The Golden Globes: In Review

BATD ON Jan 12, 2009 AT 6:00 pm

Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes

Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes

As last year’s awards were kept very low key due to the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) strike, and the ceremony being reduced to a press conference, this year’s ceremony saw the stars come out in full force, with a loud and buzzing evening filled with applause, tears and laughter.

The 66th Golden Globe awards was the year of the Brits: Kate Winslet made history with her double pick-up, newcomer Sally Hawkins won her first nomination and award, and film Slumdog Millionaire swept up four statuettes.

Directed by Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire’s story of an orphan boy who gets all the way to the 20 million rupee question on India’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and the reasons how he got there, collected Best Director, Best Motion Picture Drama, Best Screenplay and Best Soundtrack. The overwhelmed Boyle paid tribute to his crew, whilst humbly thanking his audience for the love of his film, saying: “Your mad, pulsating affection for our film is much appreciated. Really, deeply appreciated. We never expected to get here.” He finished by enthusiastically thanking the Indian part of the crew, who were watching from Mumbai, where the film is set.

Slumdog Millionaire Dev Patel and Freida Pinto

Slumdog Millionaire Dev Patel and Freida Pinto

Sally Hawkins won Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical with her performance in Happy Go Lucky, beating Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson. Tearfully accepting her unexpected prize, Sally told the press, “I didn’t even write a speech until this morning, [and only did] because somebody thought it would be a good idea to have it there, just in case.” The star of Mike Leigh’s latest film appeared genuinely shocked and touched, saying: “It has exploded my head.”

The British actress to make history, however, was Kate Winslet. Receiving two Golden Globes; one for Best Supporting Actress in The Reader, and one for Best Actress in a Drama for her role alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Revolutionary Road, Kate accepted her first award with the opening line: “You’ll have to forgive me because I have a habit of not winning things,” before putting the statuette on the ground and picking it up again saying, “No, it doesn’t feel right putting that down.” She kept exclaiming that she couldn’t believe it was happening, and then just got really annoying and wouldn’t shut up.

Sally Hawkins

Sally Hawkins

Pictured waving both of her trophies, Kate Winslet is the first UK actor to collect two Golden Globes at one ceremony, with her only two predecessors being Sigourney Weaver in 1989 and Joan Plowright in 1993. Winslet, famed for her refusal to lose weight for Hollywood and promoting her natural size, was convinced Anne Hathaway was going to take best actress, but denies seeing the HFPA’s online botch up. Anne Hathaway’s name was highlighted and asterixed as the winner of the category three days before the event, but dismissed by the association as an accident.

Unsurprisingly, Heath Ledger was posthumously awarded Best Supporting Actor for his role of the Joker in The Dark Knight, which was accepted by director Christopher Nolan.  He simply stated: “All of us who worked with Heath on The Dark Knight accept with an awful mixture of sadness but incredible pride. After Heath passed, you saw a hole ripped in the future of cinema.” This was actually a pretty moving part of the show, with a standing ovation led by Tom Cruise.

The evening was not simply one long string of tears: Steven Spielberg was commended with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, and he didn’t cry. The general celebrations over the course of the evening were so lively that actors, directors and producers alike had to be hushed and shushed between each presentation, whilst a lot of musical chairs, clapping and shouting roared through the venue.

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