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Published December 15 2011

‘Hugo,’ ‘War Horse’ and Clooney win Golden Globe nominations

LOS ANGELES – It’s Martin Scorsese vs. Steven Spielberg, and George Clooney going against himself – that’s one way to look at the nominations for best dramatic film at the 69th annual Golden Globes, where the rich visual epics “Hugo” and “War Horse” will vie for the trophy along with two films starring Clooney: “The Ides of March” and “The Descendants.”

“The Help,” an emotional tale set against the race and class backdrop of 1960s Mississippi, was also nominated in the category, along with “Moneyball,” which stars Clooney’s pal Brad Pitt as a maverick major league manager.

The Globes split their best picture candidates into two fields – drama and comedy or musical – and in the latter the nominations went to “The Artist,” the spirited black-and-white and mostly silent film about old Hollywood; “Midnight in Paris,” Woody Allen’s dreamy visit to the grand city during the Jazz Age; “Bridesmaids,” a crowd-pleasing comedy that earned every bit of its R rating; “My Week With Marilyn”; and “50/50,” the rare heartfelt film to find comedy in the travails of a cancer patient.

For television, “Boardwalk Empire,” “Game of Thrones,” “Boss,” “Homeland” and “American Horror Story” earned nods for drama series, and “Modern Family,” “Episodes,” “New Girl,” “Glee” and “Enlightened” took the comedy series nominations.

Clooney and Pitt are each nominated in the lead actor in a dramatic film category, Pitt for playing Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane and Clooney for playing a father feeling the ground sliding out from under him amid a family crisis in “The Descendants.” They will vie for the Globes trophy with Leonardo DiCaprio for “J. Edgar,” Michael Fassbender for “Shame” and Ryan Gosling for “The Ides of March.”

In the best actress in a dramatic film race, it’s Meryl Streep for her transformation into Downing Street icon Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady”; Viola Davis for channeling the angst of a Mississippi maid in “The Help”; Rooney Mara for the under-the-skin title role in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”; Tilda Swinton for playing a mother of a teen on the edge in “We Need to Talk About Kevin”; and Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs.”

In the counterpart category for comedy, two stars of Roman Polanksi’s “Carnage,” Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet, will go at each other again but with more decorum than they showed in the film. Also nominated in the field: Charlize Theron for “Young Adult,” Michelle Williams for “My Week with Marilyn” and Kristen Wiig for the raunchfest with heart “Bridesmaids.”

“Homeland” star Claire Danes heard her name called out on Thursday morning in the category of lead actress in a television drama series. The other nominees: Mireille Enos of “The Killing”; Julianna Margulies of “The Good Wife”; Madeleine Stowe of “Revenge”; and Callie Thorne of “Necessary Roughness.”

Alec Baldwin joins four others in the category of lead actor in a television comedy series: David Duchovny of “Californication”; Johnny Galecki of “The Big Bang Theory”; Thomas Jane of “Hung” and Matt LeBlanc of “Episodes.”

It was a good day for director Spielberg, who also saw his first animated feature film, “The Adventures of Tintin,” nominated for best animated movie. It will compete with two films that got great reviews, “Rango” and “Puss in Boots,” and one that didn’t, “Cars 2.”

The Golden Globe awards will be handed out Jan. 15 at the Beverly Hilton, and the gala will be broadcast on NBC.