The Golden Globe Award nominations, revealed Thursday morning at an ungodly hour for the Hollywood set, did what they were expected to do: shower nominations on films like “Lincoln” and “Argo and TV series like “Downton Abbey” and “Homeland.” But the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — the group of international journalists who determined the field of nominees and will get them drunk during a live broadcast of the ceremony next month — also managed a few shockers.
Here is a list of the 10 biggest Golden Globe surprises, featuring nominations we did not expect to see and ones we anticipated but did not pan out.
— Three nominations for “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”?
A sweet indie film that hardly anyone saw and that boasted one of the least sexy movie titles of 2012 got three nods Thursday: one each for its stars, Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, and another as best musical or comedy.
Some reasons why this should not have been surprising:
The musical/comedy category is much less competitive than drama.
The film’s message of intercultural cooperation may have resonated with the Foreign Press voters.
It’s a British-made movie, and there are a number of Brits in the HFPA.
Still: “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”?
— The “Game of Thrones” snub
The HBO epic was nominated for best TV drama last year. This year? Nothing. What, the HFPA doesn’t care for murderous little blond kings anymore? Or at least, per “The Newsroom’s” nomination, not as much as they care for beleaguered journalists who speak in Aaron Sorkin-ese?
— Nicole Kidman as best supporting actress for “The Paperboy”
Okay, technically she got nominated for a SAG Wednesday, too. So this wasn’t completely out of nowhere. Plus the HFPA loves it some Kidman: She’s been nominated on eight previous Golden Globe occasions.
Nevertheless, I’m still adjusting to the fact that this means Kidman is a serious contender for an Oscar nomination for a movie in which she pees on Zac Efron. Which further means there is a remote possibility that during the Academy Awards, we’ll actually see a film clip of her saying, “If anyone [word redacted] on him, it’s gonna be me.” I am now continuing to inhale and exhale solely so that I will live to see the day when, maybe, perhaps, this happens.
— A snub for Tom Hooper
“Les Miserables” got nominated in four categories, including best musical or comedy. But after all the hype about how the film was made, its director got no Globe nod.
— Richard Gere in “Abritrage”
Gere’s name has been mentioned in awards-season chatter, so his appearance in the best actor in a drama category wasn’t a jaw-dropper to those who keep close tabs on movie-trophy prognosticating. But to the average person who, perhaps, had never heard of “Arbitrage” and never saw his strong performance in it, this one may have been a head-scratcher.
— Rachel Weisz in “The Deep Blue Sea”
Same goes for Weisz, who delivered nuanced work in a film that never registered on many people’s movie-going Doppler radar.
— The “Mad Men” snub
Biblical scholars have recently determined that Moses chiseled on one of his tablets: “Thou shalt nominate ‘Mad Men’ for best drama every time it is eligible.” Well, the Foreign Press broke that commandment, leaving it off the best drama list for the first time in a year in which a new season of episodes aired. Perhaps the French voters didn’t care for the way Jessica Pare sang “Zou Bisou Bisou”?
— Meryl Streep in “Hope Springs”
A little surprising to see her on the best actress in a comedy ballot since “Hope Springs” hasn’t been much of a factor in the trophy season. But on the other hand: Streep. So sort of a surprise, but also sort of not.
— A snub for “Louie”
Louis C.K. was recognized for his acting on the series, but the show got left off the best comedy list. Which is surprising given the Globes’s penchant for recognizing daring work.
Instead, voters went with “The Big Bang Theory” and “Modern Family,” as well as less conventional fare like “Episodes,” “Girls” and ”Smash.”
— “Smash” got a nomination for best comedy or musical?
That was a surprise, wasn’t it?
Wait, what’s that? The Golden Globes airs on NBC, and NBC really wants “Smash” to succeed, and the season-two premiere of “Smash” will air a few weeks after the Golden Globes?
Ohhhhh. Now I get it.