Things were looking up for the seriocomedy "Up in the Air," which led the field with six nominations this morning at the 67th annual Golden Globe Awards.
George Clooney was nominated for best performance by an actor in a drama for his role as a corporate downsizer, and costars Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga were both nominated for best supporting actress. The film also was nominated for best drama of the year, as well as best director for Jason Reitman and best screenplay.
The musical "Nine," which opens in limited release Friday, scored five nominations, while "Avatar," which also opens Friday, and "Inglourious Basterds" earned four nods apiece. The Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker," which has been sweeping critics awards, earned three, though none of its actors received nominations. The critical darling "Precious," the hit of the Sundance Film Festival, also received three nominations, including best film, best actress in a drama for Gabourey Sidibe and supporting actress for Mo'Nique. However, the film was snubbed in the best director and screenplay categories.
On the TV front, the nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. were music to the ears of those at "Glee," Fox's freshman series about a quirky high school glee club. The acclaimed musical comedy series dominated the TV nods this morning, earning four, including best TV comedy series, best actress for Lea Michele, best supporting actress for Jane Lynch and best actor for Matthew Morrison. Along with "Up in the Air" and "Precious," the nominees in the best dramatic film category are "Avatar," "The Hurt Locker" and "Inglourious Basterds."
Vying for best actor in a drama along with Clooney are Jeff Bridges for "Crazy Heart," Colin Firth for "A Single Man," Morgan Freeman for "Invictus" and Tobey Maguire for "Brothers." Missing from the list: Viggo Mortensen for "The Road."
Actress Meryl Streep scored not one but two Golden Globe nods, for "Julie & Julia" and "It's Complicated." Sandra Bullock, Matt Damon and Anna Paquin were also double nominees. Bullock was nominated for best actress in a comedy/musical for "The Proposal" as well as for the drama "The Blind Side." Damon earned a best actor nod for "The Informant!" and supporting actor for "Invictus." Paquin earned a nomination for best actress in a TV drama series for "True Blood" as well as best actress in a miniseries or motion picture made for TV for "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler."
The nominees for best comedy/musical motion picture are "(500) Days of Summer," "The Hangover," "It's Complicated," "Julie & Julia" and "Nine." Noticeably missing from the list was the Disney/Pixar animated hit "Up" there were hopes in some quarters that the critically acclaimed film would break through in this category. It did earn a nod in the category of best animated film, along with "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," "Coraline," "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and "The Princess and the Frog."
Bullock and Sidibe were joined in the best actress in a drama category by Emily Blunt for "The Young Victoria," Helen Mirren for "The Last Station" and Carey Mulligan for "An Education."
Vying with Bullock and Streep for best actress in the comedy/musical category are Marion Cotillard for "Nine" and Julia Roberts for "Duplicity." Besides Damon, nominees for best actor in a comedy/musical are Daniel Day-Lewis for "Nine," Robert Downey Jr. for "Sherlock Holmes," Joseph Gordon-Levitt for "(500) Days of Summer" and Michael Stuhlbarg for "A Serious Man."
Rounding out the category of best supporting actress in a film are Penelope Cruz for "Nine" and Julianne Moore for "A Single Man." Joining Damon in the best supporting actor category are Woody Harrelson for "The Messenger," Christopher Plummer for "The Last Station," Stanley Tucci for "The Lovely Bones" and Christoph Waltz for "Inglourious Basterds."
Nominated for best director along with Reitman are Kathryn Bigelow for "The Hurt Locker," James Cameron for "Avatar," Clint Eastwood for "Invictus" and Quentin Tarantino for "Inglourious Basterds." (Bigelow and Cameron were once married. In what looks like a Golden Globe first in the directing category, the ex-spouses will be pitted against each other.)
Other big TV winners include "30 Rock," "Big Love," "Damages," "Dexter" and, of course, "Mad Men." All earned three nominations apiece."Big Love," "Dexter," "Mad Men," "House" and "True Blood" were nominated for best drama series. Joining "Glee" in the best comedy series category are "30 Rock," "Entourage," "Modern Family" and "The Office."
The awards will be handed out Jan. 17 in a three-hour telecast on NBC from the Beverly Hilton Hotel International Ballroom. Though the Globes have been known for a rather raucous, party atmosphere, the ceremony has become much more subdued in recent years. But that may be about to change. For the first time in years, the Globes have a host -- the irreverent British actor-writer-director Ricky Gervais of the original "The Office" and "Extras." The censors had better have their hands on the delay button due to Gervais' acerbic, R-rated humor.
Though the Globes are considered a bellwether for the Academy Awards, the two groups have diverged in their choices on many occasions, especially since the Globes divided their films into dramatic and comedy/musical categories. Most recently, both groups named "Slumdog Millionaire" as the best film of the year. But one year earlier, Globes selected "Atonement" as the best of 2007 and the academy awarded "No Country for Old Men" the top Oscar statuette.