What do the Golden Globe nominations mean for the Oscars?

Et tu, HFPA? Favoring their traditionally off-the-wall choices, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association brought “The Ides of March” back into the awards discussion after nominating it for Golden Globes for Best Drama Picture, Director (George Clooney), Drama Actor (Ryan Gosling), and Screenplay. Those nominations came as a decisive blow toward late entry “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” which was completely shut out.

Hugo” and “Midnight in Paris” seem stronger than ever. Their respective directors Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen are nominated today. Allen’s screenplay and actor Owen Wilson compete as well. Both films also picked up Picture bids in their genre categories.

Some unexpected names that cropped up on the comedy/musical side were Brendan Gleeson (“The Guard”) and Jodie Foster (“Carnage“). Otherwise, it was a relatively expected slate of nominees. For instance, there were no real surprises in Best Drama Actress as Glenn Close (“Albert Nobbs“), Viola Davis (“The Help“), Rooney Mara (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo“), Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady“), and Tilda Swinton (“We Need to Talk About Kevin“) filled the ranks. Add Michelle Williams (“My Week with Marilyn“) and Charlize Theron (“Young Adult“) to the mix, nominated over on the Comedy/Musical side, and you have this year’s Best Actress Oscar race.

The five Best Actor Oscar frontrunners Brad Pitt (“Moneyball“), Leonardo DiCaprio (“J. Edgar“), Michael Fassbender (“Shame“), Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”), and Clooney (“The Descendants”) all backed up their buzz with Globe nominations.

The Globes suggest that there are four locks for Best Supporting Actress Oscar bids. Their nominations for Berenice Bejo (“The Artist“), Janet McTeer (“Albert Nobbs”), and Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain (“The Help”) line up with Wednesday’s Screen Actors Guild Award nods. However, the Globes — who usually have a penchant for gross-out comedy — snubbed SAG nominee Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids“) in favor of Shailene Woodley (“The Descendants“). That’s a blow to McCarthy’s Oscar campaign since her film is nominated for Best Comedy/Musical and Actress (Kristen Wiig). Oscar and Golden Globe champ Vanessa Redgrave (“Julia,” 1977), has been shut out at all this week’s awards announcements including Tuesday’s Critics Choice Awards for “Coriolanus.”

Supporting actors Kenneth Branagh (“My Week with Marilyn“), Jonah Hill (“Moneyball“), and Christopher Plummer (“Beginners“) built on their Oscar momentum with Globe citations. Albert Brooks (“Drive“) popped up after being snubbed by SAG. He and Viggo Mortensen (“A Dangerous Method“) edged out SAG contenders Armie Hammer (“J. Edgar”) and Nick Nolte (“Warrior“).

Some of the craft categories get a little clarification. Last month, Gold Derby asked if Madonna would get her first Oscar nomination for “W.E.” Today she comes one step closer with a bid for her song “Masterpiece” from the film. Of course, she has five nominations for songwriting from the group and the Oscars overlooked her every time. She competes against Glenn Close, who wrote the lyrics for “Lay Down Your Head” from “Albert Nobbs.” The Elton John/Lady Gaga duet “Hello, Hello” from “Gnomeo and Juliet,” the Mary J. Blige-sung “The Living Proof” from “The Help,” and “The Keeper” from “Machine Gun Preacher” are also in contention.

The Original Score nominees Howard Shore (“Hugo”), John Williams (“War Horse“), Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”), Ludovic Bource (“The Artist”), and Abel Korzeniowski (“W.E.”) could all line up as the Academy Awards’ final five.

Finally, don’t expect to get much clarification in the Oscar race for Foreign Language Film out of the Globe contenders. Only China’s “The Flowers of War” and Iran’s “A Separation” are eligible at the Oscars. Angelina Jolie-directed “In the Love of Blood and Honey,” France’s “The Kid with a Bike,” and Spain’s “The Skin I Live In” are along for the ride.

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