News / Arts & Entertainment

Hollywood Kicks Off 2014 Awards Season with Golden Globes

Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Theo Kingma speaks at the podium as (L-R) actors Zoe Saldana, Aziz Ansari and Olivia Wilde sit on stage at the announcement of nominations for the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California,
Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Theo Kingma speaks at the podium as (L-R) actors Zoe Saldana, Aziz Ansari and Olivia Wilde sit on stage at the announcement of nominations for the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California,
Reuters
In a year widely regarded as a bountiful one for high-quality films and acting, the Golden Globes weigh in on Sunday with the first big honors of the Hollywood awards season, which  culminates in seven weeks with the Oscars.

Two starkly different American stories lead nominations for the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards with seven nods apiece - the brutal depiction of pre-Civil War slavery 12 Years a Slave and 1970s corruption caper American Hustle. They will compete for best motion picture in different categories, drama and comedy or musical, respectively.

Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock as an astronaut lost in space and life, also ranks high in experts' predictions and could give 12 Years a Slave a challenge for the night's most coveted award, best drama.

Golden Globes are also given out for television, where established dramas like Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey will compete with the likes of Netflix newcomer House of Cards.

The Golden Globes, under the purview of some 90 journalists in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, have outsized clout in the awards race as buzz around these first honors influences members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts  and Sciences in their voting for the Oscars, which will be handed out March 2.

"You can just see the Oscar voter who starts to hear the buzz build for '12 Years a Slave,' and has been dreading picking up the (DVD) screener to watch the movie," said Keith Simanton, managing editor for the IMDB movie site.

"But he reaches for it, and says to his wife, 'Maybe we ought to watch it.'"

Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday, but voting has already concluded. The Globes have a mixed record when it comes to predicting the Oscar best picture, though last year's best drama winner, Argo, did go on to win the Academy Award for best movie.

The Golden Globes follow a very good year for film, both commercially and critically. North American box office receipts totaled a record $10.9 billion in 2013 and top performers went beyond the typical blockbuster action movies to include acclaimed films such as Gravity.

Sunday night could also boost the fortunes of smaller films that have fared well among critics, including Joel and Ethan Coen's paean to 1960s folk music Inside Llewyn Davis, Spike Jonze's quirky computer-age romance Her, and Alexander Payne's homage to the heartland Nebraska.

Oscar-winning women compete

This image released by Fox Searchlight shows Lupita Nyong’o, from left, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor in a scene from This image released by Fox Searchlight shows Lupita Nyong’o, from left, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor in a scene from "12 Years A Slave."
x
This image released by Fox Searchlight shows Lupita Nyong’o, from left, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor in a scene from
This image released by Fox Searchlight shows Lupita Nyong’o, from left, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor in a scene from "12 Years A Slave."
The intense competition extends to the acting races, where Britain's Chiwetel Ejiofor will compete for best actor in a drama for his role as the free man sold into slavery in 12 Years a Slave. Matthew McConaughey is also considered a frontrunner for his portrayal of an unlikely AIDS activist in Dallas Buyers Club, for which he lost 50 pounds.

Leonardo DiCaprio will get his shot at best actor in a comedy or musical for his turn as a swindling stockbroker in Martin Scorsese's tale of American greed, The Wolf of Wall Street. He has stiff competition from veteran actor Bruce Dern as a cantankerous and delusional father in Nebraska.

For best actress in a drama, it's a battle between Oscar winners, with Bullock going up against Cate Blanchett for her riches-to-rags role in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine and Judi Dench for her turn as a mother looking for a long-lost son in adoption drama Philomena.

The HFPA will also honor Woody Allen with the Cecil B DeMille award recognizing outstanding contribution to the entertainment field. Allen, famously averse to awards shows, is not expected to collect the honor, but one of his favorite actresses, Diane Keaton, will reportedly stand in for him.

While considered a warm-up for the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes live telecast on Comcast Corp's NBC network offers many of the same ingredients, such as the glamor of the red carpet for Hollywood's leading ladies and the dense concentration of Tinseltown's top talent in one room.

But the Globes serve up cocktails and an air of whimsy and unpredictability in contrast to the more tightly scripted Academy Awards.

Comedians Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will return to host the Golden Globes for the second consecutive year.

You May Like

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the latest edition of "Beyond Category" blues singer and guitarist Corey Harris performs with his band and talks about his travels in West Africa tracing the roots of the blues.

 

Blogs

African Music Treasures