(CNN) – Two movies about desperate men left for dead and fighting for survival took top honors at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, which celebrate achievement in film and TV.
“The Revenant,” Alejandro González Iñárritu’s harrowing drama about an 1820s trapper who survives a bear attack to seek revenge on the men who left him for dead, won the Golden Globe for best movie drama. The movie also collected awards for star Leonardo DiCaprio and for Iñárritu’s direction.
“Two years ago, we found ourselves submerged deep in nature with all of its complications and all the beauty that it gave us cinematically,” DiCaprio said in accepting his award. “This film was about survival. It was about adaptation. It was about the triumph of the human spirit.”
“The Revenant’s” sweep surprised some Hollywood pundits, who had expected the critically acclaimed “Spotlight,” about the Boston Globe’s investigation into the Catholic church’s sex abuse scandal, to take the drama prize. It also marks another triumph for Iñárritu, the Mexican-born filmmaker whose “Birdman” won the best picture Oscar last year.
In the comedy/musical category, best picture went to “The Martian,” Ridley Scott’s saga about an astronaut forced to use science and his wits to survive for years after being left alone on Mars. Matt Damon also won best actor in a comedy for his role in the hit film — which many don’t consider a comedy.
“Thank you very much. Comedy? But, anyway, I’m very grateful for that,” said Scott, the heralded director of “Alien,” “Blade Runner,” “Gladiator” and other hits.
Damon said, “It’s literally been 18 years since I’ve been here doing this. With a little more context, I know how lucky I am and how lucky I am to do this for a living. When people go see movies, it’s just — it’s kind of rare. I’ve made a lot of movies that people just didn’t go see.”
Some see the Golden Globes, voted on by the 90 or so members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, as predictors of the more prestigious Academy Awards. Oscar nominations will be announced Thursday, with the show following on February 28.
Spreading the movie love
After “The Revenant” and “The Martian,” Golden Globe voters spread recognition among a handful of other movies.
Newcomer Brie Larson won best actress in a movie drama for her role as a resourceful young mother in “Room.” Directed by Lenny Abrahamson and adapted by Emma Donohue from her novel, the film is the story of a woman who must adapt to a horrific new life after being kidnapped, imprisoned in a garden shed and impregnated by her abductor.
Hollywood darling Jennifer Lawrence won best actress in a comedy film for David O. Russell’s “Joy,” based on the true story of a single mom who overcame poverty and a chaotic family by inventing an innovative mop that was sold on the Home Shopping Network. It’s Lawrence’s third collaboration with Russell and co-star Bradley Cooper, after “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle.”
In a sentimental win that earned a standing ovation from fellow actors at the Beverly Hilton, veteran actor Sylvester Stallone was named best supporting actor in a movie for “Creed.” Stallone has drawn praise for reinventing his iconic Rocky Balboa character as an aging, vulnerable ex-fighter who comes out of retirement to train an unproven young boxer.
“This is incredible. Last time I was here, that was 1977. I was kind of hit by a tumbleweed. It was a long time ago,” said Stallone, looking a bit dazed in accepting the award. “It’s like a different, different situation, and the view is so beautiful now.”
The best supporting actress prize went to Kate Winslet for “Steve Jobs,” Danny Boyle’s portrait of the late Apple co-founder. Winslet played Apple marketing exec Joanna Hoffman, a member of Jobs’ inner circle and one of the few people at the company who stood up to his famous bullying.
“Steve Jobs” also was named best screenplay for Aaron Sorkin’s talky script, a surprising show of strength for a film that tanked at the box office and has faded somewhat as a top Oscar contender.
As expected, Pixar’s critical and commercial smash “Inside Out,” about the emotions fighting for control of an 11-year-old girl, won best animated movie.
Best foreign film went to “Son of Saul,” a Holocaust drama from Hungary about an Auschwitz concentration camp prisoner trying to give a proper burial to his son.
New blood on TV
Jon Hamm, on the heels of his first Emmy win in November, won best actor in a TV drama for his defining role as the tormented, womanizing Don Draper in AMC’s “Mad Men,” which wrapped its final season last year.
But unpredictability was the rule in most of the TV categories, as new or lesser-known series beat out more established shows for many awards. Globe voters honored such prestige networks and streaming services as HBO, AMC and Amazon but also recognized shows from the CW, FX and the USA Network.
Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle,” about classical musicians in New York, was named best TV comedy. The category had been considered a three-way race between Amazon’s transgender dramedy, “Transparent”; Netflix’s ensemble prison saga, “Orange is the New Black”; and HBO’s political satire, “Veep.”
“Mozart’s” star, Gael Garcia Bernal, also won best actor in a TV comedy.
Best TV drama went to the upstart “Mr. Robot,” USA Network’s critically praised hacker drama, which beat out such heavyweights as Fox’s “Empire” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Christian Slater won best supporting actor in a TV series for his role as an anarchist on the show.
In another mild surprise, Rachel Bloom won best actress in a TV comedy for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” which premiered on the CW in October. “Veep’s” Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has won numerous awards for her starring role on the show, had been considered the front-runner.
Taraji P. Henson won best actress in a TV drama for her larger-than-life role as Cookie, the tough matriarch of a family-run record label, on “Empire.” As a reference to her character, Henson handed out cookies in the ballroom on her way to the stage.
Best supporting actress in a TV series went to Maura Tierney for Showtime’s “The Affair,” in which she plays a middle-age woman who learns that her husband is cheating on her.
Two pop stars also were honored Sunday. Lady Gaga won best actress in a limited TV series for her role as a vampire on FX’s “American Horror Story: Hotel.” And crooner Sam Smith accepted the award for best song for “Writing’s On the Wall,” his theme song from the James Bond movie “Spectre.”
Best miniseries or TV movie went to “Wolf Hall,” the BBC drama about political machinations among England’s Tudor dynasty during the reign of King Henry VIII. Oscar Isaac, currently co-starring as a rebel fighter pilot in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” won best actor in a TV miniseries for his role as a mayor who fought for the desegregation of public housing in HBO’s “Show Me a Hero.”
Host Ricky Gervais kicked off the night with a beer in his hand and a typically bitchy monologue in which he made jokes at the expense of Caitlyn Jenner, “Transparent” nominee Jeffrey Tambor, movie bomb “Pixels” and host network NBC, which didn’t receive any Globe nominations.