Thursday, December 13, 2012

70th Annual Golden Globe Award Nominations

Every year the Hollywood Foreign Press Association decides to surprise us for no reason with their nominations, and this morning's announcement for the 70th installment of the Golden Globe Awards was no exception. This time it's all about that movie that everyone except the HFPA had forgotten: "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," which snuck into the nominees for Best Comedy or Musical. With that came nominations for "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" -- which also had a great showing with SAG yesterday -- "Moonrise Kingdom" and then front-runners "Les Miserables" and "Silver Linings Playbook" who will duke it out for the top prize.

What I find most alarming is that even the Critics' Choice had a better representation of this year's comedies. "Magic Mike," "This Is 40," "Pitch Perfect," "Ted" and "21 Jump Street" all got left off completely. Especially surprising is the absence of acting nominations for Leslie Mann or Paul Rudd for "This Is 40," or Matthew McConaughey who otherwise has been part of the conversation for "Magic Mike." Instead, we get both Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor nominated for "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," the independent selection over more conventional and, frankly, more well-received comedies. What's the thinking there?

"Lincoln" led the pack again with a total seven nominations trailed by "Argo" and "Django Unchained" each with five. Those three nabbed Best Drama nominations alongside "Life of Pi" and "Zero Dark Thirty" leaving "The Master" in the dust. Acting categories made up for it, however, as Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman were all nominated for the film, while all but Hoffman were skipped for SAG nominations yesterday.

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" was nowhere to be found, but that's not surprising considering the HFPA prefers to include bigger stars, and "Beasts" is full of unknowns.

With "Les Miserables" and "Silver Linings Playbook" both filling up Comedy and Musical slots, that left for some interesting inclusions in the Drama acting categories. With Bradley Cooper for "Silver Linings Playbook" shifted aside, Richard Gere got his due for "Arbitrage" which almost went the whole season without recognition.

Same goes for the displacement of Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings," which left room for the re-emergence of Rachel Weisz for "The Deep Blue Sea" after her NYFCC win. Naomi Watts for "The Impossible" and Helen Mirren for "Hitchcock" are gaining more traction for their spots in the Best Actress field for the Oscars, as well, pushing out both Emmuanelle Riva for "Amour" and Quvenzhane Wallis for "Beasts."

And apparently no awards season is complete without Meryl Streep, so way to go HFPA for remembering "Hope Springs," and nominating the veteran actress in the category of Best Actress for Comedy or Musical. Judi Dench got a nod, as well, not for "Skyfall" but instead "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" along with Maggie Smith for not "Best Exotic" but "Quartet."

The Best Supporting categories, which don't get the benefit of a Drama and Comedy or Musical divide, were both crowded. And guess who decided to show up again for Best Supporting Actress? Nicole Kidman for her raucous performance in "The Paperboy," which after SAG yesterday and now this, might, dare I say, have some traction toward an Oscar nomination? Lord help us, hopefully not.

Best Supporting Actor held some "Django" love with both Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz scoring nods. Sorely missing, however, was Robert De Niro for "Silver Linings Playbook."

What can we take away from this year's HFPA selections? Only that the Critics' Choice are more and more becoming the better Oscar precursor.

Check out the full list of nominations, and tune in to watch what everyone really wants to watch during the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting. It all happens on Sunday, January 13 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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