Honourees greeted news of their Golden Globe nominations from locations both exotic and prosaic onThursday in the hours following the dawn nominations announcement in Los Angeles by theHollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).
Ron Howard was driving back from an early morning talk show appearance when he got word of his motion picture directing nomination for Frost/Nixon, whose five name checks - including one for best motion picture drama - tied it as this year’s most nominated film.
The haul ‘fulfilled my wildest fantasies,’ said Howard. ‘It’s just great that the challenges of our film have been acknowledged and recognised in that way.’ The project, he added, was ‘a joy, a workout. I never slept better than I did making this movie.’
Peter Morgan, writer of Frost/Nixon and the play on which it was based, was on a tram in Vienna when he heard about his best screenplay nomination. He was, he said, ‘gobsmacked,’ especially since his original hope had been that the play would ‘end up in some pub theatre.’
The recognition should boost the film in the same way that awards boosted his 2006 feature The Queen, Morgan suggested. Both films ‘need to be seen and enjoyed, and people who see them are surprised at how entertaining they are.’
In statements, Frost/Nixon star and best actor in a motion picture drama nominee Frank Langella said his ‘collaboration with [producers] Ron Howard and Brian Grazer was one of the best experiences of my career,’ and Hans Zimmer, nominated for the film’s original score, claimed that with the writing, directing and acting talent involved, ‘I didn’t have to try too hard.’
Working Title heads Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan, who produced with Howard and Grazer, said they were ‘delighted that the Hollywood Foreign Press have so generously recognized Frost/Nixon and Burn after Reading [which they produced with Joel and Ethan Cohen and which got two Globe nominations].’
Slumdog Millionaire producer Christian Colson got the news of his film’s four Globe nominations - including one for best motion picture drama - while at a London junket with director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy.
Colson said the film’s troubled production history didn’t affect his response to the recognition: ‘I’m not feeling too bruised or bitter about the various twists and turns in the process. The overwhelming feeling at the moment is just happiness.’
The film, said Colson, ‘insists that joy and optimism and hope have a place, however difficult things can get for people. And I think that audiences, particularly in America, seem to be ready to hear that.’ Awards recognition, he added, is ‘a very clear stamp of approval, it’s a fantastic boost for the film.’
Best screenplay nominee Beaufoy said that ten years after his early flush of awards success with The Full Monty, ‘I now know how hard it is to get nominated and how good your film has to be, so I appreciate it so much more now.’
Crew members who worked on the film in Mumbai are also ‘delighted,’ Beaufoy reports. ‘The city is kind of one of the main characters in the film. Nearly all the crew were Bollywood crew and it’s very much their film.’
Best motion picture drama nominee The Reader was another of the films with four Globe nominations and producer Donna Gigliotti said she was ‘thrilled, you’re always surprised when people validate the work that you’ve done.’
Gigliotti noted that fellow producers Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack, both of whom died earlier this year, would also have cherished the recognition: ‘Hearing this I just thought they would be so pleased.’
Nominated for his The Reader screenplay, David Hare acknowledged that the loss of Minghella and Pollock was ‘harrowing’ for everyone involved in the project. He added, though, that ‘from the moment we started showing the picture to audiences we’ve had an incredibly strong response. So to have that corroborated by the HFPA is obviously great for us.’
Kate Winslet, nominated in the supporting actress category for The Reader and in the lead actress category for Revolutionary Road, said in a statement that ‘to be recognized by the HFPA for both performances is a genuine honour and I am incredibly grateful.’
An enthusiastic Sally Hawkins reacted to her nomination for best actress in a comedy or musical for Happy-Go-Lucky - and to the film’s nomination in the best comedy or musical category - from a London TV studio.
‘Wow, wow, wow - what a surprise,’ she said, ‘I cannot describe how I feel, so appreciative of it all and so very pleased!!’
‘I’m so proud of the film and of [director] Mike [Leigh],’ she added.
Leigh himself said: ‘I am thrilled to learn about the nomination for Happy-Go-Lucky and delighted for Sally.’
Working hard in London, Brendan Gleeson said his nomination for best actor in a comedy or musical for In Bruges, ‘came as a bolt from the blue. I wasn’t really tuned in, so it was a lovely surprise.’
