With three big wins, the most of any film, at the 64th Annual Golden Globes, "Dreamgirls" had its cast and crew singing a happy tune into the Los Angeles night on Monday (January 15). Wins in the supporting-actor categories for Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy and a Best Picture triumph ensured that "Dreamgirls" was the movie of the year for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Meanwhile, Sacha Baron Cohen, also known as Borat, delivered the speech of the night as he accepted his Best Actor trophy, detailing in vivid, vulgar detail (and eliciting the most laughs of the night) his naked fight scene with co-star Ken Davitian.
Between Baron Cohen, former "American Idol" finalist Hudson, and "Ugly Betty" star America Ferrera, it was a night of amazing triumphs for actors who only months ago would never have been uttered in the same breath as the Golden Globes. Baron Cohen, for one, was a comedian known primarily to fans of his HBO comedy series "Da Ali G Show" before the phenomenon that was "Borat" emerged during the fall.
During his hilarious acceptance speech, the British comedian riffed on one of his film's most memorable scenes. "This movie was a life-changing experience," he said. "I saw some dark parts of America, an ugly side of America. I refer, of course, to the anus and testicles of my co-star Ken Davitian. When I was in that scene and I stared down and saw your two wrinkled golden globes on my chin, I thought to myself, 'I better win a bloody award for this.'
"And then when my 300-pound co-star decided to sit on my face, I was faced with a choice: Death, or to breathe in the air that had been trapped in a small pocket between his buttocks for 30 years," the comedian continued to much laughter. "If it was not for that rancid bubble, I would not be here today."
Even lifetime-achievement honoree Warren Beatty got in on the "Borat" act during the ceremony, debuting his own imitation of the crazy Kazakhstani to a no-doubt stunned nation.
Ferrera, who was previously best known for her film work (including "Real Women Have Curves") delivered one of the emotional high points of the night as she spoke from the heart, saying, "It is such an honor to play a role that I hear from young girls on a daily basis how it makes them feel worthy and lovable and that they have more to offer the world than they thought."
The show kicked off with George Clooney presenting the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. Clooney, who won a Globe last year for his performance in "Syriana," joked when opening the envelope that the winner was Leonardo DiCaprio, a double nominee this year for Best Actor, before announcing former "American Idol" contestant Jennifer Hudson to much applause.
"I have always dreamed but never, ever this big. Ever. This goes far beyond anything I could have ever imagined," the "Dreamgirls" star said in her acceptance speech. "You don't know how much this does for my confidence."
After much laughter from the audience, Hudson continued, choking back tears. "Because of this, it makes me feel like I'm a part of a community, it makes me feel like an actress. You don't know how good that is to say," she continued. "Everybody in this room: Thank you for making me feel so welcome."
Hudson's "Dreamgirls" co-star Eddie Murphy was the winner for Best Supporting Actor, a result that might have seemed impossible only a few years ago when his recent filmography was dominated by the likes of "Dr. Dolittle" and "The Nutty Professor." "I never thought of myself as being pigeonholed," Murphy told reporters backstage. " 'Daddy Day Care' and 'Dr. Dolittle' was what I was doing then. People don't come to me with supporting roles. The reason I responded to this was that it was a great role. I've always been open to it; it just never came to me."
Interestingly, neither Hudson nor Murphy thanked their film co-stars — calling into question whether the "Dreamgirls" publicity team ran them through their Acceptance Speech 101 courses. One can be sure that the name Beyoncé will be drummed into Hudson's head before Oscar night on February 25.
Other big winners at the Globes included "The Queen," which picked up two awards (Helen Mirren for Best Actress and Peter Morgan for Best Screenplay), and "Babel," which won Best Drama in a surprise (Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" was the presumed favorite).
"I have my papers in order, governor. Yes, sir," "Babel" director Alejandro González Iñárritu joked to presenter and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "The power of cinema is universal, and emotion doesn't need translation."
