“The Artist” solidified its status as the Oscar frontrunner with a leading three wins at the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards Thursday. The Valentine to the silent film era won Best Comedy/Musical Picture, Best Comedy/Musical Actor (Jean Dujardin) and Best Score (Ludovic Bource) (See full list of winners here).
However, it faces a strong challenge from “The Descendants” which won Best Drama Picture and Best Drama Actor (George Clooney). Clooney’s other contender — his political drama “The Ides of March” — was shut out despite four nominations.
While Meryl Streep extended her Globe record to seven awards with a victory for “The Iron Lady,” this was her first win in the Drama Actress race since “Sophie’s Choice” in 1982. That film marked the second of her two Oscar wins; she has lost a dozen bids since then.
“Hugo” won only one of its three bids but it was a big one — Best Director. 2010 Cecil B. DeMille honoree Martin Scorsese now has a bookend to his 2006 trophy for “The Departed.”
Octavia Spencer, who inspired her character in “The Help,” was almost overcome as she accepted the Supporting Actress prize. She has dominated the precursor prizes and is far ahead to repeat at the Oscars.
Veteran actor Christopher Plummer won his first Golden Globe for his supporting turn in “Beginners” and delivered an eloquent speech as befits a two-time Tony winner.
Third time proved the charm for Michelle Williams (“My Week with Marilyn”) who claimed Comedy/Musical Actress. In her charming acceptance speech, she mentioned that Marilyn Monroe won this same prize in 1959 for “Some Like It Hot.”
Unlike the Oscars, there is only one Screenplay award. Woody Allen won for his original script for “Midnight in Paris.” He had won only one of his 11 previous Globe bids when he claimed this same award in 1985 for “The Purple Rose of Cairo.” Among those he defeated this year, the two adapted frontrunners “The Descendants” and “Moneyball.”
“A Separation” added another Foreign Langugage Film prize as it hopes to make the cut with the Academy.
Steven Spielberg saw “War Horse” shut out but won Best Animated Feature for “The Adventures of Tintin,” edging out frontrunner “Rango.” And Madonna may not have met with critical approval for helming “W.E.,” but the HFPA liked the sound of “Masterpiece,” the tune she co-wrote with Julie Frost and Jimmy Harry which won Best Song.
The HFPA has about 85 members drawn from media who cover Hollywood for international outlets. Five-time Globe nominees Morgan Freeman received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. He won the Best Comedy/Music Actor award for “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1989. Ricky Gervais returned to host the live NBC kudocast for a third year in a row.