"Girls," the HBO dramedy about a group of twenty-something women coping with life in New York City, was the surprise winner at the 70th Golden Globe Awards Sunday night.
The show won best series in the comedy category, and the show's creator, writer and star Lena Dunham was named winner in the lead actress in a television series, comedy division. While the show's first season wasn't the biggest winner of the night, it was quite buzzed-about.
A visibly stunned Dunham thanked her co-nominees, calling particular attention to show hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler -- both of whom she beat for the award -- for getting her through "middle school, mono" and her adolescent anxieties.
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Hers was just one of many tributes to pioneering women that came during an engaging show that alternated largely harmless but funny jokes with moments of heartfelt gratitude. Fey and Poehler lent a light, free-wheeling touch to the Globes, which had taken a sharper tone over the past three years with Ricky Gervais as host.
("Ricky Gervais could not be here tonight as he is no longer technically in showbiz,” Fey said as she, and Poehler took the stage.)
There was still plenty of room for serious fare, as political intrigue ruled the night with "Homeland," "Game Change" and movies "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Lincoln" all taking home prizes.
But it was "Argo," the Academy Award-snubbed picture about the Iran hostage crisis that took home two big awards, winning best motion picture, drama and earning director Ben Affleck a top prize.
"I don't care what the Award is," a diplomatic Affleck said in his acceptance speech, adding that being named in a field which included Steven Spielberg, Kathryn Bigelow, Ang Lee and Quentin Tarantino was honor enough.
"Les Miserables," the gritty musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's story of the French Revolution won for motion picture, comedy or musical.
Heavy favorite Anne Hathaway garnered the supporting actress in a motion picture gong for her role as the doomed Fantine. Hathaway held aloft her statuette as she thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for "this blunt instrument" she promised to use in future battles with self doubt.
Her costar Hugh Jackman walked away with the award for lead actor, joking that whomever stole his bike's tires the day of his audition could just keep them now.
Funny duos were the standouts of the evening as Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig; Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger and the continuing presence of Fey and Poehler kept the gags rolling. While humor free, former President Bill Clinton's appearance to introduce the clip for "Lincoln" added gravitas.
The HFPA has always had a soft spot for historical pieces and this year's awards were no different. Though history of a more modern age lead the charge in the television categories with political fare “Game Change” and “Homeland” being the big winners.
“Game Change” – the HBO film based on events of the 2008 United States presidential election campaign took best television miniseries or movie; Ed Harris took supporting actor; and Julianne Moore's portrayal of Sarah Palin won best leading actress in the category.
In her acceptance speech, Moore gave a shout out of thanks to Tina Fey and Katie Couric, calling them a “significant part” in the telling of the story due to Couric’s famous interview with the vice presidential hopeful and Fey’s spot-on impersonations on “SNL.”
Showtime’s “Homeland,” the paranoia-filled series from Showtime about a CIA officer and the Marine she believes was turned by al-Qaeda as a prisoner of war was awarded best television series, drama; star Damian Lewis nabbed the lead actor, drama prize and Claire Danes took lead actress.
In other TV categories, Kevin Costner took lead actor in television miniseries or movie for “Hatfields & McCoys,” Don Cheadle was named lead actor in a series, comedy, and an absent Maggie Smith was named best supporting actress in a TV miniseries or movie for her haughty turn as the Dowager Countess in the PBS juggernaut “Downton Abbey.”
One of the night's best and certainly most intriguing moments was Jodie Foster's acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.
"I’m 50!” Foster declared with pride as she accepted the award from her friend and collaborator Robert Downey Jr.
It was a statement as much about her ground breaking 47 years in the business as it was about how good she looks.
That light-hearted opening was followed by an often moving speech that touched on her sexualilty (“I did my coming out about a thousand years ago”), homelife (“my own version of ‘Modern Family’) her sometimes fractious relationship with her mother (“I love you, I love you, I love you”) and her ongoing battle with the media’s intrusion on her private life (“my reality show would be so boring”).
In wrapping up, Foster thanked her friends Downey Jr., Mel Gibson (who was seated beside her throughout the evening) and the Globes ceremony itself: “It’s the most fun party of the year,” she said beaming, “and tonight I feel like the prom queen.”
Other winners included Daniel Day Lewis (lead actor for "Lincoln"), "Zero Dark Thirty's" Jessica Chastain for leading actress, drama, Christophe Waltz (supporting actor for “Django Unchained"), Quentin Tarantino (screenplay for "Django"), the French-language drama from Austria "Amour" (best foreign picture), "Life of Pi" (original score), new mom Adele for orignal song ("Skyfall") and "Brave" (animated picture).
“I get to say ‘I beat Meryl,’” joked Jennifer Lawrence when accepting the award for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook.” She was up against Streep (who was home battling a case of the flu) in the leading actress in a motion picture category.
Lawrence was also pulling focus earlier in the evening when she hit the red carpet in one of the hottest fashion trends of night: head to toe red. “It was a last-minute decision,” Lawrence said of her Dior Haute Couture scarlet gown, accessorized with a thin metallic silver belt. The “Hunger Games” star revealed she only tried on two dresses before deciding on the Dior.
Other attendees draped in crimson variations included Megan Hilty of “Smash,” Clare Danes of “Homeland” in draped Versace, Zooey Deschanel in Oscar de la Renta, Marion Cotillard, also in Dior, Naomi Watts in curve-hugging Zac Posen and “The Newsroom’s” Allison Pill.
Megan Fox continued the palette in a dusty rose Dolce & Gabbana while Lucy Liu literally had vines of full blooms climbing about her full Carolina Herrera gown. “I would call it ballet pink,” “The Master's” best supporting actress nominee Amy Adams told In Style of her mermaid Marchesa design.
Host Fey opted for the another big trend of the evening when choosing her entrance ensemble: surface embellishment. Fey’s L’Wren Scott tea-length dress of ivory satin was over-layed with glittering black lace. Reem Acra-clad Isla Fisher, “Django Unchained’s” Kerry Washington (in Miu Miu) and best supporting actress nominee for “Les Mes” Anne Hathaway (in Chanel) were also awash in bugle beads and sequins.