World War I Movie '1917' Shocks Hollywood at the Golden Globes

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George MacKay stars in the World War I movie "1917." (Universal)

"1917" (opening in theaters around the U.S. this weekend) won awards for Best Motion Picture -- Drama and Best Director at the 2020 Golden Globes, taking the trophies in the only two categories in which the movie was nominated.

Sam Mendes quit his gig as director of the James Bond movies to make "1917," and his bet seems to be paying off. Mendes previously won the Best Director Golden Globe for 1999's "American Beauty" and went on to win the Oscar, while the movie won Best Picture.

Brad Pitt's performance as Cliff Booth, a World War II veteran-turned-stuntman with a potentially dark past, in "Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood" earned him a second Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, following his earlier win for 1995's "12 Monkeys."

Related: Cliff Booth, the WWII Hero Who Should Have Changed History

"Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood" also won Quentin Tarantino an award for Best Screenplay, and the movie was named Best Motion Picture -- Comedy or Musical.

Related: 'The Irishman' - A Lonely World War II Vet Searches for Redemption

"The Irishman," Martin Scorsese's epic about WWII veteran-turned-mob hitman Frank Sheeran, was completely shut out at the ceremony. The picture, considered the favorite going into awards season, now has a few dings in its armor as it heads into Oscar battle.

"1917" follows two young soldiers on a life-or-death mission. British troops are walking into a German trap and, unless they get a heads-up about the danger, are sure to be wiped out in battle. Mendes and legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins conceived the movie as one continuous shot, and the technical achievement of "1917" is undeniable.

Related: Will '1917' Make Americans Care About the Great War?

2019 was a great year for movies, and "1917" is a shock choice from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. "The Irishman," "Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood," Best Foreign Language Motion Picture winner "Parasite" or the surprisingly unnominated films "Ford v Ferrari" and "Uncut Gems" all seem like more likely winners and are certainly films that we'll remember in 2030.

"1917" is more like "Midway" with fancier camerawork. Now, "Midway" is a fine old-fashioned WWII movie, but it was never going to get serious awards buzz no matter how much regular people liked it. "1917" is most definitely worth a trip to the theater. It's like the best roller coaster ride, completely overwhelming while you're taking it and not something you think about much a day or two later.

Next up: Oscar nominations will be announced on Monday, Jan. 13. Come back then for your military movie awards update.

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