Unlikely Winners Dominate Globes

Joe Cramer

Kate Winslet saw her star rise at the Golden Globes on Jan. 11 as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association awarded her with both Best Actress-Motion Picture-Drama for “Revolutionary Road” and Best Supporting Actress-Motion Picture for “The Reader.”

The 66th annual award show returned this year in order reclaim its recognition as being Hollywood’s “party of the year” after being cut down to a 31-minute news conference because of picketing threats during last year’s writers strike.

And while Winslet saw her chances for her first Oscar increase considerably over the evening, she was not the only big winner this year.

On the drama side of the awards, “Slumdog Millionaire” gleaned four awards, including Best Motion Picture-Drama and Best Director-Motion Picture for Danny Boyle’s work with the film. Musical artist A.R. Rahman took home the Globe for Best Original Score for the film, while screenwriter Simon Beaufoy won Best Screenplay for his moving adaptation.

“Millionaire,” while attaining some of the best reviews of the year, was nevertheless seen as an underdog heading into award season, yet has picked up steam in recent weeks with several key nominations for the Producer’s and Writer’s Guild.

“Slumdog Millionaire’s” near sweep of the nominations has effectively solidified it as the film to beat heading into Oscar season.

Yet perhaps the most cathartic moment of the night came from Mickey Rourke’s triumphant win for “The Wrestler.” Rourke, once a promising young actor when he emerged in the 1980s, fell out of favor soon thereafter due to some eccentricties in his personal life.

His role as the broken down wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson was an intensely personal project for the actor, and his revelatory comeback performance has been highly regarded.

His moving speech addressed the many people, namely director Darren Aronofsky, who he thanked for the opportunity given to him.

Also of note was that he beat out actor Sean Penn for the award. Penn, a previous award winner and Hollywood juggernaut, was nominated for acclaimed and politically relevant turn as gay-activist Harvey Milk. The fact that a Hollywood outsider came out of nowhere and topped Penn is a testimony to the power of Rourke’s performance.

On the other side of the awards, Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy went to Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and beat out the Coen Brothers’ ensemble comedy “Burn After Reading.” Given that their previous film, “No Country for Old Men,” dominated the awards season last year, this was an upset, especially given Allen’s recent string of disasterous comedies.

Best Performance by an Actor and Actress in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy went to Colin Farrell for the black comedy “In Bruges” and Sally Hawkins for “Happy-Go-Lucky” respectively.

Predictably, “30 Rock” dominated the comedy TV series categories – Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin won for their performances on the show, and the show itself took home the award for Best Television Series-Musical or Comedy. Also receiving accolades was the HBO mini-series “John Adams,” which took home four awards.

While the Golden Globes are a major event for Hollywood, the show is nevertheless only the beginning of the major award season. The various Guild awards are just around the corner, followed by the prestigious Academy Awards.

The Globes are signifiers of the work that has been done over the past year in the film and television industries, and if these ceremonies are any indication, this awards season may turn out to be one of the best in recent years.