Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and their Golden Globe Awards are certainly important this time of year — but they are no Academy Awards, that’s for sure. For one thing, the actual awards show itself seems to last 3 weeks, allowing winners to ramble on and on, thanking everyone they know — and their brother. But despite the strung out awards show, the Golden Globe Awards serve a very specific purpose. They are the big setup for Oscar. Quite often, the awards presented by the HFPA can be used as good predictors for what will happen on Oscar night. Of course, this isn’t always true, but it is worth keeping an eye on.

Yesterday, the HFPA announced their nominations for this year’s awards. Take a look at the list below.

BEST DRAMA
American Gangster
Atonement
Eastern Promises
The Great Debaters
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

ACTOR (DRAMA)
George Clooney – Michael Clayton
Daniel Day Lewis – There Will Be Blood
James McAvoy – Atonement
Viggo Mortenson – Eastern Promises
Denzel Washington – American Gangster

ACTRESS (DRAMA)
Cate Blanchett – Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie – Away from Her
Jodie Foster – The Brave One
Angelina Jolie – A Mighty Heart
Keira Knightley – Atonement

MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Across the Universe
Charlie Wilson’s War
Hairspray
Juno
Sweeney Todd

ACTOR (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)
Johnny Depp – Sweeney Todd
Ryan Gosling – Lars and the Real Girl
Tom Hanks – Charlie Wilson’s War
Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Savages
John C. Reilly – Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

ACTRESS (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)
Amy Adams – Enchanted
Nikki Blonsky – Hairspray
Helena Bonham Carter – Sweeney Todd
Marion Cotillard – La Vie en Rose
Ellen Page – Juno

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
The Kite Runner
Lust, Caution
Persepolis

ANIMATED FILM
Bee Movie
Ratatouille
The Simpsons Movie

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Casey Affleck – Assassination of Jesse James
Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Charlie Wilson’s War
John Travolta – Hairspray
Tom Wikinson – Michael Clayton

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett – I’m Not There
Julia Roberts – Charlie Wilson’s War
Saoirse Ronan – Atonement
Amy Ryan – Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton – Michael Clayton

DIRECTOR
Tim Burton – Sweeney Todd
Joel and Ethan Coen – No Country for Old Men
Julian Schnabel – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Ridley Scott – American Gangster
Joe Wright – Atonement

SCREENPLAY
Diablo Cody – Juno
Ethan Coen – No Country for Old Men
Christopher Hampton – Atonement
Ronald Harwood – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Aaron Sorkin – Charlie Wilson’s War

ORIGINAL SCORE
Into the Wild
Grace is Gone
Kite Runner
Atonement
Eastern Promises

ORIGINAL SONG
“Despidida” – Love in the Time of Cholera
“Grace is Gone” – Grace is Gone
“Guaranteed” – Into the Wild
“That’s How You Know” – Enchanted
“Walk Hard” – Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

At first glance, I am happy to see that No Country for Old Men is still racking up some recognition — the film was phenomenal. Also leading the way a bit is Joe Wright’s period love story Atonement, which was good enough to deserve its nominations, but no necessarily good enough to take home some awards. Daniel Day Lewis and his film There Will Be Blood, a favorite among the critics circles, also received a few nods.

The surprises? Nikki Blonsky from Hairspray is a welcomed surprise in the Musical/Comedy category, and while the copious amount of nominations for Juno and young star Ellen Page may be a surprise to some, we are not phased. Also surprising is John C. Reilly’s nomination for his role in the forthcoming comedy Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. The film also earned a nomination for the title track of its soundtrack.

Overall, the HFPA has continued what I see as a very positive trend this awards season: diversity. And no, not the old wooden ship, but the notion that there is not one or two clear front-runners in any particular category. It is this fact that will make the chase for Oscar gold exciting — at least for those of us who write about it.


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