'The Artist' leads Golden Globe nominees


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The Independent Culture

When Harvey Weinstein phoned his brother and business partner, Bob, from this year’s Cannes film festival and announced that he had just spent “a lot of millions” acquiring a silent, black-and-white movie by a little-known French director, he's said to have got a two-word response: “you’re mad!”

Today, things looked different. Amid stellar reviews and rapidly-growing box office, that unpromising-sounding film, The Artist, was nominated for no less than six Golden Globe awards. The Frenchman, Michel  Hazanavacius, found himself alongside Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, and George Clooney, in the shortlist for Best Director.

In the era of 3D, effects-laden blockbusters and $200m budgets, the self-consciously old-fashioned title, which cost $15m to make, becomes odds-on favourite to win Best Comedy or Musical at January 15th’s event in Los Angeles, which is regarded as an important curtain-raiser for the coming Oscar season.

Jean Dujardin, who plays a 1920s silent film actor threatened by the rise of “talkies,” will now be competing with the likes of Ryan Gosling and Owen Wilson for a Best Actor award. He described the news as “an incredible gift,” adding “I am literally speechless.” His co-star, Berenice Beno, will contest Best Supporting Actress.

It has been a tricky year for Hollywood, which is suffering falling revenues, spiralling costs, and critical apathy towards many major titles. To that end, it was perhaps inevitable that Globes voters would have to cast their minds back to the Summer for this year’s other big winner: the movie adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s civil rights-era novel The Help.

It tied for five nominations with The Descendants, a well-reviewed new family drama starring George Clooney, who is nominated for Best Actor in a Drama for his performance. Ironically, the film will compete with The Ides of March, a political thriller written and directed by Mr Clooney, for Best Drama.

Other strong showings came from Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, and Moneyball, the adaptation of Michael Lewis’s book about baseball, starring Brad Pitt. Along with Ides of March, they each scored four nominations.

Martin Scorsese also enjoyed a good morning. His new film Hugo was shortlisted in three categories, while his TV series Boardwalk Empire got three nominations, including one for the Scottish actress, Kelly MacDonald.

It was, by the standards of recent years, an underwhelming day for UK talent. While Downton Abbey was nominated for Best Miniseries - its stars Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville also got nods – and Kate Winslet is in the mix for the TV series Mildred Pierce, not a single British title features in major movie categories.

Patriotic viewers must instead hope that Tilda Swinton or Kenneth Branagh upset expectations by wining acting awards for We Need to Talk About Kevin and My Week With Marilyn respectively. They can also look forward to the fact that, despite controversy over his facetious tone last year, Ricky Gervais will return as host.

List of nominees for the Golden Globe Awards

Motion Pictures

— Picture, Drama: "The Descendants," "The Help," "Hugo," "The Ides of March," "Moneyball," "War Horse."

— Picture, Musical or Comedy: "50/50," "The Artist," "Bridesmaids," "Midnight in Paris," "My Week with Marilyn."

— Actor, Drama: George Clooney, "The Descendants"; Leonardo DiCaprio, "J. Edgar"; Michael Fassbender, "Shame"; Ryan Gosling, "The Ides of March"; Brad Pitt, "Moneyball."

— Actress, Drama: Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs"; Viola Davis, "The Help"; Rooney Mara, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"; Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"; Tilda Swinton, "We Need to Talk About Kevin."

— Director: Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"; George Clooney, "The Ides of March"; Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"; Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"; Martin Scorsese, "Hugo."

— Actor, Musical or Comedy: Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"; Brendan Gleeson, "The Guard"; Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "50/50"; Ryan Gosling, "Crazy, Stupid, Love"; Owen Wilson, "Midnight in Paris."

— Actress, Musical or Comedy: Jodie Foster, "Carnage"; Charlize Theron, "Young Adult"; Kristen Wiig, "Bridesmaids"; Michelle Williams, "My Week with Marilyn"; Kate Winslet, "Carnage."

— Supporting Actor: Kenneth Branagh, "My Week with Marilyn"; Albert Brooks, "Drive"; Jonah Hill, "Moneyball"; Viggo Mortensen, "A Dangerous Method"; Christopher Plummer, "Beginners."

— Supporting Actress: Berenice Bejo, "The Artist"; Jessica Chastain, "The Help"; Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"; Octavia Spencer, "The Help"; Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants."

— Foreign Language: "The Flowers of War," "In the Land of Blood and Honey," "The Kid with a Bike," "A Separation," "The Skin I Live In."

— Animated Film: "The Adventures of Tintin," "Arthur Christmas," "Cars 2," "Puss in Boots," "Rango."

— Screenplay: Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"; George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, "The Ides of March"; Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"; Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, "The Descendants"; Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, "Moneyball."

— Original Score: Ludovic Bource, "The Artist"; Abel Korzeniowski, "W.E."; Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"; Howard Shore, "Hugo"; John Williams, "War Horse."

— Original Song: "Hello Hello" (music by Elton John, lyrics by Bernie Taupin), "Gnomeo & Juliet"; "The Keeper" (music and lyrics by Chris Cornell), "Machine Gun Preacher"; "Lay Your Head Down" (music by Brian Byrne, lyrics by Glenn Close), "Albert Nobbs"; "The Living Proof" (music by Mary J. Blige, Thomas Newman, Harvey Mason Jr., lyrics by Mary J. Blige, Harvey Mason Jr., Damon Thomas), "The Help"; "Masterpiece" (music and lyrics by Madonna, Julie Frost, Jimmy Harry), "W.E."


— Series, Drama: "American Horror Story," FX; "Boardwalk Empire," HBO; "Boss," Starz; "Game of Thrones," HBO; "Homeland," Showtime.

— Actor, Drama: Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"; Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"; Kelsey Grammer, "Boss"; Jeremy Irons, "The Borgias"; Damian Lewis, "Homeland."

— Actress, Drama: Claire Danes, "Homeland"; Mireille Enos, "The Killing"; Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"; Madeleine Stowe, "Revenge"; Callie Thorne, "Necessary Roughness."

— Series, Musical or Comedy: "Enlightened," HBO; "Episodes," Showtime; "Glee," Fox; "Modern Family," ABC; "New Girl," Fox.

— Actress, Musical or Comedy: Laura Dern, "Enlightened"; Zooey Deschanel, "New Girl"; Tina Fey, "30 Rock"; Laura Linney, "The Big C"; Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation."

— Actor, Musical or Comedy: Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"; David Duchovny, "Californication"; Johnny Galecki, "The Big Bang Theory"; Thomas Jane, "Hung"; Matt LeBlanc, "Episodes."

— Miniseries or Movie: "Cinema Verite," HBO; "Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)," PBS; "The Hour," BBC America; "Mildred Pierce," HBO; "Too Big to Fail," HBO.

— Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Romola Garai, "The Hour"; Diane Lane, "Cinema Verite"; Elizabeth McGovern, "Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)," Emily Watson, "Appropriate Adult"; Kate Winslet, "Mildred Pierce."

— Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Hugh Bonneville, "Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)"; Idris Elba, "Luther"; William Hurt, "Too Big to Fail"; Bill Nighy, "Page Eight (Masterpiece)"; Dominic West, "The Hour."

— Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, "American Horror Story"; Kelly Macdonald, "Boardwalk Empire; Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)"; Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family"; Evan Rachel Wood, "Mildred Pierce."

— Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones"; Paul Giamatti, "Too Big to Fail"; Guy Pierce, "Mildred Pierce"; Tim Robbins, "Cinema Verite"; Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family."

Previously announced

Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award: Morgan Freeman.