LOS ANGELES: Dark comedy “Birdman” won the most nominations for the Golden Globes on Thursday (Friday in Manila), securing another boost for its awards season hopes leading up to the all-important Oscars in February.
The film — which stars one-time “Batman” Michael Keaton as a washed-up superhero film star trying to revive his career on the stage — earned seven nods for the Globes, one day after topping the list for the key Screen Actors Guild awards.
“Although at times it felt we were flying without a net in this crazy film experiment, this has brought enormous joy to me,” said “Birdman” director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, himself a nominee.
“I am so proud of my actors and the whole team. It’s a good day.”
Tied for second in the Globes nominations tally were coming-of-age drama “Boyhood” and Nazi code-breaking thriller “The Imitation Game” with five each.
Among the acting highlights, veterans Julianne Moore and Bill Murray each won two nominations.
On the small screen, “Fargo” took the most nominations with five for the 72nd Golden Globes show, the second most high-profile awards presentation after the Oscars.
The best motion picture drama nominees for the Globes — which will be handed out on January 11 in Beverly Hills — are “Boyhood,” “Foxcatcher,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma” and “The Theory of Everything.”
In the race for best comedy or musical film are “Birdman,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Into the Woods,” “Pride” and “St. Vincent.”
“Birdman” had already topped the nominees list for the Independent Spirit awards announced last month, also seen as a key pre-Oscars indicator.
The movie scooped Globes nominations for best comedy/musical, best actor for Keaton, best director for Mexico’s Inarritu, as well as best supporting actor nods for Emma Stone and Edward Norton.
It is also shortlisted for best original score and best screenplay.
The five nominations for “Boyhood” included best director for Richard Linklater, best drama film, best supporting actor and actress for Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, and best screenplay.
“The Imitation Game” — about World War II codebreaker Alan Turing — won nods for best drama film, best actor for Britain’s Benedict Cumberbatch, best supporting actress for his compatriot Keira Knightley, as well as best original score and screenplay.
In the drama categories, best actor nominees are Cumberbatch, Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher”), Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler”), David Oyelowo (“Selma”) and Eddie Redmayne for the Stephen Hawking biopic “The Theory of Everything.”
Jennifer Aniston is up for best drama actress for “Cake” against Felicity Jones (“The Theory of Everything”), Moore (“Still Alice”), Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”) and Reese Witherspoon in “Wild.”
But there were snubs for Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” and Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken,” while space epic “Interstellar” scored only one technical nomination.
Other surprise absentees included Britain’s Timothy Spall, widely tipped for awards glory for painter biopic “Mr Turner,” and Laura Dern, praised for her work in “Wild.”
In television categories, online retail giant Amazon scored its first ever Golden Globe nominations — a breakthrough in its bid to catch up with streaming pioneer Netflix.
Amazon won two nods for breakout original series “Transparent,” a dark comedy about a man (played by veteran actor Jeffrey Tambor) who has transitioned to become a woman and is working out the thorny details of telling his family.
“Transparent” will go head to head against Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” in the best comedy series category, which also includes “Girls,” “Jane the Virgin” and “Silicon Valley.”
Best drama series contenders are “The Affair,” “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Good Wife” and “House of Cards.”
Moore, whose two nominations included one for her title role in “Still Alice” about a woman dealing with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, said she had “never seen Alzheimer’s depicted this way in a movie.”
“It’s always seen through the perspective of the caregiver or the family. With ours, you see that the self hasn’t been obliterated. There’s still a person there,” she added.
The Globes nominations were announced a day after the SAG award contenders. “Birdman” topped that list with four nods, including best ensemble cast and best actor for Keaton.
Although more high-profile than the SAGs, the Golden Globes are seen as less of an indicator of Oscars glory, as a relatively small group of non-US journalists chooses the winners, rather than the industry itself.