Where's 'The Butler'? Globes Snubs and Surprises

This film image released by The Weinstein Company shows Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines in a scene from "Lee Daniels' The Butler." (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Anne Marie Fox, File)
This film image released by The Weinstein Company shows Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines in a scene from “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Anne Marie Fox, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The long race to the Academy Awards is especially steep this season and it’s no surprise that an ample list of notables were left empty-handed in the 71st annual Golden Globe nominations.
Dominating the Thursday announcements were A-listers like Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) and Kate Winslet (“Labor Day”), who had top acting bids, while the movies of filmmaking gurus Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) and David O. Russell (“American Hustle”) landed in multiple categories, including best motion picture.
Yet the annual picks by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are typically questioned — after all, they did once nominate “The Tourist” and “Burlesque” — and this season is no exception. Here’s a rundown of the snubs and surprises at the Golden Globe nominations:
— “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” Isn’t Oprah supposed to have built-in value with the film community? While she was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role as Gloria Gaines in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” on Wednesday, she was left off of the Globes list. In fact, “The Butler” was completely excluded from the nominations, including Forest Whitaker in the title role.
— “Fruitvale Station.” Sure filmmaker Ryan Coogler and lead actor Michael B. Jordan are newcomers, but the true-life injustice tale was numbing and received a large amount of praise and buzz. However, the indie film may be a bit of a distant memory for the HFPA, since it was released last summer. Plus there are no big stars here, sans Octavia Spenser’s appearance. But a complete out is quite a burn.
— “Saving Mr. Banks.” A Disney movie about a Disney movie would seem like the perfect Hollywood wet kiss in the comedy or music section. And with Emma Thompson, who is nominated for best actress for her role as “Mary Poppins” author P.L. Tavers, and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, it’s a wonder this one was overlooked.  Perhaps the HFPA thought it was too niched.
— “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Despite his prestige, Martin Scorsese was overlooked as best director, while Jonah Hill failed to nab a supporting actor nomination. But the picture was nominated in the best comedy or musical category
— “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” No nod for Ben Stiller or mention of the film, an adaptation of a short story by James Thurber. The usual funny-man’s impressive dramatic turn as a long-time Life magazine photo editor failed to capture the HFPA.
— “Dallas Buyers Club.” Both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto were nominated in acting categories, but the critically acclaimed film was rebuffed by the foreign press.
— “Lone Survivor.” Mark Wahlberg, a favorite Hollywood everyman, stars in the Navy SEAL film about a botched mission in Afghanistan. But the actor and the wartime pic were unaccounted for.
— “Before Midnight.” Julie Delpy scored an actress nomination for the raw romantic comedy, but the acting abilities of co-star Ethan Hawke were overlooked, as was the film itself.
— James Gandolfini, “Enough Said.” Julia-Louis Dreyfus, the leading lady of the film, cleaned up on Globe nominations, receiving bids in both film and television categories. But no posthumous nod was given to the revered late “Sopranos” star.
— HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and “Game of Thrones.” Neither show, both of which developed a cult-like fan base, made the cut. Maybe HBO should rethink its approach to killing off some of our favorite characters.
— “New Girl.” While Zooey Deschanel was nominated for her performance on the series, the popular comedy about a set of roommates living in downtown Los Angeles did not make the bill.
— “Homeland.” Both the show, which premiered in 2011, and its actors have received multiple nominations over the years. But it was completely absent from this year’s list. Instead new shows like Netflix’s “House of Cards” and Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” freshened up the drama series and acting categories.
— “Philomena.” Though it has been well-received, it seemed like it might get lost in the shuffle. But the HFPA, which ranked it in the best picture category, loves Judi Dench.
— “Rush.” Even Ron Howard was shocked at this best picture nomination. “It’s really more than I expected by a longshot,” he said Thursday morning. The film didn’t fare well at the box office, but it was a unique — and big budget — take on the Formula One subculture.
— “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” The Fox comedy, still in its first season, garnered two nominations. The show’s star, Andy Samberg, is nominated in the comedic actor category and the show itself is in the running for best comedy series. Guess you can never underestimate the power of an SNL alum.

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