January 13, 2014 4:59 am

Steve McQueen picks up Golden Globe for ‘12 Years a Slave’

Reuters
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The film 12 Years a Slave took the Golden Globe for best drama and American Hustle won best musical or comedy in a kick-off to the Hollywood awards season that foreshadows a wide scattering of honours for a year crowded with high-quality movies.

American Hustle , a romp through corruption in the 1970s directed by David Russell, was the top winner, taking home three of its seven nominations for the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards, an important barometer for the film industry’s highest honours, the Academy Awards, to be held on March 2.

British director Steve McQueen’s brutal depiction of pre-Civil war slavery in 12 Years a Slave, based on a true story of a free black man sold into slavery, won just one award out of its seven nominations and was shut out from the acting honours.

The top drama acting awards went to Cate Blanchett for her turn as a riches-to-rags socialite in Woody Allen’s tragicomedy Blue Jasmine and Matthew McConaughey for his unlikely Aids activist in Dallas Buyers Club.

“Ron Woodroof’s story was an underdog, for years it was an underdog, we couldn’t get it made . . . I’m so glad it got passed on so many times or it wouldn’t have come to me,” said Mr McConaughey, widely lauded for strong performances this year. Jared Leto, his co-star, took the best supporting actor award for his role as Rayon, a transsexual with Aids.

Amy Adams won best actress in a musical or comedy for her role as the conniving partner to a conman played by Christian Bale in American Hustle, while Jennifer Lawrence took best supporting actress for her turn as his loopy wife.

Leonardo DiCaprio won best actor in a musical or comedy for his role as a fast-living, drug-popping, swindling stockbroker in the The Wolf of Wall Street , his fifth collaboration with director Martin Scorsese.

Mexican film-maker Alfonso Cuaron won best director for his existential space thriller, Gravity, a film starring Sandra Bullock as an astronaut tumbling through space that has won praise for its groundbreaking technical advances.

Director Spike Jonze took home the Globe for best screenplay for his quirky computer-age comedy Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix.

The Golden Globes, under the purview of some 90 journalists in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, have substantial clout in the awards race as buzz around these first honours influences members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in their voting for the Oscars.

Nominations for the Oscars will be announced on Thursday, but voting has already concluded. The Globes have a mixed record when it comes to predicting the Oscar best picture, although last year’s best drama winner, Argo, did win the Academy Award for best movie.

© Reuters Limited. Click for restrictions

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