BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – The tragic romance “Atonement” was named best drama Sunday at a Golden Globes event that was deflated from star-studded revelry to dry, news conference-style awards announcement because of the Hollywood writers strike.
Bloody “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” was chosen as best musical or comedy. Its star, Johnny Depp, won for best actor in a musical or comedy for the title role, playing a vengeful barber who slits the throats of his customers in the adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s stage musical.
Also winning two awards was the crime saga “No Country for Old Men,” which earned the screenplay Globe for writer-directors Ethan and Joel Coen and the supporting actor honor for Javier Bardem as a merciless killer tracking a fortune in crime cash poached by an innocent bystander who stumbles onto a drug deal gone bad.
“Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press!” said Bardem in a written statement after his win. “It is a great honor to have been recognized with this award in a time when there are so many outstanding performances in this category.”
“Atonement” also won for best score.
Daniel-Day Lewis was named best dramatic actor for the historical epic “There Will Be Blood,” in which he plays a baron of California’s oil boom in the early 20th century whose commercial interests put him at odds with a young preacher.
Cate Blanchett won the first award of the night, taking the supporting actress Globe for the Bob Dylan tale “I’m Not There.” And like Blanchett, who took the honor for the gender-bending role as one of six actors playing incarnations of Dylan, no other winners were there, either.
Actors and filmmakers skipped the Golden Globes because of the two-month-old strike by the Writers Guild of America, which had planned pickets outside the show if organizers had tried to do their usual televised ceremony.
Although the guild called off pickets it had planned outside the news conference, the strike left one of Hollywood’s brightest and giddiest nights in shambles. Despite the gowns and formal wear, the Globes are known as a freewheeling cousin of the Academy Awards, a place where stars can have a few drinks and cut loose as they celebrate the year’s achievements in film and television.
“We all hope that the writers strike will be over soon so that everyone can go back to making good movies and television programs, which is what the Golden Globes were designed to celebrate,” said Jorge Camara, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that hands out the Globes, said at the start of the news conference.
“Rest assured that next year, the Golden Globe awards will be back bigger and better than ever,” Camara said at the close of the news conference, which had been announced as an hour-long event but lasted just 30 minutes.
The fate of Hollywood’s biggest night, the Feb. 24 Oscars, remains uncertain. Guild leader Patric Verrone has said writers would not be allowed to work on that show, either, which could force stars to make an even tougher choice on whether to stay away or cross the picket line.
Oscar organizers insist their show will come off as planned, with or without the writers.