Sylvester Stallone scored a knockout 29 years after the first “Rocky,” Jennifer Lawrence notched her third Golden Globe and Matt Damon landed both best actor for his stranded astronaut in “The Martian” and withering jabs from host Ricky Gervais at the 73rd annual Golden Globes Awards.

Nominated for the same character that earned him his only other Golden Globe nod, Stallone took best supporting actor for the “Rocky” sequel-reboot “Creed.” The Beverly Hills, California, crowd greeted him with a standing ovation.

“I want to thank my imaginary friend Rocky Balboa for being the best friend I ever had,” said Stallone.

Though security was especially tight to guard against terrorism, the Gervais-led Globes, evidenced little of seriousness that marks most award shows, or the teary-eyed acceptances speeches. Instead, the Globes had a particularly unraveled atmosphere that included Jonah Hill dressed as the bear from “The Revenant,” copious discussion of “Transparent” star Jeffrey Tambor’s male anatomy by Gervais, and much buzzing about Sean Penn’s escapade with Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Gervais greeted the crowd (which he labeled “pill-popping sexual deviant scum”) with a predictably astringent opening, setting the tone for a much-bleeped night that was at turns irreverent and frivolous.

“I want to do this monologue and then go into hiding. Not even Sean Penn will find me,” he said, pausing for a swig. “Snitch.”

In his fourth time hosting, Gervais’ act dominated the evening, often drawing loud laughs from the Beverly Hilton hotel audience, but also the expected criticism. In a particularly awkward encounter, he and Mel Gibson stood arm-in-arm after exchanging insults.

“I love seeing Ricky once every three years because it reminds me to get a colonoscopy,” said Gibson.

Lawrence, who spent much of the night with her new friend and collaborator Amy Schumer (herself a nominee for “Trainwreck”), scored her third Globe for a David O. Russell-directed film. After winning for “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle,” she made it three for “Joy,” besting the category favorite Brie Larson (“Room”).

Damon had to suffer being introduced by Gervais as “the only person who Ben Affleck hasn’t been unfaithful to,” but he later won best actor in a comedy for Ridley Scott’s sci-fi hit “The Martian.” Damon said the film’s success was an unlikely pleasure: “I have made a lot of movies that people just didn’t go see.” (“The Martian” also won best film comedy.)

Scott was also pegged by many for best director, too, but that honor went to Alejandro Inarritu for the frontier thriller “The Revenant,” fresh off a $37 million debut that nearly topple the box-office behemoth “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – which didn’t screen in time for the Hollywood Foreign Press to consider.

Referencing the production difficulties of the on-location shoot in the Canadian Rockies, Innaritu – an Oscar winner last year for “Birdman” – said: “Pain is temporary. A film is forever.”

Though “Steve Jobs” failed to win over many critics or moviegoers, Danny Boyle’s drama about the Apple co-founder earned best screenplay for Aaron Sorkin and best supporting actress for Kate Winslet. Winning her fourth Globe in 11 nominations, Winslet triumphed over the lauded Alicia Vikander for “Ex Machina,” though Vikander is also contending for best actress in “The Danish Girl.”

Citing the crowded categories, Winslet remarked: “What an incredible year for women in film.”

USA’s “Mr. Robot” won best TV drama for its first season, besting more established favorites like HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Fox’s “Empire.” Best comedy series was a similar upset, with Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle,” winning over the HBO heavyweight “Veep.” Actors in both shows – Christian Slater for “Mr. Robot” and Gabriel Garcia Bernal for “Mozart in the Jungle” – also won.

In an election year, Gervais had the only cutting political remark in the show. He introduced presenters Eva Longoria and America Ferrera as two talented actresses that “your next president, Donald Trump, can’t wait to deport.”

The Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement honoree, often an emotional high point in the awards, also lacked a memorable moment. Honoree Denzel Washington fumbled with his speech, while his wife, Pauletta, prodded him. As he wound down, Washington finally granted: “Yeah, I do need my glasses.”

Best foreign language film went to Hungary’s Laszlo Nemes’ “Son of Saul,” a harrowing view of life inside Auschwitz. Said Nemes: “The Holocaust over the years has become an abstraction. For me, it is more of a face. Let us not forget this face.”

Best animated film went to Pixar’s acclaimed “Inside Out.” Lady Gaga, who has seven Grammys, won her first major acting honor for her performance on the anthology series “American Horror Story.” Gaga compared the sensation to being like Cher in “Moonstruck.”

Best actress in a TV drama went to Taraji P. Henson for “Empire.” Jon Hamm won his second Globe for the final season of “Mad Men.” He thanked the HFPA for the support to their long support of the show and his “horrible” character, Don Draper.

Quentin Tarantino accepted the award for Ennio Morricone’s score for his “The Hateful Eight” – a winner that presenter Jamie Foxx initially read as “Straight Outta Compton” in a parody of the Miss Universe winner debacle.

Oscar Isaac, a star of the box-office behemoth “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” won best actor in a miniseries for HBO’s “Show Me a Hero.” Best limited series went to “Wolf Hall.”

Gervais spared little time before laying into the HFPA and the awards’ network, NBC, which he noted had no nominations. He mocked the whole enterprise, assuring losing actors that “no one cares about awards as much as you do.”

The Globe award, itself, he said, is “a bit of metal that some confused old journalist wanted to give you to meet you in person and take a selfie.” One of his three Globes, Gervais said, he stuffs up his rear.

After a 10-year ratings high three years ago, the Golden Globes’ viewership has dipped slightly since, with an audience of 19.3 million tuning in last year.

That, though, is still very strong for the Golden Globes, which have worked to shed an image of eccentric selections made by a group of little-known international journalists. The Globes have instead grown into one of the most popular award show broadcasts of the year, thanks to increasingly credible nominees, its trademark relaxed atmosphere and its unique position as a major awards show that honors both film and television.

Online: http://www.goldenglobes.com


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