Ben Affleck won the best-director Golden Globe for his Iran hostage thriller Argo, a prize that normally bodes well for an Academy Award win - except he missed out on an Oscar nomination this time.
Affleck's now in an unusual position during Hollywood's long awards season, taking home the top filmmaking trophy at the second-highest film honors knowing he does not have a shot at an Oscar.
In a breathless, rapid-fire speech, Affleck gushed over the names of other nominees presenter Halle Berry had read off: Steven Spielberg for Lincoln, Ang Lee for Life of Pi, Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty and Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained.
"Look, I don't care what the award is. When they put your name next to the names she just read off, it's an extraordinary thing in your life," Affleck said.
Last Thursday's Oscar nominations held some shockers, including the omission of Affleck from the directing lineup, along with fellow Globe nominee Bigelow. Bigelow and Affleck also were nominated for top honors by the Directors Guild of America, whose contenders usually match up closely with the Oscar field.
Jennifer Lawrence won for best musical or comedy actress for the oddball romance Silver Linings Playbook, while supporting-acting prizes went to Austrian Christoph Waltz for the slave-revenge tale Django Unchained and Anne Hathaway for the musical Les Miserables.
The wins Sunday firm up their prospects for Hollywood's top honors at the Academy Awards.
Lawrence won as best actress in a musical or comedy for her role as a troubled widow in a shaky new relationship. The Globe winners in musical or comedy categories often aren't factors at the Oscars, which tend to favor heavier dramatic roles.
But Silver Linings Playbook is a crowd-pleasing comic drama with deeper themes than the usual comedy. And Lawrence - a 2010 Oscar nominee for her breakout film Winter's Bone who shot to superstardom with The Hunger Games - delivers a nice mix of humor and melancholy.
"What does this say? I beat Meryl," Lawrence joked as she looked at her award, referring to fellow nominee and multiple Globe winner Meryl Streep. Lawrence went on to thank her mother for believing in her and her father for making her maintain a sense of humor.
Hathaway's win came for her role as a doomed single mother in the big-screen adaptation of the stage musical based on Victor Hugo's classic novel.
"Thank you for this lovely blunt object that I will forevermore use as a weapon against self-doubt," Hathaway said.
Waltz won supporting actor for his role as a genteel bounty hunter who takes on an ex-slave as apprentice.
The win was Waltz's second supporting-actor prize at the Globes, both of them coming in Tarantino films. Waltz's violent but paternal and polite Django character is a sharp contrast to the wickedly bloodthirsty Nazi he played in his Globe and Oscar-winning role in Tarantino's 2009 tale Inglourious Basterds.
"Let me gasp," said Waltz, whose competition included Django co-star Leonardo DiCaprio. "Quentin, you know that my indebtedness to you and my gratitude knows no words."
Former President Bill Clinton upstaged Hollywood's elite with a surprise appearance to introduce Spielberg's Civil War epicLincoln, which was up for best drama. The film chronicles Abraham Lincoln's final months as he tries to end the war and find common ground in a divided Congress to pass the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.
Lincoln's effort was "forged in a cauldron of both principle and compromise," Clinton said. "This brilliant film shows us how he did it and gives us hope that we can do it again."
Amy Poehler, co-host of the Globes with Tina Fey, gushed afterward, "Wow, what an exciting special guest! That was Hillary Clinton's husband!"
Lincoln came in with seven nominations to lead the Globes, but it went zero-for-five on its first categories, including director for Spielberg, supporting actress for Sally Field and supporting actor for Tommy Lee Jones. The film also lost for screenplay, a prize that went to Tarantino for Django Unchained.
Tarantino thanked his cast and also the group of friends to whom he reads work-in-progress for reaction.
"You guys don't know how important you are to my process. I don't want input. I don't want you to tell me if I'm doing anything wrong. Heavens forbid," Tarantino said. "When I read it to you, I hear it through your ears, and it lets me know I'm on the right track."
The Scottish tale Brave won for best animated film. It was the sixth win for Disney's Pixar Animation unit in the seven years since the Globes added the category.
Austrian director Michael Haneke's old-age love story Amour, a surprise best-picture nominee for the Oscars, won the Globe for foreign-language film. The top prize winner at last May's Cannes Film Festival, Amour is a grim yet moving portrait of an elderly woman tended by her husband as she is incapacitated by age.
Pop star Adele and co-writer Paul Epworth won for best song for their theme tune to the James Bond adventure Skyfall.
"Oh, my God!" Adele gushed repeatedly, before offering gratitude to the group that presents the Globes. "I'd like to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press. I never thought I'd say that."
The prize for musical score went to Mychael Danna for the lost-at-sea tale Life of Pi.