'Patient,' 'Evita,' '3rd Rock,' 'X' win

The 54th annual Golden Globes offered an evening in which Madonna was dignified and restrained, Lauren Bacall exclaimed ”I’m hysterical!,” TV producer Bonnie Turner seemed to hyperventilate and several winners mocked the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which sponsored the event.

Miramax’s ”The English Patient” was voted best drama pic, and Buena Vista’s ”Evita” was named top musical-or-comedy film. The latter led the film race with three wins; it also was cited for Madonna’s leading performance and the song ”You Must Love Me,” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Columbia’s ”The People vs. Larry Flynt” won a pair of prizes, for director Milos Forman and scripters Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski. ”Patient” also was honored for Gabriel Yared’s score.

Those three were the only pics with multiple wins.

Sony Pictures won four Globes (two apiece for Columbia and TriStar, with a fifth win coming in the TV races), Buena Vista and Miramax nabbed three each, and Paramount, October Films and New Line/Fine Line each won one.

In a year when indie distribs have gained ground in the year-end awards derbies, October Films and New Line/Fine Line took home major prizes: for Brenda Blethyn (”Secrets & Lies”) and Geoffrey Rush (”Shine”) as dramatic actress and actor, respectively.

TriStar saw Tom Cruise named comedy-or-musical actor for ”Jerry Maguire” and Bacall supporting actress for ”The Mirror Has Two Faces.” Paramount’s win was for ”Primal Fear” supporting actor Edward Norton.

Miramax won two for ”Patient” and a third for its foreign-lingo pic winner, the Czech film ”Kolya.” Mike Medavoy’s Phoenix Pictures scored three with its first two pictures, ”Larry Flynt” and ”The Mirror Has Two Faces.”

On the TV side, HBO took four trophies, NBC and Fox Broadcasting took home three each, and Showtime had a solo win. Twentieth TV and Rysher-Citadel-HBO led the pack among TV production entities with three each, followed by Carsey-Werner with two.

The awards were handed out Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton. The kudos in 13 film and 11 TV categories are decided by the 85 voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.

Iffy barometer

The Globes are often touted as a barometer for the Oscars, and in years when there are front-runners, the Globes certainly are in sync. However, in wide-open years such as this year and last, the results are more mixed. For example, only five of last year’s 13 GG winners went on to win Oscars.

But the HFPA awards are useful to Hollywood Oscar campaigners, thanks to timing. Globe nominations were announced Dec. 19, three weeks before Oscar ballots were mailed, and the Globes were handed out Sunday night, approximately two weeks before Oscar polls close on Jan. 31.

Though TV accounts for nearly half the prizes, the final hour of the show was focused solely on the film races, indicating that they’re a higher priority for the org.

While the script for the kudocast paid tribute to the Foreign Press Assn. (e.g., presenter Andy Garcia said, ”A strong foreign press means a healthy American product”), the winners frequently were much less reverent.

Comedy-or-musical series lead actor John Lithgow (”3rd Rock From the Sun”) said the aliens on his sitcom are ”muddling and endearing and get things wrong,” then concluded that they’re like the HFPA.

Ian McKellen, TV supporting actor winner for HBO’s ”Rasputin,” deadpanned, ”To the Foreign Press Assn. – thanks for the party, will someone please clear our table?”

David Duchovny, drama actor for ”The X-Files,” said he was at the awards seven years ago as a guest of his manager, never dreaming that one day he’d be a nominee. ”The odd thing is, we had better seats that night,” he said.

Though the six races devoted to TV series were filled with many of last year’s nominees, the HFPA voted in completely different winners this year. Fox Broadcasting’s ”The X-Files” took nods for drama series, actor and actress (Duchovny and Gillian Anderson). NBC won three: Carsey-Werner’s ”3rd Rock From the Sun” for comedy series and actor Lithgow, and Helen Hunt, comedy-or-musical series actress for ”Mad About You,” a TriStar series.

Network pix skunked

The networks were shut out of the five categories that honor work in vidpics and miniseries. HBO, which had led all TV noms with 19, saw four wins: three for ”Rasputin” (vidpic, lead actor Alan Rickman and supporting actor McKellen) and supporting actress (Kathy Bates for ”The Late Shift”).

Most winners thanked a litany of colleagues, frequently saluted fellow nominees and claimed to be stunned at their wins.

Rickman praised the writing on ”Rasputin” and joked, ”There should be a category best performance in crummiest role. That would be a test.”

Rush thanked numerous people, including ”Fred Specktor and my newfound friends at CAA,” which got a big laugh from the crowd.

Accepting for comedy-or-musical series, ”3rd Rock’s” Bonnie Turner seemed to be having trouble breathing, and talked through the speech of fellow co-creator Terry Turner.

In the evening’s first award, Bacall received the first of three standing ovations; that honor also went to actor Rush and to Dustin Hoffman, who was handed the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his ”outstanding contribution to the entertainment field,” according to the org.

The three-hour show, produced by the HFPA in association with Dick Clark Prods., was telecast live on the East Coast by NBC and tape-delayed in the West. Dick Clark was backstage to interview the winners (”Why didn’t you prepare a speech, Miss Bacall?” he wondered, and intensely asked Blethyn, ”Did you research your part at all?” To which she shrugged, ”I didn’t, actually.”)

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