HFPA Announces, Pushes ‘Rush’ In, ‘The Butler’ and Oprah Out

12-12-2013 8-58-55 AM

Oprah feels her first major pre-Oscar sting as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announces its list of nominations, continuing their recent string of somewhat-against-the-grain nods. 

The Queen of all media suffers a huge blow to her Oscar chances. Once the clear front-runner in the Supporting Actress category, she’ll head into Oscar voting without a Golden Globe nomination, which essentially takes her out of the race for top honors. Though she received a SAG nomination for the role just yesterday (and the actors branch of the Academy will likely push her to a nomination), she really needed recognition from the HFPA to remain a legitimate contender. Instead, Sally Hawkins gets a major push for her work in Blue Jasmine, a performance which most likely allowed her to take Oprah’s spot here.

Lee Daniels is also feeling the shaft for the film as a whole, which didn’t receive a single Golden Globe nomination this morning. This is entirely surprising, as the HFPA generally loves his work (Precious received three major nominations, and just last year The Paperboy received a surprise nomination in a major category without a significant awards push from any other precursor).

So, how does a film with a vast network of  strong support (thanks largely to its ensemble A-list cast with roots extending deep into the industry) get shut out? It’s hard to tell, but I think The Butler‘s identity crisis has a lot to do with it. The film was a huge hit with audiences, as it made nearly $115 million at the domestic box-office, though critics chimed in with a rather lukewarm response.

The film teeters on the edge of melodrama and historical camp, deals with issues of race and class structure, and paints a relevant portrait of American life that resonates well into today’s society. The Butler is all of these things on the surface, though it isn’t as hard-hitting or, frankly, as “good” at doing these things as it should be. It’s a colorful, glossy, temporary glance at our culture, though it reaches perhaps a little too far and brings back a little too much for itself to handle.

I used to be staunchly opposed to the categorical separation that the Globes so passionately favors (does separating Drama and Comedy imply that one is inherently othered or better than the other?), but in years such as this one, it’s refreshing to see the work of so many outside the general conversation be recognized. Greta Gerwig for Frances Ha (Lead Actress – Comedy), Julie Delpy for Before Midnight (Lead Actress – Comedy), Julia Louis-Dreyfuss for Enough Said (Lead Actress – Comedy), and Kate Winslet (Labor Day) are all enjoying their deserved share of the awards season spotlight with nominations from the HFPA thanks to the division of genre. Does it portent Oscar recognition for any of these women? Not at all, but it’s the most prestigious honorable mention of sorts that any of them could ask for.

Rush also sees a later-than-expected push into the race with huge nominations in key categories (including Best Picture – Drama and Supporting Actor) over the likes of Saving Mr. Banks, a film that was largely expected to dominate the Globes.

So, what’s left? We’ve got Oscar voting in a couple of weeks, SAG final voting, the PGA Awards, the DGA Awards, and, of course, the Golden Globes ceremony on January 12th. That’s plenty of potential steam for many films and filmmakers to pick up.

The full list of Golden Globe nominees: 

Best Picture – Drama

12 Years a Slave
Gravity
Captain Phillips
Rush
Philomena

Best Picture – Musical/Comedy

American Hustle
Her
The Wolf of Wall Street
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska

Best Director

Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell – American Hustle
Alexander Payne – Nebraska

Best Actress – Drama

Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock – Gravity
Judi Dench – Philomena
Emma Thompson – Saving Mr. Banks
Kate Winslet – Labor Day 

Best Actress – Musical/Comedy

Greta Gerwig – Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Enough Said
Julie Delpy – Before Midnight
Amy Adams – American Hustle
Meryl Streep – August: Osage County

Best Actor – Drama

Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Idris Elba – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Tom Hanks – Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford – All Is Lost

Best Actor – Musical/Comedy

Christian Bale – American Hustle
Bruce Dern – Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
Oscar Isaac – Inside Llewyn Davis
Joaquin Phoenix – Her

Best Supporting Actor

Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
Daniel Bruhl – Rush
Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave
Bradley Cooper – American Hustle

Best Supporting Actress

Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
June Squibb – Nebraska

Best Screenplay

Her
Nebraska
Philomena
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle

Best Foreign Language Film

Blue is the Warmest Color
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
The Past
The Wind Rises

Best Original Song

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Frozen
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Inside Llewyn Davis
One Chance

Best Original Score

All Is Lost
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Gravity
The Book Thief
12 Years a Slave

Best Animated Feature

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Frozen

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