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Monday, January 25, 1999 Published at 19:53 GMT


Night of the Globes

Saving Private Ryan: Spielberg wins best director

Shakespeare In Love has won three Golden Globe Awards in the event which is widely seen as a preview of the Oscars.

BBC Media correspondent Nick Higham: "It may be absurd, but this is a serious business"
Best comedy film, best actress - Gwyneth Paltrow - and best screenplay - Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard - all went to the witty romantic farce.

In the film Paltrow plays the upper crust lover of William Shakespeare. Their romance helps him to beat writer's block and gives him the idea for his latest play, Romeo and Juliet.

Gwyneth Paltrow thanks the 'beautiful film makers'
But there will be strong competition on Oscar night from Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. Spielberg's brutally realistic World War II film won the Golden Globe for best dramatic film. Spielberg himself was named best director.

The acclaimed film-maker thanked "all the veterans out there that saved western civilization and stopped the Holocaust in 1945".

[ image: Paltrow: Award at Golden Globes]
Paltrow: Award at Golden Globes
Veteran British actor Michael Caine's portrayal of a sleazy showbiz agent in Little Voice earned him the best comedy or musical actor globe.

Caine called the award a shock and said: "My career must be slipping. This is the first time I've been available to pick up an award."

Jim Carrey won best dramatic actor for The Truman Show while Cate Blanchett of Elizabeth won best dramatic actress for her role as the English queen.

Supporting awards

Ed Harris and Lynn Redgrave picked up awards for best supporting actor and actress in drama productions.

Harris was nominated for his performance of a God-like director in The Truman Show.

[ image: Redgrave: Best drama actress]
Redgrave: Best drama actress
Gods and Monsters also took early glory with Redgrave's success. She played a formidable housekeeper in the film about director James Whale.

Referring to Georgy Girl in 1966, she said: "It's been 32 years since I stood one of these on a mantelpiece. It needed a friend."

One award was announced before the ceremony. Jack Nicholson received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field". Nicholson has been nominated for 14 Globes and won five.

Small screen awards

In the TV categories, there was success for New York legal drama The Practise which won best television series and - for Dylan McDermott - best actor in a television series.

[ image: Ally McBeal: Best TV comedy]
Ally McBeal: Best TV comedy
Ally McBeal, another series about lawyers but this time playing it for laughs, was voted best television musical or comedy series.

Among the most popular choices for a TV award was Michael J Fox who won best actor in a television musical or comedy series for his role as the devious deputy-mayor in the city hall comedy Spin City. Last December the actor revealed he has been fighting Parkinson's Disease since 1991.

Oscar indicator

With their successes in Sunday's Globes, both Shakespeare in Love and Saving Private Ryan will be hoping for a good Oscar night in March.

The Globes, awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), have gone from being a maligned little ceremony to one of the most important in Hollywood's calendar.

Where before they were granted scant respect, now most of Hollywood turns up hoping to win. And the secret is in the timing.

The HFPA moved the awards from just after the Oscars to before them, making the Globes an indicator of industry thinking.

Although only 81 HFPA members make the nominations, they have phenomenal success in pre-empting the Oscars.

Twelve of the past 16 Golden Globe winners in the best picture category have gone on to take the Oscar title as well.

All a far cry from the early 1980s when awards such as best newcomer for Pia Zadora were making the Golden Globes an industry laughing stock.

Click here for a fill list of Golden Globe winners.

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