Golden Globes: What You Need to Know About the Film Nominations (Analysis)

THR's awards analyst Scott Feinberg recounts key factoids, noteworthy inclusions and major snubs from Thursday's big announcement.
CBS Films
"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen."

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Thursday announced the nominees for the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards, which will take place Jan. 13 in Hollywood. Golden Globe nominations always have been highly coveted by Oscar hopefuls but never more so than this year. That's because the Academy's recent decision to move up its voting timetable means that Thursday's announcement comes less than a week before the Academy begins selecting its own nominees Dec. 17. It is widely believed that many members of the latter group refer to the choices of the former when filling out their ballots.

Here is a look at key factoids, noteworthy inclusions and major snubs from the HFPA's big announcement...


  • DreamWorks' Lincoln, which tied with two other films for the most SAG Award nominations Wednesday, leads the Globes field with seven Golden Globe nominations: best picture (drama), best director (Steven Spielberg), best actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), best supporting actor (Tommy Lee Jones), best supporting actress (Sally Field), best screenplay (Tony Kushner) and best score (John Williams). This is more total nominations than any previous Spielberg film ever received.


  1. CBS Films' Salmon Fishing in the Yemen for best picture (musical or comedy), plus its stars Ewan McGregor for best actor (musical or comedy) and Emily Blunt for best actress (musical or comedy) -- all nominations that caught virtually every pundit by surprise. After all, the film only received a limited release, way back on March 9, and neither its reviews nor its box office were especially impressive. Oh, you gotta love the HFPA!
  2. Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy) for best supporting actress, a performance in a divisive film that was on virtually nobody's awards radar until Kidman scored a surprise SAG Award nomination Wednesday. Now, all of a sudden, with both a SAG and a Globe nom, she looks like a formidable contender.
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) for best supporting actor, a particularly impressive feat considering that many, including me, figured that the two would cancel out each other's prospects. I read this as a testament to the level of enthusiasm that exists for their colorful performances -- though I still find it odd, in light of their nominations, that their co-star Jamie Foxx -- who plays the title role -- wasn't brought along for the ride in the best actor (drama) category.
  4. Rachel Weisz (The Deep Blue Sea) for best actress (drama), a wonderful performance in a little-seen movie from a tiny distributor that somehow has found its way above water, with good cause. Coming on the heels of Weisz's award from the New York Film Critics Circle, it makes one wonder if the 2005 best supporting actress Oscar winner might really be in play for another Oscar nom.
  5. Richard Gere (Arbitrage) for best actor (drama), just as it was looking like the veteran's critically acclaimed performance had gotten completely lost in the awards shuffle. This is one instance in which the HFPA's habitual fondness for the performance of a big movie star is perfectly justified.
  6. Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) for best actor (drama) and Amy Adams (The Master) for best supporting actress, two performances that were rather shockingly snubbed by SAG-AFTRA on Wednesday and really needed to recapture some momentum.
  7. Maggie Smith (Quartet) for best actress (musical or comedy), capping an incredible week for the 77-year-old, who also scored a best supporting actress SAG Award nomination for her performance in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, as well as SAG and Golden Globe nominations for her work on TV's Downton Abbey.
  8. Two films that were not completed until late in the game still got seen by the HFPA in time to make a major dent Thursday: Sony's Zero Dark Thirty, which scored just one SAG Award nomination, and The Weinstein Co.'s Django Unchained, which scored none, rebounded in a major way. Zero bagged noms for best picture (drama), best director (Kathryn Bigelow), best actress (Jessica Chastain) and best screenplay (Mark Boal), while Django was recognized in the categories of best picture (drama), best director (Quentin Tarantino), best supporting actor (DiCaprio and Waltz) and best screenplay (Tarantino).
  9. People who were nominated for a Critics' Choice Movie Award on Tuesday, a SAG Award on Wednesday and a Golden Globe Award on Thursday, and, based on history, are therefore all but certain to score an Oscar nomination, as well: Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), John Hawkes (The Sessions), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables) and Denzel Washington (Flight) for best actor; Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) and Naomi Watts (The Impossible); Alan Arkin (Argo), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master) and Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) for best supporting actor; and Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) and Helen Hunt (The Sessions). That, in theory, leaves in play zero best actor slots, one best actress slot, two best supporting actor slots and two best supporting actress slots.


  1. Fox Searchlight's Beasts of the Southern Wild for best picture (drama), probably the most prominent of the best picture Oscar contenders to come up completely empty Thursday. (The film features no major stars but rather two first-time actors, which I doubt is a coincidence.)
  2. The Weinstein Co.'s The Master for best picture (drama) and its director Paul Thomas Anderson for best director, though it still scored three acting noms Thursday, as many as any film. I believe that its best picture Oscar prospects remain intact thanks to the Academy's unique passion-based voting system, which requires only a relatively small number of people to really like a film for it to score a nom -- something that I believe it possesses.
  3. Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) for best director, a rather shocking omission considering how much the HFPA tends to support musicals (Moulin Rouge! beat Gosford Park, Dreamgirls beat Little Miss Sunshine, Sweeney Todd beat Juno, etc.), but somewhat less shocking when one remembers that the HFPA honored David Fincher (The Social Network) over Hooper two years ago when Hooper was en route to winning a best director Oscar for The King's Speech.
  4. David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) for best director, though only one director of a nonmusical comedy has been nominated in the category in the past eight years (Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris). So I'm fairly certain that it's nothing personal.
  5. Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook) for best supporting actor, which is surprising in the sense that there are few bigger "names" in the business than him but less so when one realizes that, for whatever reason, the HFPA has seen fit to honor only one of his many great performances over the years with a Golden Globe. Perhaps it's because he doesn't really do glad-handing.
  6. Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike) for best supporting actor, especially considering how much the HFPA likes to celebrate A-listers and that the group could have done so in this case with some protective cover, in the sense that his performance already has been nominated for a Critics' Choice Movie Award, among other critical honors.
  7. Javier Bardem (Skyfall) for best supporting actor, another respected actor and popular movie star who already has received critical kudos for his work in a widely seen movie -- in his case noms for both a Critics' Choice Movie Award and SAG Award.
  8. Focus Features' ParaNorman for best animated feature, despite solid reviews. It would appear that Sony Animation's Hotel Transylvania ended up bouncing it from the category.
  9. Having scored no precursor award nominations this week, Thursday probably marked the end of the road for best actor hopefuls Matt Damon (Promised Land), Foxx (Django Unchained), Tom Hanks (Cloud Atlas), Tom Holland (The Impossible), Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock) and Omar Sy (The Intouchables); best actress hopefuls Halle Berry (Cloud Atlas), Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina) and Laura Linney (Hyde Park on Hudson); best supporting actor hopefuls Bryan Cranston (Argo), John Goodman (Argo and/or Flight), Dwight Henry (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Hal Holbrook (Promised Land), McGregor (The Impossible) and Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables); and best supporting actress hopefuls Samantha Barks (Les Miserables), Kelly Reilly (Flight), Amanda Seyfried (Les Miserables), Kristen Stewart (On the Road), Kerry Washington (Django Unchained) and Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook).