Aside from being the first sign of where Oscar nominations might end up, the Golden Globes also serve as an early predictor of who the big awards surprises and snubs might be.
With such a strong field of contenders this year, there were plenty of shocking oversights and inclusions in the nominations, which were announced this morning. (Sorry, Franco fans. It just wasn't your year.) For a complete rundown of the most unexpected nods, we've compiled our list of the biggest surprises and snubs of the 2014 Golden Globe Awards nominations.
Let's just get this out of the way first because it hurts too much to think about. James Franco absolutely deserved a nomination for his role as Alien in "Spring Breakers." Once you strip away all of the jokes about Franco being one of the odder actors working today and look past what the character looks like, you have one of the great performances of 2013. If you haven't seen "Spring Breakers," go watch it. If you have, go watch it again, and try convincing us that it isn't a nomination-worthy performance.
OK, we've got that out of our system.
Though Franco is, in our eyes, a snub, it's not a surprising one. But the continuing oversight of Anna Gunn's work on "Breaking Bad" catches us even more off-guard. In the series' heartbreaking final season, Skylar White became as essential to Walter White's destruction as the man himself. His wife and family were what he had told himself he fought for and what he ended up losing most spectacularly by the end. Gunn's heartbreaking performance was integral to the power of those final episodes.
While we're thrilled that Julie Delpy was nominated for Best Actress for "Before Midnight," the third movie in Richard Linklater's talky trilogy was woefully unrepresented in other categories, especially Best Screenplay.
On the TV side of things, the lack of a Best Series - Drama nomination is sure to come as a shock the many fans of "Orange Is the New Black," the Netflix original show that went on to become the streaming services' most popular yet. The lead, Taylor Schilling, did receive a nomination for Best Actress, however.
After much ado about what the title legally could or couldn't be and making over $100 million at the box office, "Lee Daniels' The Butler" failed to score a single nomination. Though the film itself might not have scored the most sterling of reviews, the performances by Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey were expected to collect nominations, especially when considering the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's penchant for inviting big stars to their show.
The two movies that essentially stole the big night from "The Butler" were the surprise nominations of "Rush" and "Philomena" in the Best Motion Picture - Drama category. The Ron Howard racing film was applauded by critics but fell behind in the estimations of awards experts. Despite that, "Rush" was also able earn a nod for co-lead Daniel Bruhl. Stephen Frears' "Philomena" was among the more heavily campaigned movies, thanks to two controversies about its original R-rating and a reported anti-Catholic bias.
Among the more pleasant surprises on the list was the inclusion of Greta Gerwig for the "Frances Ha," a movie she co-wrote with director Noah Baumbach. Critics loved the black-and-white indie when it opens in May, but its early release date was thought to have removed it from the awards race.
The Golden Globe Awards will be handed out in January 12 on NBC.