LOS ANGELES— A comic crime caper and a drama about slavery earned top honors at the Golden Globe awards Sunday. The prizes, given out annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, mark the start of the award season for the American movie industry.
"American Hustle", from director David O. Russell, took the Golden Globe for best musical or comedy movie. Amy Adams was named best actress in a comedy for her role, in which she starred opposite Christian Bale. The pair played con artists in a fictionalized tale of a 1970s political corruption scandal. Jennifer Lawrence was also honored for her supporting role in "American Hustle".
"12 Years a Slave", from director Steve McQueen, was named the best drama motion picture. The film tells the story of a free black man who was abducted and sold into slavery before the American Civil War.
Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron was named best director for his space drama "Gravity".
Matthew McConaughey was named best actor in a drama movie for his starring role in "Dallas Buyers Club", the tale of a man with AIDS who became an activist for AIDS patients in Texas. The film was based on a real-life story, and the actor said it was difficult to get made.
“This film, Ron Woodruff's story, was an underdog. For 20 years, it was an underdog. Turned down 86 times. No one wanted to put up money for it. We got the right people together,” said McConaughey.
Jared Leto was honored for his supporting role in the film as a transgender AIDS patient.
Cate Blanchett was named best actress in a drama for her role in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine". She thanked the reclusive director, who was absent from the Hollywood event.
“Thank you Woody, for calling me and not calling one of the other incredible women who are in the room this evening, so thank you,” said Blanchett while collecting the award.
Allen was also honored with a lifetime achievement award, accepted by his longtime friend, actress Diane Keaton.
Leonardo DiCaprio was named best actor in musical or comedy for his role in "The Wolf of Wall Street", a tale of corruption in the financial industry. He thanked the film's director, Martin Scorsese, whom he called a visionary.
“And as the history of cinema unfolds, you'll be regarded as one of the great artists of our time. Thank you for your mentorship,” said DiCaprio.
The Italian production "The Great Beauty" was named best foreign language film.
The rock group U2 won the Golden Globe for best original song for "Ordinary Love", which honored Nelson Mandela in the film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom".
Lead singer Bono says the project had special meaning.
“This really is personal for us, very, very personal. This man turned our life upside down, right-side up, a man who refused to hate, not because he didn't have rage or these things, but that he thought love would do a better job,” said Bono.
The Golden Globes mark the start of Hollywood's award season, which will culminate with the Academy Awards – popularly known as the Oscars – on March 2.