Thesp acknowledged for 'Doubt,' 'Mamma Mia!'

The Golden Globes have often been touted as a precursor to Oscar, and that’s true — but only to a point.

It’s only because the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. nominates 15 actors and 15 actresses (five each for lead in both drama and comedy/musical and a supporting category for male and female) while the Oscars have only 10 slots to fill in the lead categories (five males, five females). By mathematics alone, it would seem the Globes would act as a prognosticator: You throw enough people out there for Globes, some will stick for Oscar.

Yet in the last go-round earlier this year, only eight of the 15 Golden Globe nominees for both actor and actress were also Academy Award noms — just over 50% — and a year earlier, only six of the 15 actors made the Oscar shortlist.

And history dictates that most of the nominees in the comedy/musical category won’t make the Oscar cut.

So while the thesps who are current Golden Globes nominees should be excited and proud, there’s no guarantee they’ll need a baby sitter or have to pick out a new dress for Oscar night.

One name that probably needn’t worry is Meryl Streep, who is up twice in the Globes contest — for “Doubt” as a drama and “Mamma Mia!” for comedy/musical. With these two nods, Streep now has 23 career Globe nominations and stands alone as having more than anyone else in film history, surpassing Jack Lemmon’s 22.

Receiving a pair of noms isn’t all that unusual for the Globes. As a matter of fact, it happened this year not only with Streep but also Kate Winslet (“The Reader,” “Revolutionary Road”) and last year as well when Cate Blanchett was nommed for both “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” and her portrayal of Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes’ “I’m Not There.”

Among those nominated for the first time by the HFPA are Anne Hathaway (“Rachel Getting Married”) and Mickey Rourke (“The Wrestler”). And, in something resembling the bookmarks of a career — but by no means saying this is the end of it — Frank Langella is nominated for his turn as the former president in “Frost/Nixon” 38 years after receiving the most-promising-newcomer award for “Diary of a Mad Housewife.”

There was a lot to choose from in 2008. “It was a nice problem to have this year in that we could’ve easily doubled the nominees in each category,” says HFPA member Jenny talk about the dearth of great performances, but this year we had a lot. There were many great actresses and actors who missed out and could’ve easily been on our lists.”

The aforementioned “Revolutionary Road” received a boost by the Globes, with Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio each receiving noms. The pic and its thesps had mostly been ignored by guild and crix groups leading up to the Globes, and there’s little doubt that Paramount Vantage breathed a huge sigh of relief when Winslet and DiCaprio’s names were announced.

Slightly surprising, though, was the omission of Michael Shannon in the supporting category. In the film, he plays the mentally unstable son of Kathy Bates and, although he’s only in two scenes, he immediately grabs the attention away from those three actors — who have a combined 11 Oscar nominations among them.

“It’s more about their reaction,” says Shannon, handing off praise. “That’s what makes those scenes work.”

Another film that played well with HFPA voters was “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” Javier Bardem, who returns to the Globes a year after winning for “No Country for Old Men,” Penelope Cruz (her second nomination, following “Volver”) and newcomer Rebecca Hall were all tabbed.

Also on the comedy front, “Last Chance Harvey” played well with voters. Dustin Hoffman, 12 years after receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award, earned his 12th Globes nom, and co-star Emma Thompson received her seventh.

Cooney Carrillo says that with so many screenings to attend and DVDs to watch — as well as weighing in on the TV side — she looks at how the other orgs are voting to make sure she hasn’t missed anything that might be considered kudosworthy.

“If I see the same thing coming up over again on three or four lists, I make sure to see it so I can say there wasn’t anything to slip through the cracks,” she explains.

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