BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - "Slumdog Millionaire" was emerging as the big winner with three prizes at Sunday's Golden Globes, while Kate Winslet won two acting honors.
"I'm so sorry," Winslet said to her fellow nominees after winning best dramatic actress for the domestic drama "Revolutionary Road," her second prize of the night. "Is this really happening?"
Winslet earlier won supporting actress for the Holocaust-themed drama "The Reader," in which she plays a former Nazi concentration camp guard in a romantic fling with a teenager.
"Slumdog Millionaire" won best director for Danny Boyle, along with screenplay and musical score.
"Golden Globes, or the GGs as we very affectionately refer to them - your mad, pulsating affection for our film is much appreciated. Really, deeply appreciated," Boyle said.
Also among its four nominations was the evening's top honor, best drama, the last award of the night.
"Slumdog Millionaire," an underdog story some awards watchers think could become an Oscar favorite, features a generally unknown cast in the story of an orphan boy in Mumbai who rises from terrible hardship to become a champ on India's version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," all the while trying to reunite with a lost love from his childhood.
"We really weren't expecting to be here in America at all at one time, so it's just amazing to be here," said Simon Beaufoy, whose winning script was adapted from Vikas Swarup's novel "Q & A."
Woody Allen's Spanish romance "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" won for best musical or comedy film.
As expected, the late Heath Ledger earned the supporting-actor Globe for his diabolical turn as the Joker in the Batman blockbuster "The Dark Knight." The Globe win boosts Ledger's prospects for the supporting-actor honor at the Academy Awards, whose nominations come out Jan. 22, the one-year anniversary of the actor's death from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.
The award was accepted by "The Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan, who said he and his collaborators were buoyed by the enormous acclaim and acceptance the film and Ledger's performance have gained worldwide.
"All of us who worked with Heath on `The Dark Knight' accept with an awful mixture of sadness but incredible pride," Nolan said. "After Heath passed, you saw a hole ripped in the future of cinema."
Only one actor has ever won a posthumous Oscar, best-actor recipient Peter Finch for 1976's "Network."
Other acting winners included Mickey Rourke as dramatic actor for his comeback role in "The Wrestler," playing a former star with one last shot at glory in the ring; Sally Hawkins as musical or comedy actress for her role as an eternal optimist in "Happy-Go-Lucky"; and Colin Farrell for musical or comedy actor for "In Bruges," in which he plays a hit man laying low in a Belgian tourist town.
"It's been a very long road back for me," said Rourke, whose life parallels the movie as he climbs back among Hollywood's elite after derailing his career with bad-boy behavior.
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.
Winslet's two wins solidify her prospects for the Oscars, where she has been nominated five times but never won.
"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 for "The Reader."
"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.
The robot romance "WALL-E" won for best animated feature. 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."
Steven Spielberg was honored with the Globes' Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, saying he recalled his first trip to the movies at age 6 to see DeMille's "The Greatest Show On Earth."
"It was the biggest thing that ever happened to me," said Spielberg, noting that he thinks his fate as a filmmaker was sealed that day.
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."
The foreign-language film prize went to Israel's "Waltz With Bashir," director Ari Forman's animated documentary about a soldier struggling to recall suppressed memories of his involvement in the war with Lebanon.
Among TV categories, "30 Rock" won best comedy series, with stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin earning the acting Globes in a musical or comedy. "Mad Men" won best TV drama.
The 66th annual Globes, the town's second-biggest movie celebration after the Academy Awards, returned to their somewhat boozy glory.
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.
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.