LOS ANGELES: Golden Globe voters did it again: a near-perfect spread.
Lincoln received the most Globe nominations Thursday, picking up seven. But this Hollywood awards show typically likes to spread its love around — perhaps because that makes for a livelier red-carpet spectacle — so Argo and Django Unchained were close behind with five nominations apiece. Zero Dark Thirty, Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook each received four.
In one of the bigger surprises, Globe voters plucked a small comedic drama, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, out of awards-season obscurity, giving it nominations for best comedy-musical and best actress (Emily Blunt) and actor (Ewan McGregor). The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 80 mostly freelance journalists that presents the Globes, even found a way to invite Meryl Streep to its party, handing her a nomination for Hope Springs.
Moviedom’s elder stateswomen did great all around. In addition to Streep, Helen Mirren was nominated for her acting in Hitchcock, Judi Dench for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Maggie Smith got attention for the television series Downton Abbey and the film Quartet, which is set in a home for retired opera singers. But Globe voters also singled out younger stars, including Adele (nominated for her James Bond song, Skyfall) and Jennifer Lawrence (chosen for her acting in Silver Linings Playbook).
Globe voters have a history of idiosyncrasies that sometimes invite derision, but Thursday’s nominations, may have never been more important as an Oscar influencer. That is because voting for Academy Awards nominees begins unusually early this year, on Monday. So Globe attention puts momentum behind recipients just as the Oscar balloting begins.
Although Lincoln is certainly the frontrunner, consensus has yet to form around any best picture contender, perhaps because an unusual number of films are arriving late in the year.
“This is a part of what I do that I have absolutely not a scintilla of control over, and because of that it’s just, you’re on a ride, and the safety bar comes down, and you can’t get off until it stops,” Steven Spielberg, a directing nominee for Lincoln, said by telephone Thursday morning.
The Globes also honor television. HBO continued its stranglehold on the TV categories, coming away with 17 nominations for shows including The Newsroom and Girls. Showtime received seven; its Homeland received nominations for best drama, best actress (Claire Danes) and best actor (Damian Lewis).
For the first time since its premiere season in 2007, Mad Men did not receive a nomination in the best drama category, although Jon Hamm got a nomination for his acting.
Mad Men was not the only prominent snub Thursday. In the film categories the critical darling Beasts of the Southern Wild was completely ignored. Robert De Niro, considered a lock in the supporting actor category for Silver Linings Playbook, was not nominated. Keira Knightley hit the campaign trail for Anna Karenina, but that film ended up only with best score.
And the nominee list did not include a single Hobbit.
Quentin Tarantino’s quirky western, Django Unchained, which does not roll into theaters until Christmas Day, gained some momentum Thursday. Tarantino was nominated for his directing and screenwriting, with two of his stars, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz, picking up supporting-actor nods. Django was also nominated for best picture — drama, a field that included Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty.
Three of the five nominated films for best animation come from the Disney empire: Frankenweenie, Wreck-It Ralph and Brave. DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians also made the animated cut, along with Sony’s Hotel Transylvania.
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey will be the co-hosts of the NBC telecast of the Globes on Jan. 13.