63rd Annual Golden Globes: On the Scene at the Nominations

Considering that the morning signified the official start of the annual race for awards season gold in Tinseltown, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assocation could have just used a starter’s pistol at the beginning of their announcement of the 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Instead they opted for something a little more glamorously apropos, with stars Kate BeckinsaleMark Wahlberg and Steve Carell announcing the winners at a pre-dawn ceremony at Beverly Hills’ luxe Beverly Hilton Hotel.

But the race was indeed on, and on the film side the gay-themed Western drama Brokeback Mountain broke ahead of the pack early on with seven nominations, including Best Motion Picture–Drama, Ang Lee for director, Heath Ledger for actor, Michelle Williams for supporting actress, screenplay, score and original song.

Also faring well among the 2005 film crop were writer-director Woody Allen’s Match Point; the first-a-film, then-a-musical, now-a-film-musical The Producers; and George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck, each with four nominations. Clooney not only received individual nods for co-writing and directing the film, he also scored a best supporting actor nomination for his turn in the political potboiler Syriana.

Or was the nominee “Jorge Clooney,” as his friend and frequent co-star Wahlberg purposely mispronounced it when he made the announcement?

Meanwhile, over on the television side, Desperate Housewives wasn’t desperate at all, leading all comers with five total nominations, including individual Best Actress in a Television Series–Musical or Comedy nominations for stars Marcia Cross, Felicity HuffmanEva Longoria and last year’s winner, Teri Hatcher. Huffman also fared well on the film side, garnering a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture–Drama for her turn as a preoperative transsexual in Transamerica.

And while HBO continued its long trend of dominating the TV nominations with a total of 17 due to such multiple-nominated series as Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm, newcomer Rome and the miniseries Empire Falls, the pay cable net was suddenly feeling the breath of a traditional network on its neck: ever-emergent ABC was just one shy of HBO’s tally with 16 nominations, thanks to such second-year staples as Desperate Housewives and Lost as well as newbies Commander In Chief and Grey’s Anatomy.

Seen On the Scene

Even though it was 5:30 a.m. in Los Angeles, Access Hollywood’s Maria Menounos looked like she hadn’t missed a second of her beauty sleep as she prepared to do a live shot for her other gig, the Today Show. “I don’t mind getting up so early,” she whispered to Hollywood.com seconds before she went live, joining the phalanx of journalists, photographers and videographers and the small army of anxious celebrity and studio publicists who turned out for the announcement. “It’s a test of my endurance.”

The celebrity presenters were also looking impossibly chic for the ungodly hour, especially Beckinsale, in a shimmery black satin Monique Luhllier gown more suited for the cocktail hour. Two of the stars were well rewarded for rising early: Carell snared his first-ever Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series–Musical or Comedy for his role as the winningly doltish boss on The Office, while Wahlberg shared in Entourage’s nomination as Best Television Series–Musical or Comedy as the co-creator and executive producer of that show.

After Beckinsale announced Entourage’s nomination and looked back at the still cool and collected Wahlberg expectantly, the actor took the podium and said dryly “I think because I’m American she expected me to be jumping up and down.”

Hollywood.com asked Wahlberg if he was jumping up and down on the inside, and he let us in on an inside secret. “You know what? She snuk the information to me, and to Steve about his nomination, earlier,” he revealed. “And she said ‘Isn’t that what you Americans do, jump up and down? I was going to do a little Ben AffleckMatt Damon imitation, but I didn’t know if people would get it.”

“I was hoping for like the Running Man or some kind of something,” a clearly disappointed Beckinsale told Hollywood.com. “Because Americans can go either way with that. Sometimes they can go a little nuts. But it is a little early.” Still, the actress, nominated last year for her turn in The Aviator, confessed she almost got caught up int the celebratory spirit herself. “My daughter’s best friend’s dad [Harry Gregson-Williams] was nominated for The Chronicles of Narnia [for Best Original Score], so I almost made a noise in there–Whoo-hoo!–but I didn’t.”

Meanwhile, the usually “on” Carell showed his softer side, taking a break from TV interviews to dial his wife on his cell phone, quietly enjoying a sweet, congratulatory exchange away from the limelight.

Wahlberg–who was frequently distracted on stage by his silently vibrating cell phone with calls from Jeremy Piven (nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television) and the real life inspiration for Piven’s character Ari Gold, as well as his Four Brothers co-star Terrence Howard (nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture–Drama)–said he did not plan to send any congratulatory tokens to his Entourage posse. “Hopefully, since I got them all the job, they’ll send me a gift,” he suggested.

When asked how hard he thought he and his boys would be partying on Golden Globe night, notorious among awards shows for its free-flowing champagne and cocktails, he had a quick reply: “It depends on if we win or not!”

Click here for the complete list of nominations.