BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The Iran hostage thriller “Argo" was a surprise best-drama winner at Sunday’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 is 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 MisÚrables" was named best musical or comedy, while Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway claimed acting prizes.
Besides the three wins for “Les MisÚrables" and two for “Argo," the show was a mixed bag, with awards spreads 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 Osama 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 MisÚrables," 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.
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.
Show hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler had a friendly rivalry at the Globes. Both were nominated for best actress in a TV comedy series — Fey for “30 Rock" and Poehler for “Parks and Recreation."
“Tina, I just want to say that I very much hope that I win," Poehler told Fey at the start of the show.
“Thank you. You’re my nemesis. Thank you," Fey replied.
Neither won. Lena Dunham claimed the comedy series Globe for “Girls."
Among other TV winners, 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. “Homeland" was named best TV drama series, with its stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis receiving the dramatic acting awards.