Duo, 'Doubt' nab five nominations each

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It would seem to be a battle between “Frost/Nixon” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” at the Golden Globes as the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. handed out five noms to each film: picture, director, actor, screenplay and score.

“The Reader,” “Revolutionary Road” and “Slumdog Millionaire” rounded out the drama category and drew four mentions each.

While feature film “Doubt” also wound up with five noms, it was mostly recognized in the acting categories, with Meryl Streep nominated for actress, Philip Seymour Hoffman for supporting actor, and Amy Adams and Viola Davis for supporting actress. It also received a screenplay nom.

The comedy-musical category included “Mamma Mia!,” “Burn After Reading,” “Happy-Go-Lucky,” “In Bruges” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” The Woody Allen pic drew four noms, “In Bruges” took three in a surprisingly strong showing, and the others received two apiece.

The television category was dominated by HBO, which walked away with 22 noms, mainly for “In Treatment,” which topped all series with five bids, including drama, actor, supporting actor and actress. “Entourage,” “True Blood,” telepics “Recount” and “Bernard and Doris” and the miniseries “John Adams” also stood out for the pay cabler.

Streep also landed a nom for the musical “Mamma Mia!” The double recognition makes her the Globe record holder, with 23 noms, edging past the 22 for Jack Lemmon.

Kate Winslet also received two acting noms: dramatic actress in “Revolutionary Road” and supporting actress for “The Reader.”

Among the surprises was the fact that Focus Features’ “Milk” received only one nom, for Sean Penn as actor. Warner Bros.’ “The Dark Knight” scored only for Heath Ledger’s supporting turn.

And while Oscar allows toons to compete in the animation and best pic categories, the HFPA keeps them separate, meaning Globe contenders “Wall-E,” “Bolt” and “Kung Fu Panda” were kept out of the comedy-film race.

Those who didn’t score big noms should not give up hope, however. For many years, the Globes have been a bellwether for the Academy Awards, but the kudos have diverged a lot recently. The 2005 Oscar winner “Crash,” for example, didn’t even receive a Globes nomination.

And while “Atonement” and “Sweeney Todd” took top Globes last year, the Oscar went to “No Country for Old Men.”

The 85 members of the HFPA spread their nominations across 31 films, meaning this year marks another open race for Hollywood.

Kudocast should benefit from the presence of stars, as the org nominated Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood, Colin Farrell, Dustin Hoffman, Anne Hathaway, Robert Downey Jr., Penn, Streep and Bruce Springsteen, among others.

It couldn’t come at a better time, with the HFPA hoping the celebs will bring back viewers to a broadcast that lost its star wattage this year when it was turned into a glorified press conference because of the WGA strike.

“We thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. for honoring Heath’s performance in `The Dark Knight,’ ” said Ledger’s family in a statement. “This nomination is deeply appreciated and is not lost on those of us who continue to love and miss him. We are so proud that our boy’s work is being recognized in this way.”

Comedies were well represented on the film front, with James Franco nominated for his stoner role in “Pineapple Express” and “Tropic Thunder” landing Cruise and Downey each a nom for their supporting roles.

After garnering two music mentions last year for “Grace Is Gone,” Eastwood is back again in the score and song category for “Changeling” and “Gran Torino,” respectively (both of which he also directed).

French entry “I’ve Loved You So Long” was among the foreign-film contenders, with Kristin Scott Thomas also recognized in the actress category.

Generating the most noms among the studios was Warner Bros. with 11. When combining Universal Pictures and Focus Features, however, NBC Universal received 15 noms. Paramount Pictures and Par Vantage secured 12, and Sony Pictures Classics and Sony Pictures Releasing netted six.

Among the smaller distribs, the Weinstein Co. landed eight noms, split between “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and “The Reader.”

For broadcasters, NBC received the most mentions with six; “30 Rock” and “The Office” face off in the comedy and actor categories.

“Entourage,” “30 Rock” and AMC’s “Mad Men” each received three noms. Southern vampire drama “True Blood” was the only new series to receive noms, recognized for drama series and actress.

Nominees were announced at the Beverly Hilton by Terrence Howard, Rainn Wilson, Elizabeth Banks and Brooke Shields.

NBC will air the Globes telecast, produced by Dick Clark Prods., on Jan. 11 – also from the BevHilton.

Click here for the full list of nominees

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