It was a “Beauty” pageant, a “Sopranos” high note, a trip to “Toy” land, a salute to biopics and an evening of gentle mockery at the 57th annual Golden Globes.
The kudofest is often cited as an Oscar barometer (though the record is very mixed), and the 82 voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. provided few clues this year, when there has been almost no overlap of the numerous critics prizes.
With three wins — for film drama, director Sam Mendes and scripter Alan Ball — DreamWorks’ “American Beauty” was the only film to take home more than one award.
“Toy Story 2” nabbed the trophy for film, musical or comedy.
Three of the four top film acting prizes went to work on bios: Jim Carrey for “Man on the Moon” (Andy Kaufman); Hilary Swank, “Boys Don’t Cry” (Brandon Teena); and Denzel Washington, “The Hurricane” (Ruben Carter). Janet McTeer (“Tumbleweeds”) and Angelina Jolie (“Girl, Interrupted”) play characters based on real women. That means only supporting acting winner Tom Cruise (“Magnolia”) is playing a totally fictitious character.
On the TV side, cablers KO’d the broadcast networks, as HBO nabbed eight prizes, including “Sex and the City” for comedy series and “The Sopranos” as drama series. It was trailed by Showtime, with two wins.
Of the 11 TV races, the only broadcast victory was for Michael J. Fox, nabbing his third consecutive prize for lead actor in a musical/comedy series on ABC’s “Spin City.”
The sitcom actor’s win boosted DreamWorks’ overall tally for the evening, since it also produces that skein.
As for domestic distributors, New Line and Fine Line combined took home three, Universal had two, Columbia, Buena Vista and Sony Pictures Classics nabbed a pair and Fox Searchlight had one.
Though a few winners shed tears and there were some heartfelt moments, the bulk of the evening reflected a loose, self-deprecatory mood.
Among those who offered litanies of gratitude, Sarah Jessica Parker (“Sex and the City”) thanked the show’s caterers; Edie Falco (“The Sopranos”) thanked her driver; scripter Alan Ball (“American Beauty”) thanked every writer he’d ever met or worked with; a weeping Halle Berry thanked God, her mom and her fiance; Phil Collins thanked his dog Jack, “who’s somewhere in Switzerland”; and Sam Mendes thanked Steven Spielberg “for telling me to wear comfortable shoes.”
Swank was one of several victors who read aloud a printed admonition: “Please wrap up.” She exclaimed, “I haven’t even started!”
Accepting the foreign-language prize for his “All About My Mother,” writer-director Pedro Almodovar said, in heavily accented English, “I didn’t prepare anything and I don’t speak English, so it doesn’t matter.”
Early in the evening, Peter Fonda had one of the few scripted moments, exhorting the audience, “Please join me in saluting the Hollywood Foreign Press.” He introduced the org’s prexy Helmut Voss, who called the event “Hollywood’s party of the year” and said he hoped it would be another “evening to remember.”
Much of what followed was decidedly less reverent.
One of last year’s winners (for the telefilm “Gia”), Jolie, who also won for “George Wallace” in 1998, this time won for film supporting actress. Jolie thanked the HFPA by laughing, “You guys are so kind to me. Like I must be paying you or something!”
After “The Truman Show” last year, Carrey was another repeat winner, taking his second consecutive kudo for actor in a musical/comedy film for “Man on the Moon.” “What’s going on here, man? I’m the establishment I once rejected! … I’m the Tom Hanks of the Golden Globes!” He concluded by shrugging, “I was kinda shocked it was in the musical or comedy category, but I’ll go with it.”
The most breathlessly enthusiastic winner was Sarah Jessica Parker, winner of best actress in musical/comedy series, for HBO’s “Sex and the City.”
“I’ve never won anything in my life!” she gasped. then staring at the prize: “I don’t know what people do with these things!”
Ridley Scott, exec producer of the winning HBO vidpic “RKO 281” called helmer Ben Ross to the stage, mildly chastising the HFPA, “I don’t know how you vote a film for best film without including the director.”
An hour or two after his bit saluting the Foreign Press, Fonda won the TV supporting actor award, expressing surprise: “It was a small part!”
Jack Lemmon, who was a double nominee in the race for actor in a miniseries or telepic, won for Showtime’s “Inherit the Wind”; eyeing his trophy and shrugging, “I guess we gotta engrave the damn thing, don’t we?”
Two years ago, Ving Rhames won in the category and said he wanted to give the award to fellow nominee Lemmon. Joking about that, Lemmon deadpanned, “In the spirit of Ving Rhames, I’m gonna give this to Jack Lemmon.”
