With the announcement of the nominees for the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards Thursday morning, "12 Year a Slave" and "American Hustle" have staked their claim in the 2014 awards race for best motion picture. Both films received seven nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Revealed by actors Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana and Aziz Ansari, the nominations differ from the majority of award shows due to the division of categories between drama and comedy or musical, allowing for a wider field of competition. The Golden Globes ceremony will air live on NBC on Sunday Jan. 12.
Based on the memoir by Soloman Northup, the gritty, pre-Civil War epic "12 Years a Slave" garnered nominations for best picture drama, lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, director Steve McQueen, screenplay, original score and supporting actors Lupita Nyong'o and Michael Fassbender.
In the best picture drama category, "12 Years" is joined by "Captain Phillips," "Gravity," "Philomena" and "Rush." Notably absent is "Lee Daniels' The Butler."
In fact, director Lee Daniels' civil rights drama was completely shoutout by the Hollywood Foreign Press, including Oprah Winfrey who was considered by many to be a certain nominee in the best supporting actress race for her performance as Forest Whitaker’s boozy wife in the film. Though nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for her portrayal, Winfrey's Globes snub leaves a question mark over her chances to score an Academy Award nod.
Also in absentia from the directorial category with Daniels is Martin Scorsese, who failed to get a mention for his fraud caper "Wolf of Wall Street." Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity"), David O. Russell ("American Hustle"), Paul Greengrass ("Captain Phillips"), Alexander Payne ("Nebraska") and McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") all received nominations instead.
Alongside "12 Years a Slave's" Ejiofor in the best actor drama race are Idris Elba ("Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"), Tom Hanks ("Captain Phillips)", Matthew McConaughey ("Dallas Buyers Club) and Robert Redford ("All is Lost)."
Already a favorite of film critics and review boards, Cate Blanchett is again nominated for a best actress award for her portrayal of a doomed socialite in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine." Sandra Bullock joins Blanchett in the drama acting category thanks to her performance in "Gravity," with "Philomena's" Judi Dench, Emma Thompson for "Saving Mr. Banks" and "Labour Day's" Kate Winslet completing the list. Thompson's berth for "Banks" is the only nomination Disney's making-of "Mary Poppins" film received.
"American Hustle" will have its comedic clout tested by fellow best picture nominees "Her," "Inside Llewyn Davis," "Nebraska" and "Wolf of Wall Street."
"Hustle's" haul of nominations includes nods to Amy Adams (best actress musical or comedy), Christian Bale (best actor), Jennifer Lawrence (best supporting actress), Bradley Cooper (best supporting actor) and O'Russell (best director).
The best actress comedy or musical race sees "Hustle's" Adams pitted against Julie Delpy ("Before Midnight"), Greta Gerwig ("Frances Ha"), Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Enough Said") and Meryl Streep ("August: Osage County").
Previously nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, Bruce Dern can now add a Globe nod with his inclusion in the best actor comedy or musical category for his role in "Nebraska." To win, Dern will have to beat Bale ("Hustle"), Leonardo DiCaprio ("Wolf of Wall Street"), Oscar Isaac ("Inside Llewyn Davis") and Joaquin Phoenix ("Her").
It should be noted that, unlike the majority of awards up for grabs, the Golden Globes supporting acting categories lump together both drama and comedy genres.
Joining Lawrence ("Hustle") in the best supporting actress field are Julia Roberts ("August: Osage County"), Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave"), June Squibb ("Nebraska"), and surprise nominee Sally Hawkins ("Blue Jasmine"), whose berth was expected to go to Winfrey.
The supporting actor award is a fight between Cooper ("Hustle"), Fassbender ("12 Years"), Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club"), Daniel Bruhl ("Rush") and Barkhad Abdi ("Captain Phillips").
A name epected to be included amongst those vying for the supporting actor award was James Gandolfini. The late actor's work in his posthumous release, "Enough Said," received a SAG Award nomination but failed to make the cut Thursday. Gandolfini's co-star Louis-Dreyfus was included for her part in the romantic comedy.
In the television categories "Breaking Bad," "House of Cards," "The Good Wife" and the Liberace biopic "Behind the Candelabra" all scored multiple nods. "Cards" and "Candelabra" lead the charge with four nominations apiece.
Michael Douglas and Matt Damon are both nominated for best actor in a mini-series or TV movie for their work on "Behind the Candelabra." Douglas has already received an Emmy for his portrayal of the flamboyant entertainer.
The best TV series, drama, race is made up of "Breaking Bad," "Downton Abbey," "The Good Wife," "House of Cards" and "Masters of Sex." Viewer favorites "Mad Men," "Game of Thrones" and "Homeland" all failed to receive a single Globe nomination Thursday.
The battle for best comedy or musical television series will see top-rating "Big Bang Theory" face last year's winner "Girls," "Modern Family," "Parks and Recreation" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," the freshman series from Fox starring Andy Samberg.
Samberg is up for a best actor comedy award for his work on the show but will have to beat Don Cheadle ("House of Lies"), Jason Bateman ("Arrested Development"), Jim Parsons ("Big Bang Theory") and Michael J. Fox ("The Michael J. Fox Show"). This is the ninth Globe nomination for Fox, who has four previous wins for "Family Ties" and "Spin City."
Receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement is Woody Allen. Allen, notorious for not attending award ceremonies throughout his career will not be in attendance according to Deadline. Diane Keaton, Allen's longtime friend and muse, will accept the honor on his behalf.
In October the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced that "Parks and Recreation's" Amy Poehler and former "30 Rock" star Tina Fey will return to emcee the Golden Globes ceremony following their ratings-winning appearance in 2013. Viewership was up 17% on the previous year and critics hailed the "SNL" alums for their tongue-in-cheek approach and ability to effortlessly move the spectacle along.