James Cameron, king of the world again in Golden Globes ceremony

‘Avatar,’ ‘Hangover’ took home top Golden Globes. TV series “Mad Men”, “Glee” take major television awards, while Streep, Bullock, Downey Jr., Bridges took acting honors.

A pair of box office sensations, “Avatar” and “The Hangover,” earned top film honors at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday in a ceremony that took on a somber tone after the recent earthquake in Haiti. Action adventure “Avatar,” whose 3-D effects have wowed critics and fans and helped it earn $1.6 billion at global box offices, claimed best film drama and top director for “Titanic” filmmaker James Cameron.

“3D is going to be the future,” Cameron told reporters backstage. “The one thing ‘Avatar’ could do because of its success is give permission to other filmmakers to think of 3D.” Among actors, Sandra Bullock earned the title of best film actress in a drama for football movie “The Blind Side,” while industry veteran Jeff Bridges was best dramatic actor for his turn as a down-and-out country singer in “Crazy Heart.” “The Hangover,” about guys on a trip to Las Vegas that goes terribly wrong, claimed best film comedy. Robert Downey, Jr. won the Golden Globe for best comedy actor for his turn as super sleuth Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock Holmes,” and Meryl Streep was the top actress in a comedy for cooking film “Julie & Julia.” Germany’s “The White Ribbon,” a major success at the 2009 Cannes film festival, was named best foreign language movie. Elsewhere, “Inglourious Basterds” star Christoph Waltz was named best supporting actor in a film, and Mo’Nique earned best supporting film actress, going against her reputation as a comedienne and playing an abusive mother in dark drama “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” Disney adventure “Up” won two early Golden Globes, best animated movie and original score.

Top awards for showtime’s Dexter

One of the evening’s best moments was Michal C. Hall’s win as best actor in a drama series. Despite being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a recoving Michael C. Hall snagged the Golden Globe for “Dexter.” It was the actor’s first win. Hall recently revealed that he has been battling a form of cancer called Hodgkin’s lymphoma and that with his treatments almost complete, the disease is in remission. When he took the stage accepting his award, Hall sported a large winter-type cap with the obvious effect of his cancer treatments quite apparent. The upbeat actor delivered his brief speech to the Golden Globe crowd, “It’s really a hell of a thing to go to work at a place where everyone gives a damn,” Hall said. “That’s definitely the case with ‘Dexter.’ It’s an amazing group from top to bottom — such an invigorated sense of collaborative energy all the time. It’s a dream job, and I’m so grateful.”

His “Dexter” co-star John Lithgow, who had just won the Globe minutes before for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, emotionally looked on, as was his “Dexter” co-star and real-life wife Jennifer Carpenter. Among other television awards, “Mad Men,” about the lives of Madison Avenue advertising executives, claimed its third straight Golden Globe for best drama and upstart musical “Glee” was named best comedy or musical in an upset over past winner “30 Rock.” Former “ER” star Julianna Margulies won best actress in a drama in “The Good Wife”, playing the spouse of a disgraced public official while Alec Baldwin won the Golden Globe for best actor in a TV comedy playing a network executive in “30 Rock,” and Toni Collette was best comedic actress for “United States of Tara.”

Haiti weighs on Hollywood

The Golden Globes are given out by some 90 members of the HFPA, and a win here can give movies the momentum they need in Hollywood’s race for Oscars, the world’s top movie honors given out in March. But awards seemed less on the minds of many Hollywood stars than did the recent disaster in Haiti as several acceptance speeches were filled with statements of thankfulness by A-list celebrities. Many stars wore yellow, blue and red ribbons to show their support for victims. Streep said she had to remember “my happy movie self, in the face of everything I’m aware of in the real world.”

Showman Gervais hit his fellow actors with ironical remarks

In his trademark fashion, comedian Ricky Gervais was at large on Sunday night, some of his arrows pointed right at some of his industry fellows. Not only did the show’s host rip apart NBC, the network airing the show, but also the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who chose the winners, and various members of the Hollywood audience. The British creator of “The Office” opened his monologue with a couple of X-rated jokes about onanism and penile surgery. He then proceeded to rip into the Hollywood star machine as a whole. “Actors aren’t just loved here in Hollywood, they’re loved the world over, because they’re recognisable,” he said. “You can be in the Third World, and you get a glimpse of a Hollywood star, and it makes you feel better. You can be a little child, a little Asian child, with no possessions, no money – but you see a picture of Angelina Jolie and you think, ‘Mummy!’”

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