Atonement, a leading contender with seven nominations, was named best motion picture drama. And Daniel Day-Lewis picked up the best actor in a movie drama category for his commanding performance in the historical Western There Will Be Blood.
Usually characterized by free-flowing champagne, off-the-cuff speeches and glamorous parties, the Golden Globe Awards often serve as a predictor for the Academy Awards. (The Oscar nominations will be announced Jan. 22.) This year, though, the show was stripped of its pomp and glitz – due to the continuing Writers Guild of America strike. With no nominees in attendance, the awards were announced during a live press conference by a panel of TV hosts and journalists.
Surprises in StoreFlying by in 30 minutes, the broadcast offered several major surprises. One big upset: Marion Cotillard was named best actress in a movie comedy or musical. (Many speculated that Juno's Ellen Page would walk away with the award.) Cotillard's victory was for her portrayal of the late French monument, singer Edith Piaf, in the biopic La Vie En Rose.
For Billy Bush, a host of NBC's edition of the telecast, Cate Blanchett's win (for best supporting actress in I'm Not There) was a surprise. The host announced his preference – Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone – while remarking on Blanchett's Bob Dylan-inspired performance, "At the end of the day, it's a woman imitating a man."
And while no celebrities were on hand to offer acceptance speeches, presenter Giuliana Rancic offered one of the evening's most memorable quips. Before announcing several awards, the television host said, "I never thought in my wildest dreams that I'd be up here. First, I want to say I support the WGA – and no, not because without the strike there would be no way I would ever be standing up here at the Golden Globes presenting."
No Country for Old Men's Javier Bardem was named best supporting actor. In a statement, the grateful star expressed his thanks, saying, "It is a great honor to have been recognized with this award in a time when there are so many outstanding performances in this category."
Other big winners: Ricky Gervais's Extras was named best TV comedy series, and 30 Rock's Tina Fey was awarded best TV comedy series actress. For the dramas, newbie Mad Men was named best TV drama series.
No Glitz, No PartiesWith all official parties canceled, what would all the nominees be doing Sunday night? Days earlier, many confessed they were anticipating watching the press conference from home – or just tuning into other programs.
Nominee George Clooney's rep Stan Rosenfield joshed that the actor would be "watching Bonanza on color television," while Juno star Allison Janney told PEOPLE that she was considering catching the special with her castmates. Said Janney: "If something good happens we can all go out and spontaneously celebrate somewhere." (Janney and her cast could stay put, though; Sweeney Todd won best motion picture comedy or musical.)
See all the major nominees and winners