In the first major awards season announcement of 2010, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association revealed its nominations for the 68th annual Golden Globes Tuesday morning (December 14), confirming the status of certain cinematic front-runners, damaging the hopes of other films and bringing a few movies attention few expected. The TV categories were entirely more predictable, with “Glee” once again notching the highest number of nominations (five, up from four last year), trailed, like last year, by “30 Rock,” “Mad Men” and other shows.
The big surprise in the Best Motion Picture — Drama category was that “True Grit,” the Coen brothers highly praised new Western, didn’t land a nod in the category. In fact, it didn’t nab a single nomination. “127 Hours,” the true story of a trapped hiker starring James Franco, didn’t gain a much expected best picture nomination either. Instead, Mark Wahlberg’s “The Fighter” snuck in, joining other nominees “The King’s Speech,” “The Social Network,” “Black Swan” and “Inception.”
The Best Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical category contained even bigger surprises. Both Christina Aguilera’s “Burlesque” and Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie’s “The Tourist” fell short at the box office , yet the HFPA somehow decided to honor them in the category. That must be especially embarrassing after Depp and Jolie’s flick limped away from its opening weekend with just $16.5 million in box-office receipts. Perhaps the association made up for honoring those bombs by recognizing the $1 billion-grossing “Alice in Wonderland.” The HFPA also deserves credit for honoring “Red,” an underrated comic book adaptation starring Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman. It’s anybody’s guess which flick is the front-runner, though somehow we think the box-office haul of “Alice,” much like “Avatar” last year, will be hard to ignore.
In fact, “Alice” had a surprisingly strong morning, going on to garner nominations for Danny Elfman’s original score and for Depp as best actor. That nomination means Depp will compete against himself for best actor, as he was also recognized for “The Tourist.” In a word: strange.
Strange, too, how comprehensively “True Grit” was snubbed. In the dramatic-actor category, Javier Bardem (“Biutiful”) was denied as well, opening up slots for Ryan Gosling (“Blue Valentine”) and Mark Wahlberg (“The Fighter”). Neither of those guys, though, is likely to compete with the category’s faves: Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”), Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) and James Franco (“127 Hours”).
The dramatic-actress category was more predictable, although who actually thought Halle Berry would nab a nomination for “Frankie and Alice”? Regardless, this is Natalie Portman’s category to lose based on her turn in “Black Swan.”
Long a front-runner for her “Kids Are All Right” performance, Annette Bening got her nod and will continue to be the favorite to win Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical. It was also great to see Emma Stone pop up here for “Easy A.” Not that she has a shot, but it’s nice she’s been invited to the party.
In another defeat for “127 Hours,” Danny Boyle failed to garner a Best Director nomination. An early awards season darling, the film seems to be fading fast. David O. Russell (“The Fighter”) swooped in, and with “True Grit” being ignored, so did Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”). Still, the top pick to win remains David Fincher (“The Social Network”).
In the TV categories, no one should be surprised that buzzy musical “Glee” received the most nominations. Consider it the likely choice to beat out “30 Rock,” “Modern Family” and “The Big Bang Theory” for Best Television Series — Comedy or Musical. Last year, “Mad Men” took home the best drama prize, but this year it meets some competition on AMC from “The Walking Dead.” On Globe night, we have a feeling it’ll be the ad men battling it out with the zombies.
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