BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The black-and-white silent film The Artist led the Golden Globes with three wins Sunday at a show that spread Hollywood's love around among a broad range of films, including best drama recipient The Descendants and its star, George Clooney.
Wins for The Artist included best musical or comedy and best actor in a musical or comedy for Jean Dujardin.
The dual best-picture prizes at the Globes could set up a showdown between The Artist and The Descendants for the top honor at next month's Academy Awards.
Other acting winners were Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, and Octavia Spencer, while Martin Scorsese earned the directing honor.
"I gotta thank everybody in England that let me come and trample over their history," said Streep, earning her eighth Globe, this time as dramatic actress in The Iron Lady, playing former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Williams won for actress in a musical or comedy as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn, 52 years after Monroe's win for the same prize at the Globes for "Some Like It Hot."
The supporting-acting Globes went to Plummer as an elderly widower who comes out as gay in the father-son drama Beginners and Spencer as a brassy housekeeper joining other black maids to share stories about life with their white employers in the 1960s Deep South tale The Help.
Scorsese won for the Paris adventure Hugo. It was the third directing Globe in the last 10 years for Scorsese, who previously won for Gangs of New York and The Departed and received the show's Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement two years ago.
Dujardin became the first star in a silent film to earn a major Hollywood prize since the early days of film. He won as a silent-era star whose career unravels amid the rise of talking pictures in the late 1920s.
Charming audiences since it premiered last May at the Cannes Film Festival, The Artist tells the story of George Valentin (Dujardin), a big-screen superstar known for adventurous comic capers alongside his adorable dog, who's always at his side on screen and in real life.
The only time silent films have won best-picture or acting Oscars was in the awards first year, for 1927-28, 16 years before the Golden Globes even started.
The Artist, which led the Globes with six nominations, also won the musical-score prize for composer Ludovic Bource.
Ricky Gervais, who has ruffled feathers at past shows with sharp wisecracks aimed at Hollywood's elite and the Globes show itself, returned as host for the third-straight year. He started with some slams at the Globes as Hollywood's second-biggest film ceremony, after the Oscars.
Gervais joked that the Globes "are just like the Oscars, but without all that esteem. The Globes are to the Oscars what Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton. A bit louder, a bit trashier, a bit drunker and more easily bought. Allegedly. Nothing's been proved."
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Gervais ruffled more feathers as he introduced presenters Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek late in the show Sunday night.
"They're ridiculously gorgeous specimens, they're extremely talented and probably very interesting," Gervais declared. "I'm not sure," he went on, as censors instantly bleeped out the rest of his wisecrack, which declared, "I couldn't understand a (expletive) word they said."