Golden Globes 2013: Our Gut Reactions to the Movie Nominations

Looks like it's Argo versus Zero Dark Thirty at the Golden Globes this year.

Best Motion Picture -- Drama
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty

All the usual suspects are present and accounted for and, with the possible exception of Life of Pi, expect to see these same titles front and center at the Oscar nominations next month. At the Globes, this will be a neck-and-neck horse race between the political thrillers Argo (the crowd-pleaser) and Zero Dark Thirty (the critics' darling), with Lincoln as a possible spoiler. The Django nod is purely for show in this category at least. It won't be a factor until the Supporting Actor race.

Best Motion Picture -- Comedy or Musical
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Misérables
Moonrise Kingdom
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Silver Linings Playbook

It wouldn't be the Golden Globes without one completely random, out-of-left field choice and this year Salmon Fishing in the Yemen takes that prize. But don't worry... it won't go home with the actual prize -- this Globe is absolutely going to Les Misérables. (Nice to see some recognition for Wes Anderson's delightful Moonrise Kingdom, which really should win in this category, but has even less of a shot than the movie about salmon fishing.) At least the Yemen nod will provide analysts with a reliable punchline from now until the telecast, so kudos to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for making it so easy for us to make fun of them.

Best Director -- Motion Picture
Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
A straight-down-the-board repeat of the Best Motion Picture -- Drama category, which means that Tom Hooper and David O. Russell get left out in the cold. This approach does allow the HFPA to do a split between Argo and ZD30, however, giving Picture to Bigelow's movie and Director to Affleck, since they love finding any excuse they can to give awards to handsome movie stars.

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture -- Drama
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea
The absence of Amour's Emmanuelle Riva from this category is an unwelcome surprise; her slot likely went to Mirren instead, who has more star power and is really the only good thing about Hitchcock anyway. Watts's nomination also feels like a placeholder for a bolder choice. But it doesn't really matter, since this is Jessica Chastain's category to lose. The only possible upset could be if enough of the HFPA pops in their screeners of The Deep Blue Sea and go for Weisz instead.

Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture -- Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Richard Gere, Arbitrage
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight
So great to see Joaquin Phoenix among the nominees, even though the chances are zero that he'll show up, let alone win. But still, his performance in The Master is incredible piece of screen acting that merits recognition. (The likelihood of an Oscar repeat is slim; the more personable Bradley Cooper will probably take his spot instead.) The rest of the nominees are equally deserving actually, even Gere, who does very nice work in the legal thriller Arbitrage. But c'mon... they should just start carving Day-Lewis's name on that statue already.

Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture -- Comedy or Musical
Jack Black, Bernie
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
Ewan McGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson
The Salmon Fishing in the Yemen madness continues as Ewan McGregor picks up a nomination for his laziest performance this side of a Star Wars prequel. At least the HFPA made up for that by showing some love for Richard Linklater's Bernie and its transformative star turn by Jack Black. And it's nice to see Murray, the sole redeeming element in Hyde Park on Hudson, get nominated alongside his fellow movie star president, Daniel Day-Lewis. But the race is going to come down to a battle of the pretty men: Cooper vs. Jackman. Jackman will sing his heart out, but knowing the HFPA, they might be swayed by Cooper's blinding smile.

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture -- Comedy or Musical
Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Judi Dench, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Maggie Smith, Quartet
Meryl Streep, Hope Springs
Aaaaaand the HFPA gifts us with one more Yemen punchline. Poor Emily Blunt... she was actually in some good movies this year as well. Anyone see Looper? Judi Dench and Maggie Smith have been in far better movies than Marigold Hotel and Quartet as well, but everyone loves these two old British broads (as well as perennial nominee Meryl Streep) so their presence isn't a total shock. Star of tomorrow Jennifer Lawrence should cruise to an easy victory and use her stage time to do a trial run of her Oscar speech.

Best Performance By a Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
We're glad that somebody recognized the brazen brilliance of Nicole Kidman's crazysexycool turn in Lee Daniels's otherwise laughable The Paperboy. And Amy Adams is a powerhouse in The Master, more than holding her own opposite Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman. We liked Helen Hunt's performance as well, but given that she's essentially the female lead in The Sessions, she belongs in the Best Actress -- Drama category alongside Hawkes. But this statue was Anne Hathaway's the moment she opened her mouth to sing "I Dreamed a Dream" and reduced viewers to tears in the process.

Best Performance By a Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Alan Arkin, Argo
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
The lack of a nomination for Russell Crowe's weak warbling in Les Misérables indicates that the HFPA isn't completely tone deaf, so yay for that. And double yay for completing The Master trifecta and recognizing Philip Seymour Hoffman (although he's really more of a co-lead than a supporting actor). Elsewhere, the two veteran duo of Tommy Lee Jones and Alan Arkin will cancel each other out, leaving the path clear for Leonardo DiCaprio to win his second Globe for his showy, crowd-pleasing turn as Django Unchained's villain. (Although, if you ask us, Samuel L. Jackson gives that movie's finest, most complex performance.)

Best Screenplay
Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
Tony Kushner, Lincoln
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Chris Terrio, Argo
While it's possible that David O. Russell could win screenplay as a consolation prize for not being included in the Director race, it's more likely that playwright Tony Kushner will bring home Lincoln's only non-acting award since ZD30 and Argo are in a pitched battle for Picture and Director.

Best Foreign Language Film
A Royal Affair
The Intouchables
Rust and Bone

Holy Motors should have been here, but its absence isn't a huge shock since the HFPA has little patience for more experimental fare. In fact, we're suspecting that they'll pass on Michael Haneke's challenging Amour as well and give this statue to the mushy buddy dramedy The Intouchables.

Best Animated Feature
Hotel Transylvania
Rise of the Guardians
Wreck-It Ralph

That Rise of the Guardians and Hotel Transylvania were nominated over the infinitely superior ParaNorman is a deep injustice. And since the majority the HFPA's membership is too old to play video games, we're guessing Wreck-It Ralph is likely out of the running as well, which leaves either Brave or Frankenweenie. (Pssst... go Frankenweenie, choose Frankenweenie.)

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