golden globe awards nominationsSurprises and snubs from Thursday morning's announcement of the 2015 Golden Globe nominees are to be expected; the Globe voters can't nominate every worthy person, movie, and TV show, and yet they always include some head-scratching inclusions and omissions.

It's hard to get outraged -- after all, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group that gives out the Globes every January, isn't taken nearly as seriously or regarded with anywhere near the prestige enjoyed by the Academies that grant the Oscars and the Emmys. Nonetheless, the Globes do shape the conversation about which movies and TV shows deserve prizes each year, and no one wants to be left out of consideration. Here, then, are this year's notable Globe snubs and surprises.


In the age-old Team Jen vs. Team Angelina struggle, the HFPA came down decidedly in the former camp this year. Jennifer Aniston won a rare dramatic honor with her nomination for Best Actress for the as-yet-little-seen "Cake," taking one of the coveted slots that might have gone to Hilary Swank ("The Homesman") or Marion Cotillard (for either "The Immigrant" or "Two Days, One Night," the Belgian film that Globe voters also surprisingly ignored in the Foreign Film category). Aniston's nomination was something of a surprise, since she has shown up only on a few critics' lists, but then, her own peers in the Screen Actors Guild did nominate her for the same prize on Wednesday. And, lest we forget, the Globe organizers like to boast that they throw the best party of the year; it certainly doesn't hurt to have an actress of Aniston's star wattage guaranteed to show up on the red carpet.

Angelina Jolie, however, went unrewarded for her film "Unbroken," despite expectations that the film could earn her a director slot or earn an acting nod for star Jack O'Connell. Maybe the voters (subconsciously, of course) didn't want to stage a red-carpet collision between Brad Pitt's current wife and his ex-wife; or maybe the late-December release didn't screen early enough to make an impression on a majority of HFPA members.

Also snubbed: perennial Globe favorite Clint Eastwood, for his "American Sniper," which received no love, not even for star Bradley Cooper. "Interstellar" got nada, including snubs for director Christopher Nolan and star Matthew McConaughey. (Guess the McConnaissance is officially over.) The directors of three of the five Best Drama nominees ("Foxcatcher" "The Imitation Game," and "The Theroy of Everything") went unnoticed. And "A Most Violent Year" didn't have the same impact on Globe voters that it had on the National Board of Review, which gave it Best Picture, Best Actor (Oscar Isaac), and Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Chastain). The HFPA agreed with only the honor for Chastain and otherwise ignored the film. Of course, she's also a surprise and a snub, in that the Globes cited her for this movie and not "Interstellar."

The voters liked "Foxcatcher" a lot more than some critics did, with notable nominations for Best Drama, Best Actor (Steve Carell), and even Best Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo, who's gone largely unrecognized this season). In fact, the film may have taken a Best Drama nod away from "Gone Girl," which earned citations for Director, Screenplay, and Actress (Rosamund Pike), but not the top prize.

Also surprising was all the love for "Selma." Sure, David Oyelowo was expected to earn an Best Actor nod for his turn as Martin Luther King, but the film also earned nominations for Best Drama and even Best Director, with the previously unheralded Ava DuVernay becoming one of only a handful of women ever to earn a Globe nomination for directing a feature film.

Other surprises: Julianne Moore earned a second Best Actress nomination, in the Comedy/Musical category, for the little-seen "Map to the Stars," along with her expected dramatic nomination for "Still Alice." In fact, the Globes' recognition of comedies and musicals apart from dramas allows them to nominate a lot more stars than the Oscars do (and thereby to grace their party with more boldface names). Hence the inclusion of Emily Blunt ("Into the Woods"), Helen Mirren ("The Hundred-Foot Journey"), Quvenzhane Wallis ("Annie"), Ralph Fiennes ("The Grand Budapest Hotel"), Bill Murray ("St. Vincent"), Joaquin Phoenix ("Inherent Vice"), and Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz ("Big Eyes"), fine performers all, who nonetheless probably won't earn Oscar nominations because the Academy tends to give comedies and musicals short shrift.


When it comes to TV, Globe voters relish the opportunity the calendar provides them to be the first to recognize new shows and new talent. So it's only mildly surprising to see so much love for "The Knick," "The Affair," and "Jane the Virgin," shows the Emmys haven't had a chance to cite yet. It was also forward-thinking of the HFPA to nominate "Transparent" as Best Comedy, the first time a show streaming only on Amazon has been recognized. (Isn't it a drama, though?)

Just as quickly, however, the voters can forget old, longtime favorites. There's not a single nod here for "Mad Men" or "The Big Bang Theory," for example. Nothing for last year's darling "Masters of Sex," either. Also, "Scandal's" moment in the sun seems to have faded quickly; hello, Viola Davis ("How to Get Away With Murder"), goodbye, Kerry Washington.

Similarly, shows they've overlooked in the past will continue to be overlooked. Sorry, fans of genre shows like "Walking Dead", "Orphan Black," "Gotham," "The Flash," and "Sons of Anarchy."

Also, nada for "Manhattan," and zip for "The Newsroom" (though its current season may have debuted too late for the HFPA to judge it). Nothing for "Outlander," either.

Among dramatic actor nominees, the Globes recognized James Spader in "The Blacklist" (indeed, is there any other reason to watch that show?), but he may have taken the slot that could have gone to fellow NBC antihero Mads Mikkelsen in "Hannibal."

The mini-series categories remain vexing. "American Horror Story" continues to mine gold there, although if they renew it every year for another season, how can it be a mini-series? Same with "Fargo" and "True Detective," both of which saw their entire principal casts nominated. Yes, they'll have new casts and new plots next year, but since there's a lot of continuity beyond the titles alone, aren't these regular, plain old "series"? Recognizing them as mini-series allows the networks behind these shows to avoid competing in more crowded drama categories, and the Globe voters (not unlike the Emmy voters, to be fair) are happy to play along.

Another category casualty: The Globes conflate all the supporting actors on TV into one prize, so that performers from comedies, dramas, movies, and mini-series are all competing against each other. So while it's good that the Supporting Actress voters remembered Joanne Froggatt from last winter's "Downton Abbey" (where she had the season's most harrowing storyline), and while nominations for Kathy Bates ("American Horror Story") and Allison Janney ("Mom") were all but inevitable, there was no room for Maura Tierney ("The Affair") or anyone from "Game of Thrones." (In fact, no performer from "GoT," not even Peter Dinklage, got nominated this year.) Similarly, it's nice that the HFPA has so much love for Bill Murray (he was also nominated for his film performance in "St. Vincent"), but his "Olive Kitteridge" supporting actor nomination recognizes a performance that was of blink-and-you'll-miss-it length. Yet the category had no room for, say, "Silicon Valley"'s late Christopher Evan Welch, or Bob Odenkirk or Oliver Platt in "Fargo," or even old fave Mandy Patinkin in "Homeland."

Finally, it's nice to see Ricky Gervais nominated for Best Comedy Actor for Netflix's "Derek." Just to show that there are no hard feelings between the HFPA and the awards host who alternately embarrassed them and made them buzzworthy for three straight years. Much as Jeffrey Tambor ("Transparent") deserves to win in this category, we'd love to see Gervais take the prize on January 11, just to hear his speech.