Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” which collected a leading seven Golden Globe nominations Thursday morning, will anchor the race for best drama in the 70th annual awards show.
In addition to singling out the story of the 16th president of the United States, the voters in the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. selected Ben Affleck’s “Argo,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” and Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” as the year’s top dramas.
The most glaring omission among the best picture selections was “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” widely seen as a top contender for Academy Award attention. The film wasn’t nominated in the drama race, and 9-year-old star Quvenzhané Wallis was similarly shut out of the dramatic actress race.
In the Golden Globe race for top comedy or musical, the HFPA singled out a movie that very few, if any, people considered a contender: “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” The romantic comedy directed by Lasse Hallström, which CBS Films acquired at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, was nominated for best comedy or musical. Golden Globe voters also nominated the film for best actress in a comedy or musical for Emily Blunt and best actor in a comedy or musical for Ewan McGregor.
Joining “Salmon Fishing” in the top comedy or musical category was Tom Hooper’s “Les Misérables,” Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom,” David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” and John Madden’s “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” which is enjoying a late surge in the awards race.
While widely embraced and heavily attended by Hollywood, the Golden Globes are not a reliable bellwether of the Academy Awards.
A year ago, the HFPA presented its top film awards to “The Descendants” (drama) and “The Artist” (musical or comedy), and “The Artist” won the best picture Oscar. But in trophies presented for 2010 movies, the Globes selected “The Social Network” and “The Kids Are All Right” as the respective best drama and musical or comedy.
But “The King's Speech" won the top Oscar. In 2007, “Dreamgirls” won the Golden Globe for best musical or comedy and wasn’t even nominated for a best picture Academy Award, while the Globe winner for drama, “Babel,” was nominated but lost to “The Departed.”
What’s more, the movie studios are largely free to select which category a film is considered. Focus Features, for example, somehow was able to place the historical movie “Hyde Park on Hudson” into the Globes grouping for musicals and comedies. The strategy paid off, as the film collected a Golden Globe selection for Bill Murray for comedy or musical actor.