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Two tales of survival, The Revenant and The Martian, dominated the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday. The Revenant, set in the 19th century wilderness, captured the top prize as best drama and earned best dramatic actor honors for Leonardo DiCaprio and a directing trophy for Alejandro G Inarritu, while The Martian, about an astronaut marooned on Mars, was singled out as best comedy and earned best comedy actor honors for Matt Damon. All in all, it was a very good night for 20th Century Fox, which released both films, as well as Joy, which was recognized when the top comedy actress prize went to Jennifer Lawrence. The prize for best dramatic actress was awarded to Brie Larson, for playing a fierce mother, protecting her son under the direst of circumstances in Room.
Alejandro G. Inarritu, who won a Globe last year for writing but not directing Birdman, was called to the stage this year when he was awarded the directing award for The Revenant. Speaking of the difficult shooting conditions under which his cast and crew worked, he pronounced, “Pain is temporary, but film is forever.” Inarritu reserved his final thank-you for DiCaprio, saying, “Leo, you are the guy.”
DiCaprio, who shortly thereafter was named best dramatic actor for playing a frontiersman who defies the odds, paid tribute to Inarritu in turn. Although he has never won an Oscar, the award was DiCaprio’s third Globe. And while he thanked the director, cast and crew and Regency founder and producer Arnon Milchan, DiCaprio used the moment to share the honor “with all the first-nation people represented in this film and the indigenous peoples around the world,” adding, “It’s time we heard your voice and protected this planet for future generations.”
Though hardly a laugh riot, the space drama The Martian emerged as best comedy. Even the film’s helmer Ridley Scott seemed to wave off the movie’s classification by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which votes the awards, as he accepted the trophy. Very much a director used to being in command, he instructed the play-off music to stop as he wound his way through a list of thank-yous, which concluded with his summoning the memory of his late brother Tony Scott, saying, “I know many of you knew and loved him.”
Damon was named best actor in a comedy for his performance in The Martian. Having earned one previous Globe in 1998 for writing Good Will Hunting, he noted, “It’s literally been 18 years since I’ve been doing this here, and with a little more context I know how lucky I am to be doing this for a living.” He then used most of his time on stage to lavish praise on Scott.
Larson, a relative newcomer, shone as she accepted the prize for best dramatic actress for her performance in Room. She made a special point of speaking of her nine-year-old co-star Jacob Tremblay, saying he was “half of this award, half of my performance.”
Lawrence’s winning streak at the Golden Globes continued as she was named best actress in a comedy for playing a single mom and entrepreneur in Joy. It’s the third movie she has starred in for director David O. Russell, following Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle; she won Globes for the previous two, and the third proved no exception. While she thanked Joy Magano, inventor of the Miracle Mop, whose real-life story inspired the movie, Lawrence directed most of her thanks toward Russell, saying, “Every time I’m up here is because you,” and concluding, “I want us to be buried together — I really do.”
Along with his award for best supporting actor for his performance in Creed, Sylvester Stallone received a standing ovation. It was the first Globe for Stallone, who reprises his signature character of Rocky Balboa in the new film and was nominated 39 years ago as best actor for the original Rocky. “I was hit by tumbleweed, it was a long time ago,” Stallone acknowledged as the applause subsided. He thanked his family, producers, agents and execs at both MGM and Warner Bros., “and most of all I want to thank my imaginary friend, Rocky Balboa, for being the best friend I ever had,” he said. But as he exited the stage, Stallone failed to acknowledge the film’s co-writer and director Ryan Coogler, who conceived of the new movie.
Kate Winslet claimed the first film award of the night as she was named best supporting actress for her performance as Apple’s long-suffering marketing exec in Steve Jobs.
A favorite of the HFPA, Winslet has received 11 nominations and three previous nods, but still appeared flabbergasted, saying as she arrived at the podium, “I’m extremely surprised and overwhelmed.” Hailing 2015 as “an incredible year for women in film, these categories are so crowded and crammed with incredible skill and integrity,” she thanked her co-star Michael Fassbender, director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, saying, “I would happily end my life, knowing I’ve spoken your words.”
Steve Jobs also took home a best screenplay Globe, which was presented to Sorkin, who said, “Honest to god, I thought I had as much chance of winning the screenwriting award tonight as I had of winning best actress in a musical.”
The award for best original score went to Italian composer Ennio Morricone for his work on The Hateful Eight. Since he was not present, the movie’s director Quentin Tarantino accepted on his behalf, saying, “Wow, this is really cool,” exclaiming that Morricone is his favorite composer, outranking even greats like Mozart and Beethoven. Tarantino also made a point that Morricone has never won an award in America, though that was really a reference to the Academy Awards, where he has received an honorary award but never a competitive Oscar. In fact, his latest Globe is actually the third trophy he’s been awarded by the HFPA. Morricone has one other distinction, however — at 87, he’s now the oldest Golden Globe winner, leapfrogging the previous record-holder, Christopher Plummer, who received a Globe for Beginners when he was 82.
The surest route to winning the best original song trophy at the Globes appears to be writing the opening credits tune for a James Bond movie. Three years ago, Adele won for the title song for Skyfall, and this year Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes won for writing “Writing’s on the Wall” for Spectre. “This has been the most interesting night of my life,” Smith said before launching into his thank-yous.
Hungarian feature Son of Saul, set amid the Auschwitz crematorium, was chosen best foreign-language feature. Director Laszlo Nemes said in accepting the honor: “The Holocaust has become over the years an abstraction. For me, it is a face, a human face. Let us not forget that face.”
The victor in the best animated movie category was Pixar’s Inside Out, an innovative look at the inner emotional life of an 11-year-old girl. In accepting, Pete Docter, one of the film’s directors, commented wryly, “When I was in junior high, literally my goal was to make it through the day without anyone noticing me. Obviously, something went very wrong tonight.”
Tom Hanks, fighting a cold, presented the HFPA’s annual Cecil B. DeMille Award to his Philadelphia co-star Denzel Washington, who invited his wife Pauletta and three of their four children to join him on stage for his acceptance.
Emcee Ricky Gervais kicked off the proceedings at the Beverly Hilton Hotel with a string of acerbic barbs aimed at the celebrities in attendance, whom he greeted as “you disgusting, pill-popping, sexual-deviant scum.”
Heading into the evening, Carol, the 1950s-set drama about two women who fall in love, led the film contenders with five nominations, followed closely by The Big Short, The Revenant and Steve Jobs with four nominations each. But Carol and several other films like The Big Short and The Danish Girl went home empty-handed. While Fox claimed six awards and Universal took home two, other distributors had to settle for one award apiece.
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