BEVERLY HILLS — Ben Affleck got some vindication and Jodie Foster made a revelation at the Golden Globe Awards.
Affleck's "Argo" earned him best motion picture drama and director honors at Sunday night's ceremony. The awards came just a few days after Affleck was surprisingly omitted from the best-director category at the Academy Award nominations. Affleck also stars in the real-life drama as the CIA operative who orchestrated a daring rescue of six American embassy employees during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis.
These wins seem to shake up the Oscar race, in which Steven Spielberg's stately, historical epic "Lincoln" was looking like a juggernaut. Despite seven Golden Globe nominations, "Lincoln" earned just one award: best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis' intense, richly detailed portrayal of Abraham Lincoln as he fought for passage of the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery. Spielberg's film heads into the Feb. 24 Academy Awards with a leading 12 nominations.
The other big winner of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's honors was "Les Miserables." Based on the international musical sensation and Victor Hugo's novel of strife and redemption in 19th century France, it won best picture musical or comedy, best actor for Hugh Jackman and best supporting actress for Anne Hathaway.
"Honestly, I would have played a musket, so I'm thrilled I got to sing a really good song," Hathaway joked backstage. She belts out the dramatic "I Dreamed a Dream" as the doomed prostitute Fantine.
But perhaps the biggest news of the night was from Foster, who came out without really coming out and suggested she was retiring from acting but then backpedaled a bit backstage. Foster was this year's recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, which is announced beforehand and is usually a pretty respectful and predictable part of the evening.
But the 50-year-old Oscar-winner for "The Silence of the Lambs" and "The Accused," who's been protective of her private life and reluctant to discuss her sexual orientation, used this opportunity to speak from the heart in a rambling and emotional speech that confirmed what long had been an open secret. The veteran actress seized control of what is every year a noisy, boozy ballroom; the crowd of A-listers quickly quieted down as it became apparent that she had something serious and important to say.
She was coy at first, suggesting she had a big announcement that would make her publicist nervous. (At this point, the audio inexplicably dropped out of the NBC broadcast, even though nothing off-color was said.)
Then she stated: "I'm just going to put it out there, loud and proud ... I am, uh, single," pausing for dramatic effect before that last word. "I hope you're not disappointed that there won't be a big coming-out speech tonight. I already did my coming-out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age."
She also made it sound as if this would be her last time on stage, but clarified for reporters afterward: "I could never stop acting. You'd have to drag me behind a team of horses. I'd like to be directing tomorrow. I'm more into it than I have ever been."
Azolla: Did you know?
50 million years ago, the aquatic weed now blanketing parts of Spring Lake grew en masse in the Arctic Ocean, then a hot lake, and absorbed enough carbon dioxide to help cool a planet dangerously overheated by greenhouse gases.