"Argo," based on the dramatic rescue of American diplomats during the Iran hostage crisis, won the best drama movie honor at the 70th annual Golden Globe awards Sunday night.
"Les Miserable," a big-screen adaptation of a Broadway musical, carried home the Golden Globe for best comedy or musical film as Hollywood's 2013 awards season unofficially launched in Beverly Hills.
Former President Bill Clinton was a surprise presenter on the stage of the Beverly Hilton, introducing a clip of best picture nominee "Lincoln," which he said has lessons for how a president must lead today.
Daniel Day-Lewis won the Golden Globe for best actor in a movie-drama for his portrayal of the 16th American president in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln."
Day-Lewis revealed backstage that near the end of filming he had a strange feeling that if Lincoln had not been assassinated he still would not have survived to lead the country through post-war reconstruction.
Jessica Chastain, who played a CIA analyst in "Zero Dark Thirty," won best actress in a drama movie. "This is a sweet dream come true," Chastain said in her acceptance speech.
She explained backstage why her preparation for the role of a real-life CIA analyst did not include talking to the person her role was based on. "I would not like to meet her, because if someone found out she would go to jail," she said.
The film has been criticized by some in Congress for its depiction of torture of terror suspects.
Ben Affleck, passed over for a best director Oscar nomination last week, won the best director Golden Globe for "Argo."
Affleck refused to acknowledge any disappointment backstage. "We got nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture," Affleck said. "I was thrilled. I'm elated tonight; I'm the luckiest guy in the world."
Hugh Jackman won the Globe for best actor in a movie comedy or musical for "Les Miserables," which he said was "a project of passion and it took a lot of courage to make it."
Jackman told reporters backstage that he went without drinking water for 36 hours to make his face look sunken for his role. "Do not anyone try this," Jackman said, explaining it made him ill.
Anne Hathaway, who played Fantine in "Les Miserables," won for best supporting actress in a movie. It was a role she saw her mother perform onstage when she was a child.
Hathaway thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association "for this lovely blunt object, that I will forever use as a weapon against my self-doubt."
"Silver Linings Playbook" star Jennifer Lawrence won the best actress in a comedy or musical movie Golden Globe. "What does it say? 'I beat Meryl!'" Lawrence said, a reference to Meryl Streep, who was also nominated for "Hope Springs."
Quentin Tarantino, given the best movie screenplay Globe, defended the frequent use of the N-word in "Django Unchained." Tarantino used the controversial N-word backstage, explaining that critics were not accusing him of using it "more than it was used in the South in 1858," when his film is set. Instead, they were "saying I should soften it. ... and I never do that when it comes to my characters."
Christoph Waltz was awarded the Globe for best supporting actor in a movie for his role in Tarantino's "Django Unchained."
"Quentin, you know that my indebtedness to you knows no words," Waltz said in his acceptance speech.
Waltz also won a Globe and an Oscar two years ago for his portrayal of a German colonel in Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds."
Jodie Foster spoke up for the privacy of celebrities as she accepted the Golden Globes' Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award.
Her speech also included references that led some reporters to suspect she was considering retirement from acting after a decades-long career.
"I'm more into it than I've ever been," Foster said backstage. She would never quit, she said.
Adele, who has not been seen on a red carpet since she gave birth to a son in October, won best original song in a movie award for writing and singing "Skyfall," the title song for the latest James Bond movie.
"Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!" Adele exclaimed as she was handed the award. "It's very strange to be here. Thank you for letting me be part of your world tonight."
She told reporters backstage that she was "a little bit over excited," noting it was her "first night out" since giving birth.