Thursday, December 12, 2013

71st Annual Golden Globe Award Nominations

Thanks to major contenders' ability to be weirdly slotted into the comedy or musical best picture category, it didn't allow any weird or random choices (a la "The Tourist," "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen") this morning during the nominees announcement for the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards.

"Nebraska" and "Her" are comedies? "Inside Llewyn Davis" is a musical? According to the HFPA, they sure are. This unfortunately, however, left out non-prestige comedies such as "This Is the End," easily the funniest, best comedy of the year, out of the running completely.

"12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" led the field with a whopping seven nominations each, the wide spread made available thanks to the two movies getting split up by genre.

"12 Years a Slave" joined "Captain Phillips" and "Gravity" in the best drama category along with left-fielders "Philomena" and "Rush." While the HFPA picked up these latter two films, it's unlikely the Academy will repeat the honor.

The best comedy or musical category saw "American Hustle" nominated with "The Wolf of Wall Street," "Nebraska," "Her" and "Inside Llewyn Davis." Out of both best picture categories, a notable snub is the Oscar-ready "Saving Mr. Banks," whose chances are now quite damaged considering no SAG or HFPA love for best picture or ensemble. Then there's the complete absence of any nominations for "Lee Daniels' The Butler."

A notable inclusion is "Her," which should be on everyone's radar for Oscar nominations now considering its inclusion in the critics groups last week and its healthy representation in today's nominations.

Best director nominations went to Steve McQueen for "12 Years a Slave," Paul Greengrass for "Captain Phillips," Alfonso Cuaron for "Gravity," David O. Russell for "American Hustle" and Alexander Payne for "Nebraska." While the first four are likely to repeat in the Oscars, Payne for "Nebraska" will probably get swapped out for Scorsese's "Wolf" or the Coen brothers for "Inside Llewn Davis."

With Forest Whitaker of "The Butler" gone, this left space for Idris Elba for "Mandela" to get nominated in the best actor drama category next to Matthew McConaughey for "Dallas Buyers Club," Chiwetel Ejiofor for "12 Years a Slave," Robert Redford for "All Is Lost" and Tom Hanks for "Captain Phillips." Those four will repeat at the Oscars, and Bruce Dern for "Nebraska" could slip in over Whitaker.

Best actress drama saw frontrunner Cate Blanchett for "Blue Jasmine" with Sandra Bullock for "Gravity," Judi Dench for "Philomena," Emma Thompson for "Saving Mr. Banks" and, with Meryl Streep stuffed into the best actress category for "August: Osage County," it left room for Kate Winslet for "Labor Day" to enter the race.

Joining Streep in best actress comedy or musical was Amy Adams for "American Hustle," Julie Delpy for the sole representation of "Before Midnight," and the very welcomed inclusions of Julia Louis-Dreyfus for "Enough Said" and Greta Gerwig for "Frances Ha." HFPA stands as the only awards group so far this season to recognize Gerwig's great work in the indie comedy.

Bruce Dern for "Nebraska" fell into the best actor comedy or musical category along with Christian Bale for "American Hustle," Leonardo DiCaprio for "The Wolf of Wall Street," Joaquin Phoenix for "Her" and Oscar Isaac for "Inside Llewyn Davis." The strange categorical split allows for a wider spread of worthy nominations such as this to happen.

Aside from Oprah Winfrey for "The Butler" in the best supporting actress category, these four actresses represent what we'll likely see in the category for the Oscars: June Squibb for "Nebraska," Julia Roberts for "August: Osage County," Jennifer Lawrence for "American Hustle" and Lupita Nyong'o for "12 Years a Slave." The fifth outlier? Sally Hawkins for "Blue Jasmine," a well-deserved inclusion nonetheless.

In the best supporting actor category, it appears Daniel Bruhl for "Rush" and Barkhad Abdi for "Captain Phillips" are indeed in for the Oscars, considering their double SAG and HFPA nominations. Joining them were Jared Leto for "Dallas Buyers Club," Bradley Cooper for "American Hustle" and Michael Fassbender for "12 Years a Slave."

What can we take-away from this morning's Golden Globe nominations announcement? Nothing really. Aside from the fact that the HFPA must have weird standards for what constitutes a comedy or musical. In any case, it allowed for a wider spread of worthy films to get nominations in -- save for the bizarre "Butler" shut-out. What else? "Her" and "Nebraska" are indeed contenders for Oscar best picture and beyond. Their potential was a little quieter until now.

Check here for a full list of nominations, and tune in to the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards with the return of hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. / 5 p.m. EST.

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