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Argo, Ben Affleck‘s thriller about the Iranian hostage crisis, was named best motion picture drama at the 70th annual Golden Globes on Sunday night as the glittery awards show hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association spread its film awards far and wide. Grant Heslov, who shared producing honors with Affleck and George Clooney, hailed Affleck as “our fearless leader” and used the moment in the spotlight to acknowledge the work of America’s diplomatic and clandestine services.
Les Miserables, the all-singing movie about injustice in 19th century France, was crowned best comedy or musical, and with three trophies, the Universal release, produced with Working Title, was the biggest winner of the night. It also earned acting trophies for stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway. In his acceptance, producer Eric Fellner recognized its director Tom Hooper, “without whom this film would not have been made,” and he thanked the HFPA “for recognizing the passion and love that went into this film.”
Warners’ Argo, for which Affleck also earned directing honors, went home with two awards, as did The Weinstein Co.’s Django Unchained, for which Quentin Tarantino picked up the screenplay award and Christoph Waltz got best supporting actor. DreamWorks’ Lincoln, which arrived at the Beverly Hilton for the evening’s prize-fest with a leading seven nominations, had to content itself with just one Globe: best dramatic actor for Daniel Day-Lewis.
Zero Dark Thirty‘s Jessica Chastain received the award for best dramatic actress for her performance as a CIA analyst doggedly pursuing Osama bin Laden. “I’ve wanted to be an actor since I was a little girl, and I worked for a really long time,” she said., “To be here now in this moment, it’s a beautiful feeling.” She thanked the movie’s financial backer Megan Ellison, its writer Mark Boal and especially her director Kathryn Bigelow for allowing her to play a “powerful, fearless” woman. For doing that, Chastain attested, Bigelow “has done more for women in cinema than you take credit for.”
It was the second Golden Globe for Lincoln‘s Day-Lewis, who also won for 2007’s There Will Be Blood. “Are you sure there is room for another ex-president on the stage,” he asked as he took the podium — a reference to President Bill Clinton, who in something of a coup for the Lincoln team appeared earlier in the evening to introduce a clip from the film. Day-Lewis paid tribute to his fellow nominees; thanked screenwriter Tony Kushner, saying, “Every day I have to live without the immeasurable wealth of your language which reminds me of the impoverishment of my own”; and lauded director Steven Spielberg, calling him “a humble master with a quicksilver imagination.”
Jennifer Lawrence claimed the first Golden Globe of her career as she was awarded the prize for best actress in a comedy or musical for playing a not-so-merry widow in David O. Russell‘s Silver Linings Playbook. “I am so honored to be part of a film like this,” she said, thanking Russell for “believing in me and giving me a chance,” her co-star Bradley Cooper and the film’s distributor Harvey Weinstein “for killing whoever you had to kill for getting me here today.
The award for best actor in a comedy or musical went to Jackman for anchoring Les Mis. Admitting he was recovering from the flu, he said: “I was kicking myself for not getting a flu shot, but it appears you don’t need one. I feel great.”
When the best director Globe was awarded to Affleck, the actor-turned-director — who won a Globe in 1998 for co-writing Good Will Hunting and who failed earlier in the week to earn an Oscar nomination as best director — almost seemed to be at a loss for words as he acknowledged the other directors in his category before going on to applaud CIA operative Tony Mendez, who he plays in the film. He hailed Mendez, who was present at the ceremony, saying: “Really this award is about Tony Mendez. He is an American hero.”
Waltz took home the first award of the night, best supporting actor for his performance as a bounty hunter in Django Unchained, shortly after the show got underway. Waltz, who won the same award three years ago for Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, said, “Quentin, you know my indebtedness to you, and my gratitude knows no words.”
Tarantino himself was singled out as winner of best motion picture screenplay. “This is a damn surprise, and I’m happy to be surprised,” said Tarantino, who previously won a screenwriting Globe for 1994’s Pulp Fiction, as he triumphed over competition that included Zero Dark Thirty‘s Boal and Lincoln‘s Kushner.
The Globe for best supporting actress went to Hathaway for her tragic turn as a fallen woman in Les Miserables. She paid special tribute to her fellow nominee Sally Field for successfully defying typecasting and also insisted that despite his reputation as “an aloof Englishman,” her director Hooper was crying right along with her on the movie’s set. “This blunt object,” she said as she cradled her trophy, “I will use forever more as a weapon against self-doubt.”
Composer Mychael Danna won his first Globe for the score of Life of Pi. He thanked the film’s director Ang Lee, saying, “Ang, I will always treasure this voyage we all made together.”
The title tune for the James Bond pic Skyfall earned the prize for best song, with the honors going to songwriters Adele — who also sang the song for the screen — and Paul Epworth. “Oh my God,” the singer enthused over and over before saying: “It’s very strange to be here. Thank you so much for letting me part of your world tonight.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone presented the award for best foreign film to Michael Haneke for Amour, his drama about a long-married couple facing the end of their lives together. Referring to Schwarzenegger, the Austrian director said, “I never thought I would get an award in Hollywood from an Austrian.”
Pixar/Disney’s Brave, about a young Scottish girl determined to follow her own path, was named best animated feature film, and its director Mark Andrews concluded his thanks by saying, “Being brave is about being true to yourself and allowing your loved ones the same freedom.”
Jodie Foster‘s appearance to accept the honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award turned into one of the night’s most unexpectedly dramatic moments. The actress-turned-director, who has always guarded her privacy, said, “I already did my coming out a thousand years ago, in the Stone Age. Those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to friends and family and co-workers, then gradually to everyone that knew her, everyone she actually met.” She went on to speak movingly of her “righteous soul sister in life” Cydney Bernard and her sons Charles and Christopher Foster.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, serving as hosts of the event for the first time, kicked off the proceedings, with Fey referring to the show’s host in recent years by saying, “Ricky Gervais could not be here tonight because he is no longer technically in show business.” But the combo proved that they could toss out a few barbs of their own, with Poehler confessing that she hadn’t followed the controversy surrounding Bigelow and her depiction of torture in Zero Dark Thirty, “but when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron.”
Heading into the evening, Lincoln, with seven nominations, was the odds-on favorite, followed by Argo and Django Unchained, with four noms each. On the comedy/musical side, Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook were evenly matched, with four nominations each.
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