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Nominations for the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced this morning, and Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s drama about the famed president’s final days in office, led the race with seven nods. Following with five nominations each were Ben Affleck’s Argo and Quentin Tarantino’s vengeance epic Django Unchained.
This is a very good year for Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, who received Golden Globe nominations for best actress in a musical or comedy. Dench received her nod for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Smith for her excellent performance as an over-the-hill diva in Dustin Hoffman’s directing debut, Quartet.
Marigold Hotel, directed by John Madden, was also nominated for a Golden Globe for best motion picture comedy or musical. The film got a major boost from the Screen Actors Guild yesterday with nominations for Smith and for best ensemble, their equivalent for best film. The Fox Searchlight release has made $134 million at the box office and proved audiences want to see films about relatable people and not only about big-footed hobbits and flying men in spandex.
Other actresses nominated in the best actress, musical or comedy, are Meryl Streep (Hope Springs), Emily Blunt (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook).
Because Golden Globe nominations break movies and acting divisions into musical/comedy and drama, it means they really spread the love around.
For best actress in a drama, nominations went to Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone), Helen Mirren (Hitchcock), Naomi Watts (The Impossible) and Rachel Weisz (Deep Blue Sea).
Weisz is a bit of a surprise, although she was just chosen best actress for Deep Blue Sea by the New York Film Critics Circle, so this is not completely out of left field.
Best actor nods for best musical or comedy performance went to Jack Black (Bernie), Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables), Ewan McGregor (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and Bill Murray (Hyde Park on Hudson).
Best dramatic male performance accolades went to Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln, Richard Gere (Arbitrage), John Hawkes (The Sessions), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) and Denzel Washington (Flight).
None of those choices are surprising. With twice as many slots available for Globe nominations as for the Oscars, only Gere, who has his best role in years in Arbitrage, is a little less predictable. He will probably fall out of the Oscar race, but I’m glad to see him in this line up. John Hawkes is also a popular choice. I saw him at the Les Misérables premiere where he told me he’s still recovering from the contortions he had to put his body through to play the paralyzed Mark O’Brien. (His co-star, Helen Hunt, was nominated in the best supporting actress category.)
In the most important category, for best film drama, nominations went to Argo, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty.
Best film nominations, musical or comedy, in addition to Marigold Hotel, went to Les Misérables, Silver Linings Playbook, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and Moonrise Kingdom.
The supporting actor categories are not broken down into musical and comedy and drama. In addition to Hunt, the honors went to Amy Adams (The Master), Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables) and Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy).
Nicole Kidman is also having a good year. She also received a nod by the HFP for best performance for an actress in a mini-series or motion picture made for television for Hemingway and Gellhorn.
Kidman’s performance in The Paperboy is fearless, and during promotion for the film at the New York Film Festival, she spoke of how she is always looking for films that make her uncomfortable and take her out of her comfort zone. In The Paperboy, she plays a trashy Southern Barbie with a heart of gold, in a performance that was also recognized yesterday by the Screen Actors Guild.
In an announcement today through her publicist, Kidman said of her Globe nomination: “As an actor you look for roles that are rich, complicated, and that stretch you, and this year I was blessed to find two. To have the chance to play them was a gift in itself, and to then be acknowledged this way is icing on the cake. Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press!”
Alan Arkin, as he told me on the red carpet Saturday at the premiere of Stand Up Guys, in which he co-stars with Al Pacino, is also having a good year. He was just nominated for a Golden Globe for best supporting actor for Argo.
Two notable performances in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, a nearly-three-hour movie that focuses on the ugliest side of America’s past, were also recognized: Leonardo DiCarpio was nominated for his performance as the villainous plantation owner Calvin Candy, and Christoph Waltz for his odd-ball but appealing appearance as Dr. King Schultz, a German bounty hunter in the Deep South.
Philip Seymour Hoffman was also nominated for his role as the charismatic head of a cult in The Master and Tommy Lee Jones received a nod playing Thaddeus Stevens in Lincoln.
Best director nominees are Ben Affleck (Argo), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) and Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained).
No surprises here. Ben Affleck and Tarantino have always been popular with the HFP, and their movies got a decent five nominations. But the omission of Tom Hooper, the director of Les Miserables, is disappointing and seems a major snub.
Also missing from the lineup is Anthony Hopkins for Hitchcock. And how about Matthew McConaughey? He gave killer performances in Magic Mike, The Paperboy and Bernie. And what happened to Jamie Foxx? His performance in Tarantino’s slavery vengeance epic has so far gone unrecognized this Oscar season.
And what happened to Beasts of the Southern Wild? They were robbed. They should have at least picked up some recognition for their phenomenal nine-year-old lead Quvenzhane Wallis, who is a force of nature. And Keira Knightly, whose performance in Anna Karenina is so impressive, was left off the best actress list, which means there’s little chance she’ll be up for an Oscar.
Some other surprises included Bill Murray’s nomination for Hyde Park on Hudson, a movie that got so-so reviews. But Murray is particularly good in comic roles as isolated, broken men, and it was that pathos he brought to his performance that was a stand out — although I don’t know why it’s in the comedy or musical category. The movie screened at the New York Film Festival where even Murray said his first reaction when he was offered the role by Roger Michell was that “it was a ridiculous idea.” But then he read Tony Award-winning writer Richard Nelson’s script and thought, “I could do this. I could do this.” His nomination today proves he was right.
