Two star-led tales of frontier survival triumphed at the 73rd annual Golden Globes, where Alejandro Inarritu’s bloody 1820s thriller “The Revenant” swept three of the top honors, and Ridley Scott’s stranded astronaut tale “The Martian” answered with a pair of its own.
At a bleep-filled, irreverent Beverly Hills, California, ceremony on Sunday, Ricky Gervais presided over a Globes that seemed to risk unraveling before the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s show coalesced its support for “The Revenant” and “The Martian.”
In an upset, “The Revenant” won best film, drama, as well as best director for Inarritu and best actor for Leonardo DiCaprio. Though Inarritu had a similar run at the Academy Awards last year with the best-picture winning “Birdman,” he won only a share of best screenplay at last year’s Globes.
Referring to the film’s arduous shoot in the Canadian Rockies, Innaritu said: “Pain is temporary. A film is forever.”
This award season has lacked definition and two of the top critical picks – the journalism procedural “Spotlight” and Todd Haynes’ lesbian romance “Carol” – went home empty-handed. Instead, it was “The Revenant” – made with the same seamless cinematography of “Birman” that emerged triumphant – on the same weekend it nearly toppled the box-office juggernaut “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” with a $37 million opening.
DiCaprio, who appears headed for his first Oscar, dedicated his award to Native Americans.
“I want to share this award with all the First Nations people represented in this film and all the indigenous peoples around the world,” said DiCaprio. “It is time that we recognize your history and that we protect your indigenous lands from corporate interests and people out there to exploit them.”
Questionably nominated in the comedy categories (a theoretically easier route to statuettes), “The Martian” took best film comedy and best actor in a comedy for Matt Damon, who also suffered withering jabs from Gervais. Taking the podium, Scott wondered “Comedy?” and answered with a skeptical wave of his hand.
Nominated for the same character that earned him his only other Golden Globe nod, Sylvester Stallone took best supporting actor for the “Rocky” sequel-reboot “Creed.” The crowd greeted him with a standing ovation.
“I want to thank my imaginary friend Rocky Balboa for being the best friend I ever had,” said Stallone.
Though security was especially tight to guard against terrorism, the Gervais-led Globes, evidenced little of seriousness that marks most award shows, or the teary-eyed acceptances speeches. Instead, the Globes had a particularly unraveled atmosphere that included Jonah Hill dressed as the bear from “The Revenant,” copious discussion of “Transparent” star Jeffrey Tambor’s male anatomy by Gervais, and much buzzing about Sean Penn’s escapade with Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
Gervais greeted the crowd (which he labeled “pill-popping sexual deviant scum”) with a predictably astringent opening, setting the tone for a much-bleeped night that was at turns irreverent and frivolous.
“I want to do this monologue and then go into hiding. Not even Sean Penn will find me,” he said, pausing for a swig. “Snitch.”
In his fourth time hosting, Gervais’ act dominated the evening, often drawing loud laughs from the Beverly Hilton hotel audience, but also the expected criticism. In a particularly awkward encounter, he and Mel Gibson stood arm-in-arm after exchanging insults.
“I love seeing Ricky once every three years because it reminds me to get a colonoscopy,” said Gibson.
Best actress went to Brie Larson, the breakout star of the captive mother-son drama “Room.” A gleeful Larson concluded: “I’m sorry for anyone I forgot. I'll write you a thank-you card.”
Lawrence, who spent much of the night with her new friend and collaborator Amy Schumer (herself a nominee for “Trainwreck”), scored her third Globe for a David O. Russell-directed film. After winning for “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle,” she made it three for “Joy.”
Damon had to suffer being introduced by Gervais as “the only person who Ben Affleck hasn’t been unfaithful to.” The actor later said the success of “The Martian” was an unlikely pleasure: “I have made a lot of movies that people just didn’t go see.”
Though “Steve Jobs” failed to win over many critics or moviegoers, Danny Boyle’s drama about the Apple co-founder earned best screenplay for Aaron Sorkin and best supporting actress for Kate Winslet, her fourth Globe in 11 nominations. Citing the crowded categories, Winslet remarked: “What an incredible year for women in film.”
