The Golden Globes began doing its part for the annual awards season glut, announcing a mess of nominations Thursday that don’t mean much except that famous people will gather on Jan. 13 to mingle with one another, promote their movies for Oscars, and get their freshly exfoliated faces on television.
Not surprisingly, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — known in some circles as “The Hollywood Foreign Waiters Association” — went for “Lincoln” in a big way. It leads the movie nominations with seven, including for best picture, best director (Steven Spielberg), and best actor (Daniel Day-Lewis). “Argo” earned five nominations including best picture and best director (Ben Affleck), as did “Django Unchained,” including best picture and best director (Quentin Tarantino).
Scoring four nominations each: the French Revolution musical “Les Misérables,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” Kathryn Bigelow’s thriller about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. “The Life of Pi” and “The Master” got three nominations apiece. The little noted romantic comedy “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” received three nominations, including best picture, and Nicole Kidman won a surprise supporting actress nomination for “The Paperboy.”
Meanwhile, acclaimed underdog “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and its star, Quvenzhane Wallis, were ignored. Also ignored: Anthony Hopkins for “Hitchcock,” Robert DeNiro for “Silver Linings Playbook,” Keira Knightley for “Anna Karenina,” Jake Gyllenhaal for “End of Watch,” “Les Miserables” director Tom Hooper, “Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell, and action movies including “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Skyfall.”
On the TV side, the nominations were, as usual, a mixture of the obvious (nominations for “Homeland,” “Modern Family”), the happily quirky (Connie Britton for best actress for “Nashville,” Danny Huston for his creepy work on the small Starz series “Magic City”), and the completely embarrassing, most notably a best comedy-musical nomination for “Smash.” I guess the Spielberg producer credit didn’t hurt its chances with the HFPA, nor did the fact that “Smash” is on NBC and so are the Golden Globes. (Expect to see plenty of ads for the February “Smash” second-season premiere during the awards telecast.)
The Globes TV embarrassments also include the absence of “Game of Thrones” and last year’s supporting actor winner Peter Dinklage, as well as the snubbing of “Mad Men” in the best drama category. Instead, the HFPA nominated a pair of good but still inferior series, the uneven “The Newsroom” and the second, lesser season of “Downton Abbey.” “Mad Men” may not have had its best year, but still — it was impressive and better than almost everything else out there.
The HFPA also found room for “Episodes” in the best comedy category, but not for two of the year’s best, “Louie” and “Parks and Recreation.” At least “Girls,” Lena Dunham, and Louis C.K. got some due.
Also getting deserved nominations were Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, who will be cohosting the telecast. Awkwardness: averted.Matthew Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter