‘Selma’ rescued and a bad day for ‘Unbroken’ with 72nd Golden Globe nods unveiled

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association unveiled the nominees for the group's 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards – aka Hollywood's drunkest night – Thursday morning. And in the aggregate, there aren't a lot of major takeaways in terms of changing the landscape of the Oscar race. Just a general further sculpting of the clay we already have on the table.

The Best Picture – Drama category was marked by the three-horse race as I defined it recently: “Boyhood,” “The Imitation Game” and “Selma” (which really needed the boost this morning, and happily showed up in the Best Director category, too). Finding room besides was “Foxcatcher” (a surprise for me as I heard the group didn't like the film) and “The Theory of Everything.” So if you're keeping track, on the sidelines was “Gone Girl” (though David Fincher landed a director nod and the screenplay and score were chalked up alongside Rosamund Pike), “Whiplash” and…

…well, it was a bad day for the folks on Lankershim. Universal Pictures already had to deal with the HFPA's dubious placement of “Get On Up” in the drama category when films of its ilk have been considered comedy/musicals in the past (sorry Chadwick Boseman), and then their big hopeful “Unbroken” was shut out, too. No SAG, no HFPA – it's pretty hard to pick up the pieces from there, but certainly not impossible. Maybe the BFCA is broad enough that it can figure in there next week, but at this point, the film is looking pretty beat up.

It's interesting to note how closely the acting races reflected SAG's choices. The Best Actress (in a Drama) and Best Supporting Actor categories matched up 100%, while in Best Supporting Actress, the HFPA subbed in Jessica Chastain in “A Most Violent Year” for Naomi Watts' surprise “St. Vincent” SAG bid. And in Best Actor in a Drama, “Selma's” David Oyleowo got the call up with Michael Keaton safely tucked away in comedy/musical.

Which means Jake Gyllenhaal is potentially going to be the one really trying to elbow his way into this category at the Oscars, which is sort of just awesome. His “Nightcrawler” turn was the definition of dark horse in this race and here he is with both SAG and Golden Globe firepower behind him. And it's possible he adds a BFCA nod to the equation on Monday. So an incredibly competitive year for the field seems to have given way to a heated six-horse race. (Though if “The Grand Budapest Hotel” continues to be resurrected, Ralph Fiennes could find an angle.)

Looking around, it's nice to see some fresh ingredients, like “Pride” in the Best Picture – Comedy or Musical category. Or Wes Anderson popping up in the Best Director field at the expense of star power like Clint Eastwood (“American Sniper” was completely passed over) and Angelina Jolie and Best Picture heavies like “The Imitation Game” and “The Theory of Everything.” In fact, come to think of it, Paramount must be feeling good as the only other Best Picture – Drama/Best Director player besides “Boyhood” with “Selma”/Ava DuVernay. That should take some of the sting out of “Interstellar” being virtually shut out (it only received a Best Original Score nomination).

Looking at the comedies, Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz love didn't translate to Best Picture placement for “Big Eyes.” Helen Mirren got a nifty bid for “The Hundred Foot Journey” (a fine film and she's great in it). Julianne Moore got some more “Maps to the Stars” love after winning the Best Actress award for the film at Cannes (and is a double nominee with “Still Alice” today as a result). “Begin Again” was totally left behind, but it was probably old news to this group at this point; the film premiered in Toronto over a year ago under a different title, after all. Oh, and Joaquin! I'm happy “Inherent Vice” could find some love.

But I have to say: Quvenzhané Wallis for “Annie?” Did you guys bother to see “Beyond the Lights?” Whatever, I'll just keep banging the drum, I guess.

There's little else to report or chew on besides, really. I'm sure there's plenty of fun to be had in the TV ranks, though, so check out Alan Sepinwall's take on it here, and keep an eye out for Dan Fienberg's analysis later.

Congrats to the nominees.

The 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015.