Jan. 14, 2013 at 1:05 AM ET
Who needs the Oscars? Ben Affleck may have been snubbed by the Academy Award nominations, but he took center stage at the Golden Globes Sunday night. Affleck claimed the best director honor and his film, "Argo," won the award for best drama.
"Look, I don't care what the award is," Affleck said while accepting the director's award, going on to extol the virtues of his fellow nominees.
Affleck also won the Critics' Choice best director award Thursday night, joking in his acceptance there that, "I'd like to thank the academy."
Many had thought the directing award would go to Steven Spielberg for "Lincoln," but that acclaimed film won only one award, for lead actor Daniel Day-Lewis. Day-Lewis, a heavy favorite to repeat with an Oscar win on Feb. 24, thanked Spielberg, saying "you have given me an experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life."
And "Argo" winning for best motion picture drama was a stunner as well. Many expected that award to go to either "Lincoln" or "Zero Dark Thirty," Kathryn Bigelow'ssearing look at the hunt to find Osama bin Laden.
While Bigelow and "Zero Dark Thirty" didn't win their categories, the film wasn't shut out. In another win that could easily be repeated at the Academy Awards, Jessica Chastain won for best actress in a motion picture drama for playing the CIA agent whose work led to the final raid on bin Laden's compound.
Chastain said that she had "wanted to be an actress since I was a little girl." She also thanked her grandmother for "teaching me to always believe in my dreams, and this is an absolute dream come true."
Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler kept the three-hour show lively with jokes and skits, including mocking themselves when they lost out to Lena Dunham in the best actress in a television musical or comedy series category. Before that award was announced, Fey was seen hugging singer Jennifer Lopez in faux nervousness, while Poehler was seen snuggling actor and heartthrob George Clooney.
Early on, Fey and Poehler directed a joke at controversial former ceremony host Ricky Gervais, noting that "when you run afoul of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, they make you host the show two more times."
Fey and Poehler may have thrown out gentler barbs than Gervais, but they weren't afraid to land some digs. Poehler admitted she hadn't really been following the waterboarding controversy surrounding "Zero Dark Thirty," but joked of its director Bigelow, "when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to ("Titanic" director) James Cameron."
They even got a joke in at the host of a different awards show, praising Anne Hathaway's role as the abandoned young mother in "Les Miserables" by saying they "had not seen someone so totally alone and abandoned like that since (Hathaway was) on stage with James Franco at the Oscars."
Hathaway didn't feel alone or abandoned later on in the show, when she won the award she was heavily favored to pick up, that of best supporting actress in a motion picture.
"Thank you for this lovely blunt object that I will forevermore use as a weapon against self-doubt," Hathaway said. She went on to pay tribute to fellow nominee Sally Field, thanking Field for demonstrating how an actress can progress from youthful comic roles to more serious parts.
Hathaway also thanked her mother, "who I saw perform this role when I was 8." Kate Hathaway played Fantine in the first U.S. tour of "Les Miserables."
It was a good night for the big-screen adaptation of "Les Mis." In addition to Hathaway's supporting actress honor, the film won for best comedy or musical, and star Hugh Jackman, took home the award for best actor in a motion picture musical or comedy.
"Les Miserables is a project of passion," Jackman said in his acceptance speech. "It took a lot of courage to make it."
What could have been a standard lifetime achievement award presentation rose above the ordinary when actress Jodie Foster, who received the Cecil B. DeMille Award, thanked her longtime partner Cydney Bernard, who helped her raise their two sons, calling her a “co-parent and ex-partner in love.”
Before mentioning Bernard, she denied her words constituted a coming-out speech, saying “I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago.”
Foster, who has never made a formal statement about her sexuality, also said, “If you had been a public figure since the time you were a toddler ... maybe you too would value privacy against all else.”
Flu-stricken Jennifer Lawrence won the award for best actress in a motion picture musical or comedy for her role in "Silver Linings Playbook." Upon taking the stage, Lawrence looked at her award and joked, "Oh, what does it say? I beat Meryl (Streep)!"
Showtime's "Homeland" series was nominated for four Golden Globes, and claimed three of four. The show won for best television drama, and stars Damian Lewis and Claire Danes won acting awards.
Lewis dedicated his award to his late mother. "Mom, I love you," he said.
Danes thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which presents the awards, for "being so generous to me over the years," noting "I was up here when I was 15." In 1994, Danes won the same award for her role as Angela Chase in "My So-Called Life." Then a teen, she's now an acclaimed actress and a mother: Danes' son Cyrus was born just a month ago.
Singer Adele, a nine-time Grammy winner, won her first Golden Globe for best original song for "Skyfall," the theme to the latest James Bond movie. Like Danes, she's also a new mom. The singer, 24, gave birth to her first child, a son, in October.
One of the biggest standing ovations of the evening came when former president Bill Clinton strolled on stage to introduce "Lincoln" which led all nominees with seven.
Co-host Poehler later joked, "That was Hillary Clinton's husband! So exciting!"
Director Quentin Tarantino won the best screenplay award for his bloody slavery drama "Django Unchained." The director thanked his cast and the friends to whom he read scenes, and admitted "This is a damn surprise, and I'm very happy to be surprised."
Another surprised winner was first-time nominee Lena Dunham, who won the award for best actress in a television musical or comedy series for her starring role in HBO's "Girls." After praising her fellow nominees and thanking her cast and family, Dunham said her award was "for every woman who has ever felt there wasn't a space for her. This show has made a space for me."
Dunham was back on stage again later when "Girls" won the Golden Globe for best TV series, comedy or musical, and thanked the show's cast for showing her "the meaning of nakedness, both emotional and physical."
Christoph Waltz, who plays a dentist turned bounty hunter in "Django Unchained," won the award for best supporting actor in a motion picture.
"Let me gasp," Waltz said, before thanking director Tarantino "for entrusting me with this character" and praising his castmates, one of whom, Leonardo DiCaprio, he beat for the award.
Maggie Smith, whose acerbic barbs make her a favorite on PBS's "Downton Abbey," won the Golden Globe for best supporting actress in a series, miniseries or television film. Smith, 78, was not in attendance.
"Game Change," HBO's political drama about the 2008 presidential election, won the award for best miniseries or television film, and star Julianne Moore won for best actress in a miniseries or television film for her role as vice-presidential candidate and Alaska governor Sarah Palin. "Game Change" led all television nominees with five.
Kevin Costner won the award for best performance in a miniseries or television film for his role as Devil Anse Hatfield in the History Channel miniseries "Hatfields and McCoys."
"Kind of a short walk and a long career and a lot of people to thank along the way," Costner said. He mused on the first time he ever attended the Golden Globes, remembering how "no one said anything to me" and how inspired he was by watching a retrospective of the career of Gregory Peck.
Don Cheadle claimed the award for best actor in a television comedy or musical for "House of Lies."
Ed Harris, who played Sen. John McCain in "Game Change," won the Golden Globe for best supporting actor in a series, miniseries or television film.
"Life of Pi,"based on the bestselling Yann Martel novel, won the award for best original score in a motion picture for Mychael Danna.
Austrian film "Amour" won the award for best foreign film, with Austria native Arnold Schwarzenegger announcing the film's win.
Pixar's "Brave" won for best animated feature film.
Watch TODAY Monday morning as Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales report live from Hollywood on the Golden Globe winners, surprises and after-party details.