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The wins boost Miss Williams‘, Miss Spencer’s and Mr. Plummer’s prospects for slots at next month’s Academy Awards, nominations for which come out Jan. 24.

The Oscars are an honor for which Monroe herself never was nominated, though she was a two-time nominee at the Globes and won for best actress in a musical or comedy for 1959’s “Some Like It Hot.”

In “My Week With Marilyn,” Miss Williams plays Monroe as an insecure performer struggling to establish herself as a genuine actress rather than a movie star sexpot just a couple of years before “Some Like It Hot.” The film chronicles Monroe’s contentious time shooting the 1957 romance “The Prince and the Showgirl” alongside exasperated director and co-star Laurence Olivier.

Like Monroe, Oscar consideration has been elusive for the 82-year-old Mr. Plummer, who has been nominated for Hollywood’s top honor only once in his 60-year career — two years ago for the Leo Tolstoy drama “The Last Station.”

“I must praise my distinguished competitors, for whom I have the greatest admiration and to whom I apologize most profusely,” said Mr. Plummer, who added warm regards to his “Beginners” co-star, Scottish actor Ewan McGregor. “I want to salute my partner, Ewan, that wily Scot, Ewan ‘My Heart’s in the Highlands’ McGregor, that scene-stealing swine from the Outer Hebrides.”

Mr. Plummer is regarded as one of the finest Shakespearean stage actors of the last half-century. His film roles range from Austrian Capt. Georg von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” and Tolstoy in “The Last Station” to newsman Mike Wallace in “The Insider” and a treacherous Klingon general in “Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country.” He also co-starred in the current thriller “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

The prize for best animated film went to Steven Spielberg’s action tale “The Adventures of Tintin,” a Paramount-Sony co-production that dealt the first Globes loss to Disney unit Pixar Animation. Pixar films such as “Ratatouille,” ”WALL-E” and “Toy Story 3” had won all five previous times since the Globes added the category.

Mr. Spielberg thanked his producing partner on the film, “The Lord of the Rings” creator Peter Jackson, along with both studios behind the film, based on what the director pointed out was a series of picture books by Belgian writer Herge that started 80 years ago.

“I would like to thank two studios that really proved the adage that Peter and I could make the telephone book if we wanted to,” said Mr. Spielberg, whose World War I epic “War Horse” is nominated for best drama.

The Iranian drama “A Separation” was chosen as best foreign-language film. Writer-director Asghar Farhadi uses a divorcing couple’s domestic troubles with a young child and an aging parent as the means to examine gender, religious and class distinctions in contemporary Iran.

Ricky Gervais, who ruffled feathers at past shows with sharp wisecracks aimed at Hollywood’s elite and the Globes show itself, returned as host for the third-straight year. He started with some slams at the Globes as Hollywood’s second-biggest film ceremony, after the Oscars.

Mr. Gervais joked that the Globes “are just like the Oscars, but without all that esteem. The Globes are to the Oscars what Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton. A bit louder, a bit trashier, a bit drunker and more easily bought. Allegedly. Nothing’s been proved.”

He also needled early winners, saying the show was running long and stars needed to keep their speeches short.

“You don’t need to thank everyone you’ve ever met or members of your family, who have done nothing,” Mr. Gervais said. “Just the main two — your agent and God.”

After winning for musical score, “The Artist” composer Mr. Bource apologized for his halting English, saying, “I’m sorry, I’m French,” adding that he’s better with music than words.

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