BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The Iran hostage thriller “Argo” was a surprise best-drama winner at last night’s Golden Globes, beating out the Civil War epic “Lincoln,” which had emerged as an awards-season favorite.
“Argo” also claimed the directing prize for Ben Affleck, a prize that normally bodes well for an Academy Award win — except he missed out on an Oscar nomination this time.
Affleck’s now in an unusual position during Hollywood’s long awards season, taking home the top filmmaking trophy at the second-highest film honors knowing he does not have a shot at an Oscar.
And the night left “Argo” taking home the top prize at the Globes but standing as a longshot for best picture at the Feb. 24 Oscars, where films almost never win if their directors are not nominated.
In a breathless, rapid-fire speech, Affleck gushed over the names of other nominees presenter Halle Berry had read off: Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln,” Ang Lee for “Life of Pi,” Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty” and Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained.”
“Look, I don’t care what the award is. When they put your name next to the names she just read off, it’s an extraordinary thing in your life,” Affleck said.
“Les Miserables” was named best musical or comedy, while Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway claimed acting prizes.
Besides the three wins for “Les Miserables” and two for “Argo,” the show was a mixed bag, with awards spread around a number of films. “Lincoln” came in leading with seven nominations but lost all but one, for Daniel Day-Lewis as best actor in the title role of “Lincoln.”
“Zero Dark Thirty” star Jessica Chastain won the Globe for dramatic actress as a CIA agent obsessively pursuing Bin Laden.
Other acting prizes went to Jennifer Lawrence as best musical or comedy actress for the oddball romance “Silver Linings Playbook” and Christoph Waltz as supporting actor for the slave-revenge tale “Django Unchained.”
“Les Miserables,” the musical based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel earned Jackman the Globe for musical or comedy actor as tragic hero Jean Valjean. Hathaway won supporting actress as a single mom forced into prostitution.
“Thank you for this lovely blunt object that I will forevermore use as a weapon against self-doubt,” Hathaway said.
Former President Bill Clinton upstaged Hollywood’s elite with a surprise appearance to introduce Spielberg’s Civil War epic “Lincoln,” which was up for best drama.
The film chronicles Abraham Lincoln’s final months as he tries to end the war and find common ground in a divided Congress to pass the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.
Lincoln’s effort was “forged in a cauldron of both principle and compromise,” Clinton said. “This brilliant film shows us how he did it and gives us hope that we can do it again.”
Amy Poehler, co-host of the Globes with Tina Fey, gushed afterward, “Wow, what an exciting special guest! That was Hillary Clinton’s husband!”
Lawrence won as best actress in a musical or comedy for her role as a troubled widow in a shaky new relationship.
The Globe winners in musical or comedy categories often aren’t factors at the Oscars, which tend to favor heavier dramatic roles.
But “Silver Linings Playbook” is a crowd-pleasing comic drama with deeper themes than the usual comedy. And Lawrence — a 2010 Oscar nominee for her breakout film “Winter’s Bone” who shot to superstardom with “The Hunger Games” — delivers a nice mix of humor and melancholy.
“What does this say? I beat Meryl,” Lawrence joked as she looked at her award, referring to fellow nominee and multiple Globe winner Meryl Streep.
Waltz won supporting actor for his role as a genteel bounty hunter who takes on an ex-slave as apprentice.
The win was Waltz’s second supporting-actor prize at the Globes, both of them coming in Tarantino films. Waltz’s violent but paternal and polite “Django” character is a sharp contrast to the wickedly bloodthirsty Nazi he played in his Globe and Oscar-winning role in Tarantino’s 2009 tale “Inglourious Basterds.”
Tarantino won the screenplay prize for “Django Unchained.” He thanked his cast and also the group of friends to whom he reads work-in-progress for reaction.
“You guys don’t know how important you are to my process. I don’t want input. I don’t want you to tell me if I’m doing anything wrong. Heavens forbid,” Tarantino said. “When I read it to you, I hear it through your ears, and it lets me know I’m on the right track.”
Pop star Adele and co-writer Paul Epworth won for best song for their theme tune to the James Bond adventure “Skyfall.”
Golden Globe winners MOTION PICTURES Picture, Drama: "Argo." Picture, Musical or Comedy: "Les Miserables." Actor, Drama: Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln." Actress, Drama: Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty." Director: Ben Affleck, "Argo." Actor, Musical or Comedy: Hugh Jackman, "Les Miserables." Actress, Musical or Comedy: Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook." Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained." Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables." Foreign Language: "Amour." Animated Film: "Brave." Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained." Original Score: Mychael Danna, "Life of Pi." Original Song: "Skyfall" (music and lyrics by Adele and Paul Epworth), "Skyfall." TELEVISION Series, Drama: "Homeland." Series, Musical or Comedy: "Girls." Actress, Drama: Claire Danes, "Homeland." Actor, Drama: Damian Lewis, "Homeland." Actress, Musical or Comedy: Lena Dunham, "Girls." Actor, Musical or Comedy: Don Cheadle, "House of Lies." Miniseries or Movie: "Game Change." Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Julianne Moore, "Game Change." Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Kevin Costner, "Hatfields & McCoys." Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey." Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Ed Harris, "Game Change." Previously announced: Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award: Jodie Foster.