Voters aren't fooling around with this bunch

Why so serious?

The Globes’ comedy/musical actress category has, in the past, provided something of an antidote to award-season gravitas, allowing such unexpected interlopers as Twiggy, Madonna and Beyonce to rub shoulders with “regular” Hollywood royalty. In that sense, it’s almost a disappointment to see this year’s crop of nominees, all of them very committed thesps whom no mere hobbyist actor would want to come across in a dark theater.

The brass-knuckled leader of the gang would clearly be Meryl Streep. Though her lead role in Abba jukeboxer “Mamma Mia!” was hardly Joanna Kramer, it allowed the obscenely respected thesp a chance to let loose to a degree that the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. clearly found endearing.

Emma Thompson also is nothing to mess with, ratcheting up her seventh nomination, this time for “Last Chance Harvey,” putting her ahead of four-time nominee Frances McDormand (“Burn After Reading”).

Despite sporting a somewhat Twiggylike figure, first-time nominee Rebecca Hall nonetheless carried some serious weight in her turn as the resident skittish neurotic in Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” and Globes voters may want to secure the bragging rights that come from honoring a rising star so early in her career.

“Happy-Go-Lucky’s” Sally Hawkins, the other newcomer to Globes attention, is also a recent Allen vet, having worked on the director’s 2007 outing “Cassandra’s Dream” in the role of Kate.

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