"Birdman" and "Boyhood" solidified their status as front runners this awards season as they nabbed Golden Globe nominations Thursday morning in marquee categories, while "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is shaping up to be the awards season's underdog.
But it was "Selma" that made history at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards nominations.
Ava DuVernay became the first African American female filmmaker in the history of the Golden Globes to be nominated in the best director category, for the historical drama about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights marches of Selma, Ala. The film, which opens Christmas Day, earned a total of four nods including best picture in the drama category, best lead actor for David Oyelowo and best original song.
Many were disappointed that the film did not get a single mention when the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations were handed out Wednesday. DuVernay attributed the shutout to the fact that screeners weren't sent out in time for voting consideration.
"Birdman" scored the most Golden Globe nominations, earning seven nods including best picture in its category, best director and best actor for Michael Keaton, who plays a washed-up movie superhero who seeks redemption by mounting a Broadway play.
"Boyhood" and "The Imitation Game" followed with five nominations apiece, including best picture in their categories. However, Richard Linklater's "Boyhood," a unique coming-of-age story shot over 12 years, has already been a critical favorite. It has been named the best film of the year by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and the New York Film Critics Circle, giving it the edge in the awards season race toward the Academy Awards being handed out in February.
Earning four nominations apiece were the films "Gone Girl," "The Theory of Everything" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel."
Written and directed by Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" had been something of an afterthought heading into the awards season. The film was released in March, making it a distant memory for some awards-season voters.
But "The Grand Budapest Hotel" now joins "Birdman" in the best picture category, comedy or musical, along with "Into the Woods," "Pride" and "St. Vincent." The five nominees in the best picture drama category are "Selma," "Boyhood," "Foxcatcher," "The Imitation Game" and "The Theory of Everything."
Competing with Anderson and DuVernay in the best director category are Linklater, David Fincher ("Gone Girl") and Alejandro G. Iñárritu ("Birdman").
Although the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which presents the Golden Globes, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences often don't agree, the Golden Globes are considered a strong indicator of who will take home Oscar gold.
Unlike the Academy Awards, though, the HFPA divides its film nominations into drama and comedy or musical categories.
Noticeably missing from the list: Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" and Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper." Movies with a surprisingly strong showing: "Pride" and "St. Vincent."
Joining Oyelowo in the category for lead actor in a motion picture drama are Steve Carell ("Foxcatcher"), Benedict Cumberbatch ("The Imitation Game"), Jake Gyllenhaal ("Nightcrawler") and Eddie Redmayne ("The Theory of Everything").
Nominations for lead actress in a motion picture drama went to Jennifer Aniston ("Cake"), Felicity Jones ("The Theory of Everything"), Rosamund Pike ("Gone Girl"), Reese Witherspoon ("Wild") and Julianne Moore ("Still Alice").
Moore was also nominated for best actress in a comedy or musical for "Maps to the Stars." Joining her in the category are Amy Adams ("Big Eyes"), Emily Blunt ("Into the Woods"), Helen Mirren ("The Hundred-Foot Journey") and Quvenzhane Wallis ("Annie.")
Vying with Keaton for best actor in a comedy or musical are Ralph Fiennes ("The Grand Budapest Hotel"), Bill Murray ("St. Vincent"), Joaquin Phoenix ("Inherent Vice") and Christoph Waltz ("Big Eyes").
On the TV side, "Fargo" and HBO dominated the nominations.
"Fargo" earned the most nominations -- five -- with "True Detective" following with four nods. HBO programming garnered 15 nominations. Among the shows earning three nods apiece: "House of Cards," "Orange is the New Black," "The Good Wife," "The Affair," "The Normal Heart" and "Olive Kitteridge."
And in a sign of television's ever-shifting landscape, Amazon's instant video comedy series "Transparent" was nominated for two Golden Globes, including best comedy or musical series and best actor for Jeffrey Tambor.
As previously announced, newlywed George Clooney is this year's recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
NBC will air the Golden Globe Awards live Jan. 11 from The Beverly Hilton with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler returning for their third and supposedly final time as hosts.
FOR THE RECORD
10:08 a.m.: An earlier version of this post said the awards were being held at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The ceremony will take place at The Beverly Hilton.