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Image: Producers of 'The Social Network'
Lucy Nicholson  /  Reuters
"Social Network" executive producer Kevin Spacey and producers Cean Chaffin, Dana Brunetti, Scott Rudin, and Michael De Luca pose with their award for best movie drama.
updated 1/17/2011 9:48:03 AM ET 2011-01-17T14:48:03

The Facebook tale "The Social Network" has won top honors at the Golden Globes with four prizes, including best drama and director, solidifying its prospects as an Academy Awards favorite.

Colin Firth firmed up his standing as a front-runner at the Feb. 27 Oscars with his Globe win for best dramatic actor in "The King's Speech," in which he plays Queen Elizabeth II's dad, George VI, the monarch who came to the throne in the 1930s age of radio, when his stammer was a grave liability.

Natalie Portman won best dramatic actress as a ballerina losing her grip on reality in the psychosexual thriller "Black Swan." Portman's win sets her up for a two-woman showdown for best actress at the Oscars with Annette Bening, who won the Globe for best actress in a musical or comedy for her role as a stern lesbian mom in "The Kids Are All Right," which also won for best musical or comedy film.

It's familiar territory for Bening. She won the same prize at the Globes 11 years ago for "American Beauty" and went in as the best-actress favorite at the Oscars, where she lost to Globe dramatic actress winner Hilary Swank for "Boys Don't Cry."

Portman thanked the film's choreographer, her fiance Benjamin Millepied, with whom she's expecting a child. He also appears in the movie, and his character doesn't want to sleep with hers.

Slideshow: 68th Golden Globe Awards (on this page)

"He's the best actor! It's not true, he totally wants to sleep with me," Portman said, giggling.

The boxing drama "The Fighter" earned both supporting-acting prizes, for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. Bale secured his position as front-runner for the same prize at the Oscars, while Leo boosted her own prospects at Hollywood's big night.

Paul Giamatti won for best actor in a musical or comedy for the curmudgeon tale "Barney's Version," winning over a lineup that included Johnny Depp, who had two nominations in the category.

"Barney's Version" follows the many loves in his life: his three wives, played by Rachelle Lefevre, Minnie Driver and Rosamund Pike, whom Giamatti described as "a trifecta of hotties."

"I got to smoke and drink and get laid in this movie and I got paid for it. An amazing, amazing thing," Giamatti said.

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Video: ‘Social Network’ gets friended at Globes (on this page)

Fincher said he thought it was strange when "The Social Network" script came to him, since he usually makes dark character studies about misanthropes or films about serial killers. His films include the murder tales "Seven" and "Zodiac."

"I'm personally loathe to acknowledge the kind of wonderful response this film has received for fear of becoming addicted to it, so suffice it to say, it's been really nice," Fincher said.

"The Social Network" also won the Globe for musical score for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Sorkin, creator of TV's "The West Wing," had kind words for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network."

Slideshow: Golden Globes red carpet (on this page)

"Mark Zuckerberg, if you're watching, Rooney Mara makes a prediction at the beginning of the movie. She was wrong. You turned out to be a great entrepreneur, a great visionary and an incredible altruist," Sorkin said.

Bening received her prize for the lesbian-family tale "The Kids Are All Right," winning in a field that included "The Kids Are All Right" co-star Julianne Moore. The film stars Bening and Moore as a couple whose family falls into turmoil after their teen children seek out the sperm donor that fathered them.

Story: Rate the Golden Globe fashions

"I'm very proud to be a part of this very special film about two women who are deeply in love and try to keep their family together," Bening said. "My partner, Julianne Moore, I have to thank first. She asked me to do the picture with her. She made it possible for us to shoot it where we shot it, when we did, so Julianne — you are a class act, thank you."

The buzz around town on Globes weekend was not only about likely winners, but also about a lawsuit filed Thursday by a former longtime publicist for the Globes claiming the organization that runs the show, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, engages in payola schemes for nominations and awards. The allegations have been denied by the HFPA, a group of about 90 reporters covering show business for overseas outlets.

Gervais pulls no punches
Ricky Gervais returned as Globes host for the second-straight year. Gervais joked that Globe nominees weren't picked just so that Globe voters could hang out with stars such as Depp.

"They also accepted bribes," Gervais said, referring to the publicist lawsuit.

Philip Berk, who heads the HFPA, made no reference to the lawsuit during his appearance early in the show, simply offering a perfunctory plug for the quality of Hollywood movies.

Story: Gervais guarantees Globes are irreverent

Gervais pulled few punches as the night progressed, mocking Hugh Hefner, Charlie Sheen, Cher, Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, Scientologists and Robert Downey Jr., among others.

"Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited, with mildly sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show is pretty good so far, wouldn't you?" Downey, a presenter, shot back, perhaps only half-jokingly.

Bale, who won for his role as a former boxer whose career unraveled amid drugs and crime, thanked his collaborators on "The Fighter," among them director David O. Russell and star and producer Mark Wahlberg, who plays boxer Micky Ward to Bale's Dicky Eklund, Ward's older half brother.

Video: Bale wins Globe for 'The Fighter'

"I've really got to give a shout out to Mark, because he drove this whole movie, and you can only give a loud performance like the one I gave when you have a quiet anchor and a stoic character," Bale said. "I've played that one many times, and it never gets any notice."

Story: Gervais' shots among Globes' best, and worst,  moments

Bale seems to be on the same awards track as his "Batman" co-star, the late Heath Ledger, was two years ago, when he won supporting actor at the Globes for "The Dark Knight" on the way to earning a posthumous Oscar.

Leo, who plays the domineering mother of Ward and Eklund, had gushing words for all of her co-stars — along with her own mother and other ancestors.

"Here in Southern California, home of my mother, her mother, her mother before her — look Mom, I got a Golden Globe!" Leo said. "Mark Wahlberg, you are a prince, you are amazing. It was so beautiful to play your mother."

"Toy Story 3," the top-grossing film released last year and the second sequel to 1995's digital animation pioneer "Toy Story," won the Globe for animated films, making Disney's Pixar Animation unit five-for-five in the category since it was added in 2006. Past Pixar winners are "Up," "WALL-E," "Ratatouille" and "Cars."

"Wow, were you two even born when the first 'Toy Story' came out?" "Toy Story 3" director Lee Unkrich said to his award's presenters, 16-year-old pop star Justin Bieber and 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld, co-star of the hit Western "True Grit."

Robert De Niro received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement.

Story: Robert De Niro presented with Cecil B. DeMille Award

The usually taciturn De Niro gave an uncharacteristically interesting acceptance speech, making jokes about members of the HFPA being deported (along with most of the waiters working the event) and suggesting that most people in the room hadn't seen a lot of the films he was proud of, including "Stone," "Marvin's Room" and "Stanley and Iris."

Video: De Niro on acting inspirations

"Some of you would be seeing them for the first time. You didn't even watch the screeners, did you?" De Niro said.

Among TV winners, "Glee" won three prizes, best comedy and supporting-acting prizes for Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer. "Boardwalk Empire" won two prizes, for best drama and dramatic actor for Steve Buscemi.

The Globe ceremony traditionally had a strong track record as a forecast for what film would win best picture at the Oscars. But the two shows have split in recent times, with only one top Globe recipient — 2008's "Slumdog Millionaire" — also winning the main prize at the Oscars over the past six years.

A year ago, the sci-fi sensation "Avatar" won best drama at the Globes, but the Iraq War saga "The Hurt Locker" took best picture at the Oscars.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: ‘Social Network’ gets friended at Globes

  1. Closed captioning of: ‘Social Network’ gets friended at Globes

    >> let's start with the winners on stage. al and natalie are in los angeles where they have been rubbing elbows with the stars all night long. good morning to both of you.

    >> we dressed up for the occasion this morning again.

    >> absolutely.

    >> i don't think either of us slept much.

    >> two hours maybe.

    >> we did hit the parties, some of them, last night.

    >> we'll show you that.

    >> we had a great time. with all the fun and glamour and an estimated 9,000 glasses of champagne -- i think we had two.

    >> yeah.

    >> it was for sure an incredible night, but it was probably better just to stay up for the whole thing.

    >> reporter: after all the celebrity heat on the red carpet it didn't take long for hollywood's best party to get started.

    >> it's going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking. or as charlie sheen calls it, breakfast.

    >> reporter: a scathing ricky gervais set the tone for the evening.

    >> i don't know if an actress can do her best work until i have slept with her.

    >> reporter: but at the party where the stars come out to play, "the social network " stole the show. officially updating its status to "winner." best drama, best director and best screenplay .

    >> i want to say to mark zuckerberg tonight you turned out to be a great entrepreneur, visionary and incredible altruist.

    >> reporter: natalie portman was aglow as " black swan " earned her best actress .

    >> i want to say hi to my grandma berniece in cincinnati. i hope you're having a drink, grandma, enjoying this.

    >> reporter: and colin firth joked that his best actor win for "the king's speech" would stave off a mid life crisis .

    >> right now this is all that stands between me and a harley-davidson.

    >> long live the king! congratulations. well done.

