LOS ANGELES -- Though the Golden Globes spread its nominations around, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association swooned hardest for Todd Haynes' 1950s romance "Carol," which landed a leading five nominations including best picture, drama.
In a widespread field of nominations announced Thursday in Beverly Hills, California, "Carol" solidified its growing Oscar hopes with nods for its two stars, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, and for Haynes' direction. Also surging was Adam McKay's finance farce "The Big Short," which earned four nominations, including best picture, comedy, and nods for Steve Carell and Christian Bale.
Also with four nods is Alejandro Inarritu's follow-up to his Oscar-winning "Birdman," the frontier epic "The Revenant," which was nominated for best picture, drama, and best actor for Leonardo DiCaprio. A four-time Oscar nominee (and one-time Globe winner), DiCaprio is gunning for his first Academy Award.
Tied with four is the Aaron Sorkin-scripted "Steve Jobs," though it failed to join the best picture nominees. Along with "Carol" and "The Revenant," they are: "Mad Max: Fury Road," ''Room" and "Spotlight."
Streaming series from Netflix (which led television with nine nods), Amazon and Hulu dominated the TV side of the Globes, which jumped all over the dial. Six shows tied for the most nominations: "Fargo," ''Mr. Robot," ''Outlander," ''Transparent," ''American Crime" and "Wolf Hall."
In an awards season that has so far failed to produce a definite heavyweight, Tom McCarthy's acclaimed Boston Globe drama "Spotlight" came into the Globe nominations as the Oscar favorite. While it took three top Globe nominations Thursday, including best director for McCarthy and best screenplay, its ensemble cast is failing to stand out from the pack.
After the Screen Actors Guild Awards passed over Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo on Wednesday, the Globes did, too. Ruffalo, however, was nominated for best actor in a comedy for his performance as a bipolar father in "Infinitely Polar Bear."
Most of the expected contenders came away with something to show from the Globes, including the scientific space adventure "The Martian" (including nods for star Matt Damon and director Ridley Scott), David O. Russell's matriarch portrait "Joy" (best picture, comedy and best actress Jennifer Lawrence), George Miller's apocalyptic romp "Mad Max: Fury Road" (including best director for Miller) and "Room," the Emma Donoghue novel adaptation starring Brie Larson (nominated for best actress, drama) as a captive mother.
Left largely on the outside were Steven Spielberg's Cold War thriller "Bridge of Spies," which was only nominated for Mark Rylance's supporting performance; the Irish immigrant drama "Brooklyn," just nominated for Saoirse Ronan's leading performance; and "Straight Outta Compton," the popular N.W.A biopic, which landed nothing the day after the SAG Awards gave it a best ensemble nomination.
Will Smith, whose upcoming "Concussion" has drawn headlines for its depiction of head trauma in football, joined the best actor, drama, nominees. Also nominated were Michael Fassbender ("Steve Jobs"), Eddie Redmayne ("The Danish Girl"), DiCaprio and Bryan Cranston ("Trumbo"). Apparently displaced was Johnny Depp's chilly Whitey Bulger in "Black Mass."
Alicia Vikander, the ubiquitous star of 2015, joined the best dramatic actress field for "The Danish Girl", as well as the supporting actress one for her performance as an artificial intelligence in the sci-fi indie "Ex Machina."
Others also landed multiple nods. Rylance added a second for his TV role on the costume drama "Wolf Hall." Idris Elba also spanned both film and TV with nods for his West African rebel commander in "Beasts of No Nation," as well as the British crime series "Luther."
Though some questionable category decisions left less-comedic films competing for best comedy or musical, two of comedy's top stars will crash a particularly somber awards season: Melissa McCarthy and Amy Schumer. Both were nominated for best actress in a comedy, and their films __ "Spy" and "Trainwreck," respectively __ will compete for best comedic film.
"Chris Rock was the first person to text me. He just wrote "Golden Globes mother------," said Schumer. "The Hollywood Foreign Press, man. I just want to like hug them. I want them all to sit on my face."
In the best animated film category, the Charlie Kauffman-scripted, stop-motion drama "Anomalisa" slotted in alongside a quartet of more family-friendly releases: "Inside Out," ''The Good Dinosaur," ''The Peanuts Movie" and "Shaun the Sheep Movie."
Though younger stars like DiCaprio and Lawrence are the leading acting contenders, a number of esteemed veterans joined the nominations, too. Al Pacino ("Danny Collins"), Maggie Smith ("The Lady in the Van"), Lily Tomlin ("Grandma"), Jane Fonda ("Youth") and Helen Mirren ("Trumbo") all earned nods.
So did Sylvester Stallone for "Creed," giving him a nomination for the same character (Rocky Balboa) who first earned him a Globe nomination in 1976 for "Rocky." Along with Elba and Rylance, the supporting actor category was rounded out by Paul Dano ("Love & Mercy") and Michael Shannon ("99 Homes").
"The most amazing thing when these things happen, because the phone just goes insane," said Shannon. "Like it just vibrates and makes all kinds of noises. I assumed when it started doing that, that either something very good or very bad had happened. And it was very good."
Ricky Gervais will return as host for the Globes on Jan. 10. His third time in the gig follows three straight years of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as hosts. Last year's NBC telecast dipped slightly from 2013's 10-year high, drawing 19.3 million viewers. Best drama went to Richard Linklater's "Boyhood," while Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel" captured the comedy category.