It was a night for underdogs.
"Slumdog Millionaire" continued its Cinderella ways at the 66th annual Golden Globe awards tonight, winning four statuettes: dramatic film, director for Danny Boyle, original score for A.R. Rahman and screenplay for Simon Beaufoy.
"Your mad, pulsating affection for our film is deeply appreciated," Boyle said during the ceremony telecast on NBC from the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
At one point, the film about a poor young man in Mumbai who ends up on a game show -- was considered straight-to-DVD material when its original distributor folded shop. It has since become this award season's darling, winning numerous critics honors.
Mickey Rourke, whom Hollywood wrote off years ago, also won a Golden Globe for actor in a drama for his touching performance as an aging athlete who won't give up the ring in "The Wrestler."
"It's been a very long road back for me. I was almost out of this business," Rourke said. He followed with a speech that was poignant and often R-rated and included his director, Darren Aronofsky, flipping him the bird when Rourke used colorful language to describe the filmmaker's hard-driving ways.
"He brought the best out of me," Rourke said, adding that he also wanted to thanks his dogs, both the ones who are living and the ones who had died.
"Sometimes when a man is alone, that's all you've got is your dog," he said.
And Kate Winslet, who was always a bridesmaid at the Golden Globes, finally became a bride.
Winslet has been a perennial nominee over the years but had never won a Globe. Tonight, she took home two: supporting actress for "The Reader" and actress for "Revolutionary Road," in which she was reunited with "Titanic" costar Leonardo DiCaprio.
"Thank you so much, Thank you so much. It is absolutely extraordinary," said Winslet, clearly shocked and overcome with emotion. "Leo, I am so happy I can stand here and tell you I love you and how much I've loved you for 13 years," she said through the tears to DiCaprio, who blew her a kiss in return.
She also thanked her husband, Sam Mendes, who directed her in "Revolutionary Road": "Thank you for killing us," she quipped, referring to the grueling emotional scenes in the film about a troubled young married couple in the 1950s. "I loved every second working with you."
Colin Farrell was another surprise winner, for actor in a comedy or musical for his turn as a hapless hitman in the quirky indie comedy "In Bruges": "They must have done the counting in Florida," joked Farrell. "It's an absolute shock."
"In Bruges" is the kind of movie Steven Spielberg seemed to be referring to when he urged Hollywood against making movies strictly for the masses during these hard economic times. Instead, he asked them to make movies that continue to inspire.
"We can't ever forget we're an audience of individuals," Spielberg said during his acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille achievement award. Presenting the award was fellow filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who introduced a series of clips from Spielberg's box-office blockbusters, including "Jaws," "E.T.," "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan."
Spielberg got a standing ovation and cheers from the crowd as he made his way to the stage.
"There's my inspiration right there," Spielberg said, pointing to Scorsese, his friend of 39 years.
Spielberg said that the first movie he ever saw was DeMille's 1952 film, "The Greatest Show on Earth," which inspired the then-6-year-old Spielberg to make his first film on his parents' movie camera, re-creating the feature's famous train wreck using his toy train set.
Hollywood also leaped to its feet to honor Heath Ledger, who posthumously won a Golden Globe for supporting actor for playing Batman nemesis the Joker in "The Dark Knight."
After showing a clip from the film, the movie's director, Christopher Nolan, somberly accepted the award on behalf of the Australian actor who died Jan. 22 of last year at age 28 of an accidental drug overdose: "He will be eternally missed, but he will never be forgotten."
Other film winners included Woody Allen's romantic comedy "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," which won for comedy or musical. Allen wasn't present to accept, but his sister, the movie's producer, Letty Aronson, accepted. The Globe for actress in a musical or comedy went to England's Sally Hawkins for her role as an eternally optimistic young woman in Mike Leigh's "Happy-Go-Lucky."
Hawkins was crying, flustered and clearly surprised. "Oh, my goodness," she said, and put her award on the stage so she could read her thanks from a balled-up piece of paper. "Don't worry, I'll get it later," she added.
Foreign language film went to the Israeli-animated documentary, "Waltz with Bashir," "Wall-E" won for animated film, and veteran rocker Bruce Springsteen earned song honors for his title tune from "The Wrestler."
On the TV side, the night seemed to belong to HBO and especially its miniseries "John Adams," about the nation's second president.
That miniseries won for miniseries or motion picture made for television, actor for Paul Giamatti, actress for Laura Linney and supporting actor for Tom Wilkinson.
The award for actor in a TV series, drama, went to Gabriel Byrne for his role as a troubled shrink in HBO's "In Treatment," though he was a no-show. Actress in this category went to Anna Paquin for the pay channel's blood-sucking vampire romance, "True Blood." "Oh, my God! Thank you. ... This is awesome," said Paquin.
And supporting actress in a series, miniseries or motion picture made for television went to Laura Dern for her role as Katherine Harris Florida's controversial secretary of state at the center of the 2000 Bush-Gore hanging-chad controversy in HBO's "Recount."
That HBO spell was broken and the awards show got a jolt of life when Tracy Morgan accepted the comedy series award for NBC's "30 Rock."
The star of the sitcom took center stage, claiming that he'd had a bet with fellow co-star and the show's creator, Tina Fey, that if Barack Obama won the presidential election Morgan would become the official "30 Rock" spokesman at award shows.
"I'm the face of post-racial America," he proclaimed in an oft-rambling speech, adding: "Deal with it, Cate Blanchett!"
The NBC sitcom also won actress for Fey and actor for Alec Baldwin, who accepted by saying: "Thank you, Tina, thank you, Tina, thank you, Tina."
The Golden Globe for TV series drama went to AMC's "Mad Men," which also earned the honor last year.
Though the Golden Globes are considered a bellwether for the Academy Awards, there has been discrepancy between the HFPA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Last year, for example, the Golden Globes gave "Atonement" best dramatic picture honors, while the Oscars awarded "No Country For Old Men." Julian Schnabel was the Globes pick for best director for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," while the Academy Award was given to Joel and Ethan Coen for "No Country."
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