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Golden Globes 2014: Our Gut Reaction to the Movie Nominations

Captain Phillips wins big amongst Golden Globes voters, while everyone steels themselves for the first round in the pre-Oscar 12 Years a Slave vs. Gravity battle.

Best Motion Picture -- Drama
12 Years a Slave
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Philomena
Rush

After seeming like a background player for much of the awards season (especially amongst critics' groups), Captain Phillips roared to the front of the pack with Globes voters, picking up nominations in four major categories, including Best Picture. (Just think… if Catherine Keener had appeared in more than one scene, she might have made the Best Supporting Actress race!) But the big surprise here is Ron Howard's Formula 1 racing biopic Rush, which came out in September and did a fast fade at the box office. Like soccer, Formula 1 appears to be one of those sports that American awards voters just don't get. Still, expect this to come down to a head-to-head between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity… two very different, but equally great movies.

Best Motion Picture -- Comedy or Musical
American Hustle
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
The Wolf of Wall Street

Wow… this line-up would make for a stellar mini-film festival in its own right. Absolutely no complaints about any of these nominees or what other films they may have shut out: they all deserve to be here. (Especially Her and Inside Llewyn Davis.)

Best Director -- Motion Picture
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Paul Greengrass picks up a nomination that probably should have gone to Martin Scorsese, while Alexander Payne takes the slot that Spike Jonze likely came within inches of claiming. (Not that either director can be accused of phoning it in, mind you.) But look for the 12 Years vs. Gravity battle to be re-fought here. Will Globes voters split the difference and make sure both films get honored or throw their full support behind one side?

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture -- Drama
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
Kate Winslet, Labor Day
Cate Blanchett has been the favorite in this category since Blue Jasmine hit theaters in July, but she's facing some formidable competition from Emma Thompson, who is at her snippy best as super-stern Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks. Good as they are in their respective movies, Sandra Bullock and Judi Dench are also-rans here and Kate Winslet is only present as a bench warmer, because even Globes voters must realize that Labor Day kinda, sorta stinks.

Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture -- Drama
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford, All is Lost
After being passed over by the Screen Actors Guild in favor of fellow septuagenarian Bruce Dern (who benefits from the Globes' Comedy or Musical category), Robert Redford gets a shot at winning his first Golden Globe for Best Actor. (He already has a Directing Globe for Ordinary People.) His only roadblock? Chiwetel Ejiofor, who has the potent subject matter of 12 Years a Slave on his side. (Plus, he's just damn good in the movie.) Still, knowing how enamored the Globes are of old-fashioned movie star glamour, Redford will probably sail to victory.

Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture -- Comedy or Musical
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Joaquin Phoenix, Her
Gotta say… the Comedy or Musical categories are far more interesting and varied than the Dramas this year. We know that it would be almost impossible for us to choose between Leonardo DiCaprio's amazingly manic turn in The Wolf of Wall Street, Joaquin Phoenix's beautifully understated performance in Her and Christian Bale's chameleon-like presence in American Hustle. We'd probably end up going with our man Oscar Isaac, so haunting and darkly funny in Inside Llewyn Davis, but we expect that the Globes will lean towards DiCaprio or, in another senior moment, Bruce Dern.

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture -- Comedy or Musical
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Thank goodness that somebody finally thought to recognize Amy Adams's transformative turn in American Hustle! In a movie packed with strong performances, she still stands out. And kudos to the Globes for remembering Julie Delpy and Greta Gerwig, not that either of them stands a chance to win. Julia Louis-Dreyfus continues to be the awards season dark horse and could very well take the Globe away from the presumed (though undeserved) front-runner, Meryl Streep, who shouts her way through August: Osage County.

Best Performance By a Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska
J-Law gets a showy sparkplug role in American Hustle, but it seems unlikely she'd win again after dominating the awards circuit only last year. Likewise, Blue Jasmine is largely seen as Cate Blanchett's movie (though Sally Hawkins is very good in it) and Julia Roberts and June Squibb seem like long shots. If 12 Years a Slave falls short in its other nominated categories, voters will likely throw this award to Lupita Nyong'o, honoring both a terrific movie and a terrific performance.


Best Performance By a Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Brühl, Rush
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
'90s heartthrob Jared Leto reinvented himself for his role in Dallas Buyers Club and seems likely to add a Globe, a SAG Award and maybe even an Oscar to his shelf as a result. (In a less tough year, Club's leading man Matthew McConaughey would likely be taking home those trophies in the various Best Actor races.) The other four actors have things to recommend them (especially Cooper and Fassbender), but Leto has the X Factor of important subject matter and personal transformation to put him over the top.

Best Screenplay
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan, Philomena
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, American Hustle
Philomena doesn't really belong in this class of scripts, but its chances of victory are slim so we'll just pretend it's not there. Alexander Payne's films have a long history of winning screenwriting awards as a consolation prize for losing in all the other categories, so that could easily continue here. But it's just as likely that 12 Years a Slave will go home with this statue and Best Supporting Actress, while Gravity takes Director and Picture.

Best Foreign Language Film
Blue is the Warmest Color
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
The Past
The Wind Rises

The big headline here is that an animated film broke out of the animation category, with Hayao Miyazaki's final feature, The Wind Rises, being honored alongside four live-action contenders, much like Disney's Beauty and the Beast did two decades ago. Still, it seems more like a choice to honor Miyazaki's legacy than a signal that Globes voters intend to give the statue to a cartoon, however mature it might be. The Cannes hit Blue is the Warmest Color would seem to have the edge, unless its combative director has talked himself out of the award.

Best Animated Feature
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Frozen

Umm… why is this even a category? Give it to Frozen and be done with it.

Get our reactions to the TV Nominations here!

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