    >> look, mom, i got a golden globe !

    >> reporter: melissa leo and christian bale came away with globes for supporting roles in "the fighter."

    >> the picture's getting attention and none of us expected that. we all did it just because we got obsessed with it.

    >> reporter: and "the kids are all right" did all right. best comedy and best actress for annette bening .

    >> to the 1962 winner of the golden globe for most promising actor, my husband, warren beatty .

    >> stop you right there.

    >> reporter: on the small screen, "glee" was best comedy with best supporting actress jane lynch and best supporting actor for chris colfer.

    >> most importantly to the amazing kid that is watch our show and that our show celebrates that are told no by the people in the environment, bullies in school that they can't be who they are or have what they want. screw that, kids.

    >> reporter: and "boardwalk empire" dethroned "mad men" as tv's top drama.

    >> holy crap. we just won a golden globe award .

    >> reporter: robert de niro was honored for a lifetime of work.

    >> thank you. i was moved and gratified when you made the announcement two months ago well before you got the chance to review "little fockers".

    >> reporter: but the most touching moment of the night, michael douglas , his throat cancer in remission, came out to a rousing ovation as he presented the evening's final award.

    >> there's just got to be an easier way to get a standing ovation .

    >> really stole the moment. well, as you know, the golden globes are often an indication as to how these movies will do at the oscars. so looking pretty good right now for "the social network " and "the kids are all right."

    >> that's right. there is some thought that maybe "the king's speech" may eke in there.

    >> obviously the studios get behind the films now and really start pushing, pushing. so the marketing teams are going to be working on overdrive, matt.

    >> all right. you two look none the worse for wear and tear, natalie and al. you really do. congratulations.

    >> thank you.

    >> it's makeup.

    >> spackle.

    >> we'll check in later for the fashion hits and misses and an interview with sandra bullock .

Photos: 68th Golden Globe Awards

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  1. Ricky Gervais

    Back for a second year, Ricky Gervais set the tone early for the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards, recognized as much for its revelry as its prizes. "It's going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking," Gervais began his monologue, sipping from a glass of what looked like beer. "Or, as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast." (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Christian Bale

    The actor won the award for best supporting actor in a movie for "The Fighter." (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Katey Segal

    The star accepts the best actress in a TV drama for "'Sons of Anarchy" onstage during the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 16. (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Chris Colfer

    The "Glee" star holds up his award for best supporting actor in a TV series for his work on the Fox musical. (Paul Buck / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Steve Buscemi

    The veteran character actor poses with his award for best actor in a TV drama for "Boardwalk Empire" in the press room at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Annette Benning

    The actress accepts her award for best actress in a movie comedy for "The Kids Are All Right." (Ho / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Al Pacino

    The legendary actor holds his award for best actor in a miniseries or TV movie for his work as Dr. Jack Kevorkian for 'You Don't Know Jack' backstage at the Golden Globe Awards. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Jane Lynch

    The "Glee" star accepts the award for best supporting actress in a TV series. (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Robert De Niro and Matt Damon

    Presenter Matt Damon, left, strikes a pose with Cecil B. DeMille Award winner Robert De Niro in the press room at the Golden Globe Awards. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Jim Parsons

    The star of "The Big Bang Theory" shows off this award for best actor in a TV comedy in the press room. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Paul Giamatti

    The actor poses with his award for best actor in a movie comedy for his role in 'Barney's Version' in the press room at the Golden Globes. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. 'Glee'-ful night

    The cast and crew of "Glee" pose with the award for best comedy or musical TV series at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 16. (Mark J. Terrill / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Melissa Leo

    The actress poses with her award for best supporting actress in movie for her role in "The Fighter." (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Natalie Portman

    The "Black Swan" star accepts the award for best actress in movie drama at the 68th annual Golden Globes Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Ho / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Colin Firth

    The British star poses with his award for best actor in a movie drama for "The King's Speech." (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Michael Douglas

    The star, who is recovering from treatment for cancer, presents the award for best movie drama at the Golden Globes. (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. 'Social' setting

    The producers of the "The Social Network," from left, Kevin Spacey, Cean Chaffin, Dana Brunetti, Scott Rudin, and Michael De Luca pose with their award for Best Motion Picture -- Drama on Sunday night. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show
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    Above: Slideshow (17) 68th Golden Globe Awards
  2. Image: Actress Natalie Portman from the film 'Black Swan' arrives at the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills
    Mario Anzuoni / Reuters
    Slideshow (52) Golden Globes red carpet
  3. Image: Catherine Zeta-Jones
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    Slideshow (12) Best Globes hair and makeup

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