NEW YORK - Guillermo del Toro's Cold War-era, Canadian-shot fairytale "The Shape of Water" swam away with a leading seven Golden Globe nominations Monday, while the Canadian-directed HBO drama "Big Little Lies" led the television categories with six nods.
In what's being viewed as a wide-open Oscar race so far, several films followed closely behind "The Shape of Water," including Steven Spielberg's Pentagon Papers drama "The Post," with six nominations, including best actress for Meryl Streep and best actor for Tom Hanks. Martin McDonagh's revenge drama "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" also got a major boost in the nominations announced Monday in Beverly Hills, California, with six nods, including best actress for Frances McDormand and supporting actor for Sam Rockwell.
But as the most prominent platform yet in Hollywood's awards season to confront the post-Harvey Weinstein landscape, the Globes also enthusiastically supported Ridley Scott's J. Paul Getty drama "All the Money in the World." Acclaimed Canadian actor Christopher Plummer, who replaced Kevin Spacey in the film just last month, was nominated for best supporting actor. Scott was also nominated for best director and Michelle Williams for best actress.
A rough cut of the film was screened for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the Globes. Scott is quickly reediting the movie to eradicate Spacey, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous men.
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"It must have been a herculean effort, because Christopher Plummer is all the way through the movie," said Meher Tatna, president of the press association. "He really pulled off the impossible."
Notably left out were frequent Globes-nominees "House of Cards" and "Transparent," two of the TV shows affected by the cascading fallout of sexual harassment allegations in the wake of Harvey Weinstein's ouster. As usual, the nominations were partly announced on NBC's "Today" show, where Matt Lauer was recent fired following allegations of sexual misconduct.
The nominees for best picture drama are: the tender young romance "Call Me By Your Name," Christopher Nolan's World War II epic "Dunkirk," ''The Post," ''The Shape of Water" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."
"The Shape of Water" was shot in Toronto and Hamilton.
The nominees for best picture comedy or musical are: James Franco's "The Disaster Artist," Jordan Peele's horror sensation "Get Out," Greta Gerwig's coming-of-age tale "Lady Bird," the upcoming musical "The Greatest Showman," and the Tonya Harding comic-drama "I, Tonya."
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Despite considerable backlash, "Get Out" ended up on the comedy side of the Globes after being submitted that way by Universal Pictures. Peele himself slyly commented on the controversy, calling his social critique of latent racism "a documentary." The Globes passed over Peele's script, but newcomer Daniel Kaluuya was nominated for best actor in a comedy.
Though some predicted and feared an acting field lacking diversity, the nominees were fairly inclusive. Denzel Washington ("Roman J. Israel, Esq."), Mary J. Blige ("Mudbound"), Hong Chau ("Downsizing") and Octavia Spencer ("The Shape of Water") were among the 30 film acting nominees.
But the best director category remained all-male, as it has for most of Globes and Academy Awards history. Many had thought this year might be different due to directors like Gerwig, Patty Jenkins ("Wonder Woman") and Dee Rees ("Mudbound"). But the nominees were: Spielberg, del Toro, Nolan, McDonagh and Scott.
The morning's biggest surprise, aside from the success of "All the Money in the World," might have been the omission of the romantic comedy "The Big Sick," penned by real-life couple Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Another Oscar underdog, "The Florida Project," emerged with only one nomination, for Willem Dafoe's supporting performance as the manager of a low-rent motel.
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In the television categories, the Emmy-winning "Big Little Lies," which is directed by Montreal's Jean-Marc Vallee, earned a number of acting nods (Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Alexander Skarsgard) as well as best limited series. (HBO recently announced a second season for "Big Little Lies," which will change its category in other awards shows.)
Other nominees with Canadian connections include Toronto-born "Will and Grace" star Eric McCormack for best actor in a musical or comedy series, the Canadian co-production "The Breadwinner" for best animated film and the Alberta-shot series "Fargo" for TV's best limited series or motion picture. "The Handmaid’s Tale," based on Canadian author Margaret Atwood's acclaimed novel, also received several nominations, including best television drama.
FX's Bette Davis and Joan Crawford chronicle "Feud: Bette and Joan" landed four nominations, including nods for Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon. Amazon's just-debuted "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" scored two nods, including best comedy series. Also with multiple nominations were Netflix's "Stranger Things," and NBC's "This Is Us."
Gary Oldman, nominated for best actor for his Winston Churchill in "Darkest Hour," said the scandals have cast an unusual pall over the season, where Weinstein was for decades a dominating force.
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"How should we celebrate? Well, I don't think any of it's funny, so I guess that people will stay away from it in the ceremony," said Oldman by phone Monday. "It's evolution, and it's good that we sort of start to check ourselves about what we do and what we say and how we do it and how we say it to people, so I think it's ultimately a good thing. But I can't see too much of this coming up in (the show), up there on the platform, as it were, on the podium. It's not something to joke about, I don't think."
The nominees were announced from Beverly Hills after still-burning fires ravaged Southern California for the past week. The Thomas Fire has destroyed some 790 structures and forced thousands to evacuate their homes, with the blazes even entering the nearby neighbourhood of Bel Air.
The Globes haven't traditionally predicted the Oscars, but they did last January. The Globes best-picture winners — "Moonlight" and "La La Land" — both ultimately ended up on the stage for the final award of the Oscars, with "Moonlight" emerging victorious only after the infamous envelope flub. The press association, which has worked in recent years to curtail its reputation for odd choices, is composed of approximately 90 freelance international journalists.
The last Globes broadcast, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, averaged 20 million viewers, an upswing of 8 per cent, according to Nielsen. This year, Fallon's NBC late-night partner, Seth Meyers, will host the January 7 ceremony.
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No Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement recipient has yet been chosen. Last year's honoree, Streep, spoke forcefully against the then President-elect Donald Trump, shortly before his inauguration, leading him to criticize the actress as "overrated." This year, she — along with Spielberg and Hanks — return with a pointed and timely drama, "The Post," about the power of the press to counter lies emanating from the White House.
Said Streep in a statement: "I'm thrilled for the movie, for Steven and Tom, and for the incredible ensemble of actors who made this movie need its moment in history."
Associated Press writers Lindsey Bahr and Sandy Cohen, and The Canadian Press contributed to this report