CNN — "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" took home the top prizes at the 2014 Golden Globes Sunday night, winning best motion picture drama ("12 Years") and best comedy or musical motion picture ("Hustle").
The wins thrust the two films into the top positions the Academy Awards' best picture honor. The Globes are often seen as an Oscar forecaster.
"Hustle," based loosely on the Abscam scandal of the late '70s, also won a Globe for Amy Adams' performance.
But another film, "Gravity," also earned an edge, winning best director for Alfonso Cuaron at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's annual shindig, which is often looked at as an Academy Awards predictor.
"This is for the hundreds of people who made this film possible, and because of my thick accent, they end up doing what they thought I said, not what I said," the Mexican director said.
A number of Twitter users weren't happy with the lack of diversity among the winners. Using the hashtag #notbuyingit, they sounded off: "Winners: white men. Losers: everybody else," wrote In This Together.
Cate Blanchett earned frontrunner status by winning the Globe for best actress in a drama for her performance in "Blue Jasmine."
Leonardo DiCaprio won best actor in a musical or comedy film for his performance in "The Wolf of Wall Street."
The 71st Annual Globes had its share of shockers, perhaps none bigger than the two awards won by the freshman comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" for best TV series comedy or musical.
Star Andy Samberg also won a Globe for his acting in the show.
"Oh no! I didn't prepare anything!" he said in genuine surprise. He proceeded to thank "everyone," including, with a smirk, "everyone on my team."
In another shocker, Matthew McConaughey won best actor in a drama for his performance in "Dallas Buyers Club."
The annual presentation of trophies had plenty ofother talked-about moments:
Diane Keaton finished her presentation of the Cecil B. DeMille Award to Woody Allen by singing a Girl Scout song in a childlike voice.
A Teleprompter malfunction led to presenters Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie reading their lines off a piece of paper.
Jacqueline Bisset, who won best supporting actress in a TV series, miniseries or TV movie for her performance in Starz's "Dancing on the Edge," seemed breathless as she accepted the honor, staring at the camera for long seconds. At one point, she tried to put a hold on her emotions by giving herself a pep talk; at another point, she apparently uttered an obscenity.
Backstage, Bisset expanded on her remark that forgiving people is "the best beauty treatment."
"I think if you get bitter you're really in trouble and it doesn't progress anything," she said.
Jennifer Lawrence ("American Hustle") won the first award of the evening, for best supporting actress in a motion picture.
"I'm sorry I'm shaking so much. Don't ever do this again," she said
She was just as loose backstage.
Asked how she would celebrate, she responded, "I need to catch up on my drinking."
"Breaking Bad" continued its triumphant final lap by winning best TV drama.
"The best thing about this is it gives us one more chance to thank the fans of the show," said creator Vince Gilligan.
Star Bryan Cranston, who played the show's meth-mogul protagonist, won best actor in a TV drama. Backstage, he said he would be celebrating by wife-swapping.
Even Nelson Mandela got a shout-out when U2 won for best original song in a motion picture for "Ordinary Love," the song they wrote for "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." The song took was 35 years in the works, said guitarist The Edge, noting the group's longtime support for the South African leader.
Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler started the show by picking up where they left off last year.
The pair immediately launched into jokes about the snubbed "Lee Daniels' The Butler," Matt Damon and "Gravity," which was about how "George Clooney would rather float into space and die rather than spend another minute with a woman close to his own age."
They were particularly sharp about the often marginalized view of women in Hollywood: Matthew McConaughey losing 45 pounds for "Dallas Buyers Club," or "what actresses call 'being in a movie' "; Meryl Streep's nomination meaning there are still great roles for "Meryl Streeps over 60."
Streep was already in the record books. She was nominated for best actress in a comedy or musical for her performance in "August: Osage County," her 28th nomination. She's won eight times, also a record.
Poehler had a better night than Streep. She won her first Globe, for best actress in a comedy or musical TV series, and was hilariously nervous as she accepted.
"I never win these things!" she exclaimed.
Spike Jonze won for best motion picture screenplay. "Behind the Candelabra" won two Globes, for star Michael Douglas and as best miniseries or TV movie. Matt Damon, who'd been the subject of gags all night, was singled out by Douglas for his courage in taking the role as Liberace lover Scott Thorson.
Before the show, celebrities made their way down the red carpet at the Beverly Hilton in their finest finery -- dodging some stains left by a sprinkler malfunction. Among the fashion highlights: A revealing Amy Adams (a low-cut gown reminiscent of her outfits in "American Hustle") and Lupita Nyong'o of "12 Years a Slave."
Asked whether she felt pressure about choosing a dress, Nyong'o shook her head. "I only wear things that speak to me," she said.