In nominations for the 72 annual Golden Globes announced by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Boyhood and The Imitation Game trailed with five nods apiece. Those two films led a best drama category that also included Foxcatcher, Selma, and The Theory of Everything.
In the best picture, comedy or musical category, Birdman was joined by St Vincent, Grand Budapest Hotel, Into The Woods, and — in a surprise — the independent British film Pride.
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, about a Hollywood star trying to mount a serious drama on Broadway, earned nods for its star, Michael Keaton, supporting players Edward Norton and Emma Stone, as well as for its direction, screenplay, and score.
Richard Linklater’s long-in-the-making coming-of-age drama Boyhood, thus far the critical darling and the perceived front-runner of Hollywood’s awards season, added nominations for Linklater’s direction and script, and supporting actors Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette.
The Second World War code-breaker drama The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as mathematician Alan Turing, also went over well with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. In addition to its best picture nod, the Weinstein release nominated Cumberbatch for best actor, Keira Knightley for best supporting actress, Graham Moore for best screenplay, and Alexandre Desplat for best score.
The other nominees for best actor in a drama were Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), David Oyelowo (Selma), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), and Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler).
In the best actress category, the young Quvenzhane Wallis (Annie) joined a battery of veteran performers in Julianne Moore (Maps to the Stars), Helen Mirren (The Hundred-Foot Journey), Amy Adams (Big Eyes), and Emily Blunt (Into The Woods).
On the dramatic side, the best actress category was notable for two stars in less adorned performances: Reese Witherspoon in the hiking drama Wild and Jennifer Aniston for Cake. Also nominated were Moore (her second, for Still Alice), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl).
One of the surprise winners of the day was Grand Budapest Hotel. Along with a best picture nod in comedy, it earned nominations for Ralph Fiennes as best actor, and Wes Anderson for screenplay and director.
Fiennes and Keaton were joined in best actor, comedy or musical, by Bill Murray (St Vincent) and, in a few less expected choices, Joaquin Phoenix for Inherent Vice and Christoph Waltz for Big Eyes.
The Globes are known for sometimes idiosyncratic choices that help populate its flashy red carpet with celebrities, but there weren’t many odd picks in the style of its infamous attention for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and The Tourist in years past.
In the TV categories, the best drama series nominations went to The Affair, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, and House of Cards.
The nominees for best TV comedy series are: Girls, Jane the Virgin, Orange is the New Black, Silicon Valley, and Transparent.
For the third time in a row, the Globes telecast will be hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. It takes place at the Beverly Hills Hotel in California on Sunday, January 11.
Last year’s awards drew 20.9m viewers, marking it the most-watched Globes since 2004.
Going into yesterday’s nominations, Boyhood had emerged as the unlikely favourite in Hollywood’s awards season, taking top honours from the New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. But support has also been strong for Birdman, which topped the Gotham Independent Awards.
On Wednesday, the Screen Actors Guild — a strong predictor of the Academy Awards — nominated the ensemble casts of Birdman, Boyhood, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, and Grand Budapest Hotel.
Last year, the Globes chose the eventual Academy Awards best-picture winner, 12 Years a Slave as best drama. Best comedy went to American Hustle.