“Carol” swept the 73rd annual Golden Globe nominees at Thursday morning’s announcement with five nominations, followed by “Steve Jobs,” “The Big Short” and “The Revenant” with four nods each.

“Mad Max: Fury Road,” an action film that has become an unlikely awards-season contender, received nominations for best dramatic picture and for George Miller as best director.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the international journalists who bestow the Golden Globes, nominated “Carol” for best picture, director and score, and put Cate Blanchett in competition with her co-star Rooney Mara for best actress. The film’s strong showing, however, does little to clarify an awards season with no obvious front-runner. “Trumbo,” a modest drama about a blacklisted screenwriter, led the way at Wednesday’s announcement of the Screen Actors Guild nominees, while “Mad Max: Fury Road” has been honored as the year’s best film by the National Board of Review and has done well with many film critic organizations.

“The Big Short,” Adam McKay’s comedy-drama about the financial crisis, received three nominations in comedy/musical categories — one for best picture and two for actors Steve Carell and Christian Bale — and one nod for best screenplay. Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet were nominated as leading actor and supporting actress in “Steve Jobs,” just as they were at the SAG awards. Leonardo DiCaprio received an acting nod for playing a real-life frontiersman in “The Revenant,” which is also up for best drama, score and director for Alejandro González Iñárritu (the Oscar-winning “Birdman”).

As always, the Golden Globes made some head-scratching choices about its categories. Three-time nominee “The Martian,” a science-fiction thriller, landed in the comedy/musical category, where it received nods for best picture and for Matt Damon as a stranded astronaut. (Its director, Ridley Scott, was also nominated in a category that can include any film genre.) Also defined as a comedy/musical is “Joy,” starring Jennifer Lawrence playing Long Island entrepreneur Joy Mangano. The film is up for best picture and Lawrence as best actress in the comedy/musical categories.

“Spotlight,” about The Boston Globe reporters who investigated the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal, and “The Danish Girl,” starring Eddie Redmayne as a transgender artist, received three nods each, as did Quentin Tarantino’s Western “The Hateful Eight” and Lenny Abrahamson’s dramatic thriller “Room.”