For "Frost/Nixon", A "Curious Case" Of "Doubt"
By Omar P.L. Moore/The Popcorn Reel
December 11, 2008

Updated report

Frank Langella as disgraced U.S. president Richard Nixon in "Frost/Nixon"; Viola Davis as Mrs. Muller in "Doubt", and Cate Blanchett as Daisy in a publicity poster for "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button".  Each film was nominated for five Golden Globe nominations this morning by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.  (Photos courtesy of: Universal Pictures, Miramax Pictures, Paramount Pictures respectively)

This morning the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) selected its film and television nominees for the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards and on the film side, the trio of "Frost/Nixon", "Doubt" and "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" led the way, each garnering five nominations, including best motion picture drama.  Each of the three are works previously adapted from the stage or from a short story. 

"Frost/Nixon", about the two days of live television interviews of disgraced American president Richard Nixon by British journalist David Frost in 1977, also won nominations for best performance by an actor in a motion picture drama (Frank Langella), best director (Ron Howard), best motion picture score (Hans Zimmer and best screenplay (Peter Morgan).  Mr. Morgan had adapted the screenplay from his own Tony Award-winning play, which played in London and New York in 2007 and featured both Mr. Langella and Michael Sheen, who played Mr. Frost but was not recognized for his performance on the big screen by the HFPA in this morning's film nominations.

"Doubt", which stars Meryl Streep as a New York Catholic school sister in 1964 questioning the conduct of the school's foremost religious figure toward a student of the school, is also based upon an award-winning play, and saw nominations for all four of its main cast members, with Ms. Streep in a lead role.  (She was also nominated for her lead role in the comedy/musical category for "Mamma Mia!")  Philip Seymour Hoffman, Viola Davis and Amy Adams received nods in the supporting categories for John Patrick Shanley's film, which also won Mr. Shanley a Pulitzer Prize for Best Play several years ago.  Mr. Shanley received a best screenplay nomination today for the film adaptation of his play.

"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button", based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story about a man born with a rare condition that makes him age in reverse from very old to very young, saw additional nominations for Brad Pitt in the motion picture drama, with David Fincher garnering a nod for best director, Eric Roth receiving a nomination for best screenplay and Alexandre Desplat getting a thumbs up sign from the HFPA for his music score.

In addition to Ms. Streep's dual nominations, good things also came in twos for Kate Winslet, nominated for her lead role as a woman disaffected in her marriage to the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in 1950's suburban America and in the supporting category as a older woman carrying on a torrid affair in 1950's Germany with a younger man in "The Reader".  In a statement released today, Ms. Winslet spoke of her fortunes, saying that "[p]laying April Wheeler and Hanna Schmitz, two strong and complex characters was a true gift.  To be recognized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for both performances is a genuine honor and I am incredibly grateful.  I am forever thankful to my husband Sam Mendes, Leo and fellow cast members and for Justin's beautiful script.  I am equally proud to share this day with Stephen Daldry and David Hare."

On the best motion picture drama side, "The Reader", "Revolutionary Road" and "Slumdog Millionaire" rounded out the nominees.

On the best picture comedy/musical side, "Burn After Reading", "Happy Go-Lucky", "In Bruges", "Mamma Mia!" and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" rounded out the nominees.

The Golden Globes is the only major and internationally recognized awards ceremony that provides awards for best motion pictures in two categories, the comedy/musical and drama categories.

Other notable nominees: Anne Hathaway in "Rachel Getting Married" (actress, motion picture drama), Sally Hawkins in "Happy-Go-Lucky" (actress, motion picture comedy/musical), Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler" (actor, motion picture drama), Kristin Scott Thomas in "I've Loved You So Long" (actress, motion picture drama), Angelina Jolie in "Changeling" (actress, motion picture drama), Marisa Tomei in "The Wrestler" (actress, supporting) and Sean Penn in "Milk" (actor, motion picture drama).

Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman were also nominated for their lead roles in "Last Chance Harvey" in the motion picture musical/comedy category and in statements released today they reacted to the nominations.  "Dustin and I had the best time making this film.  It seems insane to get an award nomination on top of that, but I'm thrilled," said Ms. Thompson, who has won Golden Globe awards in the past.  Mr. Hoffman was a little less bashful in his effusive-sounding comments, saying that "[i]t is so exciting to be nominated, but working with Emma was reward enough.  Don't get me wrong, I still want to win!"  In a statement released by The Weinstein Company, Javier Bardem, the supporting actor winner of the 2007 Golden Globe for "No Country For Old Men", said of his nomination today for his lead role (comedy/musical) in Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona": "I am happy to receive such support from the HFPA and truly thankful to Mr. Allen for allowing me the amazing experience of working with him and such an outstanding cast."

Typically the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a consortium of members from the international press that are based in the United States, specifically Los Angeles, selects nominees from an eclectic range of films, often with a broader, more independent flavor or inclination than other awards bodies.  The HFPA today recognized the late Heath Ledger for his performance as The Joker in "The Dark Knight" and also took note of the more outrageous and eccentric performances, nominating Tom Cruise and Robert Downey, Jr. for their supporting roles in the comedy satire "Tropic Thunder".

The 66th Annual Golden Globes, which takes place in Los Angeles, will be televised live to over 150 countries on Sunday January 11, 2009.  In the U.S., NBC television will televise the ceremony live on the East Coast at 8pm Eastern time, with the broadcast not broadcast live on the West Coast of the U.S., where it will be tape-delayed.  According to someone speaking at the HFPA, there are no plans to broadcast the Globes ceremony live on the Internet.

A complete list of film and television nominees for the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards can be found here.

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