Two frontier survival tales, “The Revenant” and “The Martian,” led a bleep-filled Golden Globes where the star power of Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jennifer Lawrence was challenged only by the relentless mocking of the show’s beer-wielding host, Ricky Gervais.
In an upset, Alenjaro Innaritu’s bloody 1820s thriller “The Revenant” won best film drama, as well as best director for Inarritu and best actor for 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.
“Pain is temporary,” said Inarritu, referring to the film’s arduous shoot in the Canadian Rockies.
“A film is forever.”
In an awards season that has lacked definition, 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 “Birdman”—that emerged triumphant on the same weekend it nearly toppled the box-office juggernaut “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” with a $38-million opening.
DiCaprio, who appears headed for his first Oscar, dedicated his award to “First Nations’ people represented in this film and all the indigenous peoples around the world.”
“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,” he added.
Questionably nominated in the comedy categories (a theoretically easier route to statuettes), Ridley Scott’s stranded astronaut tale,“The Martian,” took best film, comedy, and best actor in a comedy for Damon.
Stepping to the podium, Scott wondered, “Comedy?” and answered with a skeptical wave of his hand.
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 nearly $600-million success of “The Martian” was an unlikely pleasure.
“I have made a lot of movies that people just didn’t go see,” he quipped.
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.
Best actress went to Brie Larson, the breakout star of the captive mother-son drama “Room.”
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.”
Though “Steve Jobs” failed to win over many critics or movie-goers, 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.”
If heavyweights won on the film side, underdogs led the television winners.
USA’s “Mr. Robot” won best TV drama for its first season, besting more established favourites 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.
Best animated film went to Pixar’s acclaimed “Inside Out.”
Lady Gaga, who has seven Grammys, won her first major acting honour for her performance on the anthology series, “American Horror Story.”
Other acting winners on the TV side included Taraji P. Henson for “Empire,” Jon Hamm for the final season of “Mad Men,” and Oscar Isaac for the HBO miniseries, “Show Me a Hero.”