I am also disappointed to see that Emmanuelle Riva, the star of Amour, didn’t make the cut for best actress although the film was nominated for best foreign language film, along with A Royal Affair, The Intouchables, Kon-Tiki and Rust and Bone.
So far, this awards season is an interesting race with none of the movies being a clear favorite or sure thing. That’s why the Golden Globe nominations this morning are important. Oscarologists are beginning to read the signs, but it’s still a wide-open horse race.
Golden Globe voters — the 80 or so journalists known as the Hollywood Foreign Press — have a history of making idiosyncratic or sometimes downright bizarre choices. In 2011, they gave The Tourist, the critically panned Johnny Depp-Angelina movie, three nominations, including for the film’s big-name stars and in the best comedy/musical category. At the same time they gave the Coen brothers’ True Grit zero love.
And how about that movie classic Burlesque, in which Christina Aguilera made her film debut? It received three Golden Globe nominations in 2011, including for best comedy/musical, and the Diane Warren tuner won for best song. Hey, we love Cher as much as the next person, but Burlesque wasn’t a film we want to remember her for.
The HFP choices are not so surprising when you consider the Golden Globes broadcast is their big-star event of the year, and they want celebrity wattage like Brad and Angelina to attend to pump up television ratings. And the Globes weekend is all about the mega-stars and especially the parties, where all the nominees make the rounds and rubberneck with the press.
I mean, is it surprising Cotillard was nominated and not Emanuelle Riva? Who would you rather party with? Wonderful as Riva is, the octogenarian will not attend the Globe festivities, while Cotillard will make a glittery, eye-popping photo op.
But don’t dismiss the Hollywood Foreign press nomination picks either. Their selections don’t necessarily point the way to Oscars, but they were on the money last year when they made the call for The Artist as best comedy-musical motion picture. Then they were completely off track with their choice of The Descendants as best drama. They did pick Meryl Streep for best actress in a drama for The Iron Lady, although you didn’t need a crystal ball to predict Streep would win an Oscar for that.
Also, the Globes choices often shine a light on some films that might be overlooked. Sure, they wanted Jolie at their shindig last year, so they nominated her directing debut film, In the Land of Milk and Honey for best foreign-language film, but it is also a worthwhile film set against the backdrop of the Bosnian War and deserved a seat at the big boy table.
The television choices are also interesting, with HBO leading the nominations with 17 and Showtime seven. The primetime stations might as well just give up. The best television series nominations for drama went to Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Downtown Abbey Season 2, Homeland and the The Newsroom.
Take a look at the nominations below and let us know your thoughts. The Golden Globes ceremony will air on Jan. 13, 2013 on NBC.
Full List of Nominees for the 70th Annual Golden Globes
BEST PICTURE: DRAMA
“Life of Pi”
“Zero Dark Thirty”
BEST PICTURE: COMEDY OR MUSICAL
“Exotic Marigold Hotel”
“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
Ben Affleck, “Argo”
Kathryn Bigelow, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Ang Lee, “Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”
Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”
BEST ACTOR: DRAMA
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
Richard Gere, “Arbitrage”
John Hawkes, “The Sessions”
Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”
Denzel Washington, “Flight”
BEST ACTRESS: DRAMA
Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Marion Cotillard, “Rust & Bone”
Helen Mirren, “Hitchcock”
Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”
Rachel Weisz, “The Deep Blue Sea”
BEST ACTRESS: COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Emily Blunt, “Salmon Fishing In The Yemen”
Judi Dench, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Maggie Smith, “Quartet”
Meryl Streep, “Hope Springs”
BEST ACTOR: COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Jack Black, “Bernie”
Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables”
Ewan McGregor, “Salmon Fishing In The Yemen”
Bill Murray, “Hyde Park On Hudson”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, “The Master”
Sally Field, “Lincoln”
Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”
Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”
Nicole Kidman, “The Paperboy”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan Arkin, “Argo”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Django Unchained”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”
Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”
Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“A Royal Affair”
“Rust and Bone”
“Zero Dark Thirty”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
“Life of Pi”
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
“Rise of the Guardians”
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Not Running Anymore”
“Safe and Sound”
TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
“Downton Abbey: Season 2″
ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Connie Britton, “Nashville”
Glenn Close, “Damages”
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey: Season 2″
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire”
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Damian Lewis, “Homeland”
TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
“The Big Bang Theory”
ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Zooey Deschanel, “New Girl”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Lena Dunham, “Girls”
Tina Fey, “30 Rock”
Amy Poehler, “Parks And Recreation”
ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES — COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”
Don Cheadle, “House Of Lies”
Louis C.K., “Louie”
Matt Leblanc, “Episodes”
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
“Hatfields & McCoys”
ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Nicole Kidman, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Asylum”
Sienna Miller, “The Girl”
Julianne Moore, “Game Change”
Sigourney Weaver, “Political Animals”
ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Kevin Costner, “Hatfields & Mccoys”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”
Woody Harrelson, “Game Change”
Toby Jones, “The Girl”
Clive Owen, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Hayden Panettiere, “Nashville”
Archie Panjabi, “The Good Wife”
Sarah Paulson, “Game Change”
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey: Season 2″
Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family”
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Max Greenfield, “New Girl”
Ed Harris, “Game Change”
Danny Huston, “Magic City”
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family”