The "12 Years a Slave" team at the Golden Globes 2014
The "12 Years a Slave" team at the Golden Globes 2014

The Golden Globes -- voted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association -- do not reflect the direction of the Oscar race. But they can give valuable momentum for the winners who get nominated this coming Thursday. And when a Globes winner gives a good speech, that translates into a memorable moment that lives on. That's why everyone wants these wins so badly. (Full list of winners below.)

Thus "12 Years a Slave" wanted to rack up some winning momentum for Lupita Nyong'o, Michael Fassbender, Hans Zimmer and Steve McQueen, but had to settle for the one big win of the night, for Best Drama. Alfonso Cuaron took home best director for "Gravity," which will likely repeat on Oscar night.

As expected, Cate Blanchett graciously accepted her Best Actress prize for "Blue Jasmine." Woody Allen was a no-show for his lifetime achievement award, which was accepted by a predictably kooky Diane Keaton.

Best Actress contender Emma Thompson continues to win support with her charming comedic appearances--she had heels and martini in hand introducing the screenwriting category.

Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Wolf of Wall Street'
Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Wolf of Wall Street'

Spike Jonze took home the screenplay award for "Her," which is stumbling at the box office and needs all the help it can get.

Adding momentum for "Dallas Buyers Club" were wins for Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, already a frontrunner for supporting actor, who gave a carefully crafted heartwarming speech about his career switch with reminders of the degree of difficulty. Comedy actress Amy Adams, too, tugged at the heartstrings--her nomination Thursday will be a sign of the relative strength of full-steam-ahead powerhouse "American Hustle," which also scored the expected Comedy win.

The Golden Globes tend to favor stars who they like to see on the show, from U2 (whose "Ordinary Love" from "Mandela" beat "Let it Go" from "Frozen" for best song) to comedy winners Leonardo DiCaprio ("The Wolf of Wall Street") and Jennifer Lawrence ("American Hustle"). While she's a lock for an Oscar nomination, DiCaprio would have to knock out Robert Redford to land a slot. "Frozen" did take home best animated film, while "All is Lost" landed a surprise win for Best Score for Alex Ebert.

Assuming that Paolo Sorrentino's "The Great Beauty" lands a foreign Oscar nomination, its Globes win will make it more of a must-see for Academyvoters, who will be getting screeners for all five nominees. 

Co-hosts Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler set the bar high again for insider hilarity, which Ellen DeGeneris will be keeping in mind as she works with writers to prep for the big Oscar show.

Full list of winners below.