A building Avatar wave swept over the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, raising expectations that the 3D science fiction fantasy could become an Oscar-season tsunami by the time the Academy Awards are handed out on March 7.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association gave Globes to Avatar as best dramatic picture and to James Cameron, the film’s helmer, for best direction.
The film has already swamped the global box office, pulling in $1.6 billion worldwide, and it soon should top the $1.8 billion all-time record held by Titanic, also directed by Cameron, which went on to win 11 Oscars. While Avatar is unlikely to get any Oscar noms for acting—Titanic won two—the CG epic should be a contender in most of the craft categories, which are all but ignored by HFPA, except best song.
Besides Avatar, two other films doubled up on awards: Pixar’s Up won for best animated film and composer Michael Giacchino received the Globe for best original score. Crazy Heart star Jeff Bridges was honored as best actor in a drama and T. Bone Burnett’s “The Weary Kind” for the film won for best original song.
Otherwise the awards were sprinkled widely. Meryl Streep won for best actress in a comedy for her role as cooking icon Julia Child in Julie & Julia. It was Streep’s seventh Golden Globe, a record. Sandra Bullock won for best actress in a drama for football story The Blind Side. Both were nominated twice.
Robert Downey Jr. got the Globe as best actor in a comedy feature for Sherlock Holmes.
The best supporting actor awards went to odds-on favorites Mo’Nique for Precious and Christopher Waltz for Inglorious Basterds.
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner got the Globe for best screenplay for adapting Up in the Air, which Reitman also directed. And German film The White Ribbon was the winner in the best foreign language film category.
High profile films that struck out at the Globes included The Hurt Locker, a suspenser set in Iraq, which has topped many “best of the year” lists, and musical Nine, directed by Rob Marshall who helmed Chicago.
When he accepted the best director Globe, James Cameron gave a tip of the hat to his former wife, Kathryn Bigelow, the director of The Hurt Locker. “Frankly, I thought Kathryn was going to get this,” he told the assembled luminaries. “But make no mistake, I’m very grateful.”