- The Washington Times - Monday, January 14, 2008

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The tragic romance “Atonement” was named best drama yesterday at a Golden Globes event that was deflated from star-studded revelry to dry, press-conference-style awards announcement because of the Hollywood writers strike.

The bloody stage adaptation “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.

“Atonement,” which led contenders with seven nominations, also won for best score. The film stars Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, both losers in the best dramatic-acting categories, in a period drama that traces the dire consequences that follow a jealous teen’s false criminal accusation against her sister’s new lover.

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.

Julie Christie won best dramatic actress for the gloomy drama “Away From Her,” starring as a woman succumbing to Alzheimer’s who forms a new attachment to a fellow patient that causes heartache for her steadfast husband.

Cate Blanchett won best supporting actress for the Bob Dylan tale “I’m Not There.”

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.

Globe planners and NBC canceled the three-hour star-studded bash in favor of an hourlong press conference at which clips of film and TV nominees were shown and reporters from entertainment news shows announced winners.

Marion Cotillard won for best actress in a musical or comedy for a remarkable personification of singer Edith Piaf in “La Vie En Rose,” playing the French icon from youth through middle age and into her ailing final years.

The rodent tale “Ratatouille” — directed by the Brad Bird, who made Academy Award winner “The Incredibles” — was named best animated film.

Among TV recipients, Jeremy Piven won for his supporting role as an acerbic agent in HBO’s “Entourage,” his first win after three previous nominations. Samantha Morton won for supporting actress in “Longford.”

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder won the prize for best original song in a movie for “Guaranteed,” featured in director Sean Penn’s road drama “Into the Wild.”

On strike since Nov. 5, the Writers Guild of America refused to let union members work on the star-studded banquet-style show, prompting actors to boycott the ceremony rather than cross picket lines.

The Globes are known as a freewheeling cousin of the Academy Awards. The fate of the Oscars, scheduled for Feb. 24, remains uncertain.

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