'Artist,' 'Descendants' score top Globe wins

By David Germain

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Jan. 15 2012 9:50 p.m. MST

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The black-and-white silent film "The Artist" led the Golden Globes with three wins Sunday at a show that spread Hollywood's love around among a broad range of films, including best drama recipient "The Descendants" and its star, George Clooney.

Wins for "The Artist" included best musical or comedy and best actor in a musical or comedy for Jean Dujardin. Along with best drama, "The Descendants" won the dramatic-actor Globe for Clooney.

The dual best-picture prizes at the Globes could set up a showdown between "The Artist" and "The Descendants" for the top honor at next month's Academy Awards.

Other acting winners were Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, and Octavia Spencer, while Martin Scorsese earned the directing honor.

"I gotta thank everybody in England that let me come and trample over their history," said Streep, earning her eighth Globe, this time as dramatic actress for playing former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Williams won for actress in a musical or comedy as Marilyn Monroe in "My Week With Marilyn," 52 years after Monroe's win for the same prize at the Globes for "Some Like It Hot."

The supporting-acting Globes went to Plummer as an elderly widower who comes out as gay in the father-son drama "Beginners" and Spencer as a brassy housekeeper joining other black maids to share stories about life with their white employers in the 1960s Deep South tale "The Help."

"With regard to domestics in this country, now and then, I think Dr. King said it best: 'All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance.' And I thank you for recognizing that with our film," Spencer said.

Scorsese won for the Paris adventure "Hugo." It was the third directing Globe in the last 10 years for Scorsese, who previously won for "Gangs of New York" and "The Departed" and received the show's Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement two years ago.

He won over a field of contenders that included Michel Hazanavicius, who had been considered by many in Hollywood as a favorite for his black-and-white silent film "The Artist."

Williams offered thanks for giving her the same award Monroe once won and joked that her young daughter put up with bedtime stories for six months spoken in Monroe's voice.

"I consider myself a mother first and an actress second, so the person I most want to thank is my daughter, my little girl, whose bravery and exuberance is the example I take with me in my work and my life," Williams said.

Dujardin became the first star in a silent film to earn a major Hollywood prize since the early days of film. He won as a silent-era star whose career unravels amid the rise of talking pictures in the late 1920s.

It's a breakout role in Hollywood for Dujardin, a star back home in France but little known to U.S. audiences previously. His French credits include "The Artist" creator Hazanavicius' spy spoofs "OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies" and "OSS 117: Lost in Rio."

While the musical or comedy categories at the Globes offer recognition for lighter films amid Hollywood's sober-minded awards season, the winners usually are not serious contenders for the Oscars. The last time the winner for best musical or comedy at the Globes went on to claim best-picture at the Oscars was nine years ago with "Chicago."

This time, though, "The Artist" and Dujardin have enough critical mass to compete at the Oscars with dramatic counterparts such as "The Descendants" and Clooney.

Both films have a good mix of laughs and tears. "The Artist" could be called a comedy with strong doses of melodrama, while "The Descendants" might be described as a drama tinged with gently comic moments.

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