‘The Artist’ leads with 6 Golden Globes nominations, ‘The Descendants’ and ‘The Help’ at 5

“The Artist” solidified its status as the Oscar frontrunner with a leading six nominations for the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards Thursday. Two other strong Oscar contenders — “The Descendants” and “The Help” — each earned five nods. George Clooney‘s political drama “The Ides of March” had an unexpectedly strong showing with four bids. All four of these films vie for Best Drama against “Hugo” (3 nods) and “War Horse” (2). Late derby entry “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” was shut out. (See full list of nominations here). 

The Best Director lineup includes our two Oscar frontrunners — Alexander Payne (“The Descendants”) and Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”) — as well as fourth place Martin Scorsese (“Hugo”) and seventh place Woody Allen (“Midnight in Paris”) and Clooney (“The Ides of March”). Biggest snubs: Steven Spielberg (“War Horse”), Stephen Daldry (“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”). 

The Best Drama Actor race has our four Oscar frontrunners: Clooney (“The Descendants”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“J. Edgar”), Michael Fassbender (“Shame”) and NYFCC champ Brad Pitt (“Moneyball) as well as Ryan Gosling (“The Ides of March”). Biggest snubs: Gary Oldman (“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”) and, as he noted at the podium while reading other nominations, Woody Harrelson (“Rampart”) 

The Best Drama Actress nominees includes our top two Oscar frontrunners — Viola Davis (“The Help”) and Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”) — as well as our fourth place contender Glenn Close (“Albert Nobbs”), the surging Tilda Swinton (“We Need to Talk About Kevin”) and Rooney Mara (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”). Biggest snubs: Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”) and Kirsten Dunst (“Melancholia”).

“The Artist” vies for Best Comedy/Musical Picture against “50/50,” “Bridesmaids,” “Midnight in Paris” and “My Week WIth Marilyn”

Our other two frontrunners for Best Actress at the Oscars — Michele Williams (“My Week With Marilyn”) and Charlize Theron (“Young Adult”) — contend on the comedy/musical side against Jodie Foster (“Carnage”), Kristen Wiig (“Bridesmaids”) and Kate Winslet (“Carnage”). 

Oscar frontrunner Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”) is up for Best Comedy/Musical Actor against Ryan Gosling, who reaped a second bid for “Crazy Stupid Love,” as well as Brendan Gleeson (“The Guard”), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“50/50”) and Owen Wilson (“Midnight in Paris”), 

The catch-all Supporting Actor race includes our three Oscar frontrunners — Kenneth Branagh (“My Week With Marilyn”), Albert Brooks (“Drive”) and Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”) — as well as the surging Jonah Hill (“Moneyball”) and Viggo Mortensen (“A Dangerous Method”). Biggest snubs: Max Von Sydow (“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”) and Nick Nolte (“Warrior”). 

And the Supporting Actress category also has the three Oscar frontrunners — Berenice Bojo (“the Artist”), Octavia Spencer (“The Help”) and Shailene Woodley (“The Descendants”) — as well as the prolific Jessica Chastain (“The Help”) and Janet McTeer (“Albert Nobbs”). Biggest snubs: Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”), Vanessa Redgrave (“Coriolanus”). 

Unlike the Oscars, there is only one Screenplay award so Adapted frontrunners “The Descendants” and “Moneyball” compete against Original frontrunners “The Artist” and “Midnight in Paris” as well as “The Ides of March.” Biggest snubs: Original – “Bridesmaids”; Adapted – “The Help,” “Hugo.” 

The HFPA has about 85 members drawn from media who cover Hollywood for international outlets. Five-time Globe nominees Morgan Freeman is to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. He won the Best Comedy/Music Actor award for “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1989. Ricky Gervais returns to host the live NBC kudocast on Jan. 16.

The only time in the last seven years that one of the Globes Best Picture champs went on to take the top Oscar was “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2008. Prior to that, the Globes had an eight-year winning streak.

Last year, all of the five Best Drama Picture nominees went on to compete at the Oscar as did Best Comedy/Musical winner “The Kids Are All Right.” While “The Social Network” won with the Globes, it was “The King’s Speech” that prevailed at the Oscars. 

Two years ago, the five Best Drama Picture nominees went on to compete at the Oscar but none of the Best Comedy/Musical contenders did. While “Up in the Air” led with the most Globe bids, “Avatar” won the Best Drama Picture prize. However, it was pipped at the post by “The Hurt Locker” at the Oscars.

Last year, four of the five Globe Best Director nominees were in the running at the Oscars — Joel and Ethan Coen (“True Grit”) replaced Christopher Nolan (“Inception”). While David Fincher (“The Social Network”) won the Globe, Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”) claimed the Oscars. Two years ago, James Cameron (“Avatar”) won at the Globes but it was Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”) who prevailed at the Oscars.

In 2009, four of the five Best Drama Actors nominees went on to the Oscars with Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”) winning both awards. Likewise, four of the Best Drama Actress candiates also contended at the Oscars and Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) prevailed with both prizes. The fifth Oscar nominee was Best Comedy/Musical Actress champ Meryl Streep (“Julie & Julia”). All five of the men in the catch-all Best Supporting Actor category also went on to the Oscars with Christoph Waltz (“Inglorious Basterds”) winning both times while four of the five Best Supporting Actress nominees were also Academy Award contenders with Mo’Nique (“Precious”) crowned champ both times.

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