IN A ceremony alternatively as solemn and celebratory as the movie that won a leading four prizes the rags-to-riches drama Slumdog Millionaire Sunday nights Golden Globe awards helped focus the Oscar race as it honoured late Heath Ledger for his performance in The Dark Knight.
By winning trophies for best dramatic picture,director,screenplay and score,Slumdog Millionaire cemented its place as the awards seasons most beloved underdog: After losing its American distributor soon after it completed filming early last year,the modestly budgeted story of an unlikely Indian game show contestant now has become not only a powerful Academy Award contender but also a minor box-office hit.
We really werent expecting to be here in America at all at one time,so its just amazing to be standing here, Slumdog Millionaire screenwriter Simon Beaufoy said in accepting his honour.
If Slumdog Millionaire provided the most joyous moments at the 66th annual awards show,Ledgers posthumous win for supporting actor offered its most poignant. Ledger died last January before The Dark Knight was released and became the second-highest grossing movie in Hollywood,trailing only Titanic. The Dark Knight was the actors last completed film role.
I for one will start to be able to look less at the gap in the future and the incredible place Heath made for himself with his talent and with his dedication, Chris Nolan,the films director and co-writer.
Mickey Rourke was named best dramatic actor for his role as an over-the-hill grappler in The Wrestler. Its been a very long road back for me, said a humbled Rourke,a veteran actor whose admittedly wild off-screen behaviour tarnished his reputation and nearly cost him the lead role in The Wrestler.
Rourkes acceptance speech was peppered with mild profanities,Aronofsky made a joking (but nevertheless obscene) gesture toward Rourke,and Slumdog Millionaire producer Christian Colson uttered a four-letter expletive when the broadcasts producers cued music in the middle of his best drama acceptance speech.
When winners werent talking like gangster rappers,a few appeared surprised and flattered,including the English actress Kate Winslet,who won for dramatic actress (as an unhappy suburban housewife in Revolutionary Road) and supporting actress for The Reader (in which she played a German troller worker with a horrendous secret.)
I was so shocked to win one. Honestly,I cant believe it, Winslet said backstage.
In the other film awards,Woody Allens Vicky Cristina Barcelona collected the award for best comedy or musical,Waltz With Bashir was named top foreign language film,Wall-E took the animation prize,and Bruce Springsteens ballad for The Wrestler a song that Rourke personally asked the rocker to compose was honored as best original song.