Golden Glory for Brits at Globes

The British are coming was Colin Welland's famous cry when Chariots of Fire won an Oscar in 1982.

Andrew Clarke

The British are coming was Colin Welland's famous cry when Chariots of Fire won an Oscar in 1982. Now that predication looks set to come true with a clutch of wins at the Golden Globe awards. Arts Editor Andrew Clarke looks at the winners and losers.

British actress Kate Winslet joined an exclusive club of two other actresses who have won the Golden Globe double - both Best Actress and Best Supporting actress in the same year.

It's an almost unheard of feat - particularly in a year with such strong competition. Winslet has been nominated on five previous occasions and has never won. This time however she made up for past disappointments by winning Best Actress (Drama) for Revolutionary Road, directed by her husband Sam Mendes and Best Supporting Actress (Drama) for The Reader, directed by fellow Brit Stephen Daldry.

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In the past she had been nominated for such films as Sense and Sensibility, Iris and Titanic. This year Winslet had been tipped to take the Globe for The Reader, in which she plays a Nazi concentration camp guard who has an affair with a teenager, but the prize for domestic drama Revolutionary Road - which reunites her with Titanic co-star Leonardo di Caprio - came as a surprise.

She broke down in true Hollywood style as she collected the two awards saying: "You'll have to forgive me because I have a habit of not winning things."

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The Reader is based on the best-selling novel by Bernhard Schlink which tells the story of a teenaged boy who unwittingly embarks on an affair with a woman who was once an SS guard at a concentration camp. Told in flashback the film examines the notion of German guilt for those who didn't give the orders but who carried them out.

Revolutionary Road focuses on April and Frank Wheeler, a young, thriving couple with two children, who flee their Connecticut suburb for a new life in France. Set in the mid-1950s, they find their personal problems follow them into their new life and perhaps the grass may not be greener on the other side of the pond.

After winning her second prize of the night, the Best Actress prize, Kate apologised to fellow nominees, but forgot Angelina Jolie's name. "I'm so sorry Anne, Meryl, Kristin - and who's the other one? Angelina. Now forgive me, is this really happening?" she said, before embarking on a long, teary thank you speech.

The other nominees were Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married, Angelina Jolie for The Changeling, Kristin Scott Thomas for I've Loved You For So Long and Meryl Streep for Doubt.

The only other people to receive two acting Globes in the same year are Sigourney Weaver, who won Best Actress for Gorillas in the Mist and Best Supporting Actress for Working Girl in 1989 and Joan Plowright, who won Best Supporting Actress for Enchanted April and Best Actress (TV) for Stalin in 1993.

But Kate wasn't the only British success. Slumdog Millionaire was the biggest winner on the night, scooping four awards, including best picture and best director for Briton Danny Boyle.

Slumdog Millionaire features a largely unknown cast and tells the story of an orphan in Mumbai who becomes champion on the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

The film has already won a wide array of critics and film festival awards and is tipped by many observers to do well at the Oscars. As well as best picture and best director, the film also scooped the awards for Simon Beaufoy (best screenplay) and AR Rahman (best score).

Other British winners last night included Sally Hawkins, who took the Best Actress (musical or comedy) prize for her role in Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky and Tom Wilkinson, who was honoured for US TV mini-series John Adams.

Irish actors Colin Farrell and Gabriel Byrne also walked off with awards. Farrell took the prize for best actor (musical or comedy) for his portrayal of a hitman trying to lie low in a Belgian town in In Bruges, while Byrne won best actor in a TV drama for In Treatment.

The series sees Byrne as a psychotherapist who has started to question his abilities and gets help by reuniting with his old therapist, whom he has not seen for ten years.

The late Heath Ledger, who died of a drug overdose in New York last January, received a standing ovation after being named best supporting actor for his role as the Joker in Batman movie The Dark Knight.

Chris Nolan, the film's British director, accepted the award on Ledger's behalf, saying he did so "with a mixture of sadness and incredible pride".

Elsewhere there was success for Mickey Rourke, who won best actor in a dramatic film for The Wrestler, Bruce Springsteen won for the title song while Stephen Spielberg picked up the Cecil B DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. WALL-E from computer animation pioneers Pixar won the best animated feature category.

Woody Allen has been welcomed back into the awards fold when his romantic comedy Vicky Christina Barcelona won Best Film (musical/comedy).

The big losers were The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Frost/Nixon which were both nominated for multiple awards and came away empty handed.

Historically the most decorated films are Doctor Zhivago, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and A Star Is Born. All received five nominations and won in each category.

The awards are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and traditionally have been seen as guide to the way that the Oscar voters may be thinking. The Golden Globes offer more choice than the Oscars because they divide their categories between drama and musical/comedy.

The Academy Awards tend to opt for drama over comedy which makes The Reader, Revolutionary Road and Slumdog Millionaire prime candidates for the Oscar short-list - as is British co-production Frost/Nixon.

It's a great time for British films and it looks like that Hollywood may be willing to accept the fact that: “The British are coming!”

The Academy Award, nominations announced on January 22 with the ceremony taking place on February 22.

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