Golden Globes signal some early winners, losers

Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:47pm EST
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By Steven Zeitchik

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - If you're wondering what happened to movies you were convinced were Oscar front-runners, they've moved to the back. And those in the middle of the pack, they've surged to the front. Or gone off the road entirely.

Thursday's Golden Globes announcements shook up the race in ways it rarely does.

"Revolutionary Road," whose chances were thought modest for noncast awards, got unexpected life with best director and best picture nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. "The Reader," a Weinstein Co. bid that had drawn some tough reviews coming into the day, bolstered its chances with a trifecta: nominations for best film, director and screenplay.

Meanwhile, Focus Features' "Milk," coming in with a head of steam after dominating critics groups, was nearly shut out, landing only one acting nomination, an expected slot for Sean Penn.

And a picture that looked as if it could begin an intriguing run with a little help from the HFPA, "The Dark Knight," suffered a huge blow when it managed only one nomination, an equally expected supporting actor mention for Heath Ledger.

It was such a topsy-turvy day at the Globes that Focus wound up with six nominations. That's a number pundits expected -- except five went to dark horses "Burn After Reading" and Colin Farrell mob comedy "In Bruges." The Globes were so far from Farrell's mind he didn't even bother setting his alarm to wake up for the announcements.

About the only movie that was a long shot coming in and coming out was "Australia," which increasingly looks like a candidate mainly for technical awards.

It's a cliche that every race is wide open. But discrepancies between different organizations are measurable, and this year there's been a peculiar case of schizophrenia. The Critics Choice Awards, for instance, routinely names six or seven movies that end up on the Globes' 10 slots. This year? Just four.   Continued...

<p>Actors Leonardo DiCaprio (L) and Kate Winslet are shown on the set of the Dreamworks Pictures film "Revolutionary Road" in this undated publicity photo released to Reuters November 25, 2008. REUTERS/Francois Duhamel/Dreamworks Pictures LLC/Handout</p>