Todd Haynes' retro romance leads the list of nominees for the Golden Globes - but 'Mad Max' is in hot pursuit for Best Film.

11 Dec 2015 - 9:33 AM  UPDATED 11 Dec 2015 - 9:34 AM

Nominations for the 73rd annual Golden Globes were announced Thursday morning with Carol leading the way with five nods, while Netflix had a network-high eight mentions.

Carol, a drama about two lesbians falling in love in the 1950s, netted nods for both of its stars, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, while Todd Haynes was also nominated for directing the film. It also captured nominations for best picture - drama and for Carter Burwell's score.

Survival drama The Revenant, the Apple founder biopic Steve Jobs and the financial crisis comedy The Big Short were close behind with four nods apiece. It was a very good morning for The Big Short, which scored nominations for best picture - comedy, screenplay and acting nods for Christian Bale and Steve Carell. The film was a late entry to the awards race and was originally slated to open in 2016.

In addition to The Revenant and Carol, the dramatic film race will be between Spotlight, Mad Max: Fury Road and Room. The Martian, Trainwreck, Joy and Spy join The Big Short in the best comedy or musical category.

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Unlike the Oscars, the Golden Globes recognize both film and television. To that end, multiple TV shows landed a leading three mentions, including American Crime, Fargo, Mr. Robot, Outlander and Transparent.

But the morning's nominations were also notable for their omissions. Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies was largely ignored in the major categories, save for a supporting actor nod for Mark Rylance. Johnny Depp's chilling performance as gangster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass was shut out. And Spotlight's supporting actor tandem of Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams was given the cold shoulder, although Ruffalo was honored in the best actor - comedy category for his work as a bipolar man in Infinitely Polar Bear.

On the television side, past winners such as The Affair and Mad Men were snubbed in the best TV drama category, while Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) and Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) won't need to draft acceptance speeches, having been passed over for nominations.

In the dramatic actor category, leading men were honored for playing real people. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) portrayed 19th century frontiersman Hugh Glass (although his true story is shrouded in myth), while Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) was recognised for playing the title role and bringing the prickly founder of the iPhone and the iPad to life. In addition, Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) portrayed Oscar-winning screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, Will Smith (Concussion) took on the NFL as Dr. Bennet Omalu and Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) essayed the part of Einar Wegener, an artist undergoing one of the first gender reassignments.

With Mara and Blanchett capturing two of the five best actress in a drama slots, the rest of the nominations went to Brie Larson's work as a kidnapped mother in Room, Saoirse Ronan's performance as an Irish immigrant in Brooklyn and Alicia Vikander's portrayal of Redmayne's supportive wife in The Danish Girl. Focus Features, the studio behind The Danish Girl, and the Weinstein Company, the company backing Carol, have been campaigning for Vikander and Mara in the supporting actress category, but Globes voters had other ideas.

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Twentieth Century Fox, having scored the most studio nominations with 12, flew high with The Martian and Alejandro Inarritu's The Revenant. Matt Damon, nominated for best actor - comedy for The Martian, was among three mentions for the box office smash. It also received a nod for helmer Ridley Scott and was nominated for best comedy or musical feature, despite the fact that it is more of a thriller with comic moments than an out-and-out comedy.

Best animated film honorees include Anomolisa, The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out, The Peanuts Movie and Shaun the Sheep Movie.

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Awards watchers will look to Thursday's nominations to help crystalize an Oscar race that is viewed as wide open. Films such as Spotlight and Carol have done well with critics groups and with Globes voters, but a clear front-runner has yet to emerge. Earlier this week, the Screen Actors Guild stunned prognosticators by ignoring such major contenders as Will Smith (Concussion), Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) and Michael Keaton (Spotlight) in favour of performers such as Sarah Silverman (I Smile Back) and Helen Mirren (Woman in Gold), who were not expected to factor into the major awards.

Historically, the Globes have deviated from the Oscars in their choices for best picture, handing out the top prizes to such films as The Social Network and Avatar, which went on to lose the Academy Award. Last year, the Globes once again parted ways with the Academy. Boyhood captured the best picture - drama statue and The Grand Budapest Hotel took the best picture - comedy prize. Birdman was the eventual Oscar winner for best picture.

The awards shows differ in other respects, as well. The Oscars are a more sedate, solemn affair that unfold in the cavernous Dolby Theatre. The Globes, in contrast, prefer an intimate, banquet hall setting, with stars seated in a horseshoe of tables. Alcohol flows freely, leading to moments that feel less scripted.

The Globes are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of roughly 90 journalists and photographers. The organisation has been criticized at times for its idiosyncratic choices, nominating critically savaged films such as Burlesque and The Tourist in years past. Thursday's nominations were free of any such head-scratchers.

Ricky Gervais, who drew strong ratings by skewering Hollywood's A-list in three previous hosting gigs, will return as emcee after a three-year absence in which Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosted. The Globes telecast will take place on Jan. 10. Denzel Washington, a Golden Globe winner for The Hurricane and Glory, will receive the Cecil B. Demille Award for career achievement.

Full list of film nominations:

Best Motion Picture, Drama

Mad Max: Fury Road  
The Revenant

Best Motion Picture, Comedy

The Big Short
The Martian

Best Director - Motion Picture

Todd Haynes, Carol
Alejandro Inarritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
George Miller, Mad Max
Ridley Scott, The Martian

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Melissa McCarthy, Spy
Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
Maggie Smith, Lady in the Van
Lily Tomlin, Grandma

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Jane Fonda, Youth
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs 
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Will Smith, Concussion

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

Christian Bale, The Big Short
Steve Carell, The Big Short
Matt Damon, The Martian
Al Pacino, Danny Collins
Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture

Emma Donoghue, Room
Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer, Spotlight
Charles Randolph, Adam McKay, The Big Short
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs
Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

Best Animated Feature Film

The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

Best Original Song

"Love Me Like You Do" 50 Shades of Grey
"One Kind of Love" Love and Mercy
"See You Again" Furious 7
"Simple Song No. 3" Youth
"Writing's on the Wall" Spectre

Best Original Score

Carter Burwell, Carol
Alexandre Desplat, The Danish Girl
Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
Daniel Pemberton, Steve Jobs
Ryuichi Sakamoto Alva Noto, The Revenant

Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language

The Brand New Testament
The Club
The Fencer
Son of Saul


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