The box office hit "Bridesmaids" had huge momentum with two nominations going into the only awards show that has a separate comedy category. This should have been girls' night out. But there was no love for the movie, which failed to win Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, or a best actress win for Kristen Wiig. Break-out star Melissa McCarthy was never in the running.
Also hurting was Brangelina, but at least the couple got to spend the long evening together. Pitt, who was up for a best actor award, lost out to pal George Clooney, and his "Moneyball" struck out too, going 0 for 4. His partner Angelina Jolie's directorial debut for "In the Land of Blood and Honey" also lost to the Iranian film "A Separation." The couple continued to smile like royalty to the bitter end of a night that seemed longer than it should have because wisecracking Gervais was more obnoxious than amusing -- and the audience could really see him sweat. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "Drive," "A Dangerous Method," "Young Adult," and "J. Edgar" also got no love from the Globes.
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Both "The Artist" and "The Descendants" gained awards momentum. The former swept the Golden Globes with three wins, including one for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. The nearly silent comedy about Hollywood's golden age rode a tide of authentic French accents and tied the tongues of presenters struggling to pronounce "Hazanavicius" and "Dujardin." "The Descendants" followed with two major awards: Best Motion Picture - Drama and a best actor award for Clooney.
While Madonna was shut out for directing her labor of love "W.E," she did get recognized. "This is a surprise," she said, after she stepped on stage to accept an award for "W.E." Instead, the diva-turned-director won for Best Song for "Masterpiece." The win clearly aggravated rival Sir Elton John, seated in the audience, snubbed for "Hello Hello" from the animated "Gnomeo and Juliet."
[ Photos: Red carpet gallery of all the stars arriving ]
In other unexpected news, the HFPA went old school, and just plain old, in writing and directing. Woody Allen, 76, won for "Midnight in Paris" over frontrunners "The Descendants" and "The Artist." (Allen didn't even bother to show up to receive the award.) Similarly, for "Hugo," director Martin Scorsese, 69, beat out George Clooney, who directed "The Ides of March." Oh, the humanity!
The Clooney-Pitt bromance continues. Clooney praised Pitt: "I'm a fan." And in a night that often turned on Clooney's charm, he arrived on stage to introduce Pitt's "Moneyball" carrying his "Ocean's Eleven" co-star's cane. "I have to give it back to him, he can't make it to the bar otherwise."
In another example of frontrunner love, Meryl Streep accepted her best actress win for "The Iron Lady," but didn't leave the stage without giving a shout-out to her "The Help" rival: "I love you, Viola. You're my girl."
The final word from the Globes is that "The Artist" and "The Descendants" now lead the pack in the run up to the Oscars, with nominations being announced on January 24. "Bridesmaids," "War Horse," "Moneyball" and "The Ides of March" have all fallen behind.