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Boyhood, the unassuming story of a boy’s passage through 12 years of life, was the big winner at the 2015 Golden Globe Awards, taking home three trophies, including best drama. The film also earned awards for its director Richard Linklater and supporting actress Patricia Arquette.
Linklater, who gambled with the unusual film, filming three to four days a year for more than a decade, was rewarded for that long effort when he was named best director. “The bottom line,” he said as he accepted that prize, “is that we’re all flawed in this world. No one’s perfect. And I just want to dedicate this to my parents, who gave so much love and support, and to parents who are evolving everywhere and families who are just passing through this world and doing their best.” When he returned to the stage to accept best picture honors, he turned the microphone over IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring, who also served as one of the movie’ producers, who said that when Linklater first proposed the project more than a dozen years ago, “We said yes because the man has such humanity. He’s so humble. He put so much of his life in this movie.”
The 72nd annual Golden Globes, held at the Beverly Hilton and broadcast by NBC, could easily have been mistaken for the Film Independent Spirit Awards as small indie and specialty films walked off with the bulk of the night’s hardware. Although it didn’t prevail in any of the other three categories in which it was nominated, The Grand Budapest Hotel, a quirky tale about the concierge of a European hotel on the eve of World War II, won when it mattered, collecting the prize for best motion picture, comedy or musical. And true to his sometimes eccentric ways, director Wes Anderson turned his acceptance speech into a bit of a comedy routine by thanking many members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which doles out the awards, by their first names.
The trophy for best dramatic actress was presented to Julianne Moore for playing a woman confronting early-onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice, while Eddie Redmayne was named best dramatic actor for portraying physicist Stephen Hawking as he succumbs to ALS disease in The Theory of Everything.
Moore thanked Alice directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. Glatzer is living with ALS, and Moore praised the two, who are professional and personal partners, for deciding to make the movie “in the middle of their own crisis with degenerative disease,” adding, “I want to thank Rich and Wash for this extraordinary opportunity to work.”
For his part, Redmayne spoke of the “huge privilege” of appearing onscreen as Hawking, whom he came to know in the course of making Everything. He heaped praise on the movie’s cast, especially his co-lead Felicity Jones. And he acknowledged his new wife, Hannah Bagshawe. “We had to cut our honeymoon short to come to Los Angeles,” he confessed, thanking everyone for “giving us a night at the end of our honeymoon that we will always remember.”
Amy Adams could be excused if she experienced a moment of deja vu. The actress, who was named best actress in a comedy or musical last year for American Hustle, was called up to the stage again this year, winning the same award for her performance in Big Eyes. “I didn’t even reapply my lip gloss,” the actress exclaimed, insisting she hadn’t prepared remarks, although she then found time to pay tribute to Margaret Keane, the painter she plays in the film, and also to express her gratitude to “all the women in this room who have such a lovely and beautiful voice.” Adams became the first actress to pull off back-to-back wins in the category since Kathleen Turner, who took home the honors in 1984 and 1985 for Romancing the Stone and Prizzi’s Honor.
Birdman‘s Michael Keaton was singled out as best actor in a motion picture, comedy or musical, for his turn as a movie actor trying to win respect by turning to Broadway. After praising his director, Alejandro G. Inarritu, he paid loving tribute to his own family — father, mother, six siblings and, as he started to choke up, his best friend, his son Sean, saying, “I love you with all my heart, buddy.”
Inarritu had his own moment onstage earlier in the evening when Birdman took screenplay honors. Inarritu, who wrote the film along with Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, said, “Whatever we have written,” without the film’s actors, the “words have no meaning,” as he offered a shout-out of his own to Keaton and the others in the movie’s cast.
The award for best supporting actress was given to Arquette, who plays a single mom in Boyhood. She took a moment to recognize her fellow nominees, including Meryl Streep, adding, “Meryl, thank you for giving me a hug — I hope your DNA transferred to me”; she hailed “our visionary director Richard Linklater” and said the movie also allowed her “to honor my own mother.”
J.K. Simmons took home the first statuette of the night, earning best supporting actor in a motion picture for Whiplash, in which he plays a tyrannical music teacher. He thanked the movie’s young director, Damien Chazelle, “for the opportunity to be this guy” and the movie’s star Miles Teller, who “inspired me every day to want to scream at him and hit him in the face.”
The award for best score went to composer Johann Johannsson for The Theory of Everything. And John Legend and Common took the prize for best original song for “Glory,” the title tune they wrote for Ava DuVernay‘s Selma. Common, who also acts in the film, spoke about the movie’s importance, saying, “Selma has awakened my humanity,” and concluding, “We look to the future, and we want to create a better world. We want to create a better world, and Selma is now.” Legend seconded those thoughts, adding, “We still are in solidarity with those fighting for justice right now.”
The Russian feature Leviathan, which is also on the shortlist for Academy Award consideration, was the victor in the foreign-language film category. Director Andrey Zvyagintsev proclaimed, “We are absolutely happy,” while producer Alexander Rodnyansky observed that the movie about one man who faces off against an indifferent system “is absolutely universal.”
DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 claimed the award for best animated feature, with director Dean DeBlois and producer Bonnie Arnold — who along with Mireille Soria has just been named a co-president at DWA — accepting the trophy.
Julianna Margulies and Don Cheadle were on hand to introduce George Clooney, this year’s recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award. Margulies starred with Clooney in ER, while Cheadle appeared with him in the Ocean’s movies. “In a town and an industry where it’s easy to lose touch with who you are and what really matters, he has never been anything but real,” Margulies testified, adding that Clooney has been “tireless in his efforts to help those in need around the globe.”
In his acceptance, Clooney first joked, “Now, that we’ve seen everyone’s been hacked, it’s a good chance to meet face to face and apologize for all the snarky things we said.” Turning serious, he went on to say that the day, which saw marches around the world in response to the recent deadly attack on the offices of French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo, had been “an extraordinary day,” and that “they didn’t march in protest, they marched in support of the idea we will not walk in fear, we will not do it. So, je suis Charlie.”
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, as the returning hosts, kicked off the evening, with Fey noting, “Tonight we celebrate all the great TV shows that we know and love as well as all the movies North Korea was OK with,” as Poehler cracked that Into the Woods includes Sleeping Beauty, who “just thought she was getting coffee with Bill Cosby.”
Theo Kingma, president of the HFPA, brought the celebrity-studded crowd to its feet when, alluding to recent news events, he voiced support for freedom of expression, saying, “Together, we will stand united against anyone who would repress free speech anywhere from North Korea to Paris.”
Heading into the evening, Birdman led its competitors with seven nominations, followed closely by Boyhood and The Imitation Game with five each. But while Boyhood ultimately claimed the night’s biggest award, and Birdman got two major consolation prizes, The Imitation Game, the drama about code-breaker Alan Turing, went home empty-handed, as did other such highly touted movies as Gone Girl and Foxcatcher.
No single distributor dominated the awards. IFC Films could claim three awards, thanks to Boyhood‘s wins. Fox Searchlight also picked up three — one for Budapest and two for Birdman. And Sony Pictures Classics also was represented by three awards — the acting honors for Still Alice and Whiplash and the foreign film win for Leviathan.
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