What happened
Tim Burton’s dark musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street hauled in awards and Atonement took the trophy for best drama at the 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards, but the normally glitzy warm-up for the Oscars was reduced to a relatively brief live press conference due to the Writers Guild of America strike. (People.com)

What the commentators said
What a “bizarrely sedate half-hour” of TV that was, said Natalie Finn in E! Online. The picks for the best films and performances of the year were interesting, but there were no stars on hand to accept the awards. Which makes you wonder: “If the Golden Globes are handed out, but no one is there to collect them, did it ever really happen?”

Oh, it happened, said Mary McNamara in the Los Angeles Times (free registration), but “we must never let this happen again.” After that “bleak” and joyless, “strike-stricken” disaster, everyone who has ever griped that the show has “become too over-hyped, too glitzy, too darn full of itself,” must surely be overwhelmed by the “queasy anguish of regret.”

The award presenters “rattled off the winners like flight attendants tossing out bags of peanuts on a no-frills airline,” said Gregg Kilday in The Hollywood Reporter. The question is whether the absence of pomp will reduce the Globes' influence on the selection of Oscar winners. The Golden Globes “inevitably will be trumpeted in advertisements promoting the films,” but “their impact could be limited because winners and nominees lost out on most of the exposure to a wide network audience that a traditional Globes broadcast would have earned.”