Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor at the 70th Golden Globe Awards on Sunday for his portrayal of a German bounty hunter in "Django Unchained."
Waltz, who captured the award over a strong field of candidates like Alan Arkin in "Argo" and Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln," thanked director Quentin Tarantino, calling him his "North Star."
Also honored in the initial awards was Maggie Smith, who captured Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie or Mini-Series for her work as a haughty aristocrat on PBS' "Downton Abbey." Smith was not at the ceremony.
Hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey kicked off the show by poking fun at its decision to honor the best of both film and television simultaneously.
"Only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat faced people of television," Poehler said.
"Lincoln," Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty" are among the movies vying for top film honors, while "Breaking Bad" and "Homeland" are some of the shows competing for television awards.
Unlike in prior years, the Globes show is being held after Oscar nominations have been announced. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences opted to move up the unveiling of Oscar nominees this year. However, if "Lincoln" dominates the show, it will confirm its status as a front-runner. Should it falter, that will put wind in the sails of other top Oscar contenders like "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Life of Pi."
The open bar in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton creates an atmosphere that is looser than the more staid Academy Awards ceremony.
The hosts are also edgier. Taking over from Ricky Gervais, who had three envelope-pushing stints as emcee during which he poked fun at the questionable taste of the show's sponsor the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, will be the tag-team of Poehler and Fey.
"Ricky Gervais could not be here tonight, because he is no longer in show business," Fey said.
Unlike the caustic Gervais, Fey and Poehler were gentler with the HFPA, but they still shot off a few zingers at the organization's expense.
"When left untreated HFPA can lead to cervical cancer," Poehler said.