Toilets were flushing backwards and shrimps were barbied Sunday night as the Golden Globes were turned Down Under by Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, whose films A Beautiful Mind and Moulin Rouge led the way at the 59th annual ceremony, each scoring Best Picture honors.
Crowe (okay, so he's from New Zealand) was named Best Actor for his role as schizophrenic mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. in A Beautiful Mind, helping Ron Howard's biopic top Sunday night with four honors, including Best Drama. The film also scored a Best Supporting Actress trophy for Jennifer Connelly and Best Screenplay kudos for Akiva Goldsman.
Crowe reserved special thanks for "John and Alicia Nash, for living such an inspirational love story."
"A Beautiful Mind is just a movie, folks," Crowe added. "But hopefully it will help us open our hearts...and that it gives us the belief that in our lives, something extraordinary can always happen."
Kidman, meanwhile, scored Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for Moulin Rouge--Baz Luhrmann's eyeball-popping Parisian musical that picked up three awards Sunday, including Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy.
"This is really, really special because I never thought I'd be in a musical, let alone win an award for that," Kidman said. "I have one man to thank for that, Mr. Baz Luhrmann...He's innovative and a visionary."
Sissy Spacek was named Best Dramatic Actress for her role opposite Tom Wilkinson as an emotionally tortured married couple in Todd Field's In the Bedroom. And Robert Altman was named Best Director for his British ensemble murder mystery, Gosford Park.
The absent Gene Hackman was named Best Actor, Musical/Comedy for his patriarchal title role in Wes Anderson's quirky family fable, The Royal Tenenbaums. Best Supporting Actor honors, meanwhile, went to Jim Broadbent for his role as a loving husband opposite an Alzheimer's-afflicted Judi Dench in Iris.
The Brits, however, just couldn't keep up, as five Aussies scored Golden Globes Sunday: Crowe, Kidman, Luhrmann, Moulin Rouge composer Craig Armstrong and Rachel Griffiths, who was named Best Supporting Actress on the TV side for the night's surprise Best Drama winner, Alan Ball's HBO series Six Feet Under.
Tying Six Feet Under with two wins was Sex and the City, as HBO's ladies of Gotham scored their third straight honor for Best TV Musical/Comedy Series, and Sarah Jessica Parker nabbed her third consecutive Best Actress trophy.
But other than that, it was a night of huge upsets, as rookie nominees took over and The Sopranos and The West Wing left empty-handed.
Jennifer Garner was named Best Actress in a Drama for her lead role on ABC's rookie spy thriller Alias. And in the Best Actor categories, a pair of former Young Guns cemented their respective comebacks: Kiefer Sutherland scored lead acting honors in a drama for his Fox real-time thriller 24 and Charlie Sheen shocked everyone (including himself) with a win for Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy for ABC's Spin City.
"This is so surreal," Sheen said. "It's like a sober acid trip. Oh my God, this is really happening!"
Not-so-surprising, meanwhile, was Judy Davis scoring a Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie for her acclaimed role as Judy Garland in ABC's Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows. And James Franco was named Best Actor for his title role in James Dean.
The Golden Globes are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association--a little-known batch of nearly 100 journalists representing such international publications as Canada's Flare and France's Le Figaro. But with the NBC-televised, Dick Clark-produced event always great for publicity, the Globes can often boost a film's chances for an Academy Award.
Notable snubs of the evening? Aside from The West Wing and The Sopranos dissings (both went 0-for-3), NBC's Will & Grace went away Globe-less despite five nominations. And Ben Kingsley missed out on a Globe despite two nominations, for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for Sexy Beast and Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie for Anne Frank.
On the big screen, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Ali, The Lord of the Rings, The Man Who Wasn't There and Mulholland Drive all went 0-for-3.
Action-star Everyman Harrison Ford was honored with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Cecil B. DeMille Award, for "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field"--or more specifically, 35 movies over four decades, including Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Witness, The Fugitive and Patriot Games.
"In anticipation of tonight, I wrote two speeches--A long one and a short one. I'll give you the short one: Thank you," he said. "But it seems there might be enough time for the long one as well, which is: Thank you very much."
Complete list of winners.