Golden Globes: Snubs And Surprises

 This time of year always brings the awards show race to the forefront with surprises and snubs as the entertainment industry votes on its favorite performances of the year.

Snub: "The Dark Knight Rises"

A dark night fell on “The Dark Knight Rises,” the final in the Christopher Nolan thrillogy that got tremendous reviews, earned $1 billion worldwide, and received an adoring response from audiences. And it still could get no HFPA love, and did not manage a nomination for Nolan or stars Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, and Michael Caine. Not even a screenplay? Holy snubs, Batman!


Snub: Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley should have won for change from glistening, good wife to suicidal adulteress in Joe Wright's groundbreaking adaptation of "Anna Karenina." The Globes threw her under a bus, er, train. And that means no beautiful Keira adding a dollop of class on the red carpet.

Surprise: Jack Black

They love him, they really love him: Comedian Jack Black got deserved recognition for his role in "Bernie," playing a real-life murderer-mortician who sings "76 Trombones" from "The Music Man" – and kills Shirley MacLaine's rich biddy and stuffs her body in a freezer. It's definitely a finely-tuned performance from the often-broad comic.

Snub: Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt really slayed in "Killing Them Softly," and the HFPA would do almost anything to get Pitt and partner Angelina Jolie (and her meme leg) on the red carpet. Apparently this year, that just wasn't going to happen.

Snub: "The Walking Dead"

Creatively, the zombie drama is the best it's ever been, with even those who complained about the slower pace of Season 2 being forced to admit that the action has picked up this season. Producers have continued to prove that they really mean it when they say no cast member is safe in the zombie apocalypse with a pair of major deaths in the middle of the third season. And ratings-wise, "The Walking Dead" is averaging as the number one ad-supported drama in basic cable history. But while the survivors have managed to successfully battle zombies and each other, they couldn't make an impression on the Golden Globes folks, who completely overlooked the series in this morning's nominations.

Surprise: "Political Animals"

Sigourney Weaver's nod for acting is one thing; she was doing a take on Hillary Clinton, more or less, and while we're not sure that worked, Weaver is a consistent performer. What's really interesting is the "Best Mini-Series" nod -- and what's NOT in the category, namely "Sherlock." So many of the Globes' TV categories are dominated by British actors and projects this year -- is this a parochial attempt to win "the war at home"?

Snub: "Game of Thrones"

Last year, the HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin's saga was a nominee for Best Drama Series, while star Peter Dinklage won the Golden Globe for Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (and gave that memorable speech in which he name-checked a British little person who'd been a victim of a violent crime). This year: Dinklage will definitely be de-"Thrones"-ed, as neither he nor the show received any nominations.

Surprise: "Nashville"

We're surprised to see "Nashville" actresses Connie Britton (Rayna James) and Hayden Panettiere (Juliette Barnes) get nods; they're fantastic, but it's a freshman show with merely solid ratings. Panettiere's nomination in the Supporting Role category is a little strange, too, as she's really a co-lead on the show. And where's the love for Charles Estes as Deacon Claybourne?

Snub: "Dexter"

Michael C. Hall and his Showtime series have been Golden Globes favorites in the past, but for the last two years, neither the actor, the show, nor its lineup of guest stars like Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks have received a single Globes nod. Though viewers are more enamored with "Dexter" than ever -- last Sunday's episode drew 2.6 million viewers in its initial 9 PM airing, setting a new Showtime record for an original series telecast on the cable network -- the Globes voters apparently have no love for the serial killer anymore.

Surprise: Lindsay Lohan, "Liz & Dick"

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association COULD have nominated Lindsay Lohan for the execrable "Liz & Dick," just to get eyeballs on her red-carpet appearance. They didn't, and we salute their decision – not the least because there's no way to know whether the judge du jour would allow LiLo to attend in the second place.
Surprise: "Smash"

Yes, the category has "Musical" in the title. That's a holdover from a bygone age; it's not a mandate, and it's not going to convince us that "Smash" is better than "Parks & Recreation," "Community," or "Happy Endings." (Then again, "The Big Bang Theory" got one of those past-masters noms we mentioned earlier, so who knows what the Foreign Press was thinking.)

Surprise: “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”

This instantly forgettable romcom pairing irresistible Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt suddenly comes back strong with three nominations: Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical and acting nods for the stars. All I can remember is all the things the hair-and-make-up people did to studly McGregor to make him look less than irresistible in the early scenes so Blunt doesn’t just jump him in the first act.

