Silent film smash The Artist and drama The Descendants have both made an impression at tonight's Golden Globes, while there have been some surprises in the acting categories. The last major US awards before the Oscars, they're seen as a big indicator of likely successes there.
The Descendants won Best Picture in a tough race, despite a mixed reception from critics, and it also yielded a Best Actor prize for George Clooney, who received it in high spirits. And, in a bit of an upset for the bookies, Meryl Streep won the Best Actress award for her turn as The Iron Lady, aka Margaret Thatcher.
Martin Scorsese took Best Director for Hugo. He's been nominated eight times before, winning for The Departed and Gangs Of New York. Just two years ago he picked up a Cecil B DeMille Award for 'outstanding contribution to the entertainment field' at the Golden Globes, so was back this time to show them he's still got what it takes, and with his quickfire delivery he can fit an awful lot into a short acceptance speech. This year the Cecil B DeMille Award went to Morgan Freeman, presented by the legendary Sidney Poitier.
Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress for her role as a maid who talks about her life and her experiences as a black woman in a segregated society in The Help. It's an impressive feat as this is one of her first major film roles, though she's well established on the small screen. She used her acceptance speech to stress her support for the domestic workers of today.
The award for Best Supporting Actor went to Christopher Plummer for his role as a gay man who comes out in his seventies in Beginners.
Best Film - Comedy or Musical was won by The Artist, boosting its Oscar hopes, and it scored a second success with the Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical gong going to its star Jean Dujardin. Although he wasn't eligible for any awards the film's canine star, Uggie, did attend the ceremony and even enjoyed a roll on the red carpet.
Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical was won by Michelle Williams, for her performance as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn. Williams was a controversial choice for the role as fans weren't convinced she looked the part, but she could certainly act it!
Iranian film A Separation won Best Foreign Film, making it one of the most successful films of this awards season. Best Animated Film went to The Adventures Of Tintin, beating out strong competition from Puss In Boots and Rango.
Woody Allen won the Best Screenplay award for his literary romantic comedy Midnight In Paris.