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The Social Network can count the 81 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. among its Facebook fans, since the Sony Pictures drama was the big winner Sunday night at the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards, where it collected four trophies, including best dramatic picture.
Its director David Fincher was hailed as best director, and the film also took home prizes for Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay and its score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
Looking back at his long friendship with Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal, Scott Rudin, one of the movie’s producers, said, “We’ve spent our entire lives waiting for a night like this.”
However, the Globes distributed their top movie acting honors among a quintet of other films. And, on the TV side, Glee was the dominant force, with three prizes, including best comedy series, while Boardwalk Empire was named best dramatic series.
For portraying a ballerina who topples into madness in Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan, Natalie Portman was celebrated as best dramatic actress.
Picking up her second Globe — she won a supporting trophy in 2005 for Closer — Portman was at once radiant and giggly, pointing to her fiance Benjamin Millepied, who choreographed Swan and with whom she’s expecting a child, and laughing that even though Millepied played a man who rejected her character on camera, “he totally wants to sleep with me.”
She expressed special thanks to director Darren Aronofsky “for continuing to work on this movie (for the ten years it was in development) and then to give me such a beautiful gift with this role.”
Although he went home empty-handed last year when he was nominated for A Single Man, Colin Firth didn’t have that problem this year as he was crowned best dramatic actor for his performance as King George VI in the Weinstein Co’s The King’s Speech.
Noting that it can be difficult going through mid-life “with your dignity and judgement intact,” he held the award in his hands and said, “Right now this is all that stands between me and a Harley Davidson.”
Among his acknowledgements, he cited the film’s director Tom Hooper and his costar Geoffrey Rush as “two other sides of a surprisingly robust triangle of man love which has somehow moved forward in perfect formation for the last year and a half.”
Focus Features’ The Kids Are All Right won the top film comedy laurels — although the picture is actually more of a gentle dramedy about an alternative family.
Annette Bening captured the second Golden Globe of her career as she was named best actress in a comedy or musical for her performance as an embattled lesbian mom in Kids.
Accepting the prize, a beaming Bening said, “I’m very proud to be part of this very special film about two women who are very deeply in love and trying to keep their family together.” She offered special thanks to her costar and fellow nominee Julianne Moore, calling her “a class act.” And before surrendering the stage, she ofered a final thanks “to the 1962 winner of the Golden Globe for most promising actor, my husband Warren Beatty.”
In something of an upset, Paul Giamatti defeated Johnny Depp, who had received two nominations, in the category of best actor in a comedy or musical. Giamatti, who won a Globe two years ago for playing the title role in the miniseries John Adams, secured the comedy trophy for the indie Sony Pictures Classics release Barney’s Version, in which he plays a much-married man looking back over his life.
“I’m a little jacked up because I ate five boxes of Godiva chocolate,” Giamatti joked, before admitting, “I always think that a mistake has been made because the other gentlemen in this category are my superiors in every regard, as men and as actors.”
Bale scored the trophy, his first Globe nomination, for his performance as former fighter and addict Dickie Eklund, for which he also won a Critics’ Choice Award on Friday night.
He paid particular tribute to the movie’s star Mark Wahlberg, saying, “You can only give a loud performance like the one I gave when you have a quiet anchor.”
Melissa Leo, who plays the mom to Bale’s character in the movie, was exultant when it came her turn to ascend to the stage to accept the best supporting actress honors. She admitted that when she was first asked to meet the movie’s director David O. Russell, she said, “I really don’t know if I can play Mark and Christian’s mother. I’m a little young,” but turning to address Wahlberg, she said, “Mark Wahlberg, you are a prince. You are amazing. It was beautiful to play your mother.”
Presenting the award for animated feature, Hailee Steinfeld and Justin Bieber virtually sung out the film’s title in unison —Toy Story 3, from Disney and Pixar. “Wow, were you two even born when the first Toy Story came out?,” asked the movie’s director Lee Unkrich when he reached the microphone. He offered special thanks to audiences for embracing “an animated movie that beats with a human heart.”
Social picked up its first Globe about one third of the way through the show when the prize for best original score was presented to composers Reznor and Ross.
The momentum built when the screenplay award went to Sorkin. His acceptance was almost as fast-paced as the dialogue he penned for the critically-applauded movie. Among those he acknowledged were Ben Mezrich, who wrote the book on which the movie was based, Pascal and the other execs at Sony “who believe the people who watch movies are at least as smart as the people who make movies”; Rudin, “who’s the best living producer of movies”; and, as he did Friday night at the Critics Choice Awards, he offered a reassessment of the movie’s subject, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, praising him as an entrepreneur, visionary and altruist.
When Fincher’s name was called as the winning director, it was clear that Social was on a roll.
