"Up in the Air" Leads Golden Globes with Six Nominations

December 15, 2009

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - The recession-era tale "Up in the
Air" led Golden Globe film contenders Tuesday with six
nominations, among them best drama and acting honors for George
Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick.

Other drama picks were the space fantasy "Avatar," the Iraq
War tale "The Hurt Locker," the World War II saga "Inglourious
Basterds" and the Harlem drama "Precious: Based on the Novel
`Push' by Sapphire."

The musical "Nine" ran second with five nominations, including
best musical or comedy and acting slots for Daniel Day-Lewis,
Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard.

Also competing for musical or comedy are the romance "(500)
Days of Summer," the bachelor-party bash "The Hangover" and two
Meryl Streep films, "It's Complicated" and "Julie & Julia."
Streep is competing against herself as best actress in the musical
or comedy, as chef Julia Child in "Julie & Julia" and a woman in
an affair with her ex-husband in "It's Complicated."

In TV categories, nominations for drama series went to HBO's
"Big Love," Showtime's "Dexter," Fox's "House," AMC's "Mad
Men" and HBO's "True Blood." Musical or comedy series bids went
to NBC's "30 Rock," HBO's "Entourage," Fox's "Glee," ABC's
"Modern Family" and NBC's "The Office."

Nominees in the miniseries or movie category went to Lifetime
Television's "Georgia O'Keeffe," PBS' "Little Dorrit," and
three HBO offerings, "Grey Gardens," "Into the Storm" and
"Taking Chance."

"Up in the Air" generally has been considered a comedy, but
its inclusion in the film drama category could give it more weight
as a potential favorite for the Academy Awards, where dramatic
films tend to dominate. The film also earned best-director and
screenplay nominations for Jason Reitman.

"I can't put into words how exciting it is to feel and to know
that I'll be going to the Golden Globes with everyone I worked with
on this film," Reitman said. "This was one of those ensembles
that we really enjoyed working together. We're a tight-knit family.
The idea that we're going together is just wonderful."

The directing category pits "Avatar" filmmaker James Cameron
against ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow for "The Hurt Locker." Other
directing nominees were Clint Eastwood for the South African rugby
drama "Invictus" and Quentin Tarantino for his World War II
rewrite "Inglourious Basterds."

Playing a frequent-flyer junkie in "Up in the Air," Clooney
had a nomination for best dramatic actor, along with Jeff Bridges
as a boozy country singer in "Crazy Heart," Colin Firth as a
grieving gay academic in "A Single Man," Morgan Freeman as Nelson
Mandela in "Invictus" and Tobey Maguire as a prisoner of war in
"Brothers."

"I suspect we will do a little bit of celebration, not a whole
lot, you know. But it's wonderful news," said Freeman, who got the
nomination news in South Africa, where he is appearing for
premieres of "Invictus."

With four nominations, Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" had
a surprisingly strong showing. The film was a hit with audiences
and critics, but it was considered a bit of an awards longshot
beyond a performance by Christoph Waltz, a supporting-actor nominee
as a gleefully savage Nazi.

Tarantino also was nominated for the screenplay, in which he
changes the war's ending with a ferocious bloodbath at a Paris
cinema.

"I'm extremely excited and overwhelmed," said "Inglourious
Basterds" co-star Diane Kruger, who helped announce the
nominations. "It's the first time I've been part of such a big
movie that encountered so much success and love. I'm extremely
happy for Quentin and Christoph. I think he gave one of those
inspiring performances that only come around once in awhile."

Along with Streep, Sandra Bullock also had two nominations, as
dramatic actress in the football story "The Blind Side" and as a
dragon-lady boss forcing her assistant to pose as her fiance in
"The Proposal."

Matt Damon picked up two nominations, as well, as musical or
comedy actor playing a whistleblower spinning wild fabrications in
"The Informant!" and as supporting actor playing a South African
rugby star in "Invictus."

Other dramatic actress nominees were Emily Blunt as Britain's
monarch in her early reign in "The Young Victoria," Helen Mirren
as the imperious wife of Leo Tolstoy in "The Last Station," Carey
Mulligan as a 1960s British teen in an affair with an older man in
"An Education" and Gabourey Sidibe as an illiterate, abused teen
turning her life around in "Precious."

Julia Roberts was a surprise nominee for musical or comedy
actress as a corporate spy in "Duplicity," a box-office
underachiever that generally was not on the awards radar. Along
with Roberts, Streep and Bullock, Cotillard rounded out the
category as the wife of an unfaithful filmmaker in "Nine."

Day-Lewis as the "Nine" filmmaker scored a nomination for
musical or comedy actor. Besides Damon, the category also includes
Robert Downey Jr. as the London detective in "Sherlock Holmes,"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a lovesick man in "(500) Days of Summer"
and Michael Stuhlbarg as a 1960s Jewish academic besieged by crises
in "A Serious Man."

"Up in the Air" co-stars Farmiga, playing Clooney's
frequent-flyer soul mate, and Anna Kendrick, playing a smart but
inexperienced efficiency expert, are competing against each other
for supporting actress. Also nominated are Cruz as the filmmaker's
insecure mistress in "Nine," Mo'Nique as a hateful welfare mother
in "Precious" and Julianne Moore as a grief-stricken professor's
best pal in "A Single Man."

Damon and Waltz are joined in the supporting-actor category by
Woody Harrelson as a military man delivering bad news to next of
kin in "The Messenger," Christopher Plummer as aging author
Tolstoy in "The Last Station" and Stanley Tucci as a serial
killer in "The Lovely Bones."

Hollywood's second biggest film honors after the Academy Awards,
the Globes are a key ceremony that sort out the prospects leading
up to the Oscar nominations Feb. 2.

The 67th annual Globes will be handed out Jan. 17, six days
before nomination voting closes for the Oscars. Globe winners can
get a last-minute bump for an Oscar nomination, particularly on
smaller films such as 1999's "Boys Don't Cry," whose Globe
triumph for Hilary Swank helped put her on the map for a
best-actress win at the Oscars.

Last year's best drama winner at the Globes, "Slumdog
Millionaire," went on to win best picture and dominate at the
Oscars. Other Globe recipients who followed with Oscar wins
included Heath Ledger as supporting actor for "The Dark Knight"
and Kate Winslet, who won supporting actress at the Globes for
"The Reader" and best actress for that film at the Oscars.

The Globes are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press
Association, a group of about 85 critics and reporters for overseas
outlets.


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