‘Lincoln’ leads Golden Globe film nods, as ‘Django’ surges

The Golden Globes may be the one major awards show to give a separate platform to comedy and/or musical filmmaking, but the Hollywood Foreign Press clearly sided more with drama in this morning’s nominations.

Not only did Steven Spielberg’s seriously serious historical biopic “Lincoln” lead all nominees with seven citations, but there was a perfect match-up between the Best Picture – Drama and Best Director categories, giving “Django Unchained” and “Argo” (both with five nominations), “Zero Dark Thirty” (four) and “Life of Pi” (three) an extra shot of credibility in the awards race.

Over in the comedy/musical side of things, there was disappointment for “Les Misérables,” seen by many as a potential Oscar frontrunner. While the long-awaited adaptation of the stage blockbuster notched up a respectable four nominations, it has to share that lead in the non-drama race with scrappy romantic comedy “Silver Linings Playbook.” A bigger blow for the “Les Mis” team, however, was the exclusion of Oscar-winning helmer Tom Hooper from the Best Director category. “Playbook” director David O. Russell didn’t make the cut either, but did manage to break up the all-drama lineup in the Best Screenplay race.

To fill out the Best Picture – Musical or Comedy lineup, the HFPA voters took a decidedly non-Hollywood stance, nominating critically beloved indie “Moonrise Kingdom” and two easygoing Britcoms: “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.”

The latter, which also nabbed nods for stars Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor, was perhaps the morning’s biggest surprise package, while “Best Exotic” adds another feather to its cap (and builds more underdog Oscar momentum) after yesterday’s nomination for the SAG ensemble award. SAG nominee Maggie Smith did not make the Best Supporting Actress cut, though her co-star Judi Dench grabbed a spot in the Best Actress – Musical or Comedy — where Smith found herself nominated for “Quartet.” The Globes have a way of working things out.

Speaking of the SAG Awards, the Globes threw a lifeline to several films and actors left out of yesterday’s nominations — beginning with Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.” The violent Southern western, which could arguably have competed in either the drama or comedy race, overcame its late unveiling to rally with five top nominations, including twin Supporting Actor bids for Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz, and looks a little steadier going into the Oscar race after yesterday’s Guild shutout.

Also rescued by the HFPA after surprising SAG snubs were Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams for “The Master,” though Paul Thomas Anderson’s acclaimed but divisive drama only scored in the acting categories. Another critics’ choice to receive a boost this morning is Rachel Weisz, the New York critics’ Best Actress pick for the little-seen “The Deep Blue Sea” — after missing out with SAG, she shows up in the Best Actress – Drama race, though fellow critical darling Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”) was once more frozen out. 

Weisz also leapfrogged young Quvenzhané Wallis, whose film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” — not an obvious Globes pick by any measure — was duly left out across the board. SAG nominees Helen Mirren (“Hitchcock”), Marion Cotillard (“Rust and Bone”) and Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”) made the list too, setting up an interestingly crowded Oscar race.

Along with Phoenix, usual suspects Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington and John Hawkes made the Best Actor – Drama list, but with fellow Oscar hopefuls Bradley Cooper and Hugh Jackman over in the comedy/musical race, a wild-card spot was going spare — and it went to Richard Gere for quiet indie “Arbitrage.” This is a major get for Gere after he failed to secure a SAG or even an Independent Spirit nomination.

The double-shot of “Django” in the Best Supporting Actor lineup meant a surprising snub for Robert De Niro, a nomination for whom would have seen “Silver Linings Playbook” exceed “Les Mis”‘s nomination total. Also failing to make the cut: NYFCC winner Matthew McConaughey for “Magic Mike,” whom many expected to benefit from the Globes’ noted fondness for A-list stars. This omission stings a little after yesterday’s SAG omission.  

In the Best Supporting Actress race, the nomination for Nicole Kidman’s flamboyant turn in the critically derided bayou thriller “The Paperboy” isn’t as unexpected as yesterday’s SAG nod — this one-two punch now gives the Australian a serious shot at a fourth Oscar nomination. Along with Adams, the field was filled out with predicted favorites (and SAG nominees) Sally Field, Anne Hathaway and Helen Hunt.

The Best Foreign Language Film field sprang few surprises, with perceived Oscar frontrunners “Amour,” “The Intouchables” and “A Royal Affair” joined by the high-profile (but Oscar-ineligible) “Rust and Bone.” It’s interesting to see Norway’s submission, “Kon-Tiki,” rounding out the category — the seafaring epic was recently picked up by The Weinstein Company, and is benefiting from their care.  

The music races, meanwhile, saw straggling literary adaptations “Anna Karenina” and “Cloud Atlas” each score a lone nod for Best Original Score. The Best Original Song category, typically for the Globes, is big on household names, as country superstars Taylor Swift (for her “Hunger Games” theme) and Keith Urban join Adele and Jon Bon Jovi. One might conclude that, as usual, the HFPA have left no star unturned, though Robert De Niro and Matthew McConaughey might have something to say about that. 

Check out the full list of 2012 Golden Globe Award nominees in film and television.