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Globes are not afraid of the dark

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"ATONEMENT," director Joe Wright's epic romantic drama of redemption starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, won the 65th annual Golden Globe award for best motion picture drama Sunday evening, capping off a night overshadowed by the crippling Writers Guild strike.

The film, which had received seven Globe nominations but had gone largely overlooked by critics organizations and in the guild nominations, also captured best original score.

The 10-week strike forced the cancellation of the usually star-studded Golden Globe Awards ceremony that was to be telecast from the Beverly Hilton Hotel on NBC. It was replaced by an all-media press conference, where TV reporters who specialize in celebrity news -- such as "Entertainment Tonight's" Mary Hart -- announced the winners.

The top drama prizes went to Daniel Day-Lewis for his portrayal of a greedy oil tycoon in "There Will Be Blood" and Julie Christie as a woman suffering from Alzheimer's disease in "Away from Her." Johnny Depp won for best actor in a comedy or musical as the vengeful, razor-wielding "Sweeney Todd," which also took home the best film honors in that category.

"I feel very thrilled with [the award]," said "Sweeney Todd" producer Richard D. Zanuck, who learned of the win while watching TV at his son's Beverly Hills home. As for the absence of a proper ceremony, he said, "It's odd, but it doesn't take away from the honor of winning."

France's Marion Cotillard won for best actress in a comedy or musical for her depiction of legendary singer Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose."

"I was surprised," Cotillard said, calling from her hotel room, where she was sipping champagne. "This year there are so many beautiful performances, so many great movies -- especially for a French actress, performing in French."

It is the first Golden Globe win for both Depp and Cotillard.

Hulking Spaniard Javier Bardem was named best supporting actor for his chilling turn as a brutal assassin in "No Country for Old Men," with the visceral western noir netting best screenplay honors for brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. Australian Cate Blanchett won best supporting actress for her audacious turn in the offbeat Bob Dylan biopic "I'm Not There."

Julian Schnabel won best director for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," the poignant story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the former editor of French Elle magazine who suffered a devastating stroke that left him paralyzed save for one eye. "Diving Bell" also won best foreign-language film honors.

"It was an amazing experience to make it," producer Kathleen Kennedy said. "To me, 'Diving Bell' transcended language, country and genre because it was a universal story about the human heart."

Disney/Pixar's blockbuster "Ratatouille" captured best animated film. "Guaranteed," from the "Into the Wild" soundtrack, was named best original song.

On the television front, HBO's "Longford," a drama about serial murders in England during the early 1960s, won best miniseries or movie, best actor for Jim Broadbent and supporting actress for Samantha Morton.

"Mad Men," AMC's stylish series set in the world of Madison Avenue advertising, won best dramatic TV series, with star Jon Hamm taking best actor.

"I'm not going to pretend it's not a big deal to sit in a room with all the movie stars," "Mad Men" creator Matt Weiner said. "To get to see George Clooney, Clint Eastwood. When you're in the television business, it's fun to see the movie people."

In the end, however, he said, "We ended up having an amazing experience. It was intimate and real. And we didn't have to thank long lists of people."

HBO's dark showbiz sendup "Extras," from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, took the best series comedy or musical prize, with David Duchovny winning best actor in a comedy series for "Californication" and Tina Fey earning best comedic actress honors for her series, "30 Rock."

Glenn Close was named best actress in a drama series for her ruthless lawyer in "Damages," while Queen Latifah won for best actress in a miniseries or TV movie for "Life Support." Jeremy Piven won best supporting actor in a series, miniseries or TV movie for his turn as sleazy super agent Ari Gold in HBO's "Entourage."

Piven was on the set of his upcoming film "The Goods" when he heard "Access Hollywood's" Billy Bush read his name. "It was one of those surreal moments," Piven said. Instead of a ballroom full of colleagues in formal wear, "I was standing in the trailer by myself." Later, he said he opened a bottle of champagne for the cast and crew of the comedy, which is being produced by Will Ferrell.

In a way, he said it was "too bad" that he wasn't able to have his moment in the ballroom. "There are people I look forward to having a moment with. I'll run into someone like Mike Nichols and get a little bit of advice from a master. Those are things you remember your whole life."

susan.king@latimes.com

robert.welkos@latimes.com

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