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The BBC's David Willis in Los Angeles
"A dress rehearsal for the Oscars"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 25 January, 2000, 05:08 GMT
American Beauty, British success

Director Sam Mendes collects the first of his Golden Globes

British director Sam Mendes' film American Beauty picked up three prestigious Golden Globe awards, making it a favourite for the Oscars.

The movie won a hat-trick of prizes at the ceremony on Sunday - capping a good night for British talent, with Janet McTeer picking up best actress in a musical or comedy for her role in the film Tumbleweeds.

Janet McTeer: Winner for Deep South movie Tumbleweeds

Success at the Golden Globes is generally reckoned to be a good indicator of success at the Oscars, which take place at the end of March.

Hollywood heavyweight Jim Carrey also shortened the odds on an Oscar by winning best musical or comedy actor prize for his role as comedian Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon.

Denzel Washington picked up the best dramatic actor prize for his portrayal of boxer Rubin Carter - who spent 19 years in jail for murders he did not commit - in The Hurricane. Carter joined him on the podium when he collected the award.

Newcomer Hilary Swank walked off with the best dramatic actress prize for Boys Don't Cry, about a woman who lives as a man before she is murdered. Toy Story 2 was named best comedy or musical.

Tom Cruise and rising star Angelina Jolie scooped best supporting actor and actress for their roles in Magnolia and Girl, Interrupted respectively.

A win for Michael J Fox for his Spin City role
Television awards went to The Sopranos and Sex And The City, while Michael J Fox won best comedy actor for his role in Spin City, the series he is quitting to concentrate on his fight against Parkinson's disease.

"Actor out of work - news at 11," he said from the stage.

Another British winner was director Ridley Scott, who won best mini-series for RKO 281, while pop veteran Phil Collins won best song for his contribution to the Tarzan soundtrack, You'll Be In My Heart.

The awards also saw a lengthy tribute to Barbra Streisand, who won the Cecil B DeMille Award for "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field".

She later confirmed to reporters she would be giving up her concert career to concentrate on directing.

Debut director

American Beauty is a dark satire on life in US suburbia, concentrating on the decaying relationship between a couple played by Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening, who were both nominated for Globes but did not win.

Second time around: Jim Carrey with his prize
It marks the cinematic debut of Mendes, who made his name on the stage in London and New York, directing The Blue Room and the original version of The Rise And Fall of Little Voice.

Mendes won the best director Globe for American Beauty, which was also named best motion picture (drama), while writer Alan Ball walked away with the best screenplay prize.

McTeer has so far remained relatively unknown in her home country, with her best-known part being in the 1995 ITV drama, The Governor. In 1997 she won a Tony for her part in the New York stage production of Ibsen's A Doll's House.

The English Patient director Anthony Minghella's latest film, The Talented Mr Ripley, was up for five awards, including best dramatic actor for star Matt Damon, best dramatic film and best director for Minghella. But it failed to win a single prize.

Jungle king: Phil Collins, who won for his Tarzan song
The Globes are voted for by 82 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Once the butt of jokes because of allegations of corrupt voting and questionable professionalism, the awards have now become an important part of the Hollywood calendar.

Hollywood watchers will now be waiting to see how the list of Globes winners compares with the shortlist for the Oscars, which will be announced in a dawn ceremony on 15 February.

Click here for a full list of Golden Globe winners.

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See also:
24 Jan 00 |  Entertainment
Golden Globe winners
24 Jan 00 |  Entertainment
Golden Globes in pictures
24 Jan 00 |  Entertainment
The Mendes touch
27 Nov 99 |  Tom Brook
Janet's Oscar hope
08 Jan 00 |  Tom Brook
Denzel's Hurricane stirs controversy
21 Jan 00 |  Tom Brook
Going for Golden Globe glory
17 Jan 00 |  Entertainment
'No more concerts' says Streisand

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