'The Artist' tops Golden Globes nominations
French-directed silent film "The Artist" garnered six nominations Thursday for the Golden Globes to lead the field as Hollywood gears up for its annual awards season.
Tied for second were "The Help," about black servants in the pre-civil rights era US south, and "The Descendants" starring George Clooney, both nominated in five categories for the Globes, to be presented next month.
Clooney-directed political thriller "The Ides of March" garnered four Globes nods, as did Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" and baseball movie "Moneyball" starring Brad Pitt.
On the small screen, most nominations went to Emmy-winning British period drama "Downton Abbey" with four nods, while other top nominees included HBO drama "Boardwalk Empire," NBC's "30 Rock" and Fox's "Glee."
The Golden Globe winners will be announced on January 15, in a show hosted for a third time by provocative British comic Ricky Gervais, invited back despite allegedly ruffling feathers at last year's show.
They are run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), whose president Aida Takla-O'Reilly called Gervais a "naughty, naughty schoolboy" at Thursday's announcement to bleary-eyed journalists at 5:30 am in Los Angeles.
"The Artist," a black-and-white tribute to the silent movie era, was nominated for categories including best comedy or music film, best comedy or music actor, best supporting actress, and best director.
The movie by French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius had already created a buzz after winning best film and best director at the New York Film Critics Circle two weeks ago.
Distributed by The Weinstein Company -- veteran Oscar-backers who produced last year's winner "The King's Speech" -- it tells the story of silent film star George Valentin whose career is torpedoed by the arrival of the "talkies."
As his fortunes plummet, a young dancer and actress who initially idolizes him -- Peppy Miller, who catches his eye, and heart -- is on her way up to Hollywood stardom in the new movies-with-sound era.
"The Help" won the most nominations -- four -- on Wednesday for the Screen Actors Guild awards, which along with the Globes are seen as a key indicator to success in the all-important Oscars.
On Thursday, the movie was nominated for best drama picture, best actress for Viola Davis, best supporting actress for Jessica Chastain, and best song for "The Living Proof" sung by Mary J. Blige.
Notable absentees from the Globes shortlists were Terrence Malick's critically acclaimed "The Tree of Life" -- which won the Palme d'Or in Cannes -- as well as Cold War thriller "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy."
They could yet win gongs though: nominations for the Oscars are due to be announced on January 24, ahead of the 84th Academy Awards show which climaxes Hollywood's awards season on February 26.
Here are nominations for top Globes categories:
- best film, drama: "The Descendants," "The Help," "Hugo," "The Ides of March," "Moneyball," "War Horse."
- best film, comedy or musical: "50/50," "The Artist," "Bridesmaids," "Carnage," "Midnight in Paris," "My Week With Marilyn."
- best actor, drama: George Clooney in "The Descendants," Brad Pitt in "Moneyball," Ryan Gosling in "The Ides of March," Michael Fassbender in "Shame," Leonardo DiCaprio in "J. Edgar."
- best actress, drama: Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs," Viola Davis in "The Help," Rooney Mara in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady," Tilda Swinton in "We Need to Talk About Kevin."
© 2011 AFP