Snub: "Mad Men"

As with "Dexter," "Mad Men" was also a former Globes favorite. But despite memorable moments like Megan Draper's (Jessica Pare) birthday gift to hubby Don -- a seductive song-and-dance with the French tune "Zou Bisou Bisou" -- and Jared Harris's awards-worthy performance of the downfall and heartbreaking suicide of Lane Pryce, the show's sole 2013 Globes nomination is for Jon Hamm in the Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series, Drama category.

Surprise: Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"

Sure, everyone was a little slow in warming up to "Parks," but it became and has remained one of the smartest, sweetest, weirdest comedies on TV. Yet the show received its first-ever Globes nomination this morning: Amy Poehler for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Comedy. PS -- Poehler and her Golden Globes telecast co-host, real-life BFF Tina Fey, are competing against each other in that category (which Fey has won twice, in 2008 and 2009).

Snub: "Nurse Jackie"

The Globes voters loved them some Edie Falco during her stint as Carmela Soprano, nominating her for every season of "The Sopranos." And while her performance as "Nurse Jackie" earned her nominations in 2010 and 2011 (and a Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy nod in 2011), the Globes have completely overlooked the star and her Showtime comedy for the last two years.

Surprise: "Breaking Bad"

Heisenberg finally cracks the Globe code! The Emmy darling has waited quite some time to feel the love from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in the Best Drama category -- although perennial Emmy fave Bryan Cranston has gotten the nod twice before -- and if we were doing the voting, we'd give "Breaking Bad" a good shot at the hardware. On the other hand, Cranston hasn't won, and the HFPA ignored Aaron Paul completely. (And Jonathan Banks.)

Surprise: "Damages"

The Foreign Press isn't as automatic in their rubber-stamping of "past masters" nominees as the Emmys tend to be, so we're not entirely sure what Glenn Close is doing in the mix. She's won a Globe for this role before, but the most recent season, exiled to DirecTV, didn't get much buzz (and said buzz wasn't great), and this nom reminds us of the almost-guaranteed nominations "The West Wing" used to get.

Surprise: "Modern Family"

The Globes are weird about "Modern Family." They don't nominate the Emmy-winners out of the acting categories (Julie Bowen has taken home Emmy gold twice, her onscreen husband Ty Burrell once), but Sofia Vergara's up for a Globe again this year, and neither Bowen nor Burrell is nominated. In our opinion, that's half right (we think Burrell is great, Bowen just OK). It's also irrelevant; the statue's going home with Dame Maggie Smith anyway.

Snub: "Skyfall"
Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, and Javier Bardem turned in the classiest, most politically relevant Bond movie in recent memory under the direction of Sam Mendes. Dench deserved a supporting nomination and Bardem, who was dancing yesterday after Screen Actors Guild recognition, went home empty-handed

Snub: Jennifer Lawrence for "The Hunger Games"

Sure, Jennifer Lawrence got her expected due, nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical for "Silver Linings Playbook," setting up an Oscar match between her and Jessica Chastain. But didn't she really deserve the love for the blockbuster girl-power movie of the year, "The Hunger Games," in which she is the ultimate reluctant warrior-princess?

Surprise: Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman got a shocker nomination yesterday at the Screen Actors Guild, but she's showing legs for her performance as inmate-loving, faux tan-wearing Charlotte Bless in the roundly dissed film, "The Paperboy." Kidman has been laying down the charm all around town for a role where, yes, she peed on Zac Efron (who, not surprisingly, did not get a nomination).

Snub: Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey stripped for "Magic Mike," killed as a hitman in "Killer Joe" and played a smarmy Texas lawyer in "Bernie." This was the guy's comeback year and audiences, especially women, were welcoming his return. But sorry, Matt, this is not going to be your awards year.

Surprise: Rachel Weisz

Rachel Weisz recently picked up a best actress win at the New York Film Critics Circle for “The Deep Blue Sea,” a movie that was seen even less than “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” And, now, with this nomination for an exquisite, worthy performance she’s heading for the Oscar nomination top five. Go, Rachel, go!

Snub: Robert DeNiro

There hasn't been a list that hasn't included Robert DeNiro's OCD performance as the father to Bradley Cooper's bipolar romantic lead in "Silver Linings Playbook." DeNiro added to an ensemble that was all working at its peak -- and for a change he wasn't just phoning in the father role.

Surprise: "Django Unchained"

“Django Unchained” was late out of the gate but definitely got to the HFPA -- earning nominations for Best Director for supersized personality Quentin Tarantino, for his script, and for Christoph Waltz as best supporting actor as a charming, sharp-shooting bounty hunter in the Old West.