The Golden Globe nominations are a significant signpost on the road to the Oscars. Mike Goodridge reports on the main contenders – and those which may have been overlooked

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announced nominations for the Golden Globes earlier this month and, at least in its drama categories, the selection was a fair reflection of English-language movies this year. The King’s Speech, The Social Network, The Fighter, Black Swan and Inception all won best picture (drama) nominations and nods for their directors.

Unfortunately for the HFPA, however, it was not a strong year for musical or comedy and, aside from the well-liked The Kids Are All Right which was cited for best picture (musical or comedy) and in three other categories, the choices were eccentric to say the least. The Tourist, which was loathed by critics, won nominations for picture, actor and actress, while other best picture nominations went to Burlesque, Alice In Wonderland and RED. The musical and comedy categories can often appear bizarre — reflecting the limited choice of suitable films. But the fact that Barney’s Version, Easy A and Love And Other Drugs, which all won acting nominations, failed to beat The Tourist to a picture nomination will not make the HFPA proud.

There was also comment that the Globes neglected the Coen brothers’ True Grit, especially its performances by Jeff Bridges and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld. Lesley Manville, who gave a standout performance in Mike Leigh’s Another Year, was also overlooked, as was Danny Boyle in the directing category for 127 Hours, and Winter’s Bone in all but the best actress (drama) category for Jennifer Lawrence.

Independent light

The Globes, did, however, shine a light on certain independent films — such as Blue Valentine and its stellar per-formances by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, Frankie And Alice for its lead performance by Halle Berry and Rabbit Hole for lead actress Nicole Kidman. All three were labours of love, as was The Fighter, which netted Mark Wahlberg nominations as producer and lead actor (drama).

The question now is which film and which director will win favour, not just with the Globes but all the way to the Academy Awards. The primary battle appears to be between David Fincher’s contemporary drama The Social Network, with its superb screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, and Tom Hooper’s period drama The King’s Speech. Both are eminently awardable. And while there is plenty of admiration for Darren Aronofsky’s ballet drama Black Swan and David O Russell’s working class boxing drama The Fighter, both might prove too dark or too left-of-centre to satisfy the majority of HFPA or Academy members.

And then, of course, there is Inception. The year’s box-office champion is an audacious storytelling exercise by film-maker Christopher Nolan. Having been overlooked for The Dark Knight, the Nolan fanbase and many others will be expecting the director to be rewarded this year. He could be a surprise winner.


It’s the wake-up call they dreamed of: Golden Globe nominees give their reactions to the good news


Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech: “I am so delighted for our entire cast, composer Alexandre [Desplat] and for David Seidler, whose journey towards making this film started as a small boy listening to King George VI on the radio. I am so grateful to my extraordinary cast and crew for helping to bring this unlikely story of friendship to life. Thank you for supporting our film and making me very happy at two in the morning in Melbourne, Australia!”

Christopher Nolan, writer-director-producer, Inception: “I’d like to thank the HFPA for recognising all of our hard work on Inception. It is particularly gratifying to be recognised for a film you’ve carried with you so long, and shared with so many incredible artists and craftsmen across six countries.”


Simon Beaufoy, co-writer with Danny Boyle, 127 Hours: “It was a huge challenge and not just because it’s a one-man film with a man who hardly moves. The challenge was making people forget that they know what happens to the guy. Somehow we had to make people live in each moment so they forgot it all ends happily and indeed that he [James Franco, playing trapped rock climber Aron Ralston] gets out. Of course Aron was alive and well and was reading every draft of the script, so it was a great responsibility because it was the defining moment of his life. Actuality can be a messy business, so we always had to fall on the side of the facts. We felt if we could get the emotional truth we could tell the story, but to do that we had to get Aron to trawl around in some of the less complimentary parts of his character and that allowed the film to be greater than the sum of its parts. It’s about more than a person trying to get out of a difficult situation; it’s about a person learning there’s more to life than himself.”

Lisa Cholodenko, co-writer with Stuart Blumberg, The Kids Are All Right: “I’m so grateful that the Hollywood Foreign Press has recognised The Kids Are All Right with four Golden Globe nominations, including best picture and for both Julianne Moore and Annette Bening’s phenomenal performances. I’m also thrilled to be able to share a screenwriting nomination with Stuart Blumberg, after years of writing — and rewriting! — this movie together.”

David Seidler, The King’s Speech: “It seems such a very long time ago I started on this journey, and there’ve been so many speed bumps along the way, it seems miraculous to have this reached fulfilment and see it so generously received. I was privileged to work with a perfectionist of a director who fully honours the collaborative process, and to be blessed with such a magnificent cast. That this quiet tale of hope, courage, friendship, and duty has found an audience is the greatest reward of all.”


Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right: “Seeing our movie getting so much recognition makes me proud. And being nominated alongside Julianne Moore is the best!”

Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network:“It was an honour to be part of this wonderful movie and we’re so glad it was acknowledged by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.”

Colin Firth, The King’s Speech: “I’m truly grateful to be recognised by the Hollywood Foreign press for this film, and euphoric to be in the company of so many of my colleagues.”

Paul Giamatti, Barney’s Version: “Thank you to everyone at The HFPA. It’s a great thrill to be honoured for this performance. I believe Richard [J Lewis] made a lovely movie, and I am really happy for the film to be recognised. I share this with all the cast and crew, who were a joy to work with.”

Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine: “I am very grateful to the HFPA. I also would like to thank them for acknowledging Michelle Williams for her incredible performance. Without the 12 years of director Derek Cianfrance’s unwavering vision and commitment none of this would have been possible. I share this nomination with both of them.”

Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone: “Working on Winter’s Bone with such talented people was an incredible experience, and never did I dream that it would lead to this moment. I’m so proud of this movie and words can’t describe being in the company of these extraordinary actresses. ‘Thank you,’ is the best I can do right now.”

Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right: “I was busy putting towels in the dryer this morning and didn’t hear my phone ring, so when my friend called later
I was pretty sure she was consoling me. I am so thrilled to be nominated.”

Natalie Portman, Black Swan: “I’m very honoured to be included in this group of actresses I so admire.
The experience of filming Black Swan with Darren Aronofsky and our incredible crew is already the most fulfilling experience of my career. The audience appreciation of the film is only furthering how grateful and proud I am to be part of the film.”

Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine: “This nomination is an honour and I am thrilled to share it with my friend, my co-conspirator, and my favorite dance partner, Ryan Gosling.”

Amy Adams, The Fighter: “What an exciting morning for our film, especially when you consider what a terrific year it was for movies. Thank you Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this honour. I am deeply proud of the
film and to be honoured for it is icing on the cake.”

Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech: “I’m very happy to get a nomination for The King’s Speech on the eve of my daughter’s birthday; it means I get a prezzie as well. If it reminds any producer, director, writer in the profession that I’m alive and kicking and available for work, then job well done. Thank you Hollywood Foreign Press and everyone that made me look good in The King’s Speech.”

Michael Douglas, supporting actor, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps: “To be selected with these extraordinary nominees is an honour and boy was I ready for some good news!”

Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech: “Playing an Australian commoner called upon to teach a reluctant English King some life lessons for me was fascinating in itself.  To have it embraced by American audiences and to be so honoured by the HFPA only endorses how global this story has become. Seeing a small-scale project play into an international arena makes this all the more worthwhile.”

Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom: “I feel like I’ve landed on another planet. Just working with David Michod, an extraordinary storyteller, a true auteur and a visionary, would have been reward enough. But now to have such wide recognition so far from home is incredibly satisfying.

Foreign Film

Luca Guadagnino, director, I Am Love: “It is an incredible honour and joy to be embraced with such warmth and appreciation. I am humbled that in Hollywood and America in general — as well as the international community — this film has enjoyed an acclaimed and embraced theatrical release. It is truly unexpected and further strengthens my belief in the power of the language of film. I celebrate this amazing result by thanking my partners in First Sun, all my producers and of course with my wonderful star Tilda Swinton.”

Animated Film

Sylvain Chomet, director, The Illusionist: “It’s a thrill and an honour to be nominated for a Golden Globe. I’m obviously delighted The Illusionist is getting recognised on the highest of global platforms — but more than that, I am deeply touched by how people are taking this wonderful film to their hearts.”

Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, directors, Tangled: “Tangledhas been a labour of love since its beginning, and the passion and dedication of our crew shows in every frame,” said Howard. “The nomination is a real thrill and an incredible way to honour Walt Disney Animation’s 50th feature film,” added Greno.

Lee Unkrich,director, Toy Story 3: “I remember while we were making it completely dismissing thoughts of awards because I though nobody would honour a movie with a ‘3’ after it. The fact that it’s happening now is truly thrilling. People appreciate the honesty of it. I tried to be as truthful as I could in the telling and the emotions. I didn’t want it to be maudlin in any way. I wanted it to be emotional and I wanted the emotion to be earned. It’s funny and scary at times and there aren’t that many films that can do that.”