The gritty historical drama "12 Years a Slave" and director David O. Russell's 1970s romp "American Hustle" will each carry seven nominations into Sunday's presentation of the 71st annual Golden Globe awards, with each hoping to claim the title of Oscar front-runner.
Russell's "12 Years a Slave" is nominated for best motion picture drama, but will face stiff competition from "Gravity," "Captain Phillips," "Rush" and "Philomena."
"American Hustle" will compete for best motion picture comedy or musical with "Nebraska," "The Wolf of Wall Street," "Inside Llewyn Davis" and "Her."
The battle for best actor in a drama features of a host of big names, led by Robert Redford for "All is Lost" and double-Oscar winner Tom Hanks for "Captain Phillips." Chiwetel Ejiofor is nominated for "12 Years a Slave," along with Matthew McConaughey for "Dallas Buyers Club" and Idris Elba for "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."
Nominees for best actress in a motion picture drama are Cate Blanchett for "Blue Jasmine," Sandra Bullock for "Gravity," Emma Thompson for "Saving Mr. Banks," Judi Dench for "Philomena" and Kate Winslet for "Labor Day."
Bruce Dern will return to the Golden Globes after a three-decade absence. He is nominated for best actor in a musical or comedy for "Nebraska," along with Leonardo DiCaprio for "The Wolf of Wall Street," Christian Bale for "American Hustle," Oscar Isaac for "Inside Llewyn Davis" and Joaquin Phoenix for "Her."
The nomination for Dern is his first since the 1970s. He was nominated in 1975 for best supporting actor for "The Great Gatsby" and for best actor in 1979 for "Coming Home."
Meryl Streep, a perennial favorite of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is nominated for best actress in a musical or comedy for "August: Osage County." She will compete with Julia Louis-Dreyfus of "Enough Said," Amy Adams for "American Hustle," Julie Delpy of "Before Midnight" and Greta Gerwig for "Frances Ha."
Michael Fassbender of "12 Years a Slave" is nominated for best supporting actor, as are "American Hustle's" Bradley Cooper, Jared Leto of "Dallas Buyers Club," Daniel Bruhl of "Rush" and Barkhad Abdi of "Captain Phillips."
For supporting actress, nominees are Jennifer Lawrence for "American Hustle," Lupita Nyong'o for "12 Years a Slave," Julia Roberts for "August: Osage County," June Squibb for "Nebraska" and Sally Hawkins of "Blue Jasmine."
Steve McQueen and David O. Russell are nominated for best director for "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle," respectively, as are Alfonso Cuaron for "Gravity," Paul Greengrass for "Captain Phillips" and Alexander Payne for "Nebraska."
On the television side of the awards, "Breaking Bad" is nominated for best drama series, along with "Downton Abbey," "House of Cards," "Masters of Sex" and "The Good Wife." Competing for best comedy will be "The Big Bang Theory," "Modern Family," "Girls," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "Parks and Recreation."
Bryan Cranston is nominated for best actor in a TV drama for his role as Walter White in "Breaking Bad." He will be challenged by Michael Sheen of "Masters of Sex," Kevin Spacey of "House of Cards," James Spader for "The Blacklist" and Liev Schreiber of "Ray Donovan."
"The Good Wife's" Juliana Margulies is nominated for best actress in a TV drama, along with Kerry Washington of "Scandal," Tatiana Maslany of "Orphan," Robin Wright for "House of Cards" and Taylor Schilling for "Orange is the New Black."
Emmy winner Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory" will look to repeat his success as best actor in a comedy series. Jason Bateman of "Arrested Development" is also nominated, as are Don Cheadle of "House of Lies," Michael J. Fox of "The Michael J. Fox Show" and Andy Samberg for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."
Louis-Dreyfus also has a nomination for comedy actress for "Veep," along with Lena Dunham of "Girls," Zooey Deschanel of "New Girl," Amy Poehler of "Parks and Recreation" and Edie Falco of "Nurse Jackie."
Most notably absent from the television nominations is "Homeland," which last year earned Globes for best TV drama, best actress for Claire Danes and best actor for Damian Lewis.
Tina Fey, who will co-host the Globes ceremony at the Beverly Hilton with Amy Poehler, was also snubbed, as was her show "30 Rock," which ended its run in 2013.
Since the Hollywood Foreign Press Association adopted the split drama/comedy-musical format for the Golden Globes in 1963, 66 percent of the films that ended up with best picture Academy Awards had first received a Golden Globe.
The Golden Globe drama winner has gone on to win best picture 26 of 50 times -- 52 percent -- including last year's winner, "Argo." The musical or comedy winner has won seven times at the Oscars, including each of the first three years.
The credibility of the Golden Globes at times has been questioned by some directors and producers because the association has a relatively small membership, around 90.
Despite those statistics and questions, the Globes -- held in a dinner- party setting in a Beverly Hilton ballroom -- are still considered the first major event of the movie awards season and are touted as showing celebrities in a party-type atmosphere as opposed to the more formal Academy Awards.
—City News Service