Iran hostage drama Argo scored a sweet double victory at the Golden Globe awards on Sunday, winning best movie drama – the night’s top prize – and best director for Ben Affleck on a night that left front-runner “Lincoln” with just one trophy.
Musical “Les Miserables” won the contest for best comedy or musical, as well as acting awards for stars Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway.
But elsewhere, it was a night of surprises at Hollywood’s second biggest awards show after the Oscars in February.
Actress Jodie Foster publicly acknowledged for the first time that she is gay, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton appeared at the glitzy ceremony.
Yet the big story was the defeat of Steven Spielberg’s drama about U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s battle to end slavery – which went into Sunday’s ceremony with a leading seven nominations – and the triumph of Affleck in the director’s race.
Affleck was overlooked in the directing category when Oscar nominations were announced last Thursday, although “Argo” was short-listed for best film at the Oscar ceremony to be held on February 24.
“Argo” combines the true story of the rescue of U.S. diplomats from Tehran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979 under the guise of making a movie, with a satire on Hollywood.
“Argo” producer George Clooney told reporters backstage on Sunday that he was disappointed at Affleck’s personal snub by the Academy Awards voters.
“I think he did a phenomenal job with the film. I felt that he should have been nominated, but you can’t figure out what goes on in the Academy and he’s still nominated for best picture…It’s disappointing, but we’re not out of the water just yet,” Clooney said.
British actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays Abraham Lincoln, got the only Golden Globe win for “Lincoln,” which has a leading 12 Oscar nominations.
Instead, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which organizes the Golden Globes, showed their admiration for Quentin Tarantino’s slavery era Western “Django Unchained.”
“Django” won two awards – for Tarantino’s screenplay, and Christoph Waltz’s supporting actor turn as a dentist turned bounty hunter.
“Wow! … This is a damn surprise, and I am happy to be surprised,” Tarantino said, accepting his screenplay award.
The Golden Globes are sometimes seen as an indication of sentiment ahead of the Oscars, but the two voting bodies are very different and Oscar nominations were announced this year before Sunday’s ceremony.
In other key races, Jessica Chastain, won, as expected, for her role as a young female CIA agent who tracks down Osama bin Laden in thriller “Zero Dark Thirty.”
“I have wanted to be an actor since I was a little girl…To be here now is a beautiful feeling to receive this encouragement and support,” Chastain said.
In the best comedy or musical category, Jennifer Lawrence won best actress for “Silver Linings Playbook” while was best supporting actress.
“Thank you for this lovely blunt object that I will ever more use as a weapon against self-doubt,” said Hathaway as she accepted her trophy. The actress lost 25 pounds in weight and chopped off her long brown hair to play tragic heroine Fantine in “Les Miserables.”