Steven Spielberg's presidential drama "Lincoln" topped the Golden Globes nominations Thursday with nods in seven categories, followed by "Argo" and "Django Unchained" with five each.
"Les Miserables," romantic comedy "Silver Linings Playbook" and Osama bin Laden hunt movie "Zero Dark Thirty" by Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow were tied in third place with four nominations each.
The announcements come as Hollywood's annual awards season kicks into gear, after the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominations announced Wednesday, in which "Lincoln" and "Silver Linings Playbook" were joint leaders.
After a U.S. presidential election year, Spielberg will be hoping to fare better with "Lincoln" than he did with last year's epic "War Horse," which was nominated for six Oscars and two Globes but went home empty-handed.
In the best drama category for this year's Globes, Spielberg's movie is up against Iran hostage crisis thriller "Argo," Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," "Life of Pi" by Ang Lee and "Zero Dark Thirty."
Best comedy or musical nominees are Indian-themed "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," "Silver Linings Playbook," "Les Miserables," "Moonrise Kingdom, and "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" starring Ewan McGregor
In the running for best actor are Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, Denzel Washington for piloting "Flight," Richard Gere for "Arbitrage," John Hawkes for "The Sessions" and Joaquin Phoenix for "The Master."
As expected Jessica Chastain is shortlisted for her CIA agent role in "Zero Dark Thirty," up against Britain's Helen Mirren for "Hitchcock," France's Marion Cotillard for "Rust and Bone," Naomi Watts for Indian Ocean tsunami drama "The Impossible" and Rachel Weisz for "The Deep Blue Sea."
Best comedy/music actor nods went to Jack Black for "Bernie," "Hangover" star Bradley Cooper for "Silver Linings," Australian Hugh Jackman for Les Mis, McGregor for "Salmon Fishing" and Bill Murray for "Hyde Park on Hudson."
Three British actresses are shortlisted for best comedy or musical turns: Emily Blunt for "Salmon Fishing," Judi Dench for "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and fellow veteran Maggie Smith for "Quartet"
Perennial award-winner Meryl Streep is up this year for "Hope Springs," as well as Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook."
On the small screen, multiple award-winning British period drama "Downton Abbey" was nominated for best drama, against "Breaking Bad," "Boardwalk Empire," spy thriller series "Homeland" and "The Newsroom."
Steve Buscemi of "Boardwalk Empire" won a nod for best actor in a TV drama, along with Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad," Jeff Daniels for "The Newsroom," Jon Hamm for retro cult "Mad Men" and Britain's Damian Lewis of "Homeland."
Lewis' co-star Claire Danes is up for best actress in a drama, running against Connie Britton of "Nashville," Glenn Close for "Damages," Michelle Dockery for "Downton Abbey" and Julianna Margulies for "The Good Wife."
Run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the Globes will be hosted on January 13 by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler -- a safer bet for organizers after British comic Ricky Gervais' near-the-bone humor the last few years.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its nominations on January 10, before the Oscars show, the climax of Hollywood's annual awards season, on February 24.
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