Thursday, December 15, 2011

69th Annual Golden Globe Award Nominations

Unlike last year when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) included completely out-there nominees in the Best Comedy or Musical categories -- hello, "The Tourist" -- the films included this year are legitimate award contenders, which really makes things interesting.

Leading the nominees for the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards were "The Artist" with six, "The Descendants" with five, and tied at four were "The Ides of March," "Midnight in Paris," "The Help" and "Moneyball."

The nominees for Best Picture Drama were "The Descendants," "The Help," "Hugo," "The Ides of March," "Moneyball" and "War Horse." The surprise here is the inclusion of George Clooney's "Ides of March" which otherwise hasn't been getting any awards attention. It'll be curious to see whether the acknowledgement from the HFPA here can bolster its chances at the Oscars. Probably not considering the snub for "Drive," which has great award presence elsewhere.

Notice the absence of "The Artist" above because it got included instead within the Best Picture Comedy or Musical category along with "Midnight in Paris," "50/50," "My Week with Marilyn" and "Bridesmaids."

The one I don't understand here is "My Week with Marilyn" because -- although I haven't seen it yet -- I'm willing to bet there's about as much humor in that as there is in "The Descendants," which was included in Drama. In any case, including movies here that have potential in other categories, too, edged out other worthy comedy or musicals such as "Crazy, Stupid, Love." and "The Muppets."

The split between Best Picture Drama and Best Picture Comedy or Musical has divided up big contenders that will otherwise be competing in the same category at the Oscars. Now "The Artist" has been completely removed from the equation against other films -- which is nice, giving others a chance such as "The Descendants" -- but it doesn't help in predicting what will take the top prize with the Academy.

Best Director is also a telling category. The HFPA really has faith in "The Ides of March" opting to include George Clooney in the list. Joining him were Woody Allen for "Midnight in Paris," Martin Scorsese for "Hugo," Alexander Payne for "The Descendants" and Michel Hazanavicius for "The Artist." No Steven Spielberg for "War Horse."

David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" got completely left out aside from a Best Actress nomination for Rooney Mara and another for Best Score. Even more curious was the complete absence of Stephen Daldry's "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close." Does it have something to do with having such a late entry? Also absent is Gary Oldman and "Tailor Tinker Soldier Spy," which will most likely get redeemed through BAFTA awards.

Joining Rooney Mara for Best Actress Drama were nominations for Glenn Close for "Albert Nobbs," Viola Davis for "The Help," Meryl Streep for "The Iron Lady" and Tilda Swinton for "We Need to Talk About Kevin." Where's Michelle Williams, you ask? She's included within the Best Actress Comedy or Musical category along with the film in which she starred. Joining her were two nominees from "Carnage," Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet, and Kristen Wiig for "Bridesmaids." It's interesting that the HFPA went for Wiig over Melissa McCarthy who has the most Oscar pull.

The nominees for Best Actor Drama were Michael Fassbender for "Shame," George Clooney for "The Descendants," Leonardo DiCaprio for "J. Edgar," Brad Pitt for "Moneyball," and surprisingly enough, the HFPA went for Ryan Gosling in "The Ides of March" over his performance in "Drive." Swap out Gosling and throw in Jean Dujardin, and this could be our Best Actor Oscar race.

Dujardin instead appears in the category of Best Actor Comedy or Musical once again making it hard to decipher how he'll stand up to his competition at the Oscars. With him were Brendan Gleeson for "The Guard," Joseph Gordon Levitt for "50/50," Owen Wilson for "Midnight in Paris," and -- thank goodness! -- Ryan Gosling for "Crazy, Stupid, Love." Well deserved.

Albert Brooks marks the only "Drive" recognition with his nomination for Best Supporting Actor alongside Kenneth Branagh for "My Week with Marilyn," Viggo Mortensen for "A Dangerous Method," Christopher Plummer for "Beginners" and Jonah Hill for "Moneyball." Hill could have the potential at this point to make it to Oscar, but I have a feeling it's going to be another Mila Kunis for "Black Swan" and will get left off at the end.

Best Supporting Actress nominees included Berenice Bejo for "The Artist," Jessica Chastain for "The Help," Janet McTeer for "Albert Nobbs," Octavia Spencer for "The Help" and Shailene Woodley for "The Descendants." This very well could mirror the Best Supporting Actress race at the Oscars unless McCarthy can edge out McTeer.

And, finally, the HFPA decided to nominate "Cars 2" among the Best Animated Feature nominees. Why, exactly?

Check out the full list of nominations, and tune in to watch the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, January 15 at 8 p.m. on NBC!

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