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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings: Nnekai
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
August 26, 2015 2:42 PM
Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.

Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.