'Birdman' tests new heights with seven Golden Globe nods

Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:12pm EST
 
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By Mary Milliken and Piya Sinha-Roy

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Reuters) - Surreal show business satire "Birdman," a darling of critics for its innovative storytelling, led the Golden Globe Awards film nominations on Thursday, with its seven nods making it a front-runner early in the Hollywood awards season.

More than two months before the Academy Awards, the nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association suggest it could be a battle of "Birdman" against "Boyhood," which earned five nominations and also pushed cinematic boundaries.

But at the Golden Globes on Jan. 11, the two will compete in different categories: "Birdman" for best comedy or musical film and "Boyhood" in the more coveted best drama race. The coming-of-age movie filmed over 12 years with the same actors could be challenged by World War Two biopic "The Imitation Game," which also received five nominations.

Fox Searchlight Pictures' "Birdman" was directed by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro G. Inarritu and stars Michael Keaton as a washed-up superhero actor trying to make a comeback on Broadway. It consists of what appears to be one seamless take through the cramped confines of a Broadway theater and serves up an acerbic commentary on celebrity.

"Although at times it felt we were flying without a net in this crazy film experiment, this has brought enormous joy to me," Inarritu said of the film's seven nominations, including best director for him.

The big omission was World War Two drama "Unbroken." The film, Angelina Jolie's second as director, got no nominations.

But Martin Luther King Jr. biopic "Selma" landed four nods, including best director for Ava DuVernay, the first black woman to be nominated in that Golden Globe category. The film, which will likely resonate amid the current debate about race relations in America, also received nominations for best drama and best actor for David Oyelowo as King.

DuVernay said it was "a really, really beautiful morning" and that her highest hope had been that Oyelowo get recognition.   Continued...

 
Director Alejandro Inarritu (3rd R) poses with actors Amy Ryan (L), Edward Norton (2nd L), Emma Stone (3rd L), Michael Keaton (2nd R) and Andrea Riseborough (R) during the photo call for the movie "Birdman or (The unexpected virtue of ignorance)" at the 71st Venice Film Festival August 27, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile