Salmon fishing where? Globes snubs and surprises
This image released by CBS Films shows Ewan McGregor in a scene from the film, "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen." The film was nominated for a Golden Globe for best comedy or musical, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. McGregor was nominated for best actor in the film. The 70th annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on Jan. 13. (AP Photo/CBS Films)
NEW YORK (AP) — The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is known for what you could call a certain quirkiness in its selection process. Any group that would see fit to nominate "Patch Adams" and "The Tourist" for best picture certainly marches to its own beat.
But in the nominations announced Thursday, the Golden Globes didn't throw too many wrinkles into the awards season horse race leading up to the Academy Awards (which has had its own questionable choices in the past). Still, in parsing the nominations, there were some intriguing surprises as well as some inevitable questions, most notably: Salmon fishing where?
Yemen. The answer is Yemen. Yes, Lasse Hallstrom's romantic comedy "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" reeled in three unlikely nominations: best picture, comedy or musical; Emily Blunt for best actress, comedy or musical; and Ewan McGregor for best actor, comedy or musical. The film, which had a small run in theaters in the spring, is about an eccentric Yemeni sheik (Amr Waked) who turns to a British salmon expert (McGregor) to bring thousands of salmon to his country. Most critics didn't bite.
The acclaimed, low-budget "Beasts of the Southern Wild" has generally been seen as a plucky underdog in the awards season, but the film and its young star, Quvenzhane Wallis, yielded no nominations from the Globes. Instead, the Globes — which tend to favor more seasoned stars — followed the lead of the New York Film Critics Circle, nominating Rachel Weitz for best actress for the little-seen "The Deep Blue Sea."
The HFPA responded strongly to Quentin Tarantino's Spaghetti Western-style slavery epic "Django Unchained," giving it five nominations: best picture, drama; best director (Tarantino); best screenplay (Tarantino); and two for best supporting actor (Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio). Though the academy may be more divided on the film, "Django" could be emerging similarly to Tarantino's last film, "Inglourious Basterds," which landed eight Oscar nominations.
Ang Lee's 3-D fantasy adventure "Life of Pi" also fared well, with nominations for best picture (drama), best director (Lee) and best score (Mychael Danna). Tarantino and Lee likely squeezed out directors David O. Russell ("Silver Linings Playbook") and Tom Hooper ("Les Miserables"). Hooper, who directed the Oscar-winning "The King's Speech," seemed a particularly likely nominee, but the HFPA didn't go crazy for the musical, which might have also yielded more supporting actor nominations.
Blockbusters did not find their way into the mix, as the Globes stayed clear of popular and somewhat acclaimed movies like "Skyfall," ''Looper," ''The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Avengers." Perhaps that's no great shock, but "Skyfall" (which got a nomination for best song) could have also slid in with Javier Bardem's supporting role as an effete Bond villain.