International News from World: War epic “1917” shocked the Golden Globes on Sunday by claiming the top prize for best drama film, while Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” won comedy honors, boosting their prospects for next month’s Oscars.
“Once Upon a Time…” — an homage to 1960s Tinseltown — won the most awards on the night with three prizes, while Martin Scorsese’s much-vaunted Netflix crime saga “The Irishman” went home empty-handed.
The Globes are the first major awards gala of the year, in a packed season that ends with the Academy Awards in just over a month’s time, so Sunday’s winners will hope to capitalize on some much-needed momentum.
“1917” follows two British soldiers through the trenches in World War I, and is filmed to look like one continuous, two-hour-long shot.
“Goodness me, that is a big surprise,” said stunned filmmaker Sam Mendes, who bested Scorsese and Tarantino in the crowded best director category.
“Can I just say there’s not one director in this room, not one director in the world that is not in the shadow of Martin Scorsese? I just have to say that,” he added to loud applause.
Tarantino won the best screenplay award, and Brad Pitt took home best supporting actor honors for his role as a loyal stuntman to Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in the film.
“I also have to thank my partner in crime, LDC,” said Pitt.
“I wouldn’t be here without you, man… I would have shared the raft, though,” he added, referring to the closing scene of “Titanic.”
“Once Upon a Time…” clearly resonated with the 90-odd members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which doles out the prizes, but other films made their mark.
Joaquin Phoenix cemented his Oscar frontrunner status by winning the best drama actor prize for his radical turn in “Joker,” a dark and controversial take on the comic book super-villain.
Phoenix, like several A-listers, used his speech to address climate change and the Australian wildfires, continuing until producers played him off with music.
He also thanked director Todd Phillips, saying: “You convinced me to do this movie and you encouraged me to give everything and to be sincere. And I’m such a pain in the ass.”
Renee Zellweger also burnished her Oscar credentials with an expected win for biopic “Judy,” portraying Judy Garland in her later years.
South Korean black comedy “Parasite” bagged the award for best foreign language film, as widely expected, while Awkwafina became the first actress of Asian descent to win the best comedy actress prize for “The Farewell.”
Oscar nominations voting is already under way, but does not close until Tuesday.