- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 16, 2007

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — “Babel” won best drama and “Dreamgirls” was named best musical or comedy at the Golden Globes last night, establishing them as the front-runners for a showdown at the Academy Awards.

“I swear I have my papers in order, governor, I swear,” “Babel” director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu of Mexico joked after California’s Austrian-born governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, presented him with the best drama prize for the multilingual film that interweaves the stories of four families on three continents after the shooting of a U.S. tourist in Morocco.

“Dreamgirls” also had a dream night, with Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy sweeping the film supporting-actor statues.

“I had always dreamed, but I never ever dreamed this big. This goes far beyond anything I could have ever imagined,” said Miss Hudson, an “American Idol” finalist who dedicated her award to Florence Ballard, the singer from the Supremes on whom her character in “Dreamgirls” is based.

A low-key Mr. Murphy got in one joke in his acceptance speech: “Thank you, David Geffen, for convincing me to work for free.”

But the show was stolen by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who won for best actor in a musical or comedy for “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” In his acceptance speech, which was laced with double entendre, he recounted his thoughts while filming a nude wrestling scene with “my 300-pound co-star.”

“I thought ‘I better win a bloody award for this,’ ” Mr. Cohen said to gales of laughter. During the speech, he exchanged toasting gestures with the co-star, Ken Davitian, who used first a glass of wine, then the whole bottle.

In an unprecedented double royal award, Helen Mirren won two best-actress prizes last night for playing Elizabeth I in the two-part TV miniseries “Elizabeth I” and for playing Elizabeth II in the film drama “The Queen.”

In accepting the award for “The Queen,” Miss Mirren said that the voters from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association were really honoring Britain’s present queen, but that the actress would keep the trophy because “she already has an orb.”

Miss Mirren and Forest Whitaker of “The Last King of Scotland” continued their sweep through the awards season film-acting prizes. Mr. Whitaker also played a real-life political leader — Ugandan ex-dictator Idi Amin.

The HFPA gave its best-director prize to Martin Scorsese for “The Departed,” boosting his Academy Award chances. Mr. Scorsese has been nominated for the best director Oscar a record-tying five times without a victory.

“This is, oh my, a heck of a time,” he said after collecting the award.

Meryl Streep won her sixth Golden Globe as best actress in a musical or comedy for “The Devil Wears Prada,” in which she plays the world’s worst boss at a top fashion magazine.

“I think I’ve worked with everybody in the room,” joked Miss Streep, one of Hollywood’s most-garlanded actresses. “It makes you want to cry with gratitude. Until next year.”

The talking-auto comedy “Cars” took the first-ever Golden Globe for animated film, a category added because of the rush of cartoon flicks Hollywood churns out these days. And the best foreign-language film award went to one of Hollywood’s old-school veterans, who ironically first became a big star through Italian-made “spaghetti Westerns” — Clint Eastwood for the Japanese-language war film “Letters From Iwo Jima.”

Backstage, Mr. Eastwood joked, “Now that I’m a foreign director, I’ve got to learn some languages.”

Besides Miss Mirren, TV acting winners included Kyra Sedgwick for best dramatic actress in “The Closer,” Hugh Laurie for dramatic actor in “House” and Bill Nighy for actor in a TV movie or miniseries for “Gideon’s Daughter.” “Gray’s Anatomy” won for best dramatic series.

On the TV comedy side, Alec Baldwin won best actor for “30 Rock” and America Ferrera won best actress for the new ABC series “Ugly Betty,” which also took the prize for the best comedy show.

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