Hollywood's awards season got under way at the 67th Golden Globes in Beverly Hills on Sunday with early wins for animated feature Up and gritty drama Precious.A late afternoon thunderstorm rained on the show's red carpet parade but it did not deter a galaxy of stars from descending on the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the first major awards show of 2010.
|Actress Mo'Nique poses with her award after winning best supporting actress for a motion picture for her role in "Precious" at the 67th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson|
Australian screen icon Nicole Kidman opened the proceedings with an appeal for donations to the Haiti earthquake relief effort.
"I just want to say on a serious note a lot of people are wearing ribbons tonight in support of the people of Haiti, and you can go to NBC.com to make your personal contribution," Kidman said.
Kidman handed out the first statuette of the night, presenting the best supporting actress prize to Mo'Nique for her performance as an abusive parent in the searing drama Precious.
"Thank you God for this amazing ride that you're allowing me to go on," an emotional Mo'Nique told the audience. "I tell y'all -- I'm shaking. I'm in the midst of my dream."
Other nominees included Penelope Cruz for Nine, Julianne Moore for A Single Man and Up In the Air duo Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick.
Among the other early award winners was Pixar's heartwarming Up, which took the best animated picture honors.
The latest film from the phenomenally successful animation studio beat out competition from Coraline, Fantastic Mr Fox, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, and The Princess and the Frog.
One of the best reviewed movies of 2009, Up tells the story of a grumpy widower who floats to South America by tying balloons to his house.
Later Sunday all eyes will be on James Cameron's Avatar to see if its remarkable box office performance -- 1.6 billion dollars worldwide since December -- translates into awards season honors.
However, the film faces stiff competition from recession-era drama-comedy Up In the Air, as well as the gripping Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker, which has three nominations.
In the acting stakes, George Clooney will be up against Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), Colin Firth (A Single Man), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), and Tobey Maguire (Brothers) for best drama actor.
The women's acting awards could unfold as a duel between Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep, who both have two nominations each.
Bullock is nominated as best actress in both drama and comedy categories for her respective roles in The Blind Side and The Proposal, while Streep -- hoping to win her seventh Globe -- is a double nominee in the comedy category for her performances in Julie & Julia and It's Complicated.
Unlike the Oscars, the Golden Globes splits its best picture prizes between genres, honoring best drama and best comedy/musical.
The Globes are often viewed as a key barometer of which films may go on to challenge for honors at the Oscars.
Although 67.4 percent of films which won best picture at the Academy Awards also won a Golden Globe, in recent years the awards have proved an unreliable guide for likely Oscar winners.
Rags-to-riches drama Slumdog Millionaire is the only film in the past five years to have followed up a best picture statuette at the Golden Globes with victory at the Oscars.