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'12 Years,' 'Hustle' lead Golden Globes nominations

  • This image released by Fox Searchlight shows Chiwetel Ejiofor, center, in a scene from "12 Years A Slave." The Golden Globes nominations will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 12. Ejiofor was nominated for a Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture drama for his role in the film on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. The 71st annual Golden Globes will air on Sunday, Jan. 12. (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight, Jaap Buitendijk)

The searing historical epic "12 Years a Slave" and the con-artist caper "American Hustle" lead the 71st annual Golden Globes with seven nominations each.

The nominations announced Thursday morning in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association suggested "American Hustle" and "12 Years a Slave" — one outlandish and farcical, the other grimly accurate — may be this year's Oscar favorites.

Hailed by critics as the movies' most unblinking portrait of slavery, "12 Years a Slave" verified its front-runner status with nominations including best film drama, Chiwetel Ejiofor for best actor in a drama, Steve McQueen for best director and Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o for their supporting roles.

"All of these nominations hopefully mean that more people will go and see it and that is really exciting because I feel this film is pivotal and just so good for the world," said Nyong'o.

"American Hustle" dominated on the Globes' other category side: comedy or musical. The fictionalized story of the FBI's Abscam investigation amid the disco 1970s earned nominations for best movie comedy and David O. Russell for best director. Much of its starry cast received nominations, including lead actors Christian Bale and Amy Adams, as well as last year's Oscar darling, Jennifer Lawrence for best supporting actress.

Also in the mix are Alexander Payne's father-son road trip "Nebraska," with five nominations, including best actor for Bruce Dern. The space odyssey "Gravity" earned four nominations, as did the Somali pirate thriller "Captain Phillips," starring Tom Hanks as the kidnapped cargo ship captain.

Alfonso Cuaron's innovative 3-D spectacle "Gravity," for which star Sandra Bullock received a best actress nomination, should be a bigger Oscar heavyweight at the Academy Awards, which honor technical categories that the Globes don't. With more than $630 million in worldwide box office, "Gravity" also figures to be the populist favorite.

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