Golden Globe Awards 2016: The Revenant tops Spotlight as the year's Best Motion Picture Drama

As had been widely predicted, Leonardo DiCaprio walked away from the Golden Globes in Los Angeles last night clutching the award for Best Actor in a Drama. Less expected, however, was that his film The Revenant would be picked as the year’s Best Motion Picture Drama, stealing a march on the bookie’s favourite, Spotlight, which left empty-handed.

The Revenant’s director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, was named Best Director for the second-year running – he triumphed in 2015 with Birdman – after leading his cast and crew through notoriously tricky conditions to complete the film, in which DiCaprio plays a 19th Century fur trapper who fights his way back to civilisation after being left for dead in the snowbound depths of the old West.

Meanwhile, Ridley Scott’s The Martian picked up prizes for Best Motion Picture Comedy and Best Actor in a Comedy for Matt Damon, who plays an astronaut stranded on Mars. Its closest rival was financial black farce The Big Short, but, just as in the drama category, the judges preferred a tale of one man’s survival against the odds to that of a group of dogged outsiders taking on the system.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which awards the Golden Globes, also named Brie Larson Best Actress in a Drama for her performance in the harrowing but uplifting Room, an adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s bestselling novel, while Jennifer Lawrence won her third Globe for playing the titular inventor of the Miracle Mop in David O Russell’s Joy.

There were also pleasant surprises in store for Steve Jobs, director Danny Boyle’s biopic of the Apple founder, which took home two major awards, despite taking an early bath at the US box office. Writer Aaron Sorkin won his second Globe for Best Screenplay, while Kate Winslet won her fourth, this time for Best Supporting Actress.

In the television categories, the widely acclaimed Transparent was unexpectedly outdone by its Amazon stable-mate, Mozart in the Jungle, which was named best TV comedy series. Its star, Gael Garcia Bernal, also won the gong for best actor in a comedy, beating Transparent’s Jeffrey Tambor, who triumphed last year.


The blurring of lines between film and prestige TV is increasingly evident in the overlap between categories: Oscar Isaac, one of the stars of The Force Awakens, was named best actor in a miniseries for his performance in HBO’s Show Me A Hero, defeating Idris Elba (Luther) and Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall), both of whom were also nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Film.

They lost out to Sylvester Stallone, who reprised his role as boxer Rocky Balboa in Creed, almost 40 years since the original Rocky. The Cecil B DeMille award went this year to Denzel Washington, but it was a night that saw several industry veterans honoured, including composer Ennio Morricone, who at 87 won his third Golden Globe for scoring Quentin Tarantino’s Western, The Hateful Eight.

Winslet aside, there were British wins for Wolf Hall, which took the prize for best miniseries, and for Sam Smith, whose Bond theme “Writing’s on the Wall” was named Best Original Song. In his fourth year as host, UK comic Ricky Gervais once again set teeth on edge with barbed jokes at the expense of – among others – Caitlyn Jenner, Ben Affleck and Mel Gibson.

Gibson, who first earned public censure for a drunken, anti-Semitic rant in 2006, was on hand to introduce best Picture contender Mad Max: Fury Road. “I’d rather have a drink with him in his hotel room tonight than Bill Cosby,” said Gervais. “I love seeing Ricky once every three years,” Gibson responded, “because it reminds me to get a colonoscopy.”

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