The film Slumdog Millionaire earned top honors at the Golden Globe Awards in Hollywood, Sunday evening. The uplifting story, set in Mumbai, India, earned four Golden Globes from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and Kate Winslet earned acting honors for two films.
Slumdog Millionaire is the tale of an orphan who seeks lost love and hopes for a big win on an Indian quiz show. It was named best dramatic picture. The key character is a contestant on the Indian version of the program Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? With each correct response, the stakes get higher.
The film's screenplay and musical score also won awards and its director, Danny Boyle, was named best director.
"Thanks ever so much. Golden Globes, or the GG's, as we very affectionately refer to them. Your mad, pulsating affection for our film is much appreciated," said Boyle.
Kate Winslet was named best supporting actress for the Holocaust-themed drama The Reader and was named best dramatic actress for Revolutionary Road. In that film, about life in 1950's America, she plays a housewife, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, who hopes to escape a crumbling marriage.
As Winslet accepted her second award of the evening, she asked "Is this really happening?"
"Thank you so much. Thank you so much," she repeated.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona, a film from director Woody Allen, was named in the best musical or comedy category.
Mickey Rourke was named best actor in a drama for The Wrestler. That film concerns a former fighter who is given a last chance. The Golden Globe win marked a comeback for the actor.
The late Heath Ledger, who died one year ago of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs, was named best supporting actor for his role as the sinister Joker in the Batman film, The Dark Knight.
The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan says Ledger's death ripped a hole in cinema.
"But, with the extraordinary response to his work that we've seen all over the world, I for one, start to be able to look a bit less at that gap in the future and a little bit more at the incredible place in the history of cinema that he built for himself with his talent and with his dedication to his artistry," said Nolan.
Colin Farrell was named best actor in a musical or comedy for his role as a hitman in the film In Bruges. Sally Hawkins was named best comedy actress for playing an optimist teacher in Happy-Go-Lucky. And, the box office hit WALL-E, a story of love between robots, was named best animated feature.
Waltz with Bashir from Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman was named best foreign-language film. The animated story concerns a soldier who struggles with memories of Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
Director Steven Spielberg accepted a lifetime achievement award for his 40 decades of film making.
Three films that had led the nominations, heading into the awards, were shut out Sunday evening: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which deals with a man who ages backwards; Doubt, which looks at the sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church; and Frost/Nixon, about the on-air conversations between broadcast journalist David Frost and former U.S. president Richard Nixon.
The Golden Globes are decided by some 90 foreign reporters in Hollywood. The movie industry pays attention because their selections sometimes suggest trends in the more prestigious Oscars, the major industry honors that will be awarded in February.