Helen Mirren ("The Queen") and Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland") were expected winners in the categories of Best Actress and Best Actor, respectively, and they lived up to their advance hype. The pair have been the Lennon and McCartney of this awards season, picking up nearly every accolade as the year's best. Their road to Academy glory seems all but assured now.
The evening's earliest surprise came with presenter Justin Timberlake's announcement that the award for Best Song in a Motion Picture went to Prince for "The Song of the Heart" from the computer-animated "Happy Feet." The diminutive singer was a no-show, but Timberlake, crouching down, accepted the award on his behalf. It was later revealed that Prince was stuck in traffic, and he took a bow upon his arrival.
No surprise was Meryl Streep's win as Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her performance as the monstrous boss in "The Devil Wears Prada." It was Streep's sixth Globe. Streep, who acknowledged her co-stars and fellow nominees, went on to urge that people demand better films in their local multiplex before closing with her character's catch phrase: "That's all."
Five-time winner Clint Eastwood, who most recently took the stage as Best Director two years ago for "Million Dollar Baby," won in the category of Best Foreign Language Film for "Letters From Iwo Jima," a look at the famous battle from the perspective of the Japanese. "I want to pay my respects to the great [actor] Ken Watanabe," Eastwood said, before quipping in response to Hudson's acceptance: "You don't know what this does for my confidence!"
Eastwood released two movies this year: "Letters From Iwo Jima" and "Flags of Our Fathers." "They just seemed like companion films, and they seemed like they should be together," Eastwood said backstage, joking, "Now that I'm a foreign director, I have to learn some languages."
Eastwood later lost out for Best Director to Martin Scorsese for "The Departed." Scorsese thanked a "wonderfully mad script ... and [the movie] 'Infernal Affairs' and the great Asian cinema."
A new category this year, the award for Best Animated Film, went to "Cars," a testament to the power of animation powerhouse Pixar Studios. Accepting the award was director John Lasseter, who screamed, "Animation is awesome," before remarking, somewhat ironically at an awards ceremony, "The movie is about a very important lesson: Life is about the journey, not the destination."
In TV, "Ugly Betty" was the evening's big winner, snaring awards for Best Comedy Series and the aforementioned Best Actress prize, while "Grey's Anatomy" won for Best TV Drama.
Here are all of the night's big winners:
- Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"
- Best Song in a Motion Picture: Prince, "The Song of the Heart" from "Happy Feet"
- Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series, Miniseries, or Made for TV Movie: Jeremy Irons, "Elizabeth I"
- Best Actress in a TV Drama: Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"
- Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or Made for TV Movie: Emily Blunt, "Gideon's Daughter"
- Best Actor in a TV Drama: Hugh Laurie, "House"
- Best Animated Feature Film: "Cars"
- Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy: Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada"
- Best Miniseries or Made for TV Movie: "Elizabeth I"
- Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls"
- Best Actor in a Miniseries or Made for TV Movie: Bill Nighy, "Gideon's Daughter"
- Best Actress in a Miniseries or Made for TV Movie: Helen Mirren, "Elizabeth I"
- Best Screenplay: Peter Morgan, "The Queen."
- Best Actor in a TV Comedy: Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
- Best TV Comedy: "Ugly Betty"
- Best Foreign Language Film: "Letters From Iwo Jima"
- Best Motion Picture Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, "The Painted Veil"
- Best Actress in a TV Comedy: America Ferrera
- Cecil B. DeMille Award: Warren Beatty
- Best Director: Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"
- Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy: Sacha Baron Cohen, "Borat"
- Best Picture, Comedy or Musical: "Dreamgirls."
- Best TV Drama: "Grey's Anatomy"
- Best Actress in a Drama: Helen Mirren, "The Queen"
- Best Actor in a Drama: Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"
- Best Picture, Drama: "Babel"
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This story was originally published at 10:24 p.m. ET on 01.15.07.