British actress Kate Winslet won the Golden Globe on Sunday for best supporting actress as the gala show, dubbed Hollywood’s biggest party, got rolling in the first major awards show of this Oscar season.kate-winslett

Reuters report said a breathless Winslet, who played a German woman with a hidden past in “The Reader,” said she was “shocked” at her victory and added, “I have a habit of not winning things.”

She thanked her co-stars and acknowledged the work of the other nominees including Penelope Cruz, who had been picked as Winslet’s key competitor for her part as a freewheeling artist in the Woody Allen movie, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”

The awards are closely watched for their star power and impact on the race for Oscars, the world’s top movie awards. But last year’s Golden Globes morphed from a glitzy ceremony into a boring news conference due to a screenwriters strike.

This year, however, the gala event given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association went as planned with the likes of Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie joining in the red carpet fashion parade outside the ceremony.

The association will hand out top honors for best film drama and comedy, as well as actor and actress. The roughly 90 members of the association also give awards for television, but because the Golden Globes are held about a month before the Oscars, they are closely followed for film.

In that arena, tension couldn’t be higher, industry pundits say, because many of the races are simply too close to call.

“There’s no absolute shoo-in at the Globes this year, not even Heath Ledger,” said Tom O’Neil of the Los Angeles Times award-watching site,