There were also some serious moments.
Michael J. Fox got the evening’s first standing ovation and made one of the most touching acceptance speeches as he lightly joked about his announcement last week that he was quitting the series, partly due to his battle with Parkinson’s. Thanking the cast, he smiled, “Who knows, you may be here next year. I just won’t.”
Fox had wanted news of his decision to wait until the HFPA voting was over, but news leaked out last Wednesday, as the balloting was coming to a close.
Coming out to introduce a film clip of his biopic “The Hurricane,” Rubin “Hurricane” Carter also got a standing ovation and smiled, “Be seated, please. I only have 27 seconds!”
Winning for that film, Washington patted Carter on the back, and said simply, “He lost 7,300 days of his life and he’s all love.” Similarly honoring her bio subject, Swank paid tribute to Brandon Teena.
After a long clip package chronicling her career, Cecil B. DeMille Award winner Barbra Streisand thanked the Foreign Press for its long support of her career. (She’s won 10 previous Globes, more than anyone else.)
However, even she concluded her speech by shrugging off awards. “It doesn’t matter, really, how many awards something received. What matters is, does it stand the test of time?”
The Globes attracted a star-studded gathering. Most of the winners were there and presenters included Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Ray Romano, Steven Spielberg and the cast of “The Sopranos.”
But arguably the biggest star is the party atmosphere itself. The Globes always offer moments of loosey-goosey spontaneity from celebs that more “respectable” kudocasts rarely match. In the past few years, the audience has grown to 49 million U.S. viewers, and it’s likely that they’re tuning in as much to watch the fun and silliness as to find out who won.
Despite increasing demand for tickets, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. maintains its mood by keeping the event at the relatively intimate International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton in BevHills, with 1,100 seats (as opposed to five times that amount for the Oscars). The food, the table-hopping and, of course, the champagne, only help to lubricate the atmosphere.
The Globes are often touted as a bellwether of the Oscars, but their accuracy is spotty. Two years ago, when “Titanic” was a favorite contender, eight of the 13 Globe winners went on to win Oscars. However, when the field is more wide open — which is certainly the case this year — the correlation is much lower. Last year, for example, only four of the 13 GG winners went on to win Academy Awards.
Part of this is due to timing, since the Globes are given when Academy Award ballots are in the mail. By contrast, the awards are rarely compared with the Emmys, which follow by eight months.
Such awards as the prizes for “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos” indicate a much less cautious approach than Emmy voters, who are often slow to recognize newer TV series. In the past, HFPA has honored dramas like “Party of Five” before it was a hit, and “The X-Files.”
And it’s interesting that the David E. Kelley pair, “Ally McBeal” and “The Practice” won Globes last year for best series, and both went on to the Emmy winners circle.
HBO’s “Sex” won two prizes, while “The Sopranos” took four, including a win for supporting actress Nancy Marchand, one of the few winners who wasn’t in attendance.
This year, the kudocast was preceded by a one-hour spec of arrivals. The whole thing aired live on the East Coast, and tape-delayed on the West Coast, on NBC.
According to the org, the show will be seen in 125 countries by 250 million people.
A complete list of Golden Globe winners follows.
BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Hilary Swank (“Boys Don’t Cry”)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Denzel Washington (“The Hurricane”)
BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
“Toy Story 2”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Janet McTeer (“Tumbleweeds”)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Jim Carrey (“Man on the Moon”)
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“All About My Mother”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Angelina Jolie (“Girl, Interrupted”)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Tom Cruise (“Magnolia”)
BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”)
“American Beauty,” Alan Ball
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
“The Legend of 1900,” Ennio Morricone
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“You’ll Be In My Heart” from “Tarzan,” Phil Collins
BEST SERIES (DRAMA)
BEST ACTOR (DRAMA SERIES)
James Gandolfini (“The Soparanos”)
BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA SERIES)
Edie Falco (“The Sopranos”)
BEST SERIES (COMEDY/MUSICAL)
“Sex and the City”
BEST ACTOR (COMEDY/MUSICAL SERIES)
Michael J. Fox (“Spin City”)
BEST ACTRESS (COMEDY/MUSICAL SERIES)
Sarah Jessica Parker (“Sex and the City”)
BEST MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (SERIES, MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE)
Peter Fonda (“Passion of Ayn Rand”)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (SERIES, MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE)
Nancy Marchand (“The Sopranos”)
BEST ACTOR (MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE)
Jack Lemmon (“Inherit the Wind”)
BEST ACTRESS (MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE)
Halle Berry (“Introducing Dorothy Dandridge”)
CECIL B. DeMILLE AWARD