Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, and Helena Bonham Carter star in The King's Speech, which led this morning's Golden Globe nominations
This year's Golden Globe nominations, announced Tuesday morning, are for the most part about as predictable as award nominations get.
The movies most named in the nominations include The King's Speech, with seven, and The Fighter and The Social Network, which earned six each. On television, Glee landed five nominations (for comedy series, and for actors Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, and Chris Colfer, all of whom were also nominated for Emmys). A bunch of other series got three: Boardwalk Empire on HBO, Dexter on Showtime, The Good Wife on CBS, Mad Men on AMC, Modern Family on ABC, and 30 Rock on NBC.
There's not a lot of shocking news here at first glance — although some surprises lurk.
Sometimes, the Golden Globe nominations have an interesting oddball quality, in part because they separate drama and comedy for most purposes and thus wind up honoring actors in comedies that otherwise would be unlikely to win a lot of awards — this year, Emma Stone in Easy A comes to mind. They also have little shame when it comes to honoring performances that other outlets might treat as camp, and they've certainly done that with Jennifer Love Hewitt's turn as a massage therapist-slash-prostitute in the Lifetime original movie The Client List. (She was nominated in the miniseries or movie category, where the number of eligible contenders isn't quite as high).
But this year, while the Globes have managed to recognize a couple of performances the Emmys haven't yet (Katey Sagal's highly praised work on FX's Sons Of Anarchy being the most prominent example), the general march of Mad Men, Glee, Modern Family, The King's Speech, The Social Network and The Fighter doesn't really strike huge sparks.
Sagal, by the way, will be up against a less lauded nominee: Piper Perabo of USA's Covert Affairs, who is probably unfairly being saddled with being the latest version of the grouse that goes, "[This person] was nominated instead of Connie Britton from Friday Night Lights." (You may know Perabo from her work in Coyote Ugly.)
One place that's interesting to scout is in the area of new TV series, which become eligible for Golden Globes long before they're eligible for Emmys. While the mishmash of TV supporting actors (comedy, drama, and miniseries are all thrown into one category) creates silly match-ups like Julia Stiles from Dexter against Jane Lynch from Glee, CBS grabbed an interesting nomination for Scott Caan of its popular Hawaii Five-0 reboot. It is certainly not impossible that Caan could pull down an Emmy nomination next year.
Showtime also received two nominations for its cancer comedy The Big C, both in the comedy category and for lead actress Laura Linney. That, again, could be an Emmy predictor.
It's easy to say that the movie categories could also be Oscar predictors, but that's more because everybody seems to agree on what this year's frontrunning films are than because the Globes have made much of a statement with their picks. It might be considered mildly noteworthy that one piece of traditional wisdom — the one that says awards are hard to come by for movies that don't come out late in the calendar year — didn't seem to apply to Inception, which drew four nominations. But did anyone really think it would?
It's true that the comedy/musical nominations found room for Burlesque (which sports a 37 percent positive score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes) and The Tourist (an even lower 20 percent), which could be taken to suggest it's been a weak year for comedy. But after all, the Globes crowd did nominate It's Complicated last year, with a fairly anemic 56 percent, and Nine, with a Burlesque-tying 37 percent. In other words, the observation that some critically unsuccessful comedies and musicals nevertheless manage to snag Golden Globe nominations is ... not new.
Will you see most of these same faces at the Oscars and the Emmys? Sure. But you would have known that yesterday.