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 "12 Years A Slave."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 "12 Years A Slave."
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 Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

Avery Sunshine is known for her irresistible combination of soul, jazz and gospel influences. She’s traveled the world entertaining audiences with her powerful voice, inspiring lyrics and infectious spirit. She joins host Shawna Renee on "The Soul Lounge" to perform and share the stories behind her new album, "The Sun Room."