Jennifer Lawrence beat veterans like Meryl Streep and Judi Dench to win the best actress trophy in the musical or comedy category for Silver Linings Playbook while Hugh Jackman won the best actor trophy for his role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.
The best supporting actress honour went to Anne Hathaway for her portrayal of a dying prostitute, Fantine, in Les Miserables while Christoph Waltz won the supporting actor trophy for his role as Dr King Schultz in slave-revenge drama Django Unchained.
Jackman piped Jack Black for Bernie, Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook, Ewan McGregor Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Bill Murray for Hyde Park on Hudson.
Lawrence, 22, was one of the early winners in the Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category.
Others vying for the trophy in the list were Emily Blunt for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Judi Dench for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Maggie Smith for Quartet and Meryl Streep for Hope Springs.
Lawrence played a troubled widow opposite Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook, which also starred Indian actor Anupam Kher in a key role. She is also in the race for the best actress trophy at the Oscars on February 24 for the David O Russell directed movie.
"What does this say? I beat Meryl," Lawrence joked as she picked up her award.
Hathaway, who starved herself to play the role of the doomed single mother in Tom Hooper's musical, gushed, "Thank you for this lovely blunt object that I will forever more use as a weapon against self-doubt," Hathaway said.
Ben Affleck may have failed to get an Oscar nomination in the directing category but he won the best director Golden Globe for Argo, his film on Iranian hostage drama of US diplomats in 1979.
The young director beat out competition from Steven Spielberg civil war story Lincoln, Ang Lee's India-centric film Life Of Pi, Kathryn Bigelow's Osama bin Laden movie Zero Dark Thirty, and Quentin Tarantino's quirky slavery-revenge saga Django Unchained.