‘Argo’ Wins Golden Globe for Best Drama Over ‘Lincoln’

Time Warner Inc.’s “Argo” won Golden Globes for best drama and best director, beating “Lincoln” and shaking up the competition for next month’s Academy Awards.

“Les Miserables” won for best musical or comedy, best actor and best supporting actress at the the 70th annual awards yesterday in Beverly Hills, California. Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” with seven nominations, received one award, for Daniel Day-Lewis’s leading role in a drama.

The drama win and the award for director Ben Affleck re-establish “Argo,” set amid the 1979-1981 Iranian hostage crisis, in the race for the best-picture Oscar, where Affleck was left off the list of directing finalists. The snub was seen as hurting the film’s Oscar chances as “Lincoln” racked up the most nominations at both awards shows.

“I’m really grateful,” Affleck said backstage. “We were nominated for seven Oscars -- I’m thrilled. If you can’t be happy with that, there’s something wrong with you.”

The three awards for “Les Miserables” and two each for “Argo” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” bolstered those films’ Oscar credentials as well. The ceremony takes place Feb. 24.

The Golden Globes, chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, prime audiences to see movies they may have missed and provide an imperfect gauge of those most likely to win Academy Awards, the industry’s highest honor. The voters agreed last year, when “The Artist” won the best picture Oscar and the Globe for best musical or comedy. For 2008 movies, “Slumdog Millionaire” won the Academy Award for best picture and the Golden Globes equivalent for a drama.

‘Zero Overlap’

“It’s important to remember there is zero overlap in voters,” said Dave Karger, chief correspondent for Fandango.com. “The Golden Globes go a little more for the star-driven films. They often go more for spectacle, larger scale films.”

The Globes give out two awards each in the categories of best picture, best actor and best actress -- one for dramas, and one for musicals or comedies.

Among musicals and comedies, Hugh Jackman won for his role in “Les Miserables,” from Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, while Jennifer Lawrence received best actress honors for her role in Weinstein Co.’s “Silver Linings Playbook.” In drama, the winners were Day-Lewis and Jessica Chastain, for her role in Sony Corp.’s “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Anne Hathaway received the supporting-actress statuette for “Les Miserables.” The singer Adele was honored for her song “Skyfall,” written for the James Bond movie.

There was humor, surprise and controversy at this year’s Globes, where the highest-profile films touched on slavery, hostage-taking, terrorism and torture.

Poehler, Fey

Actresses Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosted the ceremony on Comcast’s NBC. They replaced three-time host Ricky Gervais, whose caustic humor was sometimes aimed at members of the audience and the press association itself. His replacements didn’t let up.

“As Ricky found out, when you go after the Hollywood foreign press they make you host the show two more times,” Poehler quipped during their opening routine.

Tony Mendez, the real-life ex-CIA agent whose story inspired “Argo,” helped introduce the film, while former President Bill Clinton made an appearance to promote “Lincoln,” lauding the Civil War president’s efforts, some unsavory, to force political enemies to compromise.

“This brilliant film shows us how he did it and gives us hope that we can do it again,” Clinton said.

Jodie Foster received the Cecil B. DeMille award for outstanding career contributions.

Torture Controversy

“Zero Dark Thirty,” about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, has generated controversy in Washington and in Hollywood by politicians, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, who object to the portrayal of harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding as helping to track down the al-Qaeda leader.

The film, which led the box office this weekend, its first in wide release, continues to stoke controversy. Actor Ed Asner condemned the movie for suggesting that torture was effective, the New York Times reported.

Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said in a statement that she stood by the filmmaker and any effort to punish artistic expression was “abhorrent.”

Joked Poehler: “When it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron,” a reference to director Kathryn Bigelow’s ex-husband, the “Avatar” director.

Django’s Revenge

“Django Unchained” picked up best screenplay for director Tarantino and best supporting actor for Christoph Waltz, who won for a second time. The movie, released by Weinstein Co., treats the topic of U.S. slavery from the perspective of a blood soaked spaghetti Western -- a very different take than Spielberg’s more traditionally paced “Lincoln.”

Tarantino’s movie has star Jamie Foxx exact revenge on slaveholders and reunite with his wife. The movie has been criticized for its violence and for its prolific use of a derogatory word for American blacks.

“I wanted a truly American story, told with the operatic stage and that canvas, and so it would have to be set in slave times in the antebellum South in Mississippi,” Tarantino said backstage. “If I used that word more than it was actually used in the antebellum South, then I would understand the criticism, but nobody is saying that. So I don’t believe I over-used the word.”

The three-hour awards telecast, which aired live in all time zones, was the most-watched Golden Globes ceremony in six years, NBC said today in an e-mailed statement. The show averaged 19.7 million viewers, 17 percent more than a year ago, NBC said, citing Nielsen data.

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