Small-scale films like "The Artist," "The Descendants" and "The Help" led the nominations for the 69th annual Golden Globe awards Thursday morning, while big productions with marquee names like DiCaprio and Spielberg were barely acknowledged.
"The Artist," a French silent film, topped the list with six nominations, further solidifying its position as a major Oscar contender, while "The Descendants" and "The Help" received five each. Following with four nominations apiece were the sports film "Moneyball," George Clooney's political drama "The Ides of March," and Woody Allen's highest-grossing release ever, "Midnight in Paris."
The lopsided nominations may reflect dissatisfaction with a year dominated by youth-oriented franchises like "Transformers" and "Pirates of the Caribbean." Even the universally beloved last chapter of "Harry Potter" was shut out. What's more, two serious biopics with big-name stars -- usually a sure bet during awards season -- made poor showings. "The Iron Lady," starring Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, and Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar," with Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover, earned only one nomination each, for their lead actors.
Eastwood was not nominated as a director, nor was Steven Spielberg despite releasing two movies this year. His "War Horse" may have been a tough sell in the acting categories -- its star is an animal -- but it did earn a nod for best dramatic picture, a category that often overlaps with the Oscars' best picture nominees. Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" also landed in that category.
"My Week With Marilyn" became the Globes' annual head-scratcher, a wistful drama that was nominated for best comedy or musical. Michelle Williams, as the tragic screen siren Marilyn Monroe, earned a nod for best comedic actress.
The 69th annual Golden Globe awards will be presented Jan. 15, with Ricky Gervais returning as host.