No need for the subterfuge of a fake movie and fake hit.
Solid, satisfying, expertly cast "Argo" is an actual blockbuster ($112 million) and took the race for best drama at the Golden Globes Sunday night from front-runner "Lincoln." It was sweet revenge for Ben Affleck, a producer of the movie, who also won best directing honors.
On the flip side of the entertainment equation, musical or comedy, the winner was "Les Miserables."
Clips from fellow nominee "Lincoln" were introduced by another White House occupant: President Bill Clinton. Or, as giddy co-host Amy Poehler called him, "Hillary Clinton's husband."
Daniel Day-Lewis, the actor who wore the title role of Abraham Lincoln like a custom stovepipe hat, was honored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as top actor in a drama while Jessica Chastain from "Zero Dark Thirty" took leading actress honors for a drama.
Winners for a musical or comedy: Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook" and Hugh Jackman, "Les Miserables."
The Globes -- where "the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television," Ms. Poehler quipped -- were handed out three days after the Academy Award nominations, which failed to include Mr. Affleck in the directing pool.
Mr. Day-Lewis works infrequently, but when he is on screen, he is exacting in his portrayals, whether of an oil prospector, a man with cerebral palsy, or a 19th-century gang leader with a glass eye and wicked way with a meat cleaver.
"Are you sure there's room for another ex-president on the stage?" Mr. Day-Lewis joked. "If I had this on a time-share basis with my wonderful, gifted colleagues, I might just hope to keep it for one day in the year and I'd be happy with that, but I'll take good care of this."
The HFPA was playing Mr. Jackman's song as it crowned him best actor, musical or comedy, for "Les Miserables" in which he sings, suffers, starves and emotes as Jean Valjean.
The Tony Award-winning performer, suffering with the dregs of the flu, thanked his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, "the greatest woman in the world ... for always being right" and refusing to agree he should quit the project after a humiliating day of rehearsal.
Jessica Chastain, on Broadway in a revival of "The Heiress," is the face of "Zero Dark Thirty" as a CIA operative who has laser-sharp focus in her hunt for Osama bin Laden.
Wearing a seafoam-colored Calvin Klein halter gown, the red-haired actress said, "I've wanted to be an actor since I was a little girl." She auditioned, fought and lived on the sidelines for years, finally turning up on moviegoers' radar with films such as "The Help" and, now, Kathryn Bigelow's drama.
If Anne Hathaway dreamed a dream of winning a Golden Globe, it came true. To play the ill-fated Fantine in "Les Miserables," she spent four months working with a vocal coach, cut her hair short (even though that meant no long locks for her wedding to Adam Shulman) and subsisted on thin squares of dried oatmeal paste.
"Thank you for this lovely blunt object that I will forevermore use as a weapon against self-doubt," a shaken Ms. Hathaway said of being named best supporting actress.
She singled out fellow nominee Sally Field for being a vanguard against typecasting. "As the girl who started out as the princess of Genovia, I can't tell you how encouraging it was to know that the Flying Nun grew up to be Norma Rae and grew up to be Mama Gump and grew up to be Mary Todd Lincoln."
Ms. Lawrence won't be typecast as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games" thanks to her widowed neighbor to Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook."
"What does it say? I beat Meryl," she said, in a funny sing-song voice, referring to fellow nominee Meryl Streep from "Hope Springs." Wearing a red strapless Dior couture gown, she thanked her parents, cast members and brothers for being mean to her -- and supportive, too. "Harvey [Weinstein], thank you for killing whoever you had to kill to get me up here today."
The first award, for supporting actor in a movie, went to Christoph Waltz as a bounty hunter who teams up with a slave in "Django Unchained." Borrowing a line of film dialogue, the Austrian pointed at the "Django" table where filmmaker Quentin Tarantino and the cast sat and said: "The North Star is that one. Ta-da!"
Mr. Tarantino took home best screenplay honors and saluted the friends who listen to him read his works in progress aloud. "You guys don't know how important you are to my process," he said, as they allow him to hear his words through their ears, so to speak.
"Oh my Gawd! Oh my God!" singer Adele said, adding she had gone for a night out with a fellow new mum and ended up winning for best original song for "Skyfall." She thanked the audience for letting her be a part of its world for a night, "we've been ... laughing all night."
Another feisty female -- Merida -- was responsible for "Brave" emerging as best animated feature. That movie has been on DVD for months while "Amour," crowned best foreign film, won't open in Pittsburgh until Feb. 15.
Clad in a navy Giorgio Armani gown, 50-year-old Jodie Foster received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her impact on the world of entertainment.
Ms. Foster, who has been in the business for 47 years as an actress, director and producer, made a pitch for privacy even as she said, "Love people and stay beside them," singling out her two sons, colleagues such as Mel Gibson sitting at her table and her absent mother.
"I know you're inside those blue eyes somewhere. ... I love you, I love you, I love you and I hope that if I say this three times, it will magically and perfectly enter your soul," and you'll be able to take that "when you're finally OK to go."
Quivering "Girls" star Lena Dunham, who wasn't even seated on the main floor, won the Globe for best actress in a comedy over show co-hosts Ms. Poehler and Tina Fey along with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Zooey Deschanel.
"Julia, Tina, Amy and Zooey have respectively gotten me through middle school, mono, a ruptured ear drum and the acute floating anxiety that populates my entire life," said Ms. Dunham, executive producer of the HBO show later named best TV comedy.
"Homeland," whose cast and crew "fairly killed ourselves trying to live up to the hype of that first season," was named best TV drama and Damian Lewis, who portrays a prisoner of war who returned home having become sympathetic to terrorist Abu Nazir, best actor.
He dedicated his Globe to "his mum, who I know up there tonight is looking down on me bursting with pride and telling everyone up there all around her how well her son is doing in acting. Mum, I love you."
His co-star, Claire Danes, in a red Versace gown, was named best actress in a drama for "Homeland." When she told her cast, whom she called her extended family, that she was pregnant, they were supportive, including the costume designer, who took her pants out every week to allow for an expanding abdomen.
Sunday night, little Cyrus, Ms. Danes' son with husband Hugh Dancy, was upstairs at the hotel with her parents, but he got a thank you, too.
As Maggie Smith won a Golden Globe for best supporting actress on PBS's "Masterpiece" production "Downton Abbey," PBS staffers at a viewing party at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, Calif., cheered. Later, when the show lost best drama to "Homeland," there were disappointed sighs.
Kevin Costner, who first came to the Globes when Gregory Peck was being honored, picked up the statue for actor, miniseries or TV movie, for "Hatfields & McCoys." Don Cheadle, meanwhile, was named top actor in a TV comedy for "House of Lies."
"Game Change," HBO's TV movie depicting the 2008 presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, was named best miniseries or TV movie. Director Jay Roach said, for him, HBO stands for "Heroic Brave Operation."
Ed Harris won supporting actor honors for "Game Change" and winning actress Julianne Moore, who channeled Gov. Sarah Palin, singled out Ms. Fey and then-news anchor Katie Couric as "two people who, I think, made a significant difference in the 2008 election."
She signed off by sending love to her husband and telling their two children she would see them at a varsity basketball game tonight.