The sound of silence: 'The Artist' triumphs at The Golden Globes

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Los Angeles

The old adage about silence being golden was certainly true in Hollywood last night, after The Artist, a silent, black-and-white movie by a little-known French director emerged with three trophies at the 69th annual Golden Globe awards.

Nine months after it debuted at Cannes, the unlikely hit about a star from the early days of the modern film industry struggling to cope with the arrival of “talkies” picked up awards for Best Comedy or Musical, Best Score, and Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for its male lead, Jean Dujardin.

Its success continues a rags-to-riches story for the team behind the movie, which was made for a relatively paltry $15m. With more wins than any other title, they hope to maintain important momentum as the awards “season” bandwagon continues its lucrative annual journey towards next month’s Oscars.

Yet The Artist did not have things entirely its own way during the ceremony at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Also stealing headlines, to the surprise of pundits, was the George Clooney film The Descendants, which won Best Drama and Best Actor in a Drama, two of the night’s most sought-after prizes.

Unlike in most recent years, when voters have tended to congregate around one or two fancied titles, a relatively-wide selection of big name contenders scored in the other major categories. Martin Scorsese won Best Director for Hugo and Woody Allen took home the Best Screenplay prize for Midnight in Paris. Another Hollywood legend, Steven Spielberg, won Best Animation for his new Tintin adaptation.

Remaining acting gongs were distributed among an array of yet more movies. Meryl Streep was honoured for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, while Michelle Williams won in the “comedy category” for her Marilyn Monroe in for My Week With Marilyn. Christopher Plummer (Beginners), and Octavia Spencer (The Help) achieved success in the supporting actor categories.

The sheer number of different titles which took home awards leaves industry soothsayers with a confusing picture in the weeks ahead. Golden Globes aren’t usually a cast iron guide to Oscar success (only one Globe winner in the past seven years had gone on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards) but the event does at least usually help crystallise the race around two or three contenders.

This year, by contrast, the field remains relatively open. Indeed, the only consistent winner from the night’s proceedings was Harvey Weinstein, the producer behind the campaigns of not only The Artist but also The Iron Lady and My Week With Marilyn, all of which are now expected to experience a significant boost to their box office returns.

The night's other talking point is likely to be the performance of the host, the British comedian Ricky Gervais. Though not nearly as abrasive as last year, when his facetious attacks on the celebrity audience bruised some of the entertainment industry’s biggest egos, he nonetheless succeeded in ruffling a selection of high-profile feathers in the relatively-short period when he appeared on stage.

In his opening monologue, Gervais attacked the integrity of the Golden Globes – a sore point in that its judges have in the past been accused of exchanging cash or favours for their votes – and described NBC, the troubled TV network airing the show, as a “non-profit” organisation. He also directed what some saw as a homophobic gag at Jodie Foster, the lesbian actress, who co-starred with Mel Gibson in the film The Beaver. “Jodie Foste’s Beaver,” he remarked, “I haven't seen it myself. I've spoken to a lot of guys here, they haven't seen it either.“

Later, he became involved in a minor dispute with Madonna, who won Best Original Song, after suggesting that the title of her famous song “Like A Virgin” is at odds with her colourful romantic life. The singer responded: “Ricky, if I am just like a virgin why don’t you come over here and do something about it?”

His final gift to broadcasters, who air the programme in primetime on America’s notoriously-sensitive public airwaves, was to swear while discussing the Spanish-speaking Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas. His comment (“I don't know because I can't understand a fucking word they're saying“) was bleeped out.

Meryl Streep's microphone was also briefly cut when she swore during her acceptance speech. Afterwards she blamed the slip on the fact that she had forgot to bring her glasses onstage and so couldn’t read a pre-prepared speech. “I can’t believe I said ‘shit’ on TV. I had such a good speech and here it is,“ she said, pointing to her piece of paper. ”I just can’t see it at all.”

British talent and titles were shut out from every film category. But it was a slightly better evening for the nation's TV industry. Kate Winslet won for the third successful year for her performance in the mini-series Mildred Pierce, while Idris Elba was rewarded for his starring role in the BBC’s Luther.

Meanwhile Downtown Abbey, which began its second series in the US last week to critical acclaim and massive audiences, was named Best Miniseries. Its creator Julian Fellowes, who took the stage with most of his cast, declared: ““How fabulous this is,” said series creator Julian Fellowes. “The whole Downton Abbey adventure has been an extraordinary one, like spotting a promising child and waking up to find they won the Olympics.”

Partial list of winners for the Golden Globes

Winners of the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards, announced Sunday in Beverly Hills, California:

Motion Pictures:

Picture, Musical or Comedy: “The Artist.”

Actress, Drama: Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady.”

Director: Martin Scorsese, “Hugo.”

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Jean Dujardin, “The Artist.”

Actress, Musical or Comedy: Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn.”

Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners.”

Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, “The Help.”

Foreign Language: “A Separation.”

Animated Film: “The Adventures of Tintin.”

Screenplay: Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris.”

Original Score: Ludovic Bource, “The Artist.”

Original Song: “Masterpiece” (music and lyrics by Madonna, Julie Frost, Jimmy Harry), “W.E.”

Television:

Series, Drama: “Homeland,” Showtime.

Series, Musical or Comedy: “Modern Family,” ABC.

Actor, Drama: Kelsey Grammer, “Boss.”

Actress, Drama: Claire Danes, “Homeland.”

Actress, Musical or Comedy: Laura Dern, “Enlightened.”

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes.”

Miniseries or Movie: “Downton Abbey (Masterpiece),” PBS.

Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Kate Winslet, “Mildred Pierce.”

Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Idris Elba, “Luther.”

Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story.”

Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones.”

Previously announced:

Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award: Morgan Freeman.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Arts and Entertainment
James singer Tim Booth
latitude 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Lee says: 'I never, ever set out to offend, but it can be an accidental by-product'
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe judges were wowed by the actress' individual cooking style
Arts and Entertainment
Nicholas says that he still feels lucky to be able to do what he loves, but that there is much about being in a band he hates
musicThere is much about being in a band that he hates, but his debut album is suffused with regret
Arts and Entertainment
The singer, who herself is openly bisexual, praised the 19-year-old sportsman before launching into a tirade about the upcoming Winter Olympics

books
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in the eleventh season of Two and a Half Men

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary