'12 Years a Slave,' 'American Hustle' take lead for Golden Globes

Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:43pm EST
 
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By Mary Milliken and Piya Sinha-Roy

BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) - Slavery drama "12 Years a Slave" and 1970s con-artist caper "American Hustle" led the Golden Globe Awards nominations announced on Thursday with seven nods each, fortifying their frontrunner positions in a crowded field ahead of the Oscars.

In the coveted best drama category, "12 Years a Slave" will compete against Somali piracy nail-biter "Captain Phillips," space thriller "Gravity," adoption drama "Philomena," and race-car rivalry "Rush."

"American Hustle" was nominated for best comedy or musical, alongside computer-age love story "Her," folk singer tale "Inside Llewyn Davis," heartland ode "Nebraska" and the story of a crooked banker, "The Wolf of Wall Street."

Best acting nominations favored acclaimed actors with long careers, like 79-year-old Judi Dench for her role as an Irish mother looking for the son she was forced to give up in "Philomena" and Robert Redford, 77, the sole cast member as a sailor fighting for his life in "All Is Lost."

The Golden Globe nominations voted by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) are a leading indicator for the awards season and underscored the strong year for film, with many critically acclaimed movies and performances jostling for prominence. That highly competitive field is making for an unpredictable run-up to the Oscars.

"It is the most schizophrenic awards season I have ever seen," said Tom O'Neil, of awards handicapping site GoldDerby.com. He notes that while "12 Years a Slave" is a frontrunner, it has yet to win any Hollywood or top critics' group awards.

"Nebraska" won five Golden Globe nominations overall, including best actor in a comedy or musical for veteran actor Bruce Dern and best director for Alexander Payne.

"Captain Phillips" and "Gravity" each secured four nominations, including best actor and actress nods for their lead characters, Oscar winners Tom Hanks as the ship captain under siege and Sandra Bullock as a stranded astronaut.   Continued...

 
Cast member Chiwetel Ejiofor (R) poses with actress Jacqueline Bisset at a special screening of "12 Years a Slave" at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles, California October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni