“Slumdog Millionaire” took its rags-to-riches storyline to the next level at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, riding an emotional groundswell to pocket the nods for best picture, director, screenplay and original score.
The top musical or comedy award went to “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”
The show’s 66th installment, presented from the Beverly Hilton, was a glitzy and often emotional return to form after last year’s event was disrupted and turned into a glorified press conference due to the Writer’s Guild strike.
Clearly a sentimental favorite among the audience, “Slumdog” won all of the four categories in which it was nominated, with Danny Boyle taking home his first Globe for helming the Mumbai-based pic about a poor teenager who wins India’s version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” Pic — distribbed by Fox Searchlight and Warner Bros. — also took the screenplay award for Simon Beaufoy, while A.R. Rahman won for original score.
Mickey Rourke, as a washed-up former professional wrestler in Fox Searchlight’s “The Wrestler,” won the actor in a drama honor, his first, with most of those in attendance clearly connecting to the actor’s real-life comeback story.
“The Wrestler,” distribbed by Fox Searchlight, was a hit in the Globes arena, winning not only with Rourke, but also for original song, written and performed by Bruce Springsteen.
Hollywood’s top-grossing film of the year was also high on the HFPA’s radar as the late Heath Ledger won supporting actor for playing the Joker in Warner Bros.’ “The Dark Knight.” The Australian-born thesp’s victory prompted a standing ovation from the audience as director Christopher Nolan accepted the award on his behalf.
After being previously nominated five times without taking home a statuette, a breathless Kate Winslet won her first two Globes — for actress in a drama for portraying an unhappy 1950s housewife in Paramount Vantage and DreamWorks’ “Revolutionary Road” and for supporting actress for her role as a Nazi death camp prison guard in the Weinstein Co.’s “The Reader.”
Winslet’s win was the third time that a thesp has won two Globes in a single ceremony. Joan Plowright won for the feature “Enchanted April” and TV movie “Stalin” in 1993, while Helen Mirren won twice for “The Queen” and TV mini “Elizabeth I” in 2007.
In addition to handing awards to the U.K.’s Winslet, Boyle and Beaufoy, the 83 voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. spread the kudos wealth among other foreign nominees as well, awarding Colin Farrell the supporting actor trophy for his role as a rookie Irish hit man in Focus Features’ “In Bruges” and bestowing British thesp Sally Hawkins with the prize fo actress in a musical or comedy for portraying a free-spirited London school teacher in Miramax’s “Happy-Go-Lucky.”
For the third year in a row, Disney and Pixar won for animated film, this time with “Wall-E.”
Meanwhile, Israel’s animated docu “Waltz With Bashir,” about the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre, won the foreign film award.
While the Globes have sometimes been seen a bellwether for the Oscars, there’s little recent evidence of the kudocast’s merits as prognosticator: None of the Globes’ best picture winners over the past four years has gone on to win the Academy Award.
Still “Slumdog” stands out as one of the few multiple-category winners of the evening in the film categories., as do its distribs, Fox Searchlight and Warner Bros.. Including its wins for “The Wrestler,” Fox Seachlight took home six Globes. Warner Bros. landed five, including “Slumdog” and Ledger’s victory for “Dark Knight.” The Walt Disney Co. won two statuettes, as did the Weinstein Co. Warner Bros., Par Vantage, DreamWorks and Focus nabbed one each.
Although they were each nominated for five Globes, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” “Doubt” and “Frost/Nixon” went home empty-handed on the evening.