Bashir waltzes off with a Globe


Israel’s Waltz with Bashir won the Golden Globe for best foreign-language film on Sunday night and immediately strengthened its status as favourite to take home Israel’s first Oscar at next month’s Academy Awards.

The edgy, animated film about a traumatised veteran trying to recover his memories of the 1982 Lebanon war, beat entries from Germany, France, Italy and Sweden at the ceremony at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles.

In his acceptance speech, director Ari Folman dedicated the award to the eight babies (including three of his own) born to the film’s production staff during the four years it took to complete the picture.

“I hope that when they grow up, these babies will watch this film together and will see it as an ancient video game that has nothing to do with reality,” Folman said.

Nonetheless, many critics have commented recently on the picture’s relevance to the current fighting in Gaza.

It was a good night too for two Jewish icons of the cinema — Steven Spielberg was honoured with the Cecil B DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, while Woody Allen fuelled the rumours of a return to form by picking up the prize for best musical or comedy picture for Vicky Christina Barcelona. British director Mike Leigh also had something to smile about — Sally Hawkins, the star of his film Happy Go Lucky won the best actress in a musical or comedy award.

Handing over Allen’s award, Sacha Baron Cohen drew boos from the audience for remarks about how the recession was impacting on Hollywood.

The Borat actor quipped that: “Even Madonna has had to get rid of one of her personal assistants. Our thoughts go out to you, Guy Ritchie.”

Ricky Gervais also stunned guests at the ceremony by a remark directed at actress Kate Winslet. Referring to her best supporting actress award for her role as a former Nazi death camp guard in The Reader, the comedian said: “Well done, Winslet. I told you, do a Holocaust movie and the awards come, didn’t I?”

The comment recalled lines spoken by Winslet when she appeared as herself in an episode of Gervais’s TV comedy, Extras.

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