USA’s “Mr. Robot” won best TV drama for its first season, besting more established favorites like HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Fox’s “Empire.” Best comedy series was a similar upset, with Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle,” winning over the HBO heavyweight “Veep.” Actors in both shows – Christian Slater for “Mr. Robot” and Gabriel Garcia Bernal for “Mozart in the Jungle” – also won.
In an election year, Gervais had the only cutting political remark in the show. He introduced presenters Eva Longoria and America Ferrera as two talented actresses that “your next president, Donald Trump, can’t wait to deport.”
The Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement honoree, often an emotional high point in the awards, also lacked a memorable moment. Honoree Denzel Washington fumbled with his speech, while his wife, Pauletta, prodded him. As he wound down, Washington finally granted: “Yeah, I do need my glasses.”
Best foreign language film went to Hungary’s Laszlo Nemes’ “Son of Saul,” a harrowing view of life inside Auschwitz. Said Nemes: “The Holocaust over the years has become an abstraction. For me, it is more of a face. Let us not forget this face.”
Best animated film went to Pixar’s acclaimed “Inside Out.” Lady Gaga, who has seven Grammys, won her first major acting honor for her performance on the anthology series “American Horror Story.” Gaga compared the sensation to being like Cher in “Moonstruck.”
Best actress in a TV drama went to Taraji P. Henson for “Empire.” Jon Hamm won his second Globe for the final season of “Mad Men.” He thanked the HFPA for the support to their long support of the show and his “horrible” character, Don Draper.
Quentin Tarantino accepted the award for Ennio Morricone’s score for his “The Hateful Eight” – a winner that presenter Jamie Foxx initially read as “Straight Outta Compton” in a parody of the Miss Universe winner debacle.
Oscar Isaac, a star of the box-office behemoth “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” won best actor in a miniseries for HBO’s “Show Me a Hero.” Best limited series went to “Wolf Hall.”
Gervais spared little time before laying into the HFPA and the awards’ network, NBC, which he noted had no nominations. He mocked the whole enterprise, assuring losing actors that “no one cares about awards as much as you do.”
The Globe award, itself, he said, is “a bit of metal that some confused old journalist wanted to give you to meet you in person and take a selfie.” One of his three Globes, Gervais said, he stuffs up his rear.
After a 10-year ratings high three years ago, the Golden Globes’ viewership has dipped slightly since, with an audience of 19.3 million tuning in last year.
73RD GOLDEN GLOBES AWARD WINNERS
- Picture, Drama: “The Revenant.”
- Picture, Musical or Comedy: “The Martian.”
- Actor, Drama: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant.”
- Actress, Drama: Brie Larson, “Room.”
- Director: Alejandro Inarritu, “The Revenant.”
- Actor, Musical or Comedy: Matt Damon, “The Martian.”
- Actress, Musical or Comedy: Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy.”
- Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone, “Creed.”
- Supporting Actress, Motion Picture: Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs.”
- Foreign Language: “Son of Saul.”
- Animated Film: “Inside Out.”
- Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, “Steve Jobs.”
- Original Score: Ennio Morricone, “The Hateful Eight.”
- Original Song: “Writing’s on the Wall” music and lyrics by Sam Smith, Jimmy Napes), “Spectre.”
- Series, Drama: “Mr. Robot.”
- Actor, Drama: Jon Hamm, “Mad Men.”
- Actress, Drama: Taraji P. Henson, “Empire.”
- Series, Comedy: “Mozart in the Jungle.”
- Actor, Musical or Comedy: Gael Garcia Bernal, “Mozart in the Jungle.”
- Actress, Musical or Comedy: Rachel Bloom, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”
- Movie or Limited Series: “Wolf Hall.”
- Actor, Limited Series or TV Movie: Oscar, Isaac, “Show Me a Hero.”
- Actress, Movie or Limited Series: Lady Gaga, “American Horror Story: Hotel.”
- Supporting Actor, Series, Limited Series or TV Movie: Christian Slater, “Mr. Robot.
- Supporting Actress, Series, Limited Series or TV Movie: Maura Tierney, “The Affair.”