January 11th, 2009, a Sunday night at the Golden Globe Awards with a viewership of over 16 million all over the world could easily be the biggest night the awards have seen yet. The night’s big winners were Slumdog Millionaire, Kate Winslet, HBO’s mini-series John Adams and NBC’s 30Rock.

 Kate Winslet became the third person in the history of the Golden Globes to win two acting awards in the same year. She took home the award for leading performance in Revolutionary Road and for her supporting performance in The Reader. The au pair did it again, the Titanic co-stars share such chemistry on-screen that everything they touch turns to gold. Kate Winslet, a star who is so used to being honored at every other awards ceremony came prepared this time with a lengthy acceptance speech..

Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire took home top honors after walking away with best dramatic picture and Best Screenplay. All this thanks to A. R. Rahman, the first Indian to win at the Golden Globes. The tale presented half in Hindi and half in English went on to win even at the Academy Awards.

Woody Allen’s Vicky Christina Barcelona had the last laugh by winning the Best Comedy. Surprises were yet to come - fading star Mickey Rourke’s role in The Wrestler fetched him the prestigious award for Best Actor in a Drama. Bruce Springsteen won the Best Original Song for his theme song for The Wrestler.

Amidst an ongoing depression in the economy, the Globes managed to pull off a show that saw the stars welcome, applaud and celebrate with the winners. Even though the awards kept all political and tense discussions off the scripts, reality somehow took to the stage in the form of Ari Folman. The director of Waltz With Bashir won the award for Best Foreign Film. Hededicated the award to the eight babies born to crew members during the filming. The film deals with issues surrounding the current invasion of Gaza by Israel.

Colin Farrell’s portrayal of Ray, the hit man with a soft heart won him the award for Best in Actor in a Comedy for In Bruges. Sally Hawkins was judged the best actress in a comedy and musical film for her role in Mike Leigh directed Happy-Go-Lucky. The Meryl Streep starrer Doubt, received five nominations but had to go home empty handed, fortunately for them there were others on the boat too. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Frost/Nixon, both received five nominations each, but did not win in any category.

Heath Ledger’s brilliant performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight was awarded best supporting actor in a film. The actor, who passed away in January 2007, received a standing ovation from the audience as Director Christopher Nolan accepted the award on his behalf. Best animated film went to WALL-E another venture from Disney’s Pixar Animation Unit.

In the categories for Television, HBO’s John Adams raked in the awards. It picked up Best Actor (Paul Giamatti), best actress (Laura Linney), best supporting actor (Tom Wilkinson) and best mini-series. Anna Paquin won the best actress in a television drama series for her role in True Blood and Gabriel Byrne won for best actor in a television drama series for his role in In Treatment. NBC’s hit sitcom, 30 Rock was judged best comedy and its creator, Tina Fey took home the best actress in a comedy award. Alec Baldwin also part of the same show was awarded best actor. Mad Men won best drama, amidst ongoing disputes between creator Matthew Weiner and Lionsgate, the studio that produces the show. The annual Cecil B. DeMille Award was awarded to Steven Spielberg for “outstanding contribution to the entertainment field.”

The Golden Globes often criticized for its choice of films for the awards, is still believed to hold a substantial influence over the ratings of award winning films. The Academy Awards have been found to be in sync with the decisions of the Golden Globes for 14 years of the last 21.. The awards show has been known for its relaxing atmosphere with the amount of wine and champagne flowing, coupled with the dinner that the organizers had provided for the star studded evening. The organizers invited more than a few youth icons in the hope of garnering more attention from younger audiences. Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Miley Cyrus, James Franco were all present to woo the flash bulbs that went off on the red carpet. The show was set to make up for the previous year which was called off on account of a writers strike. And make up they did, with the newly modified statuette, the extravagant dinner and the host of stars sashaying down the red carpet, the Golden Globes were bigger and brighter than ever.