By Indiewire | Indiewire January 17, 2005 at 2:00AM
DISPATCH FROM AWARDS SEASON: "The Aviator," "Sideways," and "Million Dollar Baby" Win Top Golden Globes
by Eugene Hernandez
Forget the fact that the Golden Globe winners are selected by just 90 or so foreign reporters, some of them with arguably questionable credentials, the annual January event has emerged as the key stop on the road to Oscar night. With a nationally broadcast awards ceremony, plenty of live red-carpet fashion commentary, and a host of other events before and after the show, it is the year's second biggest night, at least for celeb watchers and awards analysts.
A trio of films, Scorsese's "The Aviator" from Miramax, Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" from Warner Bros. and Payne's "Sideways" from Fox Searchlight each won a pair of top prizes at this year's Golden Globes; the trio lead the list of anticipated Oscar nominees in various categories this year.
"The Aviator" and "Sideways" won the best picture prizes in the drama and musical or comedy categories respectively, each also winning another top prize. "Aviator" star Leonardo DiCaprio won best actor for his role as Howard Hughes, while "Sideways" writers Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor nabbed the best script trophy. "The Aviator" was also honored for Howard Shore's score.
Meanwhile, "Million Dollar Baby" was honored for Clint Eastwood's direction and Hilary Swank's performance as a rising prizefighter. Insiders will no doubt be shocked if each of those three films is left off the best picture nominations list when the Oscar nods are unveiled early in the morning next Tuesday.
The surprise winner of the night was without a doubt Mike Nichols latest, "Closer," based on a play of the same name. The film won the first two big awards of the evening with Clive Owen winning the best supporting actor honor and co-star Natalie Portman receiving the best supporting actress prize. Whether that film will be a major factor on Oscar nominee day remains to be seen; the Golden Globe's are an inconsistent predictor of Oscar successes and this year's ceremony came one day after AMPAS nomination ballots were due.
A pair of Golden Globe winners who are clear favorites are Jamie Foxx for his role as Ray Charles in "Ray," and Annette Bening for her performance in "Being Julia." Even before each film played at the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival, their performances were tipped as Oscar-worthy by publicists and awards analysts.
BEST MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
Forward Pass/Appian Way/IMF Prods.; Miramax
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS - DRAMA
Hilary Swank in "Million Dollar Baby"
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR - DRAMA
Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Aviator"
BEST PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Sideways Productions, Inc./Fox Searchlight Pictures
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Annette Bening in "Being Julia"
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Jamie Foxx in "Ray"
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
"The Sea Inside" (Spain)
Sogecine/Himenoptero; Fine Line Features
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Natalie Portman in "Closer"
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Clive Owen in "Closer"
Clint Eastwood for "Million Dollar Baby"
Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor for "Sideways"
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Howard Shore for "The Aviator"
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"Old Habits Die Hard" from "Alfie"
Music & Lyrics by: Mick Jagger & David A. Stewart