"I haven't really been following the controversy over 'Zero Dark Thirty,'" Poehler said of the Bigelow film. "But when it comes to torture, I trust a lady who spent three years married to James Cameron."
Jennifer Lawrence took home the trophy for actress in a comedy or musical for her performance as an unhinged young widow in "Silver Linings Playbook," while Christoph Waltz won supporting actor for his playing a dentist-turned-bounty hunter in Quentin Tarantino's slavery revenge epic "Django Unchained."
Tarantino, who won for his "Django" screenplay, thanked the friends who serve as a sounding board. "I write a scene and I polish it as much as I can, but then when I read it to you I hear it through your ears and it lets me know I'm on the right track," he said.
Afterward, backstage, he addressed some of the controversy the film has stirred up, particularly with its language and violence. "I knew that when I decided to throw my hat in the ring with a western that it would be a spaghetti western," he said . "I like how they tell their stories, how violent, how nihilist, and the operatic stage that they play their stories out on." The winning score was Mychael Danna for "Life of Pi," while Adele and Paul Epworth took home the song trophy for "Skyfall," from the James Bond film.
When it came time to sign off, Poehler said, "We're going home with Jodie Foster!"
Times staff writers Jessica Gelt and Steven Zeitchick contributed to this report.