Globes set up Oscar race between The Artist and The Descendants
The black and white, silent movie The Artist was voted the Best Comedy Film and also took the prize for the Best Actor in a Comedy, for Jean Dujardin, and the Best Score. Alexander Payne’s long-awaited follow-up to Sideways, The Descendants, took the Best Drama Film award, as well as the Golden Globe for the Best Actor in a Drama, for George Clooney.
This year’s awards darling, Clooney missed out on the Best Director trophy for bringing Ides of March to the big screen. That award went to Martin Scorsese for his children’s fantasy and love-letter to film history, Hugo – along with The Artist, making cinema nostalgia one of the themes evident among last year’s releases.
Another theme, according to the winner of the Best Actress in a Drama, Meryl Streep, was the number of strong roles for women last year – something she described as “great news.” Her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady beat off competition from Tilda Swinton, Glenn Close, Viola Davis and Rooney Mara, but she also highlighted other performances during the year, including Mia Wasikowska’s title turn in Jane Eyre.
Winning this award sets up another Oscars clash for next month between Streep and the winner of the HFPA’s Best Actress in a Comedy trophy – Michelle Williams, convincingly bringing Marilyn Monroe back to the big screen in My Week With Marilyn.
Her co-star Kenneth Branagh failed to make it a double for the film, graciously losing out in the Best Supporting Actor category to Christopher Plummer for Beginners.
In the contest for the Best Supporting Actress prize, Octavia Spencer beat her co-star in The Help, Jessica Chastain.
Steven Spielberg found himself on stage brandishing a Golden Globe, but not for his newly released First World War epic War Horse; Tintin was the HFPA’s favourite animated feature. Woody Allen also picked up a prize; the Best Screenplay, for Midnight in Paris, but the director was absent – the only winner of the night not to collect his award in person. The Best Foreign Language film was Iran’s A Separation.
Perhaps the biggest winner of the night in the film categories was Harvey Weinstein, who saw four of his films collect trophies – as well as The Artist, My Week with Marilyn and The Iron Lady, Madonna’s W.E. picked up an award – for Best Song, written by the director herself, as an afterthought, she confessed in her acceptance speech.
There was less consistency among the TV awards, with honours variously going to established shows and newcomers. Homeland collected the Best TV Drama series and the show’s lead actress Claire Danes was also honoured, but her co-star Damian Lewis missed out to Chicago Mayor Kelsey Grammer in the Best Actor in a TV Drama series, for The Boss.
In the comedy categories, the best series was Modern Family, while Laura Dern earned the Best Actress trophy for Enlightened and Matt LeBlanc was a surprise winner in the best actor contest for the BBC-co-produced Episodes.
Idris Elba beat off competition from three other British actors, Dominic West, Bill Nighy and Hugh Bonneville, to take the Best Actor in a mini-series or TV movie for Luther. There was also a strong British presence in the women’s equivalent, in which Kate Winslet, with an uncharacteristically tearless acceptance speech, won the Golden Globe for Mildred Pierce; her competition included Romola Garai and Emily Watson – both of whom were starring alongside Dominic West.
Peter Dinklage was the best supporting actor for Game of Thrones and Jessica Lange won the trophy for the best supporting actress on TV for American Horror Story.
There was more for Britain to be proud of in the best mini-series or TV movie category; a day before his report into the future of the British film industry is published, Julian – now Lord Fellowes – collected repeated his Emmy success for Downton Abbey.