Gleeson’s co-star Colin Farrell, nominated in the same category, joked in a statement that ‘I’ve gotten worse calls in the wee hours of the morning’ and hoped that with three nominations - the film itself is up for best comedy or musical - In Bruges, released in the US last winter, ‘may get a second inning.’
The film’s writer-director Martin McDonagh said he was ‘so glad that our strange little comedy of mayhem and redemption has been recognized.’
Among the makers of films nominated in the foreign language category, Los Angeles-based Uli Edel, director of Germany’s The Baader Meinhof Complex, said ‘It’s very important for me that the film has got this recognition. And I’m very excited to be in the company of the other four terrific foreign movies that are nominated.’ The film has yet to find a US distribution home.
Matteo Garrone, director of Italy’s Gomorrah, got the news of his film’s nomination at the Havana Film Festival and said he felt ‘very honoured.’
The recognition, he added, ‘can help the movie be seen by a larger audience, and that’s the most important thing for me as a film-maker. It’s not an easy movie to watch, so I’m very happy about the fact that in the US they appreciate it.’
Jan Troell, director of Sweden’s Everlasting Moments, was working on a script when he got word from Los Angeles of his film’s nomination. Troell said he has been ‘a bit surprised that people have been affected’ by the film. ‘Many people say it’s almost an old fashioned kind of movie, it’s not the pace they are used to in modern films, and they seem to appreciate it.’
Commenting on the two nominations for I’ve Loved You So Long (in the best actress in a drama and best foreign language film categories), producer Yves Marmion said: ‘It’s a wonderful achievement for a French film to receive a double nomination by the Golden Globes. It rewards the wonderful job delivered by Kristin Scott Thomas and Philippe Claudel. I am very proud.’
Among the nominees in the best animated feature category, Wall-E director and co-writer Andrew Stanton said recognition for his film was ‘a very pleasant outcome’ of an effort to push the boundaries of animated film-making. Buzz around the film, he suggested, results from Wall-E being ‘unexpected but universal.’
Kathy Kennedy and Frank Marshall, producers of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, said in a statement that the film, with five nominations including best drama, ‘has been a labour of love for all of us.’
Nominated Button director David Fincher thanked his producers, cast and crew and gave ‘a special thanks to the people of New Orleans for embracing the production and giving us so much support and inspiration.’
Among the five nominees for Doubt, screenwriter John Patrick Shanley said he was ‘so delighted that this extraordinary ensemble of actors has been honoured by the HFPA.’
Viola Davis, nominated in the best supporting actress category for her performance in the film, said she felt ‘blessed and grateful,’ and Amy Adams, nominated in the same category, said the for her the project was ‘one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.’
Emma Thompson, nominated for best actress in a musical or comedy for Last Chance Harvey, said that she and co-star Dustin Hoffman ‘had the best time making this film. It seems insane to get an award nomination on top of that, but I’m thrilled.’
And Hoffman, nominated for the same film in the best actor in a musical or comedy, said: ‘It is so exciting to be nominated, but working with Emma was reward enough. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to win!’
Changeling star Angelina Jolie responded to her nomination in the best actress in a drama category with a statement saying ‘I am honored to be nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press in a category with so many extraordinary women. What an amazing experience, having the opportunity to work with Clint Eastwood on a film I care so deeply about.’
And Marisa Tomei said about her nomination for The Wrestler in the best supporting actress category: ‘I am absolutely thrilled and cannot be happier that The Wrestler has been given so much attention. It is such an honor for the HFPA to have recognized my work and Mickey’s in this beautiful film.’
Kim Ledger and the immediate Ledger family issued a statement in response to Heath Ledger’s nomination in the best supporting actor category.
‘We thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for honoring Heath’s performance in The Dark Knight,’ the statement read. ‘This nomination is deeply appreciated and is not lost on those of us who continue to love and miss him. We are so proud that our boy’s work is being recognized in this way.’
Javier Bardem, nominated for best performance by an actor in a music or comedy for Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, said: ‘I am very happy to receive such support from the HFPA and truly thankful to Mr. Allen for allowing me the amazing experience of working with him and such an outstanding cast.’