By Fern Robinson – Ben Affleck’s Iran hostage drama Argo and the musical Les Miserables were the big winners Sunday at the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards, while Steven Spielberg’s heavily favored presidential drama Lincoln won only one major award.
Argo won the best dramatic motion picture prize and Affleck picked up the best director prize for the film about the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran.
Affleck beat stiff competition to win the director’s prize. Also nominated for best dramatic director were Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty, Ang Lee for Life of Pi, Steven Spielberg for Lincoln and Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained – the same films nominated for the best film prize.
As expected, Les Miserables – the film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 19th century novel – was the winner of the Globes best comedy or musical category, and its stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway won acting honors.
Best actor, actress
Jessica Chastain won the Globe for dramatic actress for her role in Zero Dark Thirty as a CIA agent obsessively pursuing Osama Bin Laden.
British actor Daniel Day Lewis won the award for the best dramatic performance for his role in Lincoln, the Spielberg film about the president who steered the U.S. through its civil war. The film focused on the legislative battle to pass the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery just months before Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
Other film 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 film Django Unchained.
Terrorism-themed thriller Homeland and the quirky hipster comedy Girls took top television honors.
Showtime’s Homeland, the story of a CIA agent who suspects a Marine who was held by al-Qaida for eight years was returned home because he has been turned into a terrorist, won for best dramatic series, and took home best actress and best actor honors for its two stars, Claire Danes and Britain’s Damian Lewis.
HBO’s Girls took best comedy series, as well as best actress for its 26-year-old creator and star Lena Dunham.
Julianne Moore won a best actress Globe for her role as Sarah Palin in Game Change, which also was picked as best TV miniseries or movie and earned Ed Harris a supporting actor prize for his portrayal of John McCain.
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton delivered what some called the best performance of the night. His surprise appearance won a standing ovation before he even spoke. Mr. Clinton introduced footage of Lincoln.
The Golden Globes are voted on by about 90 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. It is frequently regarded as a harbinger of the Academy Awards, which will be handed out next month.