The Descendants | George Clooney
The 69th annual Golden Globe Awards took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California this week; silent film The Artist, and The Descendants (starring George Clooney), were among the big winners.

The Descendants | George Clooney

The awards were presented by British comedian Ricky Gervais, who had toned down his act a little following the 2011 awards, where he ruffled a few feathers with his controversial humour. During his opening speech this year Gervais even read out a list of rules he had been given which included: no profanity, no libel and no innuendo. However, Gervais did manage to get in a few cheeky digs, most notably about Kim Kardashian’s marital troubles and Jodie Foster’s film The Beaver, which flopped at the box office.

The Artist, a black and white homage to the golden age of silent film, was the star of the show this year, taking home three awards; Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical), Best Actor (Comedy or Musical) for star Jean Dujardin and Best Original Score. The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius was also up for a gong, but lost out to Martin Scorsese who picked up the Best Director award for his own love letter to early cinema, the magical 3D masterpiece Hugo.

George Clooney beat a formidable line-up of male acting talent (including Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt) to take home the Best Actor (Drama) award for his performance in The Descendants. In his acceptance speech Clooney name-dropped his good friend Brad Pitt, and jokingly thanked Michael Fassbender (who was also nominated for his role in Steve McQueen’s explicit film Shame) ‘for taking over the whole frontal nudity responsibility that I had. Michael, honestly, you could play golf with your hands tied behind your back’. The Descendants also won the Globe for Best Picture (Drama), beating the likes of War Horse and The Ides of March.

Best Actress (Drama) went to Meryl Streep for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady; Streep caused a little stir by accidentally swearing onstage when she realised she had forgotten her reading glasses and would have to remember her speech by heart. Michelle Williams, who took on the role of Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, picked up the award for Best Actress (Musical or Comedy).

Other awards of the evening included Best Foreign Language Film for Iranian drama A Separation, Best Screenplay for Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and Best Animated Feature to The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.

Another highlight of the evening was Morgan Freeman being presented with the Cecil B. Demille Award by Sir Sidney Poitier (who became the first black actor to win a Best Actor Oscar in 1964) and Helen Mirren, who starred alongside Freeman in gun-toting action movie Red. In his acceptance speech, Freeman said, ‘if you do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life,’ before joking to Mirren that after seeing her handle a gun in Red, ‘I never want to piss you off’. Freeman also paid homage to Poitier, saying that in his house the Cecil B. Demille Award would also be known as the Sidney Poitier Award.

The next American Awards ceremony to look forward to this year is the Oscars in February, where The Artist is once again tipped to sweep the board.

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