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5 takeaways from yesterday's Golden Globe nominations

By
Joshua Rothkopf
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When it comes to the Oscar race, it's dangerous to put much stock in Golden Globe nominations. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which bestows the latter, is a group that bears almost zero resemblance to the pool of industry players that vote on the Academy Awards. Moreover, the Globes's subdivision between drama and comedy/musical categories guarantees an abundance of nominees that will all fight to break into the tighter Oscar brackets. That said, perception is everything, and yesterday's Globe nominations could serve to solidify the Oscar field during these final weeks of campaigning. With this in mind (and please take the following as a bit of salt-grain-shaped conjecture), here are five takeaways from the news:

Jennifer Aniston is looking increasingly comfortable as a Best Actress nominee

For months, the Best Actress race has been stuck in a groove of four likely nominees, the fifth slot being a wild card. The front-runners include Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl, Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything, Julianne Moore (amazingly, still not an Oscar winner) for Still Alice and Reese Witherspoon for Wild. But with Aniston's success at breaking into the bracket for her noncomedic work in the forthcoming Cake—and, more tellingly, with her SAG nomination on Wednesday—it's looking likely that she'll crash the Oscar party.

Interstellar is almost certainly not a Best Picture nominee

The news wasn't entirely gloomy for Christopher Nolan's space epic; it scored a Globe nomination for Hans Zimmer's organ-droning score. But for a film to go all the way to Oscar's podium for Best Picture, it needs broader support, and without a single acting, directing or writing nomination to date (apart from making the AFI's year-end top-10 list), Interstellar is looking lost in space. Granted, its main actors were competing against themselves: Matthew McConaughey was a Globe nominee for TV's True Detective, while Jessica Chastain made the Supporting Actress bracket for A Most Violent Year.

Selma's Ava DuVernay is about to make Oscar history

Yesterday, DuVernay became the first black woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe directing award—a deserving honor for her amazing achievement with Selma's sprawling ensemble, uniformly excellent. And while the DGA is historically the best predictor of the eventual Oscar bracket of five, it's looking likely that she'll make that cut too. Meanwhile, there's absolutely no reason why Angelina Jolie couldn't sneak into the bracket as well for her direction of Unbroken. But, cynically speaking, she's the Globes's biggest loser: Her film got zero noms, Sony's email leaks are incinerating her, and any Oscar voters hoping to make a corrective statement could, at this point, swing their support to DuVernay.

Maybe it's Jake Gyllenhaal's slot after all, for Nightcrawler

As with Jennifer Aniston, Gyllenhaal's back-to-back nominations from SAG and the Globes bode well for him breaking into the Best Actor Oscar race. While other actors on the bubble also received good news in the comedy/musical category—particularly Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel—none of them received SAG's attention as well, as did Jake. The performance is a creepy one: Nightcrawler isn't an easy watch. But an Oscar nomination for Gyllenhaal would be richly earned and a win in itself, in keeping with Robert De Niro's nomination for Taxi Driver.

Don't rule out Gone Girl, even though it feels like it came out years ago

A healthy four nominations—for David Fincher's direction, Pike's leading performance, the original score (by past Oscar winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) and Gillian Flynn's adapted screenplay—speak to the movie's legs in the discussion. While it's somewhat mystifying that those nods didn't translate into a Best Picture nomination, Gone Girl is almost certainly a major player come Oscar time. It's the kind of rare film Hollywood loves to flaunt: provocative, adult, widely discussed and (most importantly) a massive commercial success, the biggest U.S. box-office hit of Fincher's career.

Here's a complete list of yesterday's movie-related Golden Globe nominees:

Best Motion Picture, Drama

Boyhood

Selma

The Imitation Game

The Theory of Everything

Foxcatcher

Best Actress, Motion Picture, Drama

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Jennifer Aniston, Cake

Best Actor, Motion Picture, Drama

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

David Oyelowo, Selma

Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler

Best Director

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman

Ava DuVernay, Selma

David Fincher, Gone Girl

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical

Birdman

Into the Woods

St. Vincent

Pride

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Actress, Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical

Emily Blunt, Into the Woods

Amy Adams, Big Eyes

Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars

Helen Mirren, The Hundred-Foot Journey

Quvenzhané Wallis, Annie

Best Actor, Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Bill Murray, St. Vincent

Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice

Christoph Waltz, Big Eyes 

Best Screenplay, Motion Picture

Birdman

Boyhood

Gone Girl

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Best Foreign-Language Film

Ida

Tangerine Mandarin

Leviathan

Force Majeure

Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

Best Supporting Actor, Motion Picture

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Best Supporting Actress, Motion Picture

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Emma Stone, Birdman

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year

Best Animated Feature Film

The Lego Movie

Big Hero 6

How to Train Your Dragon 2

The Boxtrolls

The Book of Life

Best Original Song

John Legend and Common, “Glory" (Selma)

Lana Del Rey, “Big Eyes” (Big Eyes)

Patti Smith, "Mercy Is" (Noah)

Sia, "Opportunity" (Annie)

Lorde, "Yellow Flicker Beat" (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1)

Best Original Score

Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything

Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Gone Girl

Antonio Sanchez, Birdman

Hans Zimmer, Interstellar

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