There were no enormous shocks when the Golden Globes were announced this morning in Los Angeles. Alejandro Gonzales Innaritu's Birdman, featuring Michael Keaton as a psychologically imploding actor, topped the charts with an impressive seven nominations.
Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, a hugely acclaimed coming-of-age drama, and Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, a study of codebreaker Alan Turing, took second place with five nominations each.
Rather quaintly, the Globes, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, still separate “drama” from “musical or comedy” in the main categories, so the wealth is spread around.
Boyhood and The Imitation Game compete in the best drama category with The Theory of Everything, a biopic on Stephen Hawking, Selma, a tale of the US civil rights campaign, and Foxcatcher, the true story of convicted murderer John du Pont.
Birdman, which gives the illusion of being filmed in one continuous shot, looks close to unbeatable in the best comedy or musical category. Also in that race are The Grand Budapest Hotel, Into the Woods, St Vincent and Pride.
The welcome inclusion of the latter film, a study of interactions between miners and the gay community during the 1984 UK pit strike, is one of the few surprises among the nominations.
Jennifer Aniston was also an unexpected acting nominee for the tough independent drama Cake.
Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken
There will, however, be eyebrows raised at the failure of Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken to register in any of the categories, especially given how keen the Globes usually are on celebrity.
Coming after the leaking of an email from Sony Pictures in which top producer Scott Rudin referred to Ms Jolie as a "minimally talented spoiled brat" this will cause further grumbling chez Jolie-Pitt.
Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Turing in The Imitation Game, and Michael Keaton, the lead in Birdman, look to be fighting for the best actor in a drama prize. Julianne Moore, who plays an Alzheimer's patient in Still Alice, has been deemed the favourite for every prize in this year's lengthy awards season.
Not a bellweather
Compiled by a small group of largely obscure journalists, the Golden Globes are not quite as accurate a bellwether of the Oscars as many believe. But Boyhood’s appearance confirms it as the film to beat at the ceremony that really matters. Linklater’s touching movie, which shot its young hero over 12 years, is now odds-on favourite with all sane bookies for the Oscar best picture.
There was some disappointment from optimists who felt that Brendan Gleeson had a chance of glory for his turn in Calvary. In truth, that always looked like a long shot.
The Globes also honour achievement in television. The best performing show this year was Fargo, a sly rearrangement of the Coen brothers film, which picked up seven nominations, including one for best TV miniseries or movie.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will present the Globes on January 11th, 2015. The Oscar nominations follow four days later.
Best Motion Picture - Drama
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Into the Woods
Best Actor - Drama
Steve Carell - Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler
David Oyelowo - Selma
Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything
Best Actress - Drama
Jennifer Aniston - Cake
Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore - Still Alice
Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon - Wild
Best Actress - Comedy or Musical
Amy Adams - Big Eyes
Emily Blunt - Into the Woods
Helen Mirren - The Hundred-Foot Journey
Julianne Moore - Maps to the Stars
Quvenzhané Wallis - Annie
Best Actor - Comedy or Musical
Ralph Fiennes - The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton - Birdman
Bill Murray - St Vincent
Joaquin Phoenix - Inherent Vice
Christoph Waltz - Big Eyes
Wes Anderson - The Grand Budapest Hotel
David Fincher - Gone Girl
Ava DuVernay - Selma
Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu - Birdman
Richard Linklater - Boyhood
Best TV Drama
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
House of Cards
Best Actor - TV Drama
Clive Owen - The Knick
Liev Schreiber - Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey - House of Cards
James Spader - The Blacklist
Dominic West - The Affair
Best Actress - TV Drama
Claire Danes - Homeland
Viola Davis - How to Get Away with Murder
Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife
Ruth Wilson - The Affair
Robin Wright - House of Cards
Best TV Miniseries or Movie
The Normal Heart
Best TV Comedy
Jane the Virgin
Orange is the New Black
Best Actress - TV Comedy
Lena Dunham - Girls
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Gina Rodriguez - Jane the Virgin
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
Taylor Schilling - Orange is the New Black
Best Actor - TV Comedy
Don Cheadle - House of Lies
Ricky Gervais - Derek
Jeffrey Tambor - Transparent
Louis CK - Louie
William H Macy - Shameless
Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
How To Train Your Dragon 2
The Lego Movie
Best Foreign Film
Force Majeure (Turist) (Sweden)
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Gett (Israel)
Best Original Song - Motion Picture
Big Eyes - Big Eyes (Lana Del Rey)
Glory - Selma (John Legend, Common)
Mercy Is – Noah (Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye)
Opportunity - Annie (Sia)
Yellow Flicker Beat - Hunger Games, Mockingjay Pt 1 (Lorde)