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The Artist and The Descendants big winners at Golden Globe awards

Golden Globe winners, including 'The Artist,' and 'The Descendants,' are likely now to be frontrunners for the Oscars. Meryl Streep won best actress for 'The Iron Lady.'

By Bob TourtellotteReuters / January 17, 2012

French director Michel Hazanavicius (L) shows the Golden Globe for 2012 Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical for their work in "The Artist " to cast member Bitsie Tulloch.

Gus Ruelas/Reuters

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Los Angeles

Silent-era film "The Artist" and family drama "The Descendants" were the top film picks at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday in a loose-lipped awards show.

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"The Descendants," starring George Clooney as a man steering his family through a tragic time when his wife is in a coma, won two Golden Globe trophies, including the top honor of best dramatic movie and another for Clooney as best dramatic actor.

Onstage he thanked writer/director Alexander Payne and backstage told reporters, "he knows how to tell stories. He knows how to make something funny and how to turn it around."

Clooney called the movie "a coming-of-age film for a 50-year-old and a lot of us have dealt with people like that."

"The Artist," a romantic tale about a failing actor who finds love at a time when movies were changing from silents to talkies, picked up three awards including best musical or comedy and best actor in a musical or comedy for its star, French actor Jean Dujardin.

Onstage, Dujardin did the most appropriate thing -- gave his speech, thanked his colleagues, then signed off by not saying a word. And true to stealing almost every scene of his in the movie, little dog Uggie detracted from an emotional speech by the film's director, Michel Hazanavicius, when the dog begged for a treat.

Other key winners included Meryl Streep for best actress in a film drama with her portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady." Streep, who is typically reliable with a funny acceptance speech had a difficult time reading hers this year when she forgot her glasses.

Michelle Williams took the trophy for best actress in a comedy or musical with her role as Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn.

"I consider myself a mother first and an actress second. The person I most want to thank (is) my daughter, my little girl," Williams said referring to her child with the late actor Heath Ledger. "I want to say thank you for sending me off to this job everyday with a hug and a kiss."

Veteran Christopher Plummer, 82, won supporting actor with his portrayal of an elderly man who comes out as gay to his family in "Beginners," bringing both poignancy and a touch of humor to their lives. Octavia Spencer, playing a beleaguered housemaid in the U.S. South during the civil rights era in "The Help" was best supporting actress.

Woody Allen was given a Golden Globe for his screenplay for "Midnight in Paris" and Steven Spielberg won best animated film with his rollicking "The Adventures of Tintin."

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