Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.;Universal Pictures;Columbia Pictures
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association unveiled the nominees for the 2012 Golden Globes Thursday morning, and they're not too radically different from the honors bestowed by other critics circles and the Screen Actors Guild over the past week. That means that The Descendants, The Help, The Artist and this year's "dark horse" Bridesmaids all got their respective nods.
But it also means that a recognizable group of would-be contenders was snubbed yet again. There's no sign of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 in the film awards, and the HPFA completely ignored The Muppets for best song and Andy Serkis' acclaimed motion-capture performance in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Also, on the dramatic side, it's interesting that The Tree of Life, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy got snubs across the board from the HPFA. The Globes aren't necessarily indicative of who wins or is nominated at the Oscars, but those snubs have to sting nonetheless.
Now on to the actual nominees. There were no big surprises in the dramatic category, with The Descendants, The Help, Hugo, The Ides of March, Moneyball and War Horse all getting nods. George Clooney was recognized as best actor in a drama for The Descendants, Leonardo DiCaprio for J. Edgar, Michael Fassbender for Shame, Ryan Gosling for The Ides of March (not Drive, interestingly enough) and Brad Pitt for Moneyball. In terms of the best actress in a drama category, Glenn Close was nominated for Albert Nobbs, Viola Davis for The Help, Rooney Mara for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Tilda Swinton for We Need To Talk About Kevin and Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady.
There was, however, one semi-big shocker in the best movie director race: Expected contenders George Clooney (The Ides of March), Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) Alexander Payne (The Descendants) and Martin Scorsese (Hugo) are joined by (surprise!) Woody Allen, who earned a nod for Midnight in Paris, the biggest box-office hit of his career.
Since it's mostly dramatic films and actors that get nods at the Oscars, the best musical/comedy movie categories are the HPFA's chance to give recognition to the movies and stars who might not receive it otherwise. That doesn't seem to be the case this year, as best picture nods went to The Artist, Bridesmaids, Midnight in Paris, My Week with Marilyn and the cancer dramedy 50/50 -- all of which have a real (or at least marginal) shot at Oscar nominations.
Jean Dujardin, an Oscar frontrunner at this point, was nominated as best actor in a comedy or musical for The Artist, along with Brendan Gleeson for The Guard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt for 50/50, Ryan Gosling (again) for Crazy, Stupid, Love. and Owen Wilson for Midnight in Paris. Gleeson's nomination was a bit surprising, as he hasn't really popped up much in the awards rounds so far. And nominating Gosling over Crazy, Stupid, Love. costar Steve Carell was definitely a bit of a head-scratcher since Gosling was clearly a supporting character (perhaps Carell needs to work on his abs?).
In terms of actresses in a comedy or musical, Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet each received one for Carnage, Charlize Theron for Young Adult, Kristen Wiig for Bridesmaids and Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn.
There were a few nice surprises tossed in with the rest of the awards. Jonah Hill got his second best-supporting actor nomination of the awards season for Moneyball (he also received one from the Screen Actor's Guild), which means he's in good shape to get a nod from the Academy. And Angelina Jolie's directorial debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey, got a nod as one of the best foreign language films.
It's is a bit of a letdown that the HPFA didn't honor any of the real cinematic dark horses or lesser-known gems. Only time will tell whether the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences does the same for the Oscars, but we're betting that we won't be too surprised.
The TV nominations were a bit more of a toss up, though. This year's TV drama pool is comprised of HBO's Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones, as well as more daring choices like FX's off-the-wall new series American Horror Story, Starz's Boss and Showtime's Homeland. In case you noticed, they're all cable shows. That means: No soup for you, The Good Wife!
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) again snagged nominations for best actor in a TV drama, but new additions included Damian Lewis for Homeland, Jeremy Irons for The Borgias and Kelsey Grammer for Boss. Homeland went three-for-three in the major categories, with Claire Danes getting a best actress nod as well, joining The Killing's Mireille Enos, The Good Wife's Julianna Margulies, Revenge's Madeleine Stowe and Necessary Roughness's Callie Thorne.
The best musical or comedy TV series nominees also saw some surprising new additions. Perennial contenders Modern Family and Glee were joined by newcomers New Girl, Enlightened and Episodes. Enlightened's Laura Dern and New Girl's Zooey Deschanel both got best actress nominations, joining Tina Fey for 30 Rock, Laura Linney for The Big C and Amy Poehler for Parks and Recreation. On the best actor side, Episodes' Matt LeBlanc and The Big Bang Theory's Johnny Galecki (over Emmy-winning costar Jim Parsons!) were surprising additions to a roster of regulars that includes Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock, David Duchovny for Californication and Thomas Jane for Hung.