(CNN) -- The Golden Globes are the height of Hollywood glitz and glamour -- not exactly where you'd expect to find gritty reality at every turn. And yet, many of Sunday night's biggest winners were honored for roles and films based on real life.
Recent films such as "Argo" and "Lincoln" racked up awards last year, but the 2014 Golden Globes were especially good to those who honored the past by recreating it.
Both of this year's best pictures, "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle," were, as they say, "based on actual events," with Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence picking up individual honors for "Hustle." Leonardo DiCaprio earned a Golden Globe for playing real-life convicted fraudster Jordan Belfort in "The Wolf of Wall Street," and Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto received trophies for another true tale, "Dallas Buyers Club."
The trend even extended to television, where the Golden Globes honored the Liberace biopic "Behind The Candelabra" and its star, Michael Douglas. And to music, as U2 effusively praised the late Nelson Mandela when the group accepted its award for a song from "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom." In all, 10 Golden Globes went to films and actors that brought drama rooted in reality to the screen.
As if to underscore the power that real-life stories can bring to film and television, two of the night's biggest ovations went not to actors or directors, but to people portrayed on film this year: Philomena Lee, the woman searching for her long-lost son, played by Dame Judi Dench in "Philomena," and Niki Lauda, the legendary Formula One racer played by Daniel Bruhl in "Rush."
As he spoke, Lauda removed his cap to show his head, scarred by the fiery, near-fatal crash at the movie's center. The audience at the Beverly Hilton Hotel cheered him, and "Rush" star Chris Hemsworth beamed -- the man who plays "Thor" obviously thrilled to share the stage with a real-life action hero.