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Golden Globes honor Washington – Awards overflow with unusual choices

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Actress Brie Larson poses with the award for Best Actress in A Motion Picture – Drama for her role in ‘Room,’ in the press room at the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan 10 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
Actress Brie Larson poses with the award for Best Actress in A Motion Picture – Drama for her role in ‘Room,’ in the press room at the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan 10 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

In a night full of surprises, “The Revenant” and “The Martian” dominated the top film prizes at the 73rd Golden Globes, while Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle” and USA’s “Mr. Robot” overcame intense competition to nab the highest television honors.

The awards overflowed with unusual choices, new faces and enough bad language to send the censors into an early grave.

If prognosticators and Oscar tea leaf readers were looking to the Globes to help crystallize a wild and woolly awards season, then their hopes for clarity may have been frustrated. “The Martian,” a science fiction thriller, was honored somewhat inexplicably in the comedy category, with even its director Ridley Scott expressing shock at the designation while picking up the best picture statue.

But Scott, who was expected to be honored for his work helming the sci-fi epic was passed over in the directing category. Instead, Alejandro G. Inarritu,who last year lost out on the Globe before going on to win an Oscar for “Birdman,” was called to the stage for “The Revenant.”

The historical drama about a fur trapper determined to exact vengeance generated headlines for a punishing shoot that led to crew defections and budget overruns. Calling the film the most difficult of his career, Inarritu said, “pain is temporary but a film is forever.”

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., the collection of less than 100 journalists that hand out the Globes, agreed. They handed “The Revenant” a best drama award over the heavily favored “Spotlight,” a look at the Boston Globe investigation of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal that performed well with critics groups.

There are some performers and films that will leave the Globes with momentum heading into the Oscars. Brie Larson and Leonardo DiCaprio helped cement their front-runner statuses picking up acting honors in a drama for their work in “Room” and “The Revenant.”

Last year’s broadcast unfolded in the wake of the terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo,” with many winners and presenters using their time in the spotlight to defend freedom of speech. This year’s show seemed less polemical in contrast, with most honorees choosing to focus on their collaborators and loved ones. DiCaprio, who has been deeply involved in environmental advocacy, provided one of the few politically charged speeches of the evening, calling for greater recognition of the Native American community.


“It is time that we heard your voice and protected this planet for future generations,” said DiCaprio.

In place of politics, winners such as Scott noted that the movie business was in solid financial shape, with the global box office hitting new highs. “The Martian,” the biggest hit of the director’s career, certainly played its part in goosing grosses. But a magnanimous Scott also used his speaking time to pay tribute to the year’s top earner, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” calling it a “majestic success” that was “inspiring.”

Jennifer Lawrence, a previous winner for “Silver Linings Playbook,” was recognized again for her work as the creator of the Miracle Mop in “Joy.” The film is Lawrence’s third collaboration with director David O. Russell — an intense bond that the actress alluded to by confessing, “I want us to be buried next to each other.”

Matt Damon overcame competition from the likes of Steve Carell (“The Big Short”), Christian Bale (“The Big Short”) and Mark Ruffalo (“Infinitely Polar Bear”) to pick up a Best Actor in a Comedy statue for his work as an astronaut stranded on Mars in “The Martian.” He noted that 18 years had passed since he last won a Globe for writing “Good Will Hunting” and that in that time he’d come to appreciate how rare popular success of the sort he enjoyed on “The Martian” could be.

“I’ve made a lot of movies that people just didn’t go see,” he said.

Most award shows feature performers feigning surprise while accepting honors for the umpteenth time, particularly in an age in which new organizations handing out hardware keep popping up. In the case of the Globes, the astonishment seemed genuine.

Kate Winslet, who scored a best supporting actress statue for her work as Apple founder Steve Jobs’ assistant in “Steve Jobs,” told reporters backstage that she was so sure she would lose that she booked a massage for just after the show was over.

Her disbelief was evident in her exclamation-heavy speech. “Is this really happening!,” Winslet said, before adding, “What an incredible year for women in film.”

Meanwhile best screenplay winner Aaron Sorkin, who penned “Steve Jobs,” confessed “I thought I had as much chance of winning the screenplay award as I had of winning best actress in a musical.”

But that’s the nature of the Golden Globes, which are seen as looser, sassier, and more inebriated than the stately Oscars, and also given to some head-scratching decisions.

It was also an evening of comebacks. Calling himself the “sum total of everyone I’ve ever met,” Sylvester Stallone earned a best supporting actor award for returning to the ring in “Creed.” Noting that four decades had passed since “Rocky” put him on the map, Stallone thanked his “imaginary friend” Rocky Balboa” for being “the best friend that I ever had.”

If DiCaprio, Larson, and Damon were heavily favored to make acceptance speeches, few saw most of the television winners coming. Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle” prevailed over better-known shows such as HBO’s “Veep” and Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” to score a Best Comedy Series statue.

Full list of winners of the 73rd Golden Globe Awards:

* Best Motion Picture — Drama: The Revenant

* Best Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical: The Martian

* Best TV Series — Drama: Mr. Robot

* Best TV Series — Comedy: Mozart in the Jungle

* Best Animated Feature Film: Inside Out

* Best TV Movie or Limited-Series: Wolf Hall

* Best Motion Picture — Foreign Language: Son of Saul

* Best Director — Motion Picture: Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant)

* Best Screenplay — Motion Picture: Aaron Sorkin (Steve Jobs)

* Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama: Brie Larson (Room)

* Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

* Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Comedy: Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)

* Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical: Matt Damon (The Martian)

* Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

* Best Actress in a TV Series — Drama: Taraji P. Henson (Empire)

* Best Actor in a TV Series — Drama: Jon Hamm (Mad Men)

* Best Actor in a TV Series — Comedy: Gael Garcia Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle)

* Best Actress in a TV Series — Comedy: Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex Girlfriend)

* Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

* Best Actress in a Limited-Series or TV Movie: Lady Gaga (American Horror Story: Hotel)

* Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited-Series, or TV Movie: Maura Tierney (The Affair)

* Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited-Series or TV Movie: Christian Slater (Mr. Robot)

* Best Actor in a Limited-Series or TV Movie: Oscar Isaac (Show Me a Hero)

* Best Original Score: Ennio Morricone (The Hateful Eight)

* Best Original Song: Writing’s on the Wall from “Spectre”