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

Les Misérables


Ben Affleck, Argo

Actor, comedy or musical

Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables

Actress, comedy or musical

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Actor, drama

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Actress, drama

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Supporting actor

Christopher Waltz, Django Unchained

Supporting actress

Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables


Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Best Original Song

Adele, Skyfall (Skyfall)

Animated feature film



Miniseries or TV movie

Game Change, HBO


Homeland, Showtime

Comedy or musical

Girls, HBO

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

Supporting actress

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