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.

Arts and Entertainment
music

Arts and Entertainment
Creep show: Tim Cockerill in ‘Spider House’

TVEnough to make ardent arachnophobes think twice

Arts and Entertainment
Steven, Ella Jade and Sarah in the boardroom
tvThe Apprentice contestants take a battering from the business mogul
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Jewel in the crown: drawings from ‘The Letter for the King’, an adventure about a boy and his mission to save a medieval realm
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Juergen Wolf won the Young Masters Art Prize 2014 with his mixed media painting on wood, 'Untitled'
art
Arts and Entertainment
Iron Man and Captain America in a scene from
filmThe upcoming 'Black Panther' film will feature a solo black male lead, while a female superhero will take centre stage in 'Captain Marvel'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Imperial War Museum, pictured, has campaigned to display copyrighted works during the First World War centenary
art
Arts and Entertainment
American Horror Story veteran Sarah Paulson plays conjoined twins Dot and Bette Tattler
tvReview: Yes, it’s depraved for the most part but strangely enough it has heart to it
Arts and Entertainment
The mind behind Game of Thrones George R. R. Martin
books

Will explain back story to fictional kingdom Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Dorothy in Return to Oz

film Unintentionally terrifying children's movies to get you howling (in fear, tears or laughter)
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Robert James-Collier as under-butler Thomas

TVLady Edith and Thomas show sad signs of the time
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Dad's Army cast hit the big screen

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge

books
Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning?
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
music review
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
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.

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
    The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

    Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

    Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
    Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

    What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

    Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
    A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

    Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

    Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
    Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

    'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

    A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

    Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

    The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
    Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

    Frank Warren column

    Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
    Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

    Adrian Heath's American dream...

    Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
    Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

    "I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"