Usual stars, style missing ahead of Golden Globes

Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:21pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) - A low-key atmosphere enveloped the Golden Globes on Sunday in place of the usual red-carpet chaos as sponsors of the widely watched Hollywood awards headed to a news conference to announce winners.

The film and television awards given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are a key stop on the road to the world's leading film honors, the Oscars, but this year's gala dinner, which typically is a champagne-soaked affair, was drastically scaled back due to the screenwriters strike.

By early evening at past Golden Globe ceremonies, A-list stars such as Keira Knightley, nominated as best actress in a drama for the wartime epic "Atonement," would be parading up the red carpet in designer gowns and glittering jewelry.

Nominated actors, such as George Clooney for legal thriller "Michael Clayton" and Daniel Day-Lewis in the dark human drama "There Will Be Blood" would be chatting with reporters.

But this year, none of that is happening because striking members of the Writers Guild of America threatened to picket the event, leaving nominees and presenters expected to boycott the ceremony rather than cross picket lines.

Lacking star power, television network NBC and the HFPA scrapped the usual three-hour-plus gala broadcast, and in its place decided to air a televised one-hour news conference.

A spokesman for the Golden Globes said no other major U.S. broadcasters planned to air the event that begins at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST, but cable TV networks E! and the TV Guide Network planned to carry the announcement. plans to put the announcement on the Web, spokesman Michael Russell said.


<p>Cast member Keira Knightley poses at the premiere of "Atonement" at the Elgin theatre during the 32nd Toronto International Film Festival September 10, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>