American slavery in “12 Years a Slave,” based on a true story of free black man Solomon Northup who was sold into slavery, only won one award out of its seven nominations. It was entirely shut out from the acting honors, for which it had been a presumed favorite.
But best drama is the top award of the Golden Globes and McQueen thanked actor and producer Brad Pitt, who played a small part in the film but a big role in getting it made. “Without you this movie would never had gotten made, so thank you, wherever you may be,” McQueen said.
Among those that left empty-handed were two darlings of critics, the Coen brothers’ paean to the 1960s folk scene “Inside Llewyn Davis” and Alexander Payne’s homage to the heartland, “Nebraska.”
The first big night of the Hollywood awards season is the purview of the 90 some journalists in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), who wield outsized clout in the awards race as buzz around these honors influences members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in their voting for the Oscars.
Oscar nominations are to be announced on Thursday and “12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle” are likely to be in the list of 10 nominees for best picture, going head-to-head unlike in the Globes, where they competed in two separate categories.
The Globes have a mixed record when it comes to predicting the Oscar best picture, though last year’s best drama winner, “Argo,” did go on to win the Academy Award for best movie.
WIDE ARRAY OF RECOGNITION
In a setting more intimate and whimsical than the tightly scripted Oscars, A-listers and powerbrokers pow-wowed over cocktails and returning co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler poked fun at the most powerful in the glamorous audience.
It was a night in which there seemed to be a prize for most every film, a reflection of a banner year for quality cinema in which critically acclaimed films piled up in the last half of the year.
The top drama acting awards went to Cate Blanchett for her turn as a riches-to-rags socialite in Woody Allen’s tragicomedy “Blue Jasmine” and McConaughey for his portrayal of unlikely AIDS activist Ron Woodroof for which he lost 50 pounds (22.7 kg).
“Ron Woodroof’s story was an underdog, for years it was an underdog, we couldn’t get it made … I’m so glad it got passed on so many times or it wouldn’t have come to me,” said McConaughey, widely lauded for a string of strong performances this year.
Russell, who reunited cast members from his previous films, reaped the rewards of loyal actors. Amy Adams won best actress in a musical or comedy for her role as the conniving partner to a con-man played by Christian Bale in “American Hustle,” while Jennifer Lawrence took best supporting actress for her turn as his loopy wife.
“David, you write such amazing roles for women,” Adams told the star-studded room as she accepted the award. She starred in Russell’s 2010 “The Fighter,” while Lawrence won the best actress Oscar last year for his previous film, “Silver Linings Playbook.”
‘BREAKING BAD,’ ‘BROOKLYN NINE-NINE’ CLINCH TOP TV AWARDS
The Golden Globes honored the old and the new with its top television awards on Sunday, with long-running series “Breaking Bad” taking home best drama while newcomer police show “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” earned best comedy honors.
“Breaking Bad,” which told the gritty tale of a chemistry teacher turned meth cook, won the Golden Globe for best television drama series for the first time after having been nominated in three previous years.
Its star, Bryan Cranston, also picked up his first Golden Globe for best actor in a TV drama. He, too, had received three previous nominations for his role as unlikely drug kingpin Walter White. AMC’s “Breaking Bad” wound down last year after five widely acclaimed seasons.
“This is such a wonderful honor and such a lovely way to say goodbye to the show that meant so much to me,” Cranston said onstage while accepting his award.
The Golden Globe for best actress in a drama went to Robin Wright for her role as the formidable wife of a Democratic congressional leader in the Netflix series “House of Cards.”
Netflix has been one of the key players in a fast-changing television world of binge-watching, video on demand, online streaming and social media buzz.
The Golden Globes, handed out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are awarded at a star-studded dinner in Beverly Hills and recognize the year’s best achievements in film and television.
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” a single-camera series about a childish police detective and his strict gay captain at a Brooklyn precinct, won best television comedy series after premiering on the Fox network last fall. It bested last year’s winner, the HBO series “Girls.”
“I almost went to med school,” the show’s co-creator, Dan Goor, said while accepting the award. “I decided to do this. This is way, way better than saving a human life.”
The show also earned a best comedy actor award for its star, Saturday Night Live (SNL) veteran Andy Samberg.
His former SNL co-star, Amy Poehler, also won her first Golden Globe on Sunday for her role as a public official in a small Indiana town in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.”
“I’ve never won anything like this,” an emotional Poehler, who had been nominated twice before and co-hosted the awards show with her friend and fellow comedian, Tina Fey, said onstage. “This is so cliche, but you get really nervous. I never win so I can’t believe I won.”
HBO’s Liberace biopic, “Behind the Candelabra,” won the Golden Globe for best mini-series or TV movie. Hollywood veteran Michael Douglas won best actor in that category for his portrayal of the pianist, besting co-star Matt Damon, who played his young lover.
“The only reason you are not here is I had more sequins,” Douglas said to Damon while accepting his award.
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