Considered by many to be the forerunner for the Oscars, this year's Golden Globe winners yielded few surprises.
Broadcast live on NBC, the awards are nominated by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), who then decide the winners in a second round of voting.
This year, the HFPA showered awards on two love stories: the gay cowboy drama, Brokeback Mountain; and the Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash biopic, Walk the Line.
Brokeback Mountain won four of the seven awards it was up for, including Best Motion Picture - Drama, and Best Director for Ang Lee, who seemed as much in awe of being presented the award by Clint Eastwood as he was of the win itself.
On the Musical/Comedy side of the film categories, Walk The Line scored wins for all three nominations: Best Motion Picture, Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix; and Best Actress for Reese Witherspoon. Accepting his award, Phoenix poked fun at his win, saying, ""Who would ever have thought that I would win in the comedy or musical category?" It appears he never thought he'd win at all, as Witherspoon's husband, actor Ryan Phillippe, made gestures to Phoenix onstage that he owed Phillippe money for losing the bet.
Both the Best Actor and Actress in a Drama categories went to thespians who portrayed gay/transsexual characters. Philip Seymour Hoffman won for his depiction of author Truman Capote in the film Capote, while Felicity Huffman won for her role as a man in the midst of a sex-change reconnecting with a long-lost son in the film Transamerica. This appears to be a banner year for Huffman, who also won another Golden Globe as part of the cast of the Best TV Comedy/Musical Series winner "Desperate Housewives." She won an Emmy a few months ago for her role on that show. Perhaps she should invest in a new awards cabinet at home.
It's also been a good year for another actress, S. Epatha Merkerson. She also won an Emmy a few months ago for her role on the series "Law & Order" and tonight, walked away with the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Mini-Series for her role in the HBO movie Lackawanna Blues. Accepting her award, she first joked about losing her speech paper down the bust of her dress at the Emmys saying, "it's not there tonight", then added that winning at 53, "I almost feel like I'm 16 again...except for the hot flashes."
But while "Desperate Housewives" won as a show, the four individual actresses nominated in the Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy Series -- Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman and Eva Longoria -- were beaten out by the lone dark horse in the category, Mary-Louise Parker, who won for her role on the new Showtime series, "Weeds."
The entire cast of "Lost" took the stage to accept the Golden Globe for Best Drama Series, but it was the show's only win of the evening, out of three nods.
Hugh Laurie picked up the Best Actor in a Drama Series for his title role in the Fox series "House," and offered up one of the best speeches of the evening. Saying he made a list that ended up with over 1000 names, he then realized there wouldn't be enough time to thank everyone and put each person's name on a slip of paper in his pocket. He then drew out three names at random and thanked them.
But by far, the best acceptance speech came from Steve Carell, who won Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy Series for his role on NBC's "The Office." Taking the stage, he claimed he was unprepared and didn't write a speech, but thankfully his wife did. He then went on to read from a sheet of notes that quite often praised his wife, even going so far as to mention his "wonderful wife" who had put aside her career for his. She, like the rest of the audience, was roaring with laughter.
The Golden Globes is the only one of what are considered the major Hollywood awards that doesn't rely on a host to keep things moving along. Yet, even without a master of ceremonies, the show ended precisely when it should -- a feat yet to be matched by the Oscars.
Speaking of the Oscars, it will be interesting to see how tonight's wins in the film categories translate to Oscar nominations, which will be announced January 31. Traditionally many of those who win Golden Globes go on to get Oscar nods.
Normally, this feature would have been illustrated with photographs from the show, but unfortunately, this year, NBC has decided to institute a $1200 fee for use of the photos, which were previously available as event handouts. So we are joining with other news services such as AP, Reuters and WireImage in declining to pay that fee for use of the photos.
But, if you missed tonight's broadcast, the entire show will be rebroadcast on NBC's cable affiliate Bravo this Saturday, January 21, starting with the pre-show arrivals at 7pm EST.
For more on the HFPA and the Golden Globes, please visit www.hfpa.org.
Here is a full list of the 2006 Golden Globes winners:
Picture, Drama: Brokeback Mountain
Actress, Drama: Felicity Huffman, Transamerica
Actor, Drama: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
Picture, Musical or Comedy: Walk the Line
Actress, Musical or Comedy: Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line
Actor, Musical or Comedy: Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the Line
Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener
Supporting Actor: George Clooney, Syriana
Director: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
Screenplay: Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain
Foreign Language: Paradise Now (Palestine)
Original Score: John Williams, Memoirs of a Geisha
Original Song: "A Love That Will Never Grow Old" from Brokeback Mountain
Cecil B. DeMille Award: Sir Anthony Hopkins
Series, Drama: "Lost," ABC
Actress, Drama: Geena Davis, "Commander in Chief," ABC
Actor, Drama: Hugh Laurie, "House," Fox
Series, Musical or Comedy: "Desperate Housewives," ABC
Actress, Musical or Comedy: Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds," Showtime
Actor, Musical or Comedy: Steve Carell, "The Office," NBC
Miniseries or TV Movie: "Empire Falls," HBO
Actress, Miniseries or TV Movie: S. Epatha Merkerson, "Lackawanna Blues," HBO
Actor, Miniseries or TV Movie: Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, "Elvis," CBS
Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy," ABC
Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Paul Newman, "Empire Falls," HBO