Seeing Double

Two great actresses received double nominations today: Meryl Streep was nominated for best actress (drama) for "Doubt" and best actress (musical or comedy) for "Mamma Mia!," her 22nd and 23rd career Globe nods (she's won six), and Kate Winslet was nominated for best actress (drama) for "Revolutionary Road" and best supporting actress for "The Reader," her sixth and seventh career Globe nods (she's never won).

Big Boosts

Any actor's actor who can bump a big name out of a nomination at the Golden Globes must henceforth be regarded as a very serious contender at the Oscars. This morning, the three people who did just that were best actress (drama) nominee Kristin Scott Thomas ("I've Loved You So Long"), best actress (musical or comedy) nominee Sally Hawkins("Happy-Go-Lucky"), and best supporting actress nominee Viola Davis ("Doubt").

Big Knocks

The big names that lost out to the aforementioned actor's actors: Cate Blanchett ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"), who might have been the victim of category confusion (she's being pushed for lead but is really supporting); Sarah Jessica Parker ("Sex and the City"), who had previously been nominated for eight Golden Globes and won four; and Debra Winger ("Rachel Getting Married"), the veteran three-time Oscar nominee and five-time Golden Globe nominee, who was probably also hurt by vote-splitting with co-star Rosemarie DeWitt.

Mixed Messages

The movie "Doubt" earned four acting nominations --- Meryl Streep for best actress (drama), Philip Seymour Hoffman for best supporting actor, and both Amy Adams and Viola Davis for best supporting actress --- as well as a nod for best screenplay (John Patrick Shanley), and yet was somehow snubbed when it came to best picture (drama).

Back on Their Feet

Until this morning, it had been an awful week for "Revolutionary Road" and "The Reader." The former was completely shut out by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn., New York Film Critics Circle, and Los Angles Film Critics Assn., as was the latter save for two BFCA nods ("The Reader" was one of 10 best picture nominees, which is no great compliment, and Kate Winslet was short-listed for best supporting actress). Just when people were beginning to count out the two films, though, they reemerged in a big way. "Rev Road" earned the following nominations: best picture (drama), Sam Mendes for best director, Leonardo DiCaprio for best actor (drama), and Kate Winslet for best actress (drama). "The Reader," meanwhile, was acknowledged for best picture (drama), Stephen Daldry for best director, Kate Winslet for best supporting actress, and David Hare for best screenplay. (Both would have liked to see a few more supporting nominations -- Michael Shannon for best supporting actor and Kathy Bates for best supporting actress in "Rev Road," and David Kross and Ralph Fiennes in "The Reader" --- but I'm betting they're quite content with what they got.)

"Milk" Leaking?

The biggest surprise to me was the snub of "Milk," which was exempted from all of the major categories except best actor (drama), in which presumptive favorite Sean Penn continued his awards run. Despite the snubs in best picture (drama), best director (Gus Van Sant), and best supporting actor (Josh Brolin and James Franco appeared to be likely nominees), I still expect the film to show up in all of those categories at the Oscars.

Never Say Never ...

Though the comedy "Tropic Thunder" was excluded from best picture (musical or comedy) and director/star Ben Stiller was also snubbed, the film made two appearances in the supporting actor category. One, for Robert Downey Jr., was not altogether unexpected, as it seemed the most appropriate place to honor the actor for a remarkable comeback year in several big films. But Tom Cruise, too? Nobody saw that coming. Expect Paramount to continue full-speed ahead with its campaign for Downey, but not to get greedy when it comes to Cruise.

Only in Outside of America

"In Bruges," a small, raunchy British comedy that earned only $7.8 million stateside when it was released by Focus Features way back in February, was probably the most out-of-left-field choice today. It earned a nomination for best picture (musical or comedy) and two for best actor (musical or comedy). One might be tempted to chalk up the nod for Colin Farrell to the usual HFPA star worship, but what of the one for his rotund co-star Brendan Gleeson, a veteran character actor? Apparently they just really liked the movie.

Incidentally ...

In the best supporting actor category: Ralph Fiennes for "The Duchess"... really?! I mean, it was a solid performance, but where did that come from?

The Foreigners' Take on the Foregin Race

In the category of best foreign-language film, the HFPA included two of the three most widely regarded Oscar favorites, "Gomorra" (Italy) and "Waltz With Bashir" (Israel), but excluded the third, Cannes winner "The Class" (France). Instead, they chose to herald the film that France opted not to submit as its Oscar entry in favor of "The Class," the equally acclaimed "I've Loved You So Long." The final two slots went to the Oscar submissions from Sweden and Germany, "Everlasting Moments" (some suspected the HFPA would instead go with another Swedish film, the immensely popular "Let the Right One In") and "The Baader Meinhof Complex," respectively. As far as the Oscars, though, I wouldn't yet count out Jordan's entry, the moving "Captain Abu Raed."

Singing Stars

It should come as no surprise that the infamous HFPA packed its best song category with selections from five of the biggest stars in the world, who I suspect they would love to have attend their little party. The nominees: "I Thought I Lost You" from "Bolt," performed by Miley Cyrus; "Once in a Lifetime" from "Cadillac Records," performed by Beyonce Knowles; "Gran Torino" from "Gran Torino," performed by Clint Eastwood; and early Oscar favorites "Down to Earth" from "Wall-E," performed by Peter Gabriel; and "The Wrestler" from "The Wrestler," performed by Bruce Springsteen.

Time of Death: 8:30 a.m. EST/5:30 a.m. PST

The following award hopefuls desperately needed a boost from the HFPA today but failed to get one, and are therefore in serious trouble as far as an Oscar nomination is concerned: "Australia," "Defiance" and "Seven Pounds" for best picture; Baz Luhrmann ("Australia"), Gabriele Muccino ("Seven Pounds") and Edward Zwick ("Defiance") for best director; Josh Brolin ("W."), Hugh Jackman ("Australia") and Will Smith ("Seven Pounds") for best actor; Nicole Kidman ("Australia") and Keira Knightley ("The Duchess") for best actress; Brandon Walters ("Australia") for best supporting actor; and Rosario Dawson ("Seven Pounds") for best supporting actress.