Sunday was a night that pitted two very different looks at the history of American slavery against one another for one of Hollywood’s top prizes.
The big Golden Globe Awards showdown (or so some critics thought) would be Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln against Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
Spielberg’s film, of course, charts the last bit of the assassinated president’s life as he rushed to get slavery abolished. Tarantino’s film is a fictional tale of a gun-wielding former slave who works alongside a German as a bounty hunter.
In the end, neither won. The top honor went to actor-director Ben Affleck’s Argo.
The Globes aren’t exactly a precursor to the Academy Awards, by any stretch of the imagination. But Django did earn a Best Screenplay Globe (and looks to be the front-runner for the same award at the Oscars). In accepting his award, Tarantino said, “This is a damn surprise, and I’m happy to be surprised!”
Also surprised to win was Don Cheadle, who collected a Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series (Comedy or Musical) for his leading role in Showtime’s House of Lies. Cheadle, 48, beat out Jim Parsons, Alec Baldwin, Matt LeBlanc and Louis C. K. LeBlanc.
“This is unexpected,” Cheadle said onstage. “It sounds like a cliché, but you really don't expect these moments to happen.” The award was Cheadle’s second Golden Globe win; he last won in 1999 for a supporting role in The Rat Pack; he also was nominated in 2005 for Hotel Rwanda.
Cheadle was last night's sole Black winner. Denzel Washington, nominated for his leading role in Flight, lost to Daniel Day-Lewis (who portrayed the title character in Lincoln.) Director Peter Ramsey, who directed the animated adventure Rise of the Guardians, lost out to Brave. And Amour bested The Intouchabes (France's Black-White buddy comedy) for Best Foreign Language Film.
The big winners:
Comedy or musical
Ben Affleck, Argo
Actor, comedy or musical
Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
Actress, comedy or musical
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Christopher Waltz, Django Unchained
Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Best Original Song
Adele, Skyfall (Skyfall)
Animated feature film
Miniseries or TV movie
Game Change, HBO
Comedy or musical
Actor, drama series
Damian Lewis, Homeland, Showtime
Actress, drama series
Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime
Actor, comedy or musical series
Don Cheadle, House of Lies, Showtime
Actress, comedy or musical series
Lena Dunham, Girls, HBO
Supporting actor, series, miniseries or movie
Ed Harris, Game Change, HBO
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey, PBS
Actor, miniseries or TV movie
Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys, History
Actress, miniseries or TV movie
Julianne Moore, Game Change, HBO