NEW YORK — "Birdman" is soaring. "Boyhood" keeps growing. "Selma" is on the march. And "Unbroken" is... missing in action.
In nominations for the 72 annual Golden Globes announced Thursday in Beverly Hills, California, the season's Oscar favorites largely stayed on course, with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Birdman" spreading its wings the widest. The comedy, starring Michael Keaton as a has-been Hollywood star trying to mount a serious play on Broadway, led all films with seven nominations, including best picture (comedy or musical), best actor for Keaton and nods for supporting players Edward Norton and Emma Stone.
"Although at times it felt we were flying without a net in this crazy film experiment, this has brought enormous joy to me," said Inarritu, who stitched together the backstage drama with lengthy, graceful shots.
But Richard Linklater's coming-of-age drama "Boyhood," critical darling and perceived Academy Awards front-runner, was close behind with five nominations including best picture (drama), as were the five nods for the World War II code breaker drama "The Imitation Game."
Though the Globes don't have much relevance to Academy Awards, some fortunes did shift.
Jennifer Aniston, fresh off a nomination by the Screen Actors Guild for "Cake," seemed to clearly join the best-actress fray with a nod from the Globes, too. Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel," also honored by SAG, picked up a surprising four nominations, including best picture (comedy or musical) and best actor for Ralph Fiennes. And Angelina Jolie, long a favorite of the Hollywood Foreign Press with seven previous nods, saw her highly touted WWII prestige drama "Unbroken" shut out entirely.
"Selma," the story of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1965 march, netted a strong four nods including best picture (drama) despite losing out in Wednesday's SAGs. The "Selma" team, which also earned a best-actor nomination for David Oyelowo, watched the nominations together while promoting the film Thursday at a Toronto hotel.
Director Ava Duvernay, who became the first black woman nominated for best director by the Globes, has previously attended the awards as a publicist for films like "Dreamgirls." Said Duvernay: "This year I'll be at the party with a seat in an actual chair instead of standing on the side. It's going to be thrilling."
"I jumped so high for Ava I think I've shattered my kneecap," said Oyelowo. "We're going to celebrate by getting on a plane to Washington to show the film to Congress."
Thus far, "Boyhood," which Linklater filmed intermittently over 12 years to capture the passage of time, has cleaned up with critics and been thrust to the fore by its remarkable time-lapse production. It was nominated for Linklater's direction and script, as well as the supporting performances of Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette.
"Audiences embrace this movie when it's broken all of these rules," said Arquette. "I'm hoping that it will give studios a little more bravery to support projects that are different."
There were quirks, as there often is with the Hollywood Foreign Press, a collection of about 85 mostly freelance journalists. For her leading turn in "Annie," 11-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis surprisingly landed amid a best actress (comedy or musical) group that includes Julianne Moore ("Maps to the Stars"), Helen Mirren ("The Hundred-Foot Journey"), Amy Adams ("Big Eyes") and Emily Blunt ("Into the Woods").
Moore, now a three-time nominee, is considered the favorite for best actress thanks to her performance as a woman with early on-set Alzheimer's in "Still Alice." Along with her and Aniston are Reese Witherspoon ("Wild"), Rosamund Pike ("Gone Girl") and Felicity Jones ("The Theory of Everything")
Jones' "Theory" co-star, Eddie Redmayne, who stars as Stephen Hawking, was also nominated for best actor. Joining Redmayne and Oyelowo are Steve Carell ("Foxcatcher"), Jake Gyllenhaal ("Nightcrawler") and Benedict Cumberbatch ("The Imitation Game").
"I've been a bit frantic," Redmayne said on the phone from London. "I'm trying to finish all my Christmas shopping in a day, and now I got this phone call. I'm about to have a few mulled wines to celebrate."
The World War II code breaker drama "The Imitation Game," starring Cumberbatch as mathematician Alan Turing, also went over well with the HFPA. The Weinstein Co. release won nods for best picture (drama), Keira Knightley for best supporting actress, Graham Moore for best screenplay and Alexandre Desplat for best score.
The tragic wresting drama "Foxcatcher," which also won Mark Ruffalo a supporting actor nod, rounded out the best drama field.
In the best picture, comedy or musical, category, "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" were joined by "St. Vincent," ''Into the Woods" and — in a surprise — the independent British film "Pride."
On the outside was Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper," starring a beefed-up Bradley Cooper as Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. It went unnoticed, as did Mike Leigh's J.M.W. Turner biopic "Mr. Turner." Christopher Nolan's sci-fi epic "Interstellar" landed only a nomination for Hans Zimmer's score.
Fiennes and Keaton were joined in the best actor, comedy or musical, category, by Bill Murray ("St. Vincent") and a few less-expected choices — Joaquin Phoenix for "Inherent Vice" and Christoph Waltz for "Big Eyes."
The Globes, though known for sometimes idiosyncratic choices like "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" or "The Tourist" in years past, secured the attendance of one star — George Clooney — ahead of Thursday's nominations by selecting the actor-director for its honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award.
Meryl Streep added her 26th nomination (eight wins) with a best supporting actress nod for the Stephen Sondheim musical "Into the Woods." She joins Stone, Arquette, Knightley and Jessica Chastain for "A Most Violent Year."
"I have no words," said Stone, noting that she was honored to be a part of "the beautiful madness that is 'Birdman.'" "Now can someone please explain who this 'Meryl Streep' woman is?!"?
In supporting actor, J.K. Simmons ("Whiplash") and Robert Duvall ("The Judge") rounded out the field of Hawke, Norton and Ruffalo.
Among the TV categories, "Fargo" led with five nominations, including best TV miniseries or movie. HBO dominated with 15 nominations, while upstarts Netflix (seven nods) and Amazon (two) also made inroads.
The best drama series nominations went to "The Affair," ''Downton Abbey," ''Game of Thrones," ''The Good Wife" and "House of Cards." The nominees for best TV comedy series are: "Girls," ''Jane the Virgin," ''Orange is the New Black," ''Silicon Valley" and "Transparent."
For the third time in a row, the Globes telecast will be hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The show will air live from the Beverly Hills Hotel in California on Sunday, Jan. 11. Last year's awards drew 20.9 million viewers, marking it the most-watched Globes since 2004.
Last year, the Globes chose the eventual Academy Awards best-picture winner, "12 Years a Slave," as its best drama. Best comedy or musical went to "American Hustle."
Sandy Cohen and Derrik J. Lang contributed to this report from Los Angeles.