Jennifer Lawrence Wins Best Actress Globe for Comedy

Jennifer Lawrence won the Golden Globe for best actress, musical or comedy, for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook” at the 70th annual awards show.

Lawrence beat rivals including Meryl Streep for the award, presented in a telecast by NBC. Actresses Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosted the ceremony tonight from Beverly Hills, California. “Lincoln” leads the nominations with seven, including best picture and best director.

The Globes, chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, provide an imperfect gauge of which films are 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.

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

Christoph Waltz won the Globe for best supporting actor for his role in Weinstein Co.’s “Django Unchained.” Anne Hathaway received the supporting-actress statuette for “Les Miserables,” from Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures.

The singer Adele was honored for her song “Skyfall,” written for the James Bond movie. Former President Bill Clinton and former spy Tony Mendez made surprise appearances.

‘Lincoln,’ Poehler

Globe winners are chosen by HFPA membership of about 90 journalists who write for publications based outside the U.S. The academy has more than 6,000 members, primarily artists, craftsmen, executives and publicists.

Nominations for “Lincoln,” about the 16th president’s campaign to abolish slavery, included best motion picture, drama; best actor in a drama for Daniel Day-Lewis’s portrayal of Lincoln; and best director for Steven Spielberg. The film was produced by Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Co. and News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox.

Poehler and Fey replaced three-time host Ricky Gervais, whose performances were noted for caustic humor sometimes aimed at members of the audience and the Hollywood Press Association itself. They 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.

‘Argo,’ ‘Zero’

“Argo,” director Ben Affleck’s drama about the Iranian hostage crisis, was second in nominations with five, including best picture -- drama and best director. The film is from Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros.

“Zero Dark Thirty” director Kathryn Bigelow and Affleck, both snubbed for a best-director Oscar nomination, were among those competing in the category at tonight’s presentation.

Both films were thought by critics and fans to be among the most likely Oscar contenders, according to, a website that aggregates predictions by entertainment journalists, website editors and readers. “Les Miserables” director Tom Hooper, another favorite, also was left out.

Bin Laden

“Kathryn Bigelow was robbed,” producer Megan Ellison, whose Annapurna Pictures made and financed the movie, said in a post on Twitter after Oscar nominations were announced on Jan. 10.

“Zero Dark Thirty,” about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, has been criticized by politicians, including Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein. They object to the movie’s suggestion that harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding helped 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 the effort to limit the artistic expression was “abhorrent,” the newspaper said.

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

With awards favorites taking on serious subjects like slavery, hostage-taking and terrorism, the Globes offered some surprises onstage. Mendez, the real-life ex-CIA agent whose story inspired “Argo,” helped introduce the film, while Clinton made an appearance to promote “Lincoln,” lauding the efforts portrayed in the film, 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.

Front Runners

With a win tonight, “Lincoln” would cement its status as frontrunner for the Academy Awards on Feb. 24. It received 12 Oscar nominations, while “Life of Pi” received 11.

For “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” wins at the Globes may help restore momentum for a possible best-picture Oscar after their directos were left out.

Because Oscars ballots are secret, it is impossible to know how close Bigelow and Affleck were. Nominees for the category are picked by the 400-member directors branch, Karger said. All of the academy’s members vote to choose the winner.

“Often the directors branch doesn’t go for the larger scale movies, but those that speak to them and have a real point of view, like ‘‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’’ and ‘‘Amour,’’ Karger said. ‘‘Whereas the Golden Globes go for the big names.’’

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