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There's no figuring Golden Globes' choices

'Precious' is applauded while director gets left out, 'Lovely Bones' is mostly unloved and 'The Road' is not taken.

December 16, 2009|By Chris Lee

Lee Daniels said he was "bouncing off the walls" when the nominations for the 2010 Golden Globe Awards were being announced Tuesday morning. The director-producer of one of this year's most acclaimed films, the urban drama "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," had just registered the news that his leads Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe and Mo'Nique were respectively being honored with best actress and best supporting actress nods.

Even better, "Precious" was in contention for best motion picture drama.

But when Daniels' name failed to turn up on the best director list, a certain resignation set in for him.

"It would be dishonest to say I didn't think about it," the director said. "But when you look at who I'm up against, my God!" He trailed off. "I'm OK. I'm really happy for my girls," Daniels said.

Year in and year out, the Golden Globes remain reliably quirky -- as notable for the films and performances that members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. omit as for those that they celebrate. Tuesday's nominee list had no shortage of surprising snubs.

Daniels was the lone director with a film nominated in the best dramatic movie category to be left out of the director race. On the flip side, Clint Eastwood was the only director nominee to have his movie, the post-apartheid sports drama "Invictus," go overlooked in the top drama category.

Also, Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones" was largely shut out of the Globes balloting. Jackson said in an interview with The Times earlier this year that the movie's distributor, Paramount, punted the release of his adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestselling novel from March to December in an effort to position the drama as an awards season contender. But it failed to generate any Globes nominations save for Stanley Tucci's supporting actor nod for his portrayal of a homicidal pedophile predator.

One of 2009's best-reviewed movies, "Up," received a nomination in the animated feature film category but was shut out for best picture.

And in what already is being viewed as a bad omen for its awards season prospects, director John Hillcoat's adaptation of the post-apocalyptic Cormac McCarthy novel "The Road" did not earn a single nomination.

Reached Tuesday, Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of the movie's distributor, the Weinstein Co., could barely veil his discouragement. Still, the studio boss remained optimistic about "The Road's" chances heading into the season's main event.

"You want to know disappointment? That's a big disappointment," Weinstein said. "We'll work harder and turn it around for the Oscar."

chris.lee@latimes.com

Times staff writer Steven Zeitchik contributed additional reporting for this story.

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