* "The Descendants," "The Help" each earn 5 nods
* "Hugo" scores a comeback after missing with SAG
* Nominees include Clooney, Pitt, Scorsese, Spielberg
By Bob Tourtellotte
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Dec 15 Silent movie "The
Artist" painted a pretty picture at the Golden Globe
nominations on Thursday, leading all movies with six nods,
including best film comedy or musical in the race to
"The Artist," a silent movie shot in black and white and
made in the same way films were before the "talkies," has
earned numerous spots atop critics' lists and its director,
Frenchman Michel Hazanavicius, thinks he knows why.
"Whether in Italy, the U.K., Spain or Germany, everywhere
is the same kind of reaction, and I think that says something
about the format. Silent used to be thought of as old. Now,
it's no more old or new. It's ageless," he told Reuters.
Along with best film musical or comedy, "The Artist" earned
nods for French actor Jean Dujardin, supporting actress
Berenice Bejo, director and writer Hazanavicus and musical
The Golden Globes, voted on by about 90 members of the
Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are among the most-watched
awards programs leading up to the Oscars in February.
But in the race for Oscars, the world's top movie honors
from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, "The
Artist" already faces competition from drama "The Descendants,"
starring George Clooney as a man struggling to keep his family
together, and civil rights-era film "The Help," which tells of
black maids in segregated Mississippi dealing with racism.
Each of those two films earned five Golden Globe nods,
including both in the category of best film drama, and both
have won fans among critics and audiences in a year shaping up
as one in which feel-good films or those with a cathartic
ending are winning fans and award votes.
Director Tate Taylor called "The Help" a movie about people
doing things to change their lives, and Jim Burke, producer for
the "Descendants," said that film sent audiences a message of
Along with best film drama, "Descendants" scored
nominations for Clooney as best actor and Alexander Payne for
directing and writing, among its honors. "The Help" earned
nominations for Viola Davis for best actress in a drama and
Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain for supporting actress.
HELP FOR 'HUGO'
Those are not the only movies making their mark this award
season, and industry watchers should not count out Martin
Scorsese's love letter to movies and the creative arts with 3D
film "Hugo," which similarly wowed critics.
"Hugo rallied spectacularly today after being shut out at
SAG," said Oscar pundit Tom O'Neil of website Gold Derby,
noting Wednesday's nominees by the Screen Actors Guild. "Hugo"
producer Graham King told Reuters he hoped the recognition by
the Hollywood Foreign Press Association would help lure more
people to theaters to see it.
"The Help," "Descendants" and "Hugo" will compete for best
film drama at the Golden Globes against Steven Spielberg's "War
Horse," baseball movie "Moneyball" and Clooney's political film
"The Ides of March."
Golden Globe movie nominations are grouped into two
categories -- dramas and musicals or comedies -- and "The
Artist" will vie for best comedy or musical.
In that group, it faces director Woody Allen's "Midnight in
Paris," cancer comedy "50/50," box-office hit "Bridesmaids" and
"My Week with Marilyn,' starring Michelle Williams in the role
of Marilyn Monroe. Her work put Williams in the Golden Globe
race for best actress in a musical or comedy.
Vying for best dramatic actress alongside "Help" star Davis
are perennial favorite Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in
"The Iron Lady," Glenn Close playing a woman masquerading as a
male butler in "Albert Nobbs," newcomer Rooney Mara for "The
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and Tilda Swinton in dark
parenting movie, "We Need to Talk About Kevin."
In the race for dramatic actor, Clooney squares off against
Leonardo DiCaprio as FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover in "J. Edgar,"
Michael Fassbender playing a sex addict in "Shame," Brad Pitt
in "Moneyball" and Ryan Gosling for "The Ides of March."
Gosling earned two nominations on Thursday, his second coming
in the comedic actor category for "Crazy, Stupid, Love."
In the director group, Payne and Hazanavicius take on
Scorsese ("Hugo") and Allen ("Midnight in Paris,") along with
Clooney for "The Ides of March."
Foreign-language film nominees were Angelina Jolie's
Bosnian war movie "In the Land of Blood and Honey," Chinese
movie "The Flowers of War," Belgian film "The Kid with a Bike,"
Iran's "A Separation," and Spanish movie "The Skin I Live In."
The Golden Globe Awards will be given out on Jan. 15,
hosted by British comedian Ricky Gervais and telecast live on
NBC. Oscar nods come out on Jan. 24.
Last year at the Golden Globes, Gervais ruffled the
feathers of the HFPA with caustic jokes about the award show's
reputation, but was invited back to emcee the event this year.
HFPA President Takla-O'Reilly made light of that dust-up on
Thursday, calling Gervais a "naughty, naughty schoolboy" and
saying only one topic was off-limits - religion.