Monday, January 14, 2008

'Longford' biggest winner at Golden Globes

The Golden Globe awards are often seen as an indicator of likely nominees and potential winners for the Academy Awards in Hollywood. But this year's Globes could also be a bellweather for how the Writers' Guild strike could affect the Oscars. Normally there's a lavish ceremony and massive after-show parties, with total costs and revenues estimated at more than $100 million. But this year's ceremony was downgraded to a 35-minute press conference after the Screen Actors' Guild announced none of its members would cross the Writers' Guild picket line to attend the awards.

The Globes provide a healthy publicity bump to more arthouse fare, generating a lot of money for producers and studios, but that's as nothing to the effect the Oscars can have. So the prospect of seeing the Academy Awards downgraded from three-ring circus to free-for-all news conference might help grease the wheels for further negotiations in the three-month strike. We can but hope. In the meantime, who were the big winners at this year's Golden Globes? Well, the Brits didn't do bad in the TV section.

Granada's production of Longford for Channel 4 and HBO won best mini-series or motion picture made for TV. Jim Broadbent and Samantha Morton won best actor and actress respectively in the same sub-section, giving Longford three Globes - best of the name. Extras won best TV series comedy or musical, but Ricky Gervais lost to David Duchnovny for best actor in that category. The wonderful Mad Men won best TV drama series and best actor in a TV drama series for Jon Hamm, while Glenn Close got a globe as best actress in a TV drama series for Damages - all well deserved.

The movie awards got spread around, with Atonement winning best dramatic film, Sweeney Todd best comedy or musical and the Coen brothers taking best screenplay for No Country For Old Men. It seems odd the Golden Globes has divided films into two categories - drama, and comedy or musical - yet only has one screenplay award. In comparison, the Oscars have two screenplay awards - one for best original, one for best adaptation - but doesn't divide other sections. Anyway, no single film gained more than two Globes, so Longford was the night's biggest winner.

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