A great morning to reflect, rejoice

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When Leonardo DiCaprio learned of his best actor nomination for "Revolutionary Road," he did what a character on "Entourage" might do: He called a buddy. That was fitting since the buddy in question was Kevin Connolly, the actor who plays straight-laced manager E. on "Entourage" and who was nominated for a Globe himself. (The two were set to go out for "a nod lunch," DiCaprio said Thursday.)

DiCaprio said his nom for "Road" validates the kind of film Sam Mendes and Paramount Vantage undertook. "This is a throwback to the kind of actors' studio film from the '50s and '60s where the story is driven by the characters," he said. "There are no phenomenal disaster elements. It's about people who are their own worst enemy. If you were making a film today without the book, you'd have to put a dead body in there or someone winning the lottery."

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There is a circular kismet in Ron Howard's "Frost/ Nixon" nom for best directing: In 1977, he was nominated for best supporting actor in "The Shootist" and attended the ceremony while at the same time broadcaster David Frost was holed up at the hotel and working with his research team on the historic interview. "It's funny to think, 31 years later, that I was actually downstairs from him," Howard said.

The nomination is Howard's fifth. "I don't think you ever become blase about this kind of acknowledgment," he said. "It's the immediate recognition of the challenges that your most recent work presented; each time I make a film, anyone makes a film, it's a huge undertaking and two years of your life."

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For Kristin Scott Thomas, the role of Juliette in the French film "I've Loved You So Long" was quite a change. She describes her character, which earned her a best dramatic actress nom, as "a very secretive, mysterious, unlovable woman" who has recently come out of prison and is living with her sister's family and a terrible secret. "I'm thrilled because it's a role that takes me out of the things that most people have seen me in before," she said. "I've always played a character with wit or an agenda, with a defense mechanism. This woman has no defense mechanism at all." Moreover, the role called for scruffiness. "I'm not looking glamorous at all. It wasn't about that, for once," she said.

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"Frost/Nixon" best screenplay nominee Peter Morgan could barely contain his excitement even though he has won a Globe before — for "The Queen" two years ago. "The pinch-me factor is doubled for some reason," he said. "I feel like the flower pot's gonna hit my head soon. I'm overdue for some really bad luck." It's especially startling to him that his original play, which he wrote when penniless, didn't seem to have great commercial appeal. "The only hopes I had for this play were that it would play for three weeks in a pub theater somewhere in North London," he joked.

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Of all the where-were-they-when-they-heard stories, Penelope Cruz's takes the prize. When her publicist called with the news, the "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" actress was flying from London to Paris with … Bono. She and the U2 frontman, who are friends, were headed to a Nobel Prize dinner, and Cruz said she and the rock star would now have an opportunity to raise a glass together.

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"Any good news is very welcome in my life right now," Christina Applegate said. After her ABC show "Samantha Who?" debuted last year to strong critical reaction and a Globe nom for the actress, she underwent a double mastectomy. So a nom this year for best performance by an actress in a TV comedy series has special resonance. "It means a lot to me that good things happen. Because I'm kind of done with the bad things," she said.

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"Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle had planned his day in London around attending a school performance of a Beckett play directed by his 17-year-old daughter, but things took a detour when his Mumbai-set movie scored four Globe noms. "I've got a lot of messages from Mumbai today. They've been through a tough time, but they are so exhilarated," he said. "Bollywood is an extraordinary industry in its own right, but they also watch Hollywood, and it's very exciting to get this kind of honor." The movie will hit Mumbai on Jan. 23 in two versions — the semi-English-language version, which will play in art houses, and a second version fully dubbed into Hindi.

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"It can only go downhill from here," joked best original score nominee James Newton Howard ("Defiance"), who was finishing an early breakfast before running off to record the score for Tony Gilroy's "Duplicity." A three-time previous nominee who has never won an award, Howard had a personal connection to Ed Zwick's movie about the Bielski brothers' survival during the onset of the Holocaust. Raised Protestant, Howard learned 20 years after his father's death that he was Jewish and that his father's original last name was Horowitz. "I always felt Jewish, so it didn't come as a great surprise," he said. "It was a haunting experience to work on that movie."

