the Popcorn Reel Awards Season 2009
66th annual golden globe awards film report


Kate Winslet onstage reacting to audience applause after winning best actress in a dramatic film ("Revolutionary Road").  It was her second award of the night (the other was in a supporting role for "The Reader"); best picture winner "Slumdog Millionaire" is celebrated by its producer Christian Colson (holding trophy), best director winner Danny Boyle (center), Bollywood actor Anil Tapoor (left) and award presenter Tom Cruise.  (Photos:
HFPA)

For "Slumdog", Winslet and "Wrestler", Golden Globe Film Awards Shine Brightly

By Omar P.L. Moore/The Popcorn Reel
January 11, 2009

Ah, that's more like it.

After a strike-shortened Globe awards last year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards was back in full swing with a packed Beverly Hilton Hotel, fun, and enthusiasm.

"Slumdog Millionaire" was the big winner tonight with four Golden Globe awards including best motion picture drama.  The film, about a young man from the slums of Mumbai, India who is accused of defrauding a quiz show to win 20 million rupees, was released by Fox Searchlight.  In addition to the "Slumdog" best picture win, Danny Boyle won for best director, Simon Beaufoy won best motion picture screenplay and A.R. Rahman won best motion picture score for the sentimental favorite.  "Slumdog" won all but one of nominated awards and is now an instant contender for Oscar nominations next week and wins at the Oscar ceremony next month. 

It was a huge night for Kate Winslet, who won the first film award of the night, supporting actress for "The Reader".  The British actress also won one of the last awards of the night, best actress in a motion picture drama for her work as a disillusioned and alienated 1950's housewife in "Revolutionary Road".  The double Globes win for Ms. Winslet surely makes her a strong candidate for dual Academy Award nominations in eleven days' time and the early favorite to win for either film at the Oscars next month. 

Overall it was a great night for actors from the United Kingdom, with at least eight U.K.-born actors winning awards either for film or television.  Aside from Ms. Winslet's award, Sally Hawkins won for best actress in a musical or comedy motion picture in "Happy-Go-Lucky", Mike Leigh's film about the bliss and sanguinity of a school teacher in England amid such tough and depressing circumstances in life.  And the aforementioned Mr. Beaufoy won the screenplay award.  Tom Wilkinson won on the television side for "John Adams" in a supporting role, while Gabriel Byrne won best actor in a television drama for "In Treatment", in which he plays a therapist.

Mickey Rourke scored a big win for best actor for his portrayal as a beaten-down, has-been '80's professional wrestler who decades later craves his former glories amidst personal turmoil in "The Wrestler".  The film also won best original song, by its writer and performer Bruce Springsteen.  The same-titled song plays over the end credits of Darren Aronofsky's film.  So far, 2009 has been good to Mr. Springsteen, whose new album "Working On A Dream" arrives on the 27th and who will appear on February 1 on the half-time show of NFL Football's Super Bowl. 

The late Heath Ledger won posthumously for his supporting role as The Joker in "The Dark Knight", and is likely to be nominated for the same on January 22 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences nomination announcement.  Meanwhile, Colin Farrell won best actor for a musical or comedy motion picture for his performance as a phobic hit man in the film "In Bruges".  Mr. Farrell defeated his fellow-nominated co-star Brendan Gleeson, among others to win. 

Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" won the best motion picture comedy or musical award.  The film stars Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johannson and Rebecca Hall, who can currently be seen in "Frost/Nixon".  The Foreign Language Film award went to the highly-acclaimed "Waltz With Bashir", directed by Ari Folman, while "Wall-E" won best animated feature film, directed by Andrew Stanton, who remarked backstage that "we're just looking at ["Wall-E"] as a film", not as an animated film, "not through the lens of the media."

With each passing year, the Golden Globe Awards are considered greater precursors of what to expect at the Academy Awards.  Going by that rubric, "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" will have a disappointing Oscars, as the film was completely shut out in the five awards for which it was nominated.  On the other hand, the absence of victories for "Button" at the Globes may mean that precisely the opposite could occur at the Oscars.


Mickey Rourke accepting the Golden Globe award for best actor in a dramatic motion picture for "The Wrestler".  (Photo: HFPA)

Popcorn Reel Awards Season 2009

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