Oh, the Globes. Whether they get things right or wrong -- or both, as in this morning's list -- they never really disappoint. Those who enjoy brandishing pitchforks at the HFPA for their shameless star-whoring have plenty to work with here: Angelina Jolie nominated for Best Foreign Language Film! Madonna nominated for Best Original Song ahead of any of the Oscar-favored tunes from "The Muppets!" George Clooney breaking a Globes record with four individual nominations! And so on and so forth.

But for those who enjoy the Globes more for their taste in offbeat underdogs, there are bright spots too. I'm delighted to see Brendan Gleeson crack a comedy actor nod for his superb work in the tiny Irish black comedy "The Guard," and not just because I predicted it. And just when you thought "A Dangerous Method" had evaporated from the season, it shows up here with a deserved supporting nod for best-in-show star Viggo Mortensen. Meanwhile, I know the many fans of "50/50" among our readers will be pleased with mentions for Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the film itself.

Oddities aside, what's the story here? Much as we expected, "The Artist" cemented its position as the season's frontrunner with a leading haul of six nominations: they may as well give it the statuettes for Best Picture and Actor in the comedy-musical race now. Over in drama, things are considerably murkier, as a couple of would-be frontrunners took a knock.

"War Horse," for example, managed just two nominations -- and a Best Director bid for Steven Spielberg wasn't one of them. (He can console himself with an animated feature nod for "The Adventures of Tintin.") With three nods, "Hugo" did get a mention for Martin Scorsese, but it failed to show up in the acting or writing races. "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," meanwhile, didn't show up at all -- as with yesterday's SAG absence, you can put it down to the film's late screening, but in the tight echo chamber that is awards season, this lack of momentum could be a problem. 

What they did like in the drama field, clearly, was "The Descendants," which came on strong with five nominations -- the same number as "The Help," which once more scooped a trio of acting mentions, including one for Jessica Chastain. After an uncertain start, her awards season narrative has been set. But performing nearly as well, and clearly proving the HFPA's collective crush on George Clooney, was "The Ides of March," which was seemingly on the ropes after being blanked in multiple precursor lists. It rallied here with four nominations -- three of them for Clooney himself, and one for Ryan Gosling. (Gosling, as I predicted, was a double nominee, also scoring a comedy nod for "Crazy, Stupid, Love.")

Other points of interest: Tilda Swinton still hasn't missed a beat in her campaign for that elusive Best Actress Oscar nomination. But the momentum slowed here for "Bridesmaids" breakout Melissa McCarthy, who was rather surprisingly snubbed in favor of another Mc: Janet McTeer, who, with "Albert Nobbs" co-star Glenn Close, consolidated yesterday's SAG save. (Close is another double nominee: she was also recognized for the original song she contributed to the film.) After yesterday's SAG snubs, Michael Fassbender, Albert Brooks and Shailene Woodley all recovered here, but Gary Oldman and "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," sadly, continue to slip through the cracks. It now falls to the BAFTAs to rescue them. 

Anyway, that it's for major precursors until January, when the guilds will reignite the race. Or will they? As far as I can see, it all seems to be coming very neatly together for "The Artist." Here's the list: 

Best Picture - Drama
"The Descendants"
"The Help"
"Hugo"
"The Ides of March"
"Moneyball"
"War Horse"

Best Picture - Musical or Comedy
"The Artist"
"Bridesmaids"
"50/50"
"Midnight in Paris"
"My Week With Marilyn"

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"
Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"
George Clooney, "The Ides of March"
Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"

Best Actor - Drama
George Clooney, "The Descendants"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "J. Edgar"
Michael Fassbender, "Shame"
Ryan Gosling, "The Ides of March"
Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"

Best Actor - Musical or Comedy
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Brendan Gleeson, "The Guard"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "50/50"
Ryan Gosling, "Crazy, Stupid, Love."
Owen Wilson, "Midnight in Paris"

Best Actress - Drama
Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs"
Viola Davis, "The Help"
Rooney Mara, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Tilda Swinton, "We Need to Talk About Kevin"

Best Actress - Musical or Comedy
Jodie Foster, "Carnage"
Kristen Wiig, "Bridesmaids"
Charlize Theron, "Young Adult"
Michelle Williams, "My Week With Marilyn"
Kate Winslet, "Carnage"

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, "My Week With Marilyn"
Albert Brooks, "Drive"
Jonah Hill, "Moneyball"
Viggo Mortensen, "A Dangerous Method"
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"

Best Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain, "The Help"
Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"

Best Screenplay
"The Artist"
"The Descendants"
"The Ides of March"
"Midnight in Paris"
"Moneyball" 

Best Foreign Language Film
"The Flowers of War"
"In the Land of Blood and Honey"
"The Kid With a Bike"
"A Separation"
"The Skin I Live In"

Best Animated Feature
"The Adventures of Tintin"
"Arthur Christmas"
"Cars 2"
"Puss in Boots"
"Rango"

Best Original Score
Ludovic Bource, "The Artist"
Trent Reznor and Attivus Ross, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
Howard Shore, "Hugo"
John Williams, "War Horse"
Abel Korzeniowski, "W.E."

Best Original Song
"Lay Your Head Down," "Albert Nobbs"
"Hello Hello," "Gnomeo and Juliet"
"The Living Proof," "The Help"
"The Keeper," "Machine Gun Preacher"
"Masterpiece," "W.E." 

For more views on movies, awards season and other pursuits, follow @GuyLodge on Twitter.

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