[ 2007-01-17 10:35 ]
Helen Mirren won
best actress as Britain's priggish monarch Elizabeth II in "The
"Babel" won best drama and "Dreamgirls" was named best musical or
comedy at Monday's Golden Globes, establishing them as potential front-runners
for a showdown at the Academy
"I swear I have my papers in order, governor, I swear," "Babel" director
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu of Mexico joked after California Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger presented the best drama prize for the sweeping ensemble drama
that takes place on three continents.
Inarritu's wisecrack was a
highlight of an otherwise ho-hum Globes ceremony, a show that failed to live up
to its reputation as a freewheeling Hollywood soiree where stars sometimes cut
loose with amusing antics.
The Globes for best dramatic performances were awarded for renditions of two
wildly different heads of state: Helen Mirren won best actress as Britain's
priggish monarch Elizabeth II in "The Queen," while Forest Whitaker took best
actor as magnetic but savage Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in "The Last King of
Mirren noted that at age 25 in 1952, Elizabeth "walked into literally the
role of a lifetime, and I honestly think this award belongs to her, because I
think you fell in love with her, not with me."
Both Mirren and Whitaker have been regarded as Oscar front-runners since
their films debuted last fall.
Mirren also won the Globe for best actress in a TV movie or miniseries as the
current monarch's namesake of centuries ago in "Elizabeth I."
The crowd-pleasing musical "Dreamgirls" also won acting honors for Eddie
Murphy and Jennifer Hudson, its three prizes possibly positioning it as the
nominal favorite heading toward the Oscars.
"Babel," a tale of families around the globe linked by tragic events in the
African desert, won only best drama, leaving its Oscar prospects somewhat up in
the air. Other dramas it beat, including the crime saga "The Departed" and "The
Queen," still could challenge for the top Oscar.
Murphy, previously a three-time loser in the best-actor category at the
Globes, finally won a major Hollywood honor after a 25-year career in which his
fast-talking comic persona made him a superstar while critical acceptance eluded
As Hollywood's second-biggest film honors, the Globes are something of a
dress rehearsal for the Oscars,
whose nominations come out Jan. 23. The Oscar ceremony will be on Feb. 25.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association that presents the Globes has roughly
85 members, while about 5,800 film professionals are eligible to vote for the
Yet the group has a strong history of forecasting eventual Academy Awards
winners and providing momentum for certain movies and stars as Oscar voters
begin to cast their ballots.
Such Globe best-picture winners as "Shakespeare in Love," "American Beauty,"
"Gladiator" and "Chicago" went on to win the same prize at the Oscars. Globe
voters were off target the past two years, anointing 2004's "The Aviator" as
best drama, a prize that went to "Million Dollar Baby" at the Oscars, and 2005's
"Brokeback Mountain," which lost to "Crash" come Oscar night.
But all four of 2005's acting recipients at the Oscars -- Philip Seymour
Hoffman, Reese Witherspoon, George Clooney and Rachel Weisz -- also won
Nominations for the Oscars closed Saturday, so the outcome of the Globes
cannot affect who gets nominated.