The nominations

Frances McDormand
“North Country”

How she got there: As the crusty female union rep in “North Country,” McDormand once again hits the upper Midwest, home of her Oscar-winning triumph in “Fargo,” which also won her her first Globe nom in 1996. She was additionally nommed in this category in 2000 for “Almost Famous,” and as part of the cast of 1993’s “Short Cuts” won a special citation from the HFPA for ensemble.

Shirley MacLaine
“In Her Shoes”

How she got there: One of the all-time favorites as far as the HFPA is concerned, MacLaine has been collecting Globes since 1955, when she shared an award for most promising female newcomer. She has been nominated 18 times and has won four times (“The Apartment,” “Irma La Douce,” “Terms of Endearment” and “Madame Sousatzka”) in addition to other HFPA honors, including a special award in 1959 and the Cecil B. DeMille award for Lifetime Achievement in 1998. Her “In Her Shoes” role as a distant grandmother to two young women who never knew she existed marks the second time she has been nominated for supporting actress since “Postcards From the Edge” in 1990.

Rachel Weisz
“The Constant Gardener”

How she got there: Playing an activist in Kenya, Weisz did a lot of research and found her role in “The Constant Gardener” wasn’t just another movie job, but a life-changing experience. She has received her first Globe nomination in the supporting category, even though her character Tessa Quayle seems to be at the center of the movie. One Globe voter believes that it is due to the “power” of her performance that you believe she has more screen time than she actually has.

Michelle Williams
“Brokeback Mountain”

How she got there: It’s a long way from “Dawson’s Creek” to “Brokeback Mountain,” but Williams has made the trek and the transition from teen soap star to respected film actress with her portrayal of Alma Del Mar, the suffering wife of the bisexual cowboy played by Heath Ledger. Her wrenching discovery of his romantic interest in another man was a memorably devastating scene. But in addition to critical acclaim, “Brokeback” also gave her a real-life partner (Ledger) and baby in the same year.

Scarlett Johansson
“Match Point”

How she got there: Johansson not only scored an actress in a drama nom last year (“A Love Song for Bobby Long”) but also was nominated two years ago in both lead categories for “Lost in Translation” and “Girl With a Pearl Earring.” Now she invades yet another category, supporting, for her sexy and revealing turn in Woody Allen’s “Match Point.” The 21-year-old actress is now a regular at these ceremonies, with some members predicting this is the year she could actually win a trophy.

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