Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress in a Comedy at the for her role as a grieving widow in "Silver Linings Playbook" at the 70th Golden Globe Awards on Sunday.
To earn the honor, the 22-year old actress beat out veteran actresses such as Meryl Streep in "Hope Springs" and Judi Dench in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."
"I am so honored to be in a film like this...Harvey thank you for killing whoever you had to kill to get me up here today," Lawrence said, thanking the film's producer, Harvey Weinstein.
Anne Hathaway captured the Best Supporting Actress prize for playing a desperate woman forced into prostitution in "Les Miserables."
"Thank you for this lovely blunt object that I will forever use as a weapon against self-doubt," Hathaway said.
In addition to Lawrence and Hathaway, "Homeland" and star Damian Lewis won top TV awards. The Showtime series won Best TV Drama and Lewis earned Best TV Actor- Drama for his performance as a terrorist mole.
"The best journeys are always shared...I would like to share this with the best cast and crew in television," Lewis said.
The event then took a political turn, albeit one that looked back at more distant ideological clashes as the Globes awarded the Best TV Movie or Mini-Series statue to HBO's "Game Change."
Director Jay Roach said he hoped the film, which looks at Sen. John McCain's decision to tap Sarah Palin as his running mate in the 2008 presidential election, would encourage more people to talk about politics.
Moments later Julianne Moore took the stage to accept an award for Best Actress in a TV Movie or Mini-Series for playing Palin in the film.
"This was one of my favorite jobs ever," Moore said.
Her "Game Change" co-star Ed Harris won Best Supporting Actor in a TV Movie or Mini-Series for his portrayal of McCain.
It would not be the only moment to dish about the democratic process. Former President Bill Clinton strolled out at one point to introduce Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," citing it as a guide for future presidents. A hush fell over the crowd as he extolled the historical epic's virtues -- one that was not lifted until host Amy Poehler punctured the solemnity by noting that he was "Hillary Clinton's husband."
Kevin Costner earned honors in the Best Actor in a TV Movie or Mini-Series for his role in the smash hit "Hatfields & McCoys." In a speech that looked back at his own career in movies and TV, he thanked the awards show for allowing people to "...illuminate movies they might not have seen and now they will."
Also getting on the board early was Christoph Waltz, who 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 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 up for top film honors, while "Breaking Bad" and "Homeland" are some of the shows competing for television awards.
Of the major awards contenders, "Life of Pi" earned a Best Score award for Mychael Danna. On the music front, English chanteuse Adele earned her first Golden Globe for her title track on "Skyfall."
"Honestly, I've come for a night out. . . I was not expecting this!" Adele gushed.
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 Hotel 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.