BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – "Slumdog Millionaire" lived up to its underdog theme at Sunday's Golden Globes, sweeping all four of its categories, including best drama and director for Danny Boyle.
Kate Winslet won two Globes all on her own, best dramatic actress for "Revolutionary Road" and supporting actress for "The Reader." "The Wrestler" also had two, dramatic actor for Mickey Rourke and best song for Bruce Springsteen.
"Golden Globes, or the GGs as we very affectionately refer to them — your mad, pulsating affection for our film is much appreciated. Really, deeply appreciated," Boyle said.
"Slumdog Millionaire" also won best screenplay and musical score, firming up its prospects for the Academy Awards. The film features a generally unknown cast in the story of an orphan boy in Mumbai who rises from terrible hardship to become a champ on India's version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," all the while trying to reunite with a lost love from his childhood.
"We really weren't expecting to be here in America at all at one time, so it's just amazing to be here," said Simon Beaufoy, whose winning script was adapted from Vikas Swarup's novel "Q & A."
Winslet, who has previously been nominated five times without winning at both the Globes and Oscars, won for her role as a woman in a crumbling marriage in "Revolutionary Road" and as a former Nazi concentration camp guard in "The Reader."
"Revolutionary Road" was directed by Winslet's husband, Sam Mendes, and reunited her with her "Titanic" co-star Leonardo DiCaprio.
To DiCaprio, Winslet gushed: "I've loved you for 13 years and your performance in this film is nothing short of spectacular." To Mendes, she added: "Thank you for directing this film, babe, and thank you for killing us every single day and really enjoying us actually being in such horrific pain."
Woody Allen's Spanish romance "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" won for best musical or comedy film.
The three films that led the Globe field with five nominations each — "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Doubt" and "Frost/Nixon" — all were shut out.
As expected, the late Heath Ledger earned the supporting-actor Globe for his diabolical turn as the Joker in the Batman blockbuster "The Dark Knight." The Globe win boosts Ledger's prospects for the supporting-actor honor at the Oscars, whose nominations come out Jan. 22, the one-year anniversary of the actor's death from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.
The award was accepted by "The Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan, who said he and his collaborators were buoyed by the enormous acclaim and acceptance the film and Ledger's performance have gained worldwide.
"All of us who worked with Heath on `The Dark Knight' accept with an awful mixture of sadness but incredible pride," Nolan said. "After Heath passed, you saw a hole ripped in the future of cinema."
Only one actor has ever won a posthumous Oscar, best-actor recipient Peter Finch for 1976's "Network."
Rourke won for a role as a former wrestling star who gets a last chance at glory in the ring, a theme that mirrors the actor's life after he derailed his career with bad-boy behavior.
"It's been a very long road back for me," said Rourke, who poured out his thanks to "The Wrestler" director Darren Aronofsky.
"I've said this before, in sports especially which I can relate to, really, truly great players come around every 30 years, and I really, truly believe Darren is one of those cats," Rourke said.
Other acting winners were Sally Hawkins as musical or comedy actress for her role as an eternal optimist in "Happy-Go-Lucky"; and Colin Farrell for musical or comedy actor for "In Bruges," in which he plays a hit man laying low in a Belgian tourist town.
Hawkins, a relatively unknown British actress and newcomer to Hollywood's awards scenes, was visibly nervous accepting her prize.
"I'll try and get through as much as my voice and nerves and knees will let me," said Hawkins, thanking family, cast mates and collaborators on the film, including director Mike Leigh.
The robot romance "WALL-E" won for best animated feature. Director Andrew Stanton thanked producer Pixar Animation and distributor Walt Disney, saying the unusual love story between two robots who communicate in beeps and squeaks "couldn't have been made anywhere else."
The foreign-language film prize went to Israel's "Waltz With Bashir," director Ari Forman's animated documentary about a soldier struggling to recall suppressed memories of his involvement in the war with Lebanon.
Among TV categories, "30 Rock" won best comedy series, with stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin earning the acting Globes in a musical or comedy. "Mad Men" won best TV drama.
The 66th annual Globes, the town's second-biggest movie celebration after the Academy Awards, returned to their somewhat boozy glory.
Last year's Globe show was scrapped after stars said they would stay away in honor of picket lines by the Writers Guild of America, which was engaged in a bitter strike against producers. In its place was a briskly paced news conference where winners were announced from a podium.
The Globes serve as a barometer for potential Oscar contenders, often singling out deserving newcomers who might have been overlooked among bigger-name stars. Relative unknown Hilary Swank won for dramatic actress at the Globes for 1999's "Boys Don't Cry," then went on to an upset win at the Oscars over Annette Bening, who had been considered the front-runner for "American Beauty." This year's Oscar ceremony comes on Feb. 22.
The Globes are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 90 reporters covering show business for overseas outlets.