'12 Years a Slave, 'American Hustle' take top Golden Globes

Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:11pm EST
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By Mary Milliken

BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) - The film "12 Years a Slave" took the coveted Golden Globe for best drama and "American Hustle" won best musical or comedy on Sunday in a kick-off to the Hollywood awards season that foreshadows a wide scattering of honors for a year crowded with high-quality movies.

Only two films garnered more than one award at the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards, an important but not entirely accurate barometer for the industry's highest honors, the Academy Awards to be held on March 2.

"American Hustle," a romp through corruption in the 1970s directed by David O. Russell, was the top winner with three Globes for its seven nominations, while modest AIDS film "Dallas Buyers Club" starring Matthew McConaughey, took home two acting awards for him and co-star Jared Leto.

British director Steve McQueen's brutal depiction of pre-Civil war American slavery in "12 Years a Slave," based on a true story of free black man Solomon Northup who was sold into slavery, only won one award out of its seven nominations. It was entirely shut out from the acting honors, for which it had been a presumed favorite.

But best drama is the top award of the Golden Globes and McQueen thanked actor and producer Brad Pitt, who played a small part in the film but a big role in getting it made. "Without you this movie would never had gotten made, so thank you, wherever you may be," McQueen said.

Among those that left empty-handed were two darlings of critics, the Coen brothers' paean to the 1960s folk scene "Inside Llewyn Davis" and Alexander Payne's homage to the heartland, "Nebraska."

The first big night of the Hollywood awards season is the purview of the 90 some journalists in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), who wield outsized clout in the awards race as buzz around these honors influences members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in their voting for the Oscars.

Oscar nominations are to be announced on Thursday and "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" are likely to be in the list of 10 nominees for best picture, going head-to-head unlike in the Globes, where they competed in two separate categories.   Continued...

British director Steve McQueen celebrates after winning Best Motion Picture, Drama, for "12 Years a Slave" at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California January 12, 2014. REUTERS/Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal/Handout