The Globe for best original song went to the ballad “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” sung by Cher in Burlesque. Accepting the trophy, Diane Warren, who provided both the music and lyrics, credited Cher, who she hailed as “the eternal badass,” for fighting to keep the song in the movie. And then she dedicated the award to her late press agent Ronni Chasen, who accompanied her to the Burlesque premiere just hours before she was murdered in November.
The Danish film In a Better World, a drama about two Danish families directed by Susanne Bier and distributed in the United States by SPC, was chosen best foreign-language film.
Among the TV awards, Fox’s Glee was the most popular kid in class, winning for best comedy series and ensuring supporting acting statuettes for Chris Colfer and Jane Lynch.
Creator Ryan Murphy thanked the Fox execs who have supported the show, while writer Ian Brennan offered a shout-out to “public school teachers. You don’t get paid like it, but you are doing the most important work in America.”
Colfer was applauded when he was named best TV supporting actor for his role as gay teen Kurt Hummel. He thanked Murphy for “basically being my fairy godfather,” and offered a special word “to all the amazing kids who watch our show and the kids that our show celebrates.”
About an hour later, his costar Lynch claimed the corresponding award for supporting TV actress. She made a special point of singling out Brennan — saying fondly, “He’s a deranged young man” — for writing her character of Sue Sylvester.
The award for best drama series went to Boardwalk, the crime-saga set in Atlantic City in the 1920s. “Holy F-ing crap, we just won a Golden Globe award,” its creator, exec producer and writer Terence Winter blurted out as he took the stage.
The sumptuously-mounted show also earned best dramatic TV actor honors for Steve Buscemi, a longtime indie film stalwart, headlining his first TV series.
The award for best dramatic TV actress went to Katey Sagal for FX’s Sons of Anarchy. Taking on the dramatic role as the matriarch of a bikers clan earned her her first Globe after four previous nominations for the sitcom Married…With Children. “I’ve just been working so many years, and I’m so honored to be up here,” the actress exclaimed.
Moving in the other direction — from drama to comedy — also resulted in a Globe for Laura Linney. The actress, who won a Globe for the costumed miniseries John Adams two years ago, was given this year’s award for best actress in a comedy for Showtime’s cancer-themed series The Big C. She was not in attendance because of the death of her father, Romulus Linney.
An Emmy winner for his role as the brainy Sheldon Cooper in CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, a semi-flustered Jim Parsons also copped his first Globe as best TV comedy actor. Turning to thank the show’s writers, he issued a rush of words, “My writers…the writers…my writers…how crass… oh, the truth comes out!”
Carlos, director Olivier Assayas’ four-hour miniseries about the terrorist Carlos the Jackal, which appeared on the Sundance Channel, beat out such other nominees as HBO’s Emmy-winning Temple Grandin and The Pacific, to be named best miniseries or motion picture made for TV.
Al Pacino — a Globe favorite, with fifteen nominations and three previous wins on his resume — racked up his fourth Globe for his performance as Jack Kevorkian in HBO’s You Don’t Know Jack. “It’s a great honor for me to have portrayed such an extraordinary person as Jack Kevorkian,” Pacino said. “Just to sort of navigate through his life was so much fun and interesting.”
Claire Danes, an Emmy-winner for her star turn in HBO’s Temple Grandin, picked up more bling as best actress in a miniseries or TV movie for the award-winning telefilm. Before making her way to the stage, she embraced the real-life Grandin, a pioneer in the understanding of autism. “It’s very emotional. It’s just so special to be here with Temple tonight,” Danes said. Among her thank-yous, she also included “the late and legendary (agent) Ed Limato,” adding “I love him and I miss him.”
Matt Damon was on hand to pay tribute to Robert De Niro, whose lifetime of work was recognized with the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
As the curtain rose on the live NBC broadcast from the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the Globes, voted by the 81-member HFPA., took place this year against a backdrop of controversy. Michael Russell, a former publicist for the organization, filed a $2-million suit against the HFPA on Thursday, accusing the group of “payola” and “unethical and potentially unlawful deals.” The HFPA denied the allegations Friday and said it will vigorously fight the charges.
At the same time, the HFPA is involved in a second legal battle, suing Dick Clark Prods., alleging DCP signed an agreement with NBC to broadcast the Globes through 2018 without the HFPA’s consent. Dick Clark Prods. has asked a federal court to dismiss the suit, arguing that it has the right to produce the show “in perpetuity” as long as it remains on NBC.
In his opening remarks, the evening’s emcee Ricky Gervais acknowledged the criticism that surrounded the Globe nominations, especially those that went to the movie The Tourist. He called the charge that the HFPA nominated the movie so that its members could hang out with its stars like Depp and Angelina Jolie “rubbish,” adding “they also accepted bribes.”