By Mike O’Sullivan – LOS ANGELES — A comic crime caper and a drama about slavery earned top honors at the Golden Globe awards Sunday. The prizes, given out annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, mark the start of the award season for the American movie industry.
“12 Years a Slave”, from director Steve McQueen, was named the best drama motion picture. The film tells the story of a free black man who was abducted and sold into slavery before the American Civil War.
Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron was named best director for his space drama “Gravity”.
“This film, Ron Woodruff’s story, was an underdog. For 20 years, it was an underdog. Turned down 86 times. No one wanted to put up money for it. We got the right people together,” said McConaughey.
Jared Leto was honored for his supporting role in the film as a transgender AIDS patient.
Cate Blanchett was named best actress in a drama for her role in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine”. She thanked the reclusive director, who was absent from the Hollywood event.
“Thank you Woody, for calling me and not calling one of the other incredible women who are in the room this evening, so thank you,” said Blanchett while collecting the award.
Allen was also honored with a lifetime achievement award, accepted by his longtime friend, actress Diane Keaton.
“And as the history of cinema unfolds, you’ll be regarded as one of the great artists of our time. Thank you for your mentorship,” said DiCaprio.
The Italian production “The Great Beauty” was named best foreign language film.
Lead singer Bono says the project had special meaning.
“This really is personal for us, very, very personal. This man turned our life upside down, right-side up, a man who refused to hate, not because he didn’t have rage or these things, but that he thought love would do a better job,” said Bono.
The Golden Globes mark the start of Hollywood’s award season, which will culminate with the Academy Awards – popularly known as the Oscars – on March 2.