Last night’s Golden Globe movie awards in Hollywood were scattered around a number of films but, if there was one winner, it was near-silent movie The Artist, which walked away with three – Best Comedy/Musical, Best Actor (for Jean Dujardin) and Best Score.
The first big awards ceremony of the season, the Golden Globes has a tradition of splitting its movie categories into two, with dramas and comedies/musicals receiving separate awards for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Actress. So what was the winning drama? Alexander Payne’s The Descendants came away with two awards, for Best Film and Best Actor (George Clooney), with Meryl Streep’s performance in The Iron Lady winning her Best Actress. Michelle Williams picked up the equivalent award in the Comedy/Musical category for My Week With Marilyn.
At which point you’re thinking that it all went pretty much to form – and you wouldn’t be far wrong. Best Supporting Actress went to Octavia Spencer in The Help, while Christopher Plummer took home the Best Supporting Actor trophy, upping his chances of the Oscar next month. The only surprise was that neither director of the Best Film awards received Best Director: that went to Martin Scorcese for Hugo.
The Golden Globes are often regarded as the best indicator of Oscar winners and, on the face of it, the Academy Awards could well turn into a two horse race between The Artist and The Descendants in both the Best Film and Best Actor stakes, with Streep and Williams battling it out for Best Actress.
But let’s not place our bets just yet. The Golden Globes don’t always get it right: it was only in 2009 that James Cameron’s Avatar looked a sure fire winner, having won the Globes for Best Film and Best Director, only to be knocked off its pedestal by The Hurt Locker at the Oscars. And, much as I loved The Artist, comedies don’t have much of a track record when it comes to winning Best Film: you have to go back to 1998 when Shakespeare In Love pulled it off.
On the acting front, George Clooney is well out in front of the pack, while Meryl Streep is looking increasingly likely to take the Best Actress Academy Award. Bringing real people to life on the big screen has become something of an award magnet – Forest Whitaker’s Idi Amin, Sean Penn’s Harvey Milk, Marion Cotillard’s Edith Piaf, Reece Witherspoon’s June Carter-Cash etc – although Messrs DiCaprio and Pitt may feel otherwise right now.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. We won’t know until next Tuesday who’s on the Oscar shortlist and I’ll be making my predictions then. For now, let’s just congratulate the winners – and hope that tomorrow’s BAFTA shortlist contains one or two surprises.