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The call from Marisa Tomei's publicist came early, waking her at her Los Angeles home around 6 a.m. to inform her of the nom for best supporting actress drama for "The Wrestler." Tomei plays the love interest of Mickey Rourke's character in the film, which netted a nom for Rourke as best actor in his comeback movie. "It was really kind of a fast and furious shoot. He and I didn't get to know each other well," Tomei said. "Now we'll have more time thanks to the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn."

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You can't blame Colin Farrell for not setting his alarm to wake up for the Globes announcement: Not even adventurous awards pundits were predicting a slot for the Irish bad boy's turn as a gangster in Martin McDonagh's hit-man comedy "In Bruges," which came out 10 months ago. "It was drawn to my attention that I should be aware there's an outside possibility," Farrell said diplomatically of how he pegged his odds coming into Thursday. An agent woke up the actor with the news at 5:45 a.m., and, with three noms, a movie that many had forgotten about was back on the radar.

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It may be Michael C. Hall's third nom as best actor for the title role in "Dexter," but what really made him happy was the fact that the show was nominated. "It gives me and all of us involved with the show validation that we're maintaining a quality and an audience," he said.

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"Gomorra" director Matteo Garrone was attending the Habana Film Festival in Cuba, where the Mafia-focused pic was screening, and heard about his best foreign-language film nom when a producer friend called him. Despite the locale, the Italian helmer won't be marking the occasion with a cigar. "I would like to be with all my friends who made the movie, so I'm probably going to wait until I get back to Rome to celebrate," he said.

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Sally Hawkins, the British actress behind the quirky character Poppy in "Happy-Go-Lucky," has been sidelined by a collarbone injury, but her trip to the doctor Thursday ended well: Her mother texted her with the news of her best comedy actress nom. "Of course, because it came from my mum, I didn't believe it," Hawkins said. "But I think she's hooked in to some kind of Google alert. She knew ahead of L.A. I think she even knew ahead of the Golden Globes."

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News that he had received a nom for best actor in a TV series was a welcome distraction for "Entourage's" Kevin Connolly: "I've got that bug that's going around," he said. Although ill, he was pumped. "This is my first anything," he said. He wasn't aware that it was nomination day but started getting calls about it at 5:30 a.m. at his Los Angeles home. "Usually calls at that hour, no good comes out of it," Connolly said. He immediately called the East Coast and his mom, Eileen. He'll be taking her to the ceremony.

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Alexandre Desplat was zipping through the streets of Paris on his Vespa when he heard he had secured a fourth nom (he won in 2007 for his score for "The Painted Veil"). "I feel really lucky to be nominated so many times in such a short period of time," said Desplat, who pulled down a best original score nomination for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

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David Hare, the screenwriter of "The Reader," was landing on a red eye from Los Angeles to London when the announcements came in — and didn't even know what he was missing. "I live in a complete fool's paradise. I didn't even know it was Golden Globes today," Hare said. The writer said that the four Globes noms for a drama about postwar Germany disproved conventional wisdom. "People always say during a recession that audiences don't want such serious pictures," he said. "That's what's so gratifying about this."

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David Duchovny received a second consecutive nomination for best actor in a TV series for his role on "Californication," a year after winning the Globe. "It's a good thing for the show," he said. "I always love that the show's creator, Tom Kapinos, can be acknowledged."

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James Franco stayed up all night, working on the sound mix of his NYU Film project and then watching David Cronenberg's "Videodrome" until 4 a.m. before falling asleep, missing not only his morning class but also the announcement of his "Pineapple Express" nom. If anything, he thought his work in "Milk" would be recognized. "This is one of Gus' best movies, so I was a little sad for him," he said.

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"Slumdog Millionaire" producer Christian Colson was at a press junket with Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy and the cast during the announcement. But the room didn't explode in cheers when the film trotted away with four noms. "There were some handshakes, a few 'well dones,' a pat on the back. I'm sorry to say it was all very British."

Compiled by Nellie Andreeva, Laura Butler, Jay A. Fernandez, Gregg Kilday, Borys Kit and Steven Zeitchik in Los Angeles and Paul J. Gough and Jillian Karger in New York.
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