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The Ten Biggest Surprises from the Golden Globe and SAG Nominations

It used to be that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the Golden Globe nominations before the Screen Actors Guild unveiled its picks. In that case, the Globe list, with its separate categories for comedy/musical and drama, would come out first, and then the SAG choices, which get rid of such genre separations for film and group lead and supporting stars into gender-based categories for television, would provide a slimmer set of nominees. With back-to-back announcements Wednesday and Thursday morning, both organizations have dropped several bombshells. Here are the biggest surprises.


Nicole Kidman in The Paperboy?

Raise your hand if you had heard of this movie before Wednesday morning. Director Lee Daniels’ follow-up to the Oscar-winning Precious grossed less than one million dollars when it was released in theaters this fall, and came and went without much fanfare. Kidman shocked by earning a SAG nomination for Best Supporting Actress with no buzz whatsoever on Wednesday, and then repeated the trick with a corresponding Golden Globe bid. How it happened – and twice – is a mystery.

Javier Bardem in Skyfall

Daniel Craig was nominated for a BAFTA for his performance in Casino Royale, but this marks the first time that a major American awards organization has ever nominated a performer from a James Bond film. Even more startling than his SAG nomination for Best Supporting Actor is Bardem’s SAG history. While the actor is a three-time Oscar nominee, he only has one SAG nomination – which he won – for No Country For Old Men. He’s hardly a SAG favorite, so his inclusion is quite unexpected.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

It stands to reason that some film might have magically come along to fill the uncertain fifth spot in each of the main film comedy/musical categories. Instead of opting for Magic Mike or Ted, Globe voters chose Lasse Hallström’s tepidly-received March release. It’s hardly as appalling as the 2010 inclusion of The Tourist, but its nominations for stars Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt and for Best Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical are definitely puzzling.

Directing a Musical? No Big Deal.

The Golden Globe Best Director category has traditionally emphasized dramas rather than comedies or musicals, but when a big, buzzed-about epic comes along, exceptions have been made. Though Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd) and Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) weren’t ultimately nominated for Oscars, they did net Globe nominations, and it stands to reason that Tom Hooper, who was nominated for a Globe in 2010 for The King’s Speech and then won the Oscar, would be recognized for helming one of the year’s most anticipated movies, Les Miserables, which earned four nominations. Apparently not.

SAG Snubs of Globe Favorites

There’s always some discord between the two groups, and last year Melissa McCarthy earned a nomination for Bridesmaids from SAG rather than the HFPA, which made no sense. Maggie Smith nearly pulled off three Golden Globe nominations, but couldn’t match her SAG supporting bid for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with a corresponding Globe mention. Robert De Niro scored his first-ever solo SAG nod for Silver Linings Playbook, but got left out in the cold by the Globes. And it seems like SAG voters might not even have seen Django Unchained, which they shut out a day before it received a whopping five Globe nominations.


Danny Huston in Magic City

You probably haven’t seen Starz’s best attempt to capitalize on the success of Mad Men, the rather dull Miami Beach-set drama that was renewed before its first season even started. Starz made history with its first Globe nominations last year for the now-defunct Boss, and, this year, Danny Huston, best known for standout roles in The Proposition and The Constant Gardener made the cut for his scenery-chewing performance as gangster Ben Diamond. His inclusion is refreshing since it shows that voters actually watched the show and recognized its best asset.

Sorry, Mad Men!

Before taking the 2011 calendar year off, Mad Men had amassed eleven Globe nominations over four years, including four bids, two of them successful, for Best TV Series – Drama. Back for the 2012 race, the show managed just one nomination, for star Jon Hamm. The series is still widely acclaimed, so it seems strange for Globe voters to dismiss it. SAG, on the other hand, snubbed actress Elisabeth Moss, who was nominated last time she was eligible, but rewarded the show with another Best Ensemble in a Drama Series bid, and one for Hamm as well.

You’re Not Our Friend, Matthew Perry

SAG love was out of the question for the new star of NBC’s Go On since they’re still hung up on The Office. But the comedian, who was never nominated for a Globe for Friends, was expected to be recognized for one of his network’s most successful new shows. His snub is even more insulting considering that his former costar Matt LeBlanc won a Globe in the same category last year and is a returning nominee this time around.

A Different Take on New Blood

Sadly, it’s not much of a surprise at this point, but it’s still appalling. SAG, which has rewarded Alec Baldwin with six consecutive trophies for Best Male Actor in a Comedy Series, nominated just one series that started in 2012 (The Newsroom), choosing instead to honor fading former hits like Glee and The Office. Globe voters, by contrast, spotlighted seven new series, showing a much more favorable disposition towards fresh fare.

Familiar Faces and Old Shows

Globe voters have been known to reward an actor or a series with a trophy one year and snub them the next. Basically, when they’re done with a show, they’re really done with it. That’s what makes the return nominations of Glenn Close, last nominated in 2009, and The Big Bang Theory and its star Jim Parsons, both last nominated in 2010, bizarre. They’re also slow on the uptake sometimes, giving Archie Panjabi her first-ever nomination this year, as well as finally nominating Breaking Bad for Best TV Series – Drama. On the SAG side, Nurse Jackie, which has netted star Edie Falco three consecutive nominations, earned a Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series mention for the first time – for its fourth season.

By Abe Fried-Tanzer

Golden Globe and SAG Nominations

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