Golden Globes Narrow The Field

Daniel Day-Lewis has emerged as the current front-runner for Best Actor

Daniel Day-Lewis has emerged as the current front-runner for Best Actor

Often viewed as signposting future Oscar winners, the Golden Globe nominations (presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) usually create something of a stir.  This year’s nominations are particularly interesting, coming in the same fortnight as two other shortlists, plus the announcement of actual winners – by Twitter, no less.  So what do they tell us?

The Golden Globes film awards differ from the Oscars by dividing some of the major categories into Drama and Comedy/Musical, which probably makes them a more accurate reflection of today’s cinema.  And, as the big Oscars rarely go to those involved with a comedy or musical, it also means those genres are in with a genuinely realistic chance of winning – unlike at the Academy, where the best they can usually expect is a benevolent pat on the head.

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln leads the nominations this year, with a total of seven – Best Motion Picture (Drama), Best Director, Best Actor (Drama) for Daniel-Day Lewis, Best Supporting Actress (Drama) for Sally Field, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score.

Ben Affleck’s Argo has five, including Motion Picture, Director and Supporting Actor (Drama) for Alan Arkin , as does Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, which has yet to be released in this country.  Musical Les Miserables gets four, including Best Actor for Hugh Jackman and Best Supporting Actress for Anne Hathaway.  And Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden thriller, Zero Dark Thirty, picks up three – Motion Picture, Director and Best Actress (Drama) for Jessica Chastain.

Which comes as something of a surprise.  Only last week the New York Film Critics’ Award named it Best Picture, with Best Director going to Bigelow.  At the time, it was seen very much as the front runner for the Oscars, but the Globe nominations make it less of a foregone conclusion.  The NYFC winners were, unusually, announced on Twitter, with Day-Lewis taking Best Actor and Sally Field Best Supporting Actress, both for Lincoln.  Best Actress went to Rachel Weisz for The Deep Blue Sea, but there was nothing for either Argo or Les Miserables.  The award ceremony takes place in January.

The nominations for the Critics’ Choice Awards seem to follow the Lincoln trend, with the film receiving 13 nominations in much the same categories as the Globes.  This time Les Mis has eleven and Silver Linings Playbook has ten.  Argo comes in with seven nominations but Zero Dark Thirty only receives five nods.

The Screen Actors’ Guild nominations, also announced today, echo those of The Globes as well.  Day-Lewis and Field for Lincoln, alongside Tommy Lee Jones.  Alan Arkin for Argo.  Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway for Les Mis.  Helen Mirren in Hitchcock and Jessica Chastain are also in the Best Actress category, together with Marion Cotillard for Rust And Bone and Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook.  Helen Hunt, who was an early tip for Best Supporting Actress, is nominated for The Sessions, with her co-star John Hawkes in the frame for Best Actor.  Philip Seymour Hoffman makes it in to the Best Supporting Actor category for The Master and even Skyfall gets a mention in the same breath, in the menacing shape of Javier Bardem.

All of which puts Lincoln in pole position at the moment, with Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field out in front for the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress trophies.  But after that, it’s still a reasonably open race.  Zero Dark Thirty is still the dark horse: it was only in 2008 that Kathryn Bigelow upset the form at the Oscars, winning both Best Director and Best Motion Picture, awards that were expected to go to Avatar.  Ben Affleck’s Argo is still a strong contender in a number of categories, with Alan Arkin looking a better-than-average bet for his second Best Supporting Actor gong.

The Oscar nominations themselves come out on 10 January, with BAFTA’s announcement the day before.  And the Golden Globes will be presented on 13 January.  By which time the field will have narrowed even further …………

For the full list of Golden Globe nominees, go to



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