'Dreamgirls' night out

3 for musical; 'Babel' best drama

The musical "Dreamgirls" danced away with three Golden Globes. The contemporary drama "Babel," which headed into the event with a dominant seven nominations, was shut out until the end of the evening, when it was named best drama. And actresses who played queens of the realm and queens of the fashion world reigned as the 64th annual Golden Globe Awards were spread among 11 films Monday night.

On the TV side, ABC swept the top series categories with the drama "Grey's Anatomy" and the comedy "Ugly Betty," while "Betty" star America Ferrera got the best actress in a comedy series award.

HBO's biopic "Elizabeth I" was the most-heralded program of the night, with trophies for best miniseries or TV movie, supporting actor Jeremy Irons and star Helen Mirren.

In fact, Mirren could be forgiven if she experienced a moment of deja vu at the ceremony at the Beverly Hilton, hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. Having visited the stage for her work in "Elizabeth I," she was crowned again as best actress in a motion picture drama for playing Elizabeth II in "The Queen."

"In 1952, a woman called Elizabeth Windsor walked into literally the role of a lifetime, and I honestly think this award belongs to her because I think you fell in love with her, not with me," a regal Mirren said.

If any one movie felt the love at the ceremonies, it was "Dreamgirls," which won supporting trophies for Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy and was named best musical or comedy.

Pointing out that the Broadway show on which the film was based is 25 years old, producer Laurence Mark credited DreamWorks co-chairman David Geffen for saying yes to the adaptation. "I sometimes think the movie was not meant to happen until now so that these stars could align and so that (director) Bill Condon could be the one to guide them," an elated Mark said.

Producer-director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu took a global view of "Babel's" win as best drama. It was presented to him by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, still on crutches because of a skiing accident. The ensemble drama about miscommunication was shot on three continents in five languages, but, Inarritu declared: "The power of cinema is unique, and at the end, emotion doesn't need translation. That's the beauty of it."

Paramount Pictures chairman Brad Grey had reason to enjoy the evening. Paramount produced "Dreamgirls" with DreamWorks, which is now a division of Paramount, and distributed the film. And Paramount's specialty division, Paramount Vantage, earned a place in the spotlight with "Babel."

Forest Whitaker, who was nominated once before for 1988's "Bird," appeared overwhelmed when he prevailed as best actor in a drama for playing notorious Ugandan despot Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland." He admitted he was "really happy to be included in the company of Leo (DiCaprio) and Will (Smith) and Peter O'Toole and Leo once again," he said. Among those he thanked was "Scotland" screenwriter Peter Morgan, who took home the best screenplay award for "The Queen," which he also penned.

Martin Scorsese earned his second Golden Globe as best director for the crime drama "The Departed." "I'm going to talk a little faster than I normally do," he said with the ceremony running dangerously long. He joked that he started out to make a movie like such vintage Warner Bros. Pictures crime dramas as "Public Enemy" and "Angels With Dirty Faces" but "ended up making 'Devils With Dirty Faces.' "

Meryl Streep picked up her sixth Golden Globe for her turn as the fearsome magazine editor Miranda Priestly in "The Devil Wears Prada" ? though it was her first win as best comedic actress. Surveying the Hilton's International Ballroom, Streep said, "I think I've worked with everyone in the room." Before she offered thank-yous to the "Prada" crew, she paid tribute to her fellow actresses nominated this year. "I just want you to know, all of you, it's been such a fun year to watch movies, because of you gals," she said.

Although he did not revert to the character of Borat when he was hailed as best motion picture comedy actor, "Borat" star Sacha Baron Cohen still played it for laughs. "I saw some dark parts of America, an ugly side of America," he said before delivering the punch line: "I refer, of course, to the anus and testicles of my co-star Ken Davitian." Speaking at length of their nude wrestling scene, Baron Cohen addressed his co-star, "When I was in that scene and I stared down and saw your two wrinkled golden globes on my chin, I thought to myself, 'I better win a bloody award for this.' "

Hudson, the former "American Idol" contestant who has brought movie audiences to their feet with her powerhouse performance as Effie in "Dreamgirls," was the first winner of the evening. Called to the stage by presenter George Clooney, the novice actress confessed: "I have always dreamed but never, ever this big, ever. This goes far beyond anything that I could have ever imagined.

"You do not know how much this does for my confidence," she continued, before admitting, "I feel like Effie up here. OK, because of this, it makes me feel like I'm part of a community, and it makes me feel like an actress." Among her thank-yous, she included a special shout-out to the late Florence Ballard, one of the founding members of the Supremes, on whose career "Dreamgirls" is loosely based. "You will never be forgotten," Hudson said.

An hour later, Murphy followed her example by winning best supporting actor for his role as James "Thunder" Early in "Dreamgirls." After three previous nominations, it was his first Globe triumph, and Murphy exclaimed: "Wow, I'll be damned. That's nice." He also singled out DreamWorks co-chairman Geffen for "convincing me to work for free. No. It was all worth it now."

When the Japanese-language "Letters From Iwo Jima" took the prize for best foreign-language film over such nominees as Spain's "Volver" and Mexico's "Pan's Labyrinth," the very American Clint Eastwood echoed Hudson by saying: "You don't know what this does for my confidence. I feel good." Accompanied to the stage by Steven Spielberg and Robert Lorenz, his fellow producers on the project, Eastwood thanked both DreamWorks and Warners for releasing the film, admitting, "Not many people thought this was anything when it was on paper."

But Eastwood's dual nominations as best director for "Letters" and "Flags of Our Fathers" didn't result in a win. DiCaprio also was nominated twice ? as best actor for "Departed" and "Blood Diamond" ? but that didn't lead to a win, either.

Morgan interjected a rare note of politics into the evening when his screenplay for "Queen" copped the screenwriting prize. "What do we have to do to get our leaders to listen to us?" he asked. "What do we have to do to get them to change tack? In 1997, 2.2 million people went on the streets of London, sleeping rough, bringing the biggest city in Europe to a standstill so that a stubborn, 70-year-old lady could fly from Aberdeen to London. What are we going to do when it's really important?"

"Cars" was named best animated feature film, a new category at the Globes. John Lasseter, Pixar Animation Studios' chief creative officer and the movie's director, expressed his appreciation for the category, saying: "Animation is awesome, everybody. It's my life." He also acknowledged his wife's role in teaching him the movie's moral that "life is about the journey, not the destination."

Justin Timberlake announced the winner of best song, the Prince-written "The Song of the Heart," from the dancing-penguin animated movie "Happy Feet." In Prince's absence, Timberlake accepted the award. Later, it was explained that Prince had been stuck in traffic, and he took a bow.

French composer Alexandre Desplat claimed the prize for best score for "The Painted Veil," John Curran's adaptation of the W. Somerset Maugham novel. "Merci," Desplat said. "It's a great honor to be in such an amazing audience for a European composer."

Tom Hanks offered a humor-laced tribute to Warren Beatty, recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award. Recalling that the HFPA chose Beatty as the most promising newcomer of 1962 "based, I'm sure, on his three appearances on 'The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,' " Hanks went on to say of the actor-turned-writer/producer/director that he has had "the kind of career that can only be molded from the surest of instincts and the purest of intentions."

A freely associating Beatty conceded, "The truth is I haven't made an awful lot of movies." In fact, he acknowledged, "every single movie I ever made from the beginning was a comeback, (so) something like this is enough to make a guy go out and make another movie."

HFPA president Philip Berk noted in his opening remarks that three of this year's nominees ? Eastwood, Streep and Jack Nicholson ? were nominated in the same categories 13 years ago. He cited that as evidence that "Sunset Boulevard's" Norma Desmond was right when she proclaimed, "Stars are ageless." Although Eastwood later suggested that it might be true about Streep, he was less sure it applied to himself or Nicholson.


LIST OF WINNERS:

Motion Picture (Drama)

"Babel," Anonymous Content production/Una Produccion De Zeta Film/Central Film production; Paramount Vantage

ACTRESS, MOTION PICTURE (DRAMA)

Helen Mirren, "The Queen"

Actor, Motion Picture (Drama)

Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"

Motion Picture (comedy or musical)

"Dreamgirls," DreamWorks Pictures/ Paramount Pictures

Actress, Motion Picture (Comedy Or Musical)

Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada"

Actor, Motion Picture (Comedy Or Musical)

Sacha Baron Cohen, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan"

Animated Feature Film

"Cars," Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation Studios; Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Foreign-Language Film

"Letters From Iwo Jima" (U.S./Japan), Warner Bros. Pictures/DreamWorks Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures

Actress, Supporting Role (Motion Picture)

Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"

Actor, Supporting Role (Motion Picture)

Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls"

Director, Motion Picture

Martin Scorsese,"The Departed"

Screenplay, Motion Picture

Peter Morgan, "The Queen"

Original Score, Motion Picture

Alexandre Desplat, "The Painted Veil"

Original Song, Motion Picture

"The Song of the Heart," "Happy Feet"; Music/lyrics: Prince Rogers Nelson

Television Series (Drama)

"Grey's Anatomy," Touchstone Television (ABC)

Actress, Television Series (Drama)

Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"

Actor, Television Series (Drama)

Hugh Laurie, "House"

Television Series (Comedy Or Musical)

"Ugly Betty," Touchstone Television (ABC)

ActRESS, Television Series (Comedy Or Musical)

America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty"

Actor, Television Series (Comedy Or Musical)

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"

MiniSeries Or Motion Picture Made For Television

"Elizabeth I," Company Pictures and Channel 4 in association with HBO Films (HBO)

Actress, MiniSeries Or Motion Picture Made For Television

Helen Mirren, "Elizabeth I"

Actor, MiniSeries Or Motion Picture Made For Television

Bill Nighy, "Gideon's Daughter"

Actress, Supporting Role (Series, MiniSeries Or Motion Picture Made For Television)

Emily Blunt, "Gideon's Daughter"

Actor, Supporting Role (Series, MiniSeries Or Motion Picture Made For Television)

Jeremy Irons, "Elizabeth I"
comments powered by Disqus