Tinseltown celebrates itself

Updated: 2012-01-17 09:45

By Bob Tourtellotte (China Daily)

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Tinseltown celebrates itself

Producer Thomas Langmann (left), actor Jean Dujardin (center), winner of the best performance by an actor in a motion picture comedy or musical, and director Michel Hazanavicius pose backstage with Uggie the dog, after The Artist won the best comedy or musical motion picture award at the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California. [Lucy Nicholson / Reuters]

Tinseltown celebrates itself

Clockwise from top left: Meryl Streep with the best actress award in a motion picture drama at the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards; Presentor and actor Johnny Depp (left) and show host Ricky Gervais onstage; Actor George Clooney, winner of best actor in a motion picture drama, with her girlfriend Stacy Keibler; The cast of Modern Family, winner of best comedy or musical television series, backstage. [Lucy Nicholson / Reuters]

George Clooney won two Golden Globe trophies for The Descendants, while The Artist also did well. Bob Tourtellotte of Reuters reports from Los Angeles.

Silent-era film The Artist and the family drama The Descendants were the top film picks at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday (Monday, Beijing time) in a loose-lipped awards show that even had host Ricky Gervais walking onto the stage with a drink in his hand. The Descendants, starring George Clooney as a man steering his family through a tragic time when his wife is in a coma, won two Golden Globe trophies, including the top honor of best dramatic movie and another for Clooney as best dramatic actor.

Onstage he thanked writer/director Alexander Payne and backstage he told reporters, "He knows how to tell stories. He knows how to make something funny and how to turn it around."

Clooney called the movie "a coming-of-age film for a 50-year-old and a lot of us have dealt with people like that".

The Artist, a romantic tale about a failing actor who finds love at a time when movies were changing from silents to talkies, picked up three awards including best musical or comedy and best actor in a musical or comedy for its star, French actor Jean Dujardin.

Onstage, Dujardin did the most appropriate thing - gave his speech, thanked his colleagues, then signed off by not saying a word. And true to stealing almost every scene of his in the movie, little dog Uggie detracted from an emotional speech by the film's director, Michel Hazanavicius, when the dog begged for a treat.

Other key winners included Meryl Streep for best actress in a film drama with her portrayal of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Streep, who is typically reliable with a funny acceptance speech had a difficult time reading hers this year when she forgot her glasses.

Michelle Williams took the trophy for best actress in a comedy or musical with her role as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn. Veteran Christopher Plummer, 82, won supporting actor with his portrayal of an elderly man who comes out as gay to his family in Beginners, bringing both poignancy and a touch of humor to their lives. Octavia Spencer, playing a beleaguered housemaid in the US South during the civil rights era in The Help was best supporting actress.

Woody Allen was given a Golden Globe for his screenplay for Midnight in Paris, and Steven Spielberg won best animated film with his rollicking The Adventures of Tintin.

The Iranian film A Separation was named best foreign language film, and its director, Ashgar Farhadi, used the opportunity to tell world audiences that "my people, I think they are a truly peace-loving people".

The Golden Globe Awards are given out by the roughly 90 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) at what annually is among the key events during Hollywood's awards season because of the media exposure it brings.

Many of the movies and stars that win here also go on to compete for Oscars later this year, and The Artist, which was the most-nominated film coming into the Golden Globes with six nods overall, will certainly become a frontrunner for the world's top film honors, as will Descendants and The Help.

Oscar nominations from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will given out on Jan 24 (Jan 25, Beijing time).

Unlike the Oscar voters, HFPA members also vote on their favorite TV shows and performances and in that arena Homeland, about a modern-day CIA agent tracking returning war soldiers who may be terrorists, took home two Golden Globes for best drama series and best actress in a drama for Claire Danes.

Modern Family, a take on extended families in current-day America, took the prize for best comedy and its stars enjoyed one of the more memorable moments of the night when star Sofia Vergara gave their acceptance speech in Spanish, with English translation from creator Steve Levitan.

Coming into the show, all eyes were on host Gervais, who ruffled the feathers of many a Hollywood celebrities last year at the Golden Globes. While he didn't tone down his jokes for the 2012 audience - making fun of Johnny Depp, Jodie Foster, Kim Kardashian and the HFPA itself - it seemed the stars were in the mood for his biting wit this time around.