Golden Globes pays tribute to Paris attack victims
Hollywood showed its solidarity with France at the Golden Globes on Sunday after deadly Islamist attacks, as the first major prizes of Tinseltown's annual awards season were handed out.
Amy Adams, Patricia Arquette and J.K. Simmons were among the early winners at the 72nd Golden Globes, second only to next month's Academy Awards, with several major prizes still up for grabs.
Comic duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler opened the three-hour show with a sharp monologue poking fun at the Sony Pictures hack and the firestorm over "The Interview," a farce about killing North Korea's leader.
The duo joked that the evening was to celebrate "all the movies that North Korea was okay with."
The evening took a more serious turn when the head of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association -- which hands out the Globes -- brought the audience at the Beverly Hilton to its feet with a pledge to support freedom of expression in the wake of both the Sony hack and the French attacks.
"Together we will stand united against anyone who will repress free speech, anywhere, from North Korea to Paris," said HFPA chief Theo Kingma.
A short time later, Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto also paid a moving tribute, even speaking French.
"On vous aime. Je suis Charlie ("We love you. I am Charlie"), Leto said.
George Clooney, upon accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award -- an honorary Golden Globe for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment -- also voiced his support, saying: "Je suis Charlie."
On the red carpet, several stars including Clooney and his wife Amal, Helen Mirren and Kathy Bates displayed the "Je Suis Charlie" slogan, which has become a rallying cry in the wake of the deadly gun attack on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
While an eve-of-show computer glitch appeared to suggest two other films could take the top prizes, "Birdman" is still in strong position with the most nominations at seven.
The movie, starring ex "Batman" Michael Keaton as a washed-up film actor trying to revive his career on stage, already took home one prize -- for best screenplay.
Coming-of-age drama "Boyhood" took home two prizes and Nazi code-breaking thriller "The Imitation Game" starring Britain's Benedict Cumberbatch earned one.
J.K. Simmons won the first prize of the night -- the best supporting film actor Globe for his performance as a bullying jazz drumming teacher in "Whiplash."
Adams won best actress in a musical/comedy for "Big Eyes," a story of art fraud based on real-life events.
Arquette won best supporting actress for "Boyhood" and Richard Linklater took home the director's prize for the drama, filmed over 12 years with the same actors.
"Fargo" took home the prize for best miniseries or television movie, while "Transparent" won Amazon's first Golden Globes, for best comedy/musical television series and best actor in a comedy.
This year's crop of nominated movies is heavy on true stories: four of the five Globes best drama contenders are based on real-life events.
Among the historical figures featured are British geniuses Stephen Hawking and Alan Turing, and Martin Luther King Jr.
In the best musical or comedy category, the widely acclaimed "Birdman" still seemed to be the film to beat.
The movie also earned nods for best actor for Keaton, best supporting actor (Edward Norton), best supporting actress (Emma Stone) and best director (Mexico's Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu).
Its rivals include Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel," Disney's dark musical fairytale romp "Into the Woods," "Pride" and "St Vincent."
Barely 48 hours before the curtain goes up for the Globes, a website glitch appeared to suggest that "Selma" and "Into the Woods" could be set for best film honors.
The films were briefly posted on the Globes website as winning the best drama and best musical/comedy film awards, before the captions were taken down, according to industry journal Variety.
On the small screen, online retail giant Amazon scored its first ever Golden Globes for best comedy series "Transparent" -- a breakthrough in its bid to catch up with streaming pioneer Netflix.
The series, starring Globes winner Jeffrey Tambor, tells the story of a man who has transitioned to become a woman and is working out the thorny details of telling his family.
"This is dedicated to too many trans people that died too young," said series creator Jill Soloway. "Maybe we'll be able to teach the world something about authenticity and truth and love."
In October, Amazon ordered a second season of the series -- the creation of Soloway, an Emmy-nominated writer on cult series "Six Feet Under." The first season was released on September 26.
Unlike the Oscars, which are voted on by some 6,000 industry members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Globes are selected by fewer than 100 journalists from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
But a Globes win can still provide a huge boost for an Oscars campaign. Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday. The Academy Awards will then be held on February 22.