An untethered astronaut, a sexy hustler, a rich woman stripped of possessions and the persnickety creator of Mary Poppins are among the roles in which their creators earned nominations in the Golden Globes lead actress categories in drama and musical or comedy.
The drama nominees are Cate Blanchett as a neurotic socialite falling from grace in “Blue Jasmine”; Sandra Bullock as an astronaut floating helplessly in space in “Gravity”; Judi Dench as an Irish mother searching for the child she was forced to give up for adoption in “Philomena”; Emma Thompson as the creator of Mary Poppins who negotiates a movie deal with Walt Disney in “Saving Mr. Banks”; and Kate Winslet as an emotionally delicate single mother who falls in love with an escaped convict in “Labor Day.”
Nominees in a comedy or musical are Meryl Streep, playing a belligerent, pill-popping mother with cancer in ”August: Osage County”; Amy Adams as a sexy grifter in “American Hustle”; Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a single mother navigating mid-life tumult in “Enough Said”; Julie Delpy as a wife talking through the trials and tribulations of marriage in “Before Midnight”; and Greta Gerwig, playing a feckless woman sabotaging her life at every turn in “Frances Ha.”
Delpy’s nomination recognizes her evolving Celine in "Before Midnight," the latest of three films -- after "Before Sunrise" (1995) and "Before Sunset" (2004) -- that chart nearly two decades of love, bruises, aspirations, disappointments and simmering bitterness of a young couple who meet on a train and ultimately join their lives. Directed by Richard Linklater and also starring Ethan Hawke as Jesse, the films are driven by idiosyncratic and nuanced dialogue.
“We go into places that are the hardest to write,” Delpy said by phone from her home in Los Angeles. "It’s not falling in love. It’s marriage. It’s that in-between place in a relationship where no one wants to be. People’s relationships are complex, even people who love one another but don’t act as they should. We wanted to be true. We didn’t want to make a fantasy of a relationship -- we wanted to show the bright and the dark stuff.”
Emma Thompson’s portrayal of P.L. Travers, the British creator of Mary Poppins who traveled to Disney Studios in the 1960s to skeptically negotiate a movie deal, is a study in ill-tempered fastidiousness.
“She was a scary character to play because of her complexities,” said Thompson via telephone from New York. “She was terribly unpredictable. I love the fact that she was honest and direct. I value that as I get older. She had no respect for the medium of film. She thought of herself as a poet.”
Thompson added that re-creating the early 1960s era of Disney “was heaven. They’ve kept the lot restored and it’s gorgeous to be on. Disney surrounded himself with great artists.”
Receiving her first Golden Globes nomination, Gerwig, who played the hapless Frances, an endearing young woman struggling with adulthood, was surprised by her nomination.
”My publicist called me at 5-something, and I didn’t know it was today so I thought it was the pharmacy calling to tell me that my MedCo insurance didn’t go through,” she said. “Anyway, then I was, like, maybe it’s something worse and I should just check – and I saw all these text messages and started laughing and crying. I called my mom and she was very excited. She was like, “Gordon [her dad] isn’t here! He’s at the gym! There’s no way to even reach him, Greta!'”
Times staff writer Amy Kaufman contributed to this story.
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