BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – The robot romance "WALL-E" won the Golden Globe for best animated film Sunday, while Sally Hawkins earned the best-actress prize in a musical or comedy as an eternal optimist in "Happy-Go-Lucky."
Hawkins, a relatively unknown British actress and newcomer to Hollywood's awards scenes, was visibly nervous accepting her prize.
"I'll try and get through as much as my voice and nerves and knees will let me," said Hawkins, thanking family, cast mates and collaborators on the film, including director Mike Leigh.
"WALL-E" director Andrew Stanton thanked producer Pixar Animation and distributor Walt Disney, saying the unusual love story between two robots who communicate in beeps and squeaks "couldn't have been made anywhere else."
Kate Winslet won the supporting-actress Golden Globe for "The Reader," in which she plays a former Nazi concentration camp guard in a romantic fling with a teenager. Winslet also was up for best dramatic actress at the Globes with the domestic drama "Revolutionary Road."
The Globe wins could boost recipients' prospects for the same prizes at the Academy Awards, whose nominations come out Jan. 22. Winslet has been nominated five times at the Oscars but has yet to win.
"You have to forgive me because I have a habit of not winning things," Winslet said as she opened what she acknowledged was a long acceptance speech.
"Sorry this is going on a bit, but I'm going to make the most of it," she said amid thanking everyone from her children to the film's makeup artists.
Bruce Springsteen received the best song prize for the title track to "The Wrestler."
"This is the only time I'm going to be in competition with Clint Eastwood," said Springsteen, referring to the filmmaker who had a song nomination for writing the title tune to his "Gran Torino." "It felt pretty good, too."
A year ago, Hollywood labor strife shut down the Globes, but organizers promised their show would be back, bigger and better than ever.
The 66th annual Globes, the town's second-biggest movie celebration after the Academy Awards, returned to their somewhat boozy glory.
A looser, more relaxed affair than the Oscars, the Globes are a televised dinner party where Hollywood's elite share a meal and drinks, sometimes cutting loose with unexpected antics (this is the place Jack Nicholson once mooned the crowd for a laugh). The tables were decorated with white lilies and roses; oversized bottles of champagne awaited guests.
The show could be punctuated with a solemn moment, though. Nearly a year after his death, Heath Ledger might be honored as best supporting actor for his frenzied performance as the Joker in the Batman blockbuster "The Dark Knight."
Other acting nominees include Angelina Jolie for "Changeling" and romantic partner Brad Pitt for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"; "Titanic" co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Winslet for their reunion film, "Revolutionary Road"; Tom Cruise and Robert Downey Jr. for "Tropic Thunder"; and Anne Hathaway for "Rachel Getting Married."
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Doubt" and "Frost/Nixon" lead the field with five nominations each.
Last year's Globe show was scrapped after stars said they would stay away in honor of picket lines by the Writers Guild of America, which was engaged in a bitter strike against producers. In its place was a briskly paced news conference where winners were announced from a podium.
One of 2008's scheduled honorees finally will get his prize. Globe organizers had intended to present Steven Spielberg with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, but the strike delayed it a year.
The Globes serve as a barometer for potential Oscar contenders, often singling out deserving newcomers who might have been overlooked among bigger-name stars. Relative unknown Hilary Swank won for dramatic actress at the Globes for 1999's "Boys Don't Cry," then went on to an upset win at the Oscars over Annette Bening, who had been considered the front-runner for "American Beauty." This year's Oscar ceremony comes on Feb. 22.
The Globes are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 90 reporters covering show business for overseas outlets.