2014 Best Director nominees

Golden Globe Award nominations: In a list of low-key surprises, ‘Birdman’ soars

“Birdman” was the big winner during the Golden Globes nominations announcement this morning. The surreal dramedy by Mexican auteur Alejandro González Iñárritu revived the career of Michael Keaton and now has earned him a best actor nod, along with its six other nominations, for best picture (in the comedy/musical category), director, screenplay, supporting actor (Edward Norton), supporting actress (Emma Stone) and score.

[Scroll down for the full list of nominations]

The novel approach of “Boyhood” also paid off. The drama, which director Richard Linklater shot over the course of 12 years, earned five nominations: best drama, director, screenplay, supporting actor, for Ethan Hawke, and supporting actress, for Patricia Arquette.

As anticipated, the year’s big British Biopic Duo — “The Imitation Game” and “The Theory of Everything” — brought in a bunch of noms, too. Both are handsomely shot, well-acted, basically above reproach. “The Imitation Game, ” which follows the World War II-era work of British mathematician Alan Turing, and “Theory, ” which tells the story of British physicist Stephen Hawking, got five and four nominations, respectively. They will duke it out — or cancel each other out — in the races for best drama, best actor (Benedict Cumberbatch vs. Eddie Redmayne) and best score.

Here's what you need to know about this year's Golden Globe nominations, the award show that combines television and movies. (Nicki DeMarco/The Washington Post)

“Selma, ” whose awards prospects were looking bleak after a shut-out from the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations Wednesday, fared better at the Globes with four nominations. Rising star director Ava DuVernay was nominated, as was the movie’s star David Oyelowo, who plays Martin Luther King Jr. The movie is also up for best drama and best song for “Glory” by Common and John Legend.

Two more surprising awards contenders also prospered. Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” was honored in four categories, best picture (comedy/musical), best director, best screenplay and best actor, for Ralph Fiennes. And David Fincher’s bloody thriller “Gone Girl” also snagged four, for best director, actress (Rosamund Pike), score and screenplay, written by Gillian Flynn, who also penned the best-selling novel on which the movie is based.

The biggest snub? Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken, ” which didn’t make the cut in any categories. The movie, which follows the life of Olympic athlete-turned-POW Louis Zamperini, has all the trappings of an Oscar movie with its powerful triumph-of-the-spirit storyline and solid acting. Clint Eastwood’s Navy SEAL drama “American Sniper, ” starring Bradley Cooper as real-life sharpshooter Chris Kyle, was also shut out.

In addition to serving as an annual bellwether for the Oscars, the Golden Globes is the first trophy show of a more extended awards cycle for television — which means it can herald new breakout TV series more than half a year before the Emmys roll around. This year, it’s Showtime’s steamy drama “The Affair” getting the early benediction from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which granted it three Globe nominations in its freshman season, including best drama and lead acting nominations for Ruth Wilson and Dominic West, who play the adulterous lovers.

An even bigger surprise: CW’s charming soap “Jane the Virgin” landed two nods, one for best comedy and another for lead actress Gina Rodriguez, starring as the title character – a virgin who gets accidentally artificially inseminated.

Plus, Amazon’s new critically adored “Transparent, ” starring Jeffrey Tambor as a transgender woman, scored big for the streaming service. In addition to Tambor’s lead comedy actor nomination, the show landed in the best comedy category, which had quite a shake-up this year: HBO’s “Girls” is the only repeat nominee. Newcomers “Orange is the New Black” and HBO’s tech culture satire “Silicon Valley” round out the list.

FX’s “Fargo” leads the TV nominations with five, with acting nominations for Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks and Allison Tolman. As expected, “True Detective” and it’s A-list cast continues its march across award season with four nods. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson will compete against each again, as they did at the Emmys (neither won) in the lead actor in a miniseries category. Viewers are still debating the show’s treatment of female characters, but at least Michelle Monaghan (as Harrelson’s long-suffering wife) scored a supporting actress nod.

And because eight-episode “True Detective” was shipped to the miniseries category where it truly belongs, there was some room in the drama category for some shake-ups. Now that “Breaking Bad” is gone, and the HFPA has apparently fallen out of love with “Masters of Sex, ” the dramatic actor category left room for a couple new faces, such as Clive Owen in Cinemax’s early-1900s medical miniseries “The Knick.” He joins West, James Spader (NBC’s “The Blacklist”), Liev Schrieber (Showtime’s “Ray Donovan”) and Kevin Spacey (Netflix’s “House of Cards”).

Speaking of Netflix, the online streaming behemoth’s “Orange is the New Black” switched over to the comedy category — when entered as a drama, it got a measly single nomination last year — and the move paid off. Taylor Schilling landed in the best comedy actress alongside Rodriguez, Lena Dunham (HBO’s “Girls”), Edie Falco (Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie”) and the unstoppable star of HBO’s “Veep, ” Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

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