Photo Credit: PBS, HBO, Sony
Actors Jessica Alba, Megan Fox and Ed Helms announced the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's nominees for the 2013 Golden Globes Thursday morning -- and like every year, the list was a mix of the expected contenders combined with a dash of some big surprises.
For example, the upcoming musical Les Miserables scored top nominations for Hugh Jackman (best actor), Anne Hathaway (best supporting actress), and the film itself (best comedy or musical), but not director Tom Hooper, who is considered in the running for an Academy Award (and already has one for The King's Speech), or any of the other high-profile actors.
Best Drama: This was the category with the fewest surprises. Argo, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty all received much expected nominations. Every one of those films earned an acting nomination, except for Life of Pi: Alan Arkin was recognized as best supporting actor in a drama for Argo; Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz will both compete for a best supporting actor trophy for Django Unchained; Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones (who all seem to be locks for Academy Award nods) were nominated for Lincoln (for best actor in a drama, best supporting actress and best supporting actor); and Jessica Chastain was deservedly recognized for playing the protagonist in Zero Dark Thirty.
Other nominees for dramas included four veteran award-season actors: Richard Gere for Arbitrage, John Hawkes for The Sessions, Joaquin Phoenix for The Master (which received acting noms but none for director or film) and Denzel Washington for Flight. In the best supporting actor race, Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master) joins Arkin, DiCaprio, Jones and Waltz.
As for the actresses in a drama, Chastain will be vying for a Golden Globe opposite Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone), Helen Mirren (Hitchcock), Naomi Watts (The Impossible) and Rachel Weisz (The Deep Blue Sea) -- all of whom are the only big nominees from their films, and therefore statistically less likely to win.
The best director race did not include Hooper but did honor predictable contendors like actor-turned-director Ben Affleck (Argo), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) and Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained).
In addition to Field and Hathaway, both of whom were considered a sure thing, the supporting actress race also recognized Amy Adams for The Master, Helen Hunt for The Sessions and one of the HFPA's most obvious decisions to honor the star more than the role, Nicole Kidman for the divisive, critically panned The Paperboy.
Comedy: The five top comedies, according to the HFPA were The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Miserables, Moonrise Kingdom, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Silver Lingings Playbook. Silver Linings and Les Mis are both on track to receive best picture nominations for the Academy Awards, but the Globes did provide a boost for the well-acted but litte-seen Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
Bradley Cooper, who seems likely to earn his very first Oscar nomination, was nominated as best actor in a comedy or musical for Silver Linings Playbook , along with his costar Jennifer Lawrence for best actress. Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor were also both nominated in the category for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen -- a movie that was well reviewed but hasn't popped up on many critics' best-of lists so far. The rest of the actresses were all considerably more experienced than Lawrence and Blunt: Oscar winning actresses Judi Dench for Best Exotic Marigold, Maggie Smith for Quartet, and the most decorated actress alive, Meryl Streep for Hope Springs.
The nominees included some pleasant surprises recognizing standout performers in otherwise overlooked films, like Smith, Watts, Weisz, and Washington. Jack Black was also nominated, for his memorable dramatic turn in Bernie opposite Shirley MacLaine.
Television: If there's one thing the television nominations proved, it's that cable continues to trump network broadcasting, particularly when it comes to dramas. Except for Downton Abbey, which is on PBS, none of the shows were on basic television: HBO's Boardwalk Empire, AMC's Breaking Bad, PBS' Downton Abbey, Showtime's Homeland, and HBO's The Newsroom (which seems to have undeservedly stolen a spot from Game of Thrones, The Good Wife and Mad Men).
All of the actor nominees were returnees from previous years -- Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Damian Lewis for Homeland -- except for Jeff Daniels, who was nominated for The Newsroom. The actresess were similarly familiar (Homeland star Claire Danes, Damages star Glenn Close and Good Wife star Julianna Margulies). There were two newcomers, however: Michelle Dockery, who followed up her Emmy nomination with a Golden Globe nod for Downton Abbey, and Connie Britton, who earned a nom for the country drama Nashville.
The best musical or comedy TV series nominees included some surprises: previous nominees Enlightened, The New Girl and Glee were out, whereas The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and Episodes were joined by Girls and Smash. Girls writer, creator and star Lena Dunham continued her awards roll, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus returns to the Globes with Veep. The returning nominees were New Girl's Zooey Deschanel and firends and co-hosts Tina Fey for 30 Rock and Amy Poehler for Parks and Recreation. In a surprise move, the best actor side was mostly newcomers: Louis funnyman Louis C.K., House of Lies star Don Cheadle, and The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons (who seems to be taking turns with costar Johnny Galecki, who was nominated over him last year) were surprising additions to regulars Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock and Matt LeBlanc for Episodes.