Even if you're not up at some obscenely early hour, the Golden Globe nominations are a lot to take in -- the addition of those musical/comedy categories making the slate that much more inclusive and, sometimes, eccentric. Not so much this year, though: never before have the comedy fields been so stuffed with prestigious, semi-dramatic awards bait, which means fewer top-tier contenders than usual were left on the sidelines. Still, the HFPA did manage to rustle some genuinely surprising inclusions and exclusions, and I've rounded up a few of them after the cut.
Rounding up the HFPA's most surprising inclusions and exclusions
Not the best day for 'August: Osage County' or 'Saving Mr. Banks'
Who's invited to the HFPA's big party?
Sarah Polley and Lake Bell among the female filmmakers recognized
The Alliance of Women Film Journalists have revealed their long, long list of nominations. As usual, it's a mix of fairly standard picks in the conventional categories -- "12 Years a Slave" leads the way with 13 nominations -- and more distinctive choices in categories created to celebrate female filmmakers and denigrate industry sexism.
Not all of them make a lot of sense: why on earth does Melissa McCarthy "need a new agent" when "The Heat" and "Identify Thief" were so successful? And calling out the "egregious age difference" between Dermot Mulroney and Abigail Breslin seems somewhat pointless, given that the film does the same. They also made plain their disapproval of "The Counselor," though I'm not sure I'd call it sexist per se -- it's a female character, after all, who holds all the cards in it. But I guess they mean well.
Also: 'Omar' wins at Asia Pacific Awards, and Almodovar picks 2013's best
Well received by critics but struggling to connect with audiences, Scott Cooper's "Out of the Furnace" faces a tough climb to awards recognition -- but it has at least one unique FYC plea in its arsenal. In guest piece for Variety, John Fetterman, mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania -- the town where the film is set -- acknowledges that it may seem a tough watch, but urges people to make the effort: "Understandably, many would rather not set foot into a bleak world where most of the social contracts in America are void and rusted through. If the story of a Braddock, and towns like her, is indeed worth telling, there couldn’t be a more eloquent, forceful and honest interpretation than what Mr. Cooper and his three leads have delivered in “Out of the Furnace.” [Variety]
From studio hits to indie darlings, a wonderful year for cast performances
Everyone had a keen eye on this morning's Screen Actors Guild nominations because, as ever, the group's Best Ensemble category can be highly indicative of where the Best Picture Oscar race might be heading. But i's also a unique opportunity for actors to spotlight their own through recognition of a movie's cast, something critics often do on the precursor circuit but the Academy hasn't taken to yet.
Unfortunately, more often than not, that merely translates to a slew of SAG notices for big, sprawling casts full of movie stars. That's doubly unfortunate in a year such as 2013, which has been an exemplary study in brilliant ensemble work, from studio productions to indie players and all points in between. So it seemed our own spotlight was in order.
Analyzing SAG's big day
The Screen Actors Guild announced the nominees for the 2014 SAG Awards and the big winners were "12 Years A Slave," "Dallas Buyers Club" and "Lee Daniels' The Butler."
HitFix's Daniel Fienberg and I took some time to chat about the nominations and whether they can really have an impact on this year's Oscar race. You can watch our conversation in the video embedded at the top of this post.
'12 Years a Slave' shut out after leading nominations
The San Diego Film Critics Society has just announced "Her" as the year's best film. Spike Jonze's latest picked up three awards total, including Best Original Screenplay and Best Score. "12 Years a Slave" led the way with Tuesday's nominations announcement, but was ultimately shut out of the winning pool entirely. Oscar Isaac ("Inside Llewyn Davis") and Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine") won top acting honors, while Matthew McConaughey received a special prize for his body of work in 2013. Check out the full list of winners below, and as always, keep track of the season via The Circuit.
Oscar-nominated writer is awarded Morgan Cox Award for service to Guild
The late screenwriter Thomas S. Cook, who passed away in January aged 65, will be honored with the Morgan Cox Award for Guild service at the Writers' Guild Awards in February, it was announced today. Cook was best known for co-writing the 1979 issue thriller "The China Syndrome," for which he shared in an Oscar nomination and a WGA Award. (He and his co-writers lost the former to Steve Tesich for "Breaking Away.")
Plus: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock and more
This year's SAG Awards nominees took out their humble card Wednesday morning to thank their peers for the recognition and we're guessing a majority of their reactions were not written by their personal publicists. A few others? Well, judge for yourself.
To check out reactions from Jennifer Lawrence, Jared Leto, Tom Hanks and more, check out the embedded gallery below.