LOS ANGELES -- The Civil War epic Lincoln scored a record seven Golden Globe nominations for director Steven Spielberg, including best director, best picture, and best actor honors for Daniel Day-Lewis.
It was the most Golden Globe nominations one of his films has ever received, and also included best supporting actor and actress nods for Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field, as well as best screenplay and score. By contrast, his 1993 classic Schindler's List earned six Golden Globe nominations.
Django Unchained and Argo followed with five nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. on Thursday morning. Quentin Tarantino's slavery Western Django Unchained, which opens Christmas Day, earned nods for best director, best picture and two supporting actor nominations for Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz. Among the nominations for Ben Affleck's political thriller Argo were nominations for best director, best picture, and best supporting actor for Alan Arkin.
The nominations wrap one of the most closely watched weeks of the awards season, which kicked off Monday with the announcement of nominations for the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, followed by the SAG Award nominations. The films and performers honoured this week gain front-runner status leading up to the Academy Award nominations, which are to be announced Jan. 10.
Swimming upstream with three nominations Thursday morning was one of the biggest surprises of the award season: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. The quirky romantic comedy was nominated for best comedy or musical picture, and also earned best actor and actress nominations for stars Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor.
On the TV side of the nominations, HBO's drama Game Change -- chronicling Sarah Palin's 2008 vice-presidential run -- earned the most nominations with five, including a best actress nod for Julianne Moore. Homeland followed with four nominations and Downton Abbey, Modern Family and the TV movie The Girl picked up three apiece.
There's also a suggestion that the love affair with Mad Men may be coming to an end. The AMC period drama that has dominated award shows in recent years was noticeably missing from the best dramatic TV series nominees, although it did pick up a nod for star Jon Hamm. Earlier this year, the show failed to take home a single Emmy.
It was another good morning for veteran actress Maggie Smith. The 77-year-old -- who earned the most Screen Actors Guild Award nominations Wednesday -- picked up two Golden Globe nods for best actress in a comedy or musical for Quartet and for best performance in a supporting role for the TV series Downton Abbey.
Besides Lincoln, Django Unchained and Argo, the best motion picture drama nominees are Life of Pi and Zero Dark Thirty.
Joining Day-Lewis in the best actor in a dramatic movie category are Richard Gere for Arbitrage, John Hawkes for The Sessions, Joaquin Phoenix for The Master and Denzel Washington for Flight.
Vying for best actress in a dramatic motion picture are Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty, Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone, Hellen Mirren for Hitchcock, Naomi Watts for The Impossible and Rachael Weisz for The Deep Blue Sea.
Shut out from an acting nod: Robert De Niro, who has earned several nominations this awards season for his supporting role in Silver Linings Playbook.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. divides its film honours between drama and comedy or musical, opening up of the field that led to best picture nominations for Les Miserables, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Silver Linings Playbook.
Joining Blunt and Smith as nominees for best actress in a comedy or musical are Judi Dench for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook and Meryl Streep for Hope Springs.
Vying with McGregor in the best actor in a comedy or musical category are Jack Black for Bernie, Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook, Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables and Bill Murray for Hyde Park on the Hudson.
Going up against Spielberg, Affleck and Tarantino in the best director category are Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty and Ang Lee for Life of Pi.
On the TV side, the nominees for best dramatic series are Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey, Homeland and The Newsroom.
The nominees for best comedy or musical series are The Big Bang Theory, Episodes, Girls, Modern Family and Smash.
Earning nominations for best miniseries or motion picture are Game Change, The Girl, Hatfields & McCoys, The Hour and Political Animals.
The Golden Globes are to be presented Jan. 13 live on NBC from the Beverly Hilton Hotel, with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey as hosts.
-- Los Angeles Times