Hollywood kicks off 2014 awards season with Golden Globes

Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:10am EST
 
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By Mary Milliken and Ronald Grover

BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) - In a year widely regarded as a bountiful one for high-quality films and acting, the Golden Globes weigh in on Sunday with the first big honors of the Hollywood awards season, which culminates in seven weeks with the Oscars.

Two starkly different American stories lead nominations for the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards with seven nods apiece - the brutal depiction of pre-Civil War slavery "12 Years a Slave" and 1970s corruption caper "American Hustle." They will compete for best motion picture in different categories, drama and comedy or musical, respectively.

"Gravity," starring Sandra Bullock as an astronaut lost in space and life, also ranks high in experts' predictions and could give "12 Years a Slave" a challenge for the night's most coveted award, best drama.

Golden Globes are also given out for television, where established dramas like "Breaking Bad" and "Downton Abbey" will compete with the likes of Netflix newcomer "House of Cards."

The Golden Globes, under the purview of some 90 journalists in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, have outsized clout in the awards race as buzz around these first honors influences members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in their voting for the Oscars, which will be handed out March 2.

"You can just see the Oscar voter who starts to hear the buzz build for '12 Years a Slave,' and has been dreading picking up the (DVD) screener to watch the movie," said Keith Simanton, managing editor for the IMDB movie site.

"But he reaches for it, and says to his wife, 'Maybe we ought to watch it.'"

Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday, but voting has already concluded. The Globes have a mixed record when it comes to predicting the Oscar best picture, though last year's best drama winner, "Argo," did go on to win the Academy Award for best movie.   Continued...

 
British film director Steve McQueen (L) poses backstage with the star of his film Chiwetel Ejiofor from "12 Years A Slave" after winning Director of the Year at the 2014 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala in Palm Springs, California January 4, 2014. REUTERS/Fred Prouser