From the sumptuous romance of "Carol" to the apocalyptic rage of "Mad Max: Fury Road," streaming series to network dramas, Will Smith to Amy Schumer, the 73rd annual Golden Globe nominations unveiled a widespread field of nominations that attempted to corral a chaotic Oscar race and an ever-expanding television landscape.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association swooned hardest for Todd Haynes' 1950s lesbian tale "Carol," which landed a leading five nominations on Thursday, including best picture, drama. Nods for its two stars, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, as well as for Haynes' direction, lent a boost to the film's growing Oscar outlook.
But little else was so straightforward in nominations that rewarded the acclaimed newsroom drama "Spotlight," but not its cast; gave Netflix a leading eight nominations (plus one for its first original movie); and supplied "Creed" co-star Sylvester Stallone his first Globe nomination in 29 years, yet for the same character (Mr. Rocky Balboa).
It remains to be seen if an Academy Awards heavyweight will be anywhere to be found at the January 10 Beverly Hills, Calif., ceremony. Such questions should lend drama to the Globes, which will be hosted again by its grinning nemesis, Ricky Gervais.
In the season's crowded field of contenders — and with "The Force Awakens" threatening box office obliteration — attention from the Globes was very much welcomed Thursday.
"The number one reaction to these kinds of nominations is, 'Oh, thank God. It'll help the movie get out there,'" said Adam McKay, director of "The Big Short."
McKay's starry finance farce was one of the films that surged Thursday. Originally slated for release next year, its late jump into awards season was rewarded with four nominations, including best picture, comedy, and nods for Steve Carell and Christian Bale.
Alejandro Inarritu's follow-up to his Oscar-winning "Birdman," the frontier epic "The Revenant," took four nominations, including best picture, drama, and best actor for Leonardo DiCaprio. A four-time Oscar nominee and one-time Globe winner, DiCaprio is gunning for his first Academy Award.
Tied with four is the Aaron Sorkin-scripted box-office disappointment "Steve Jobs." But it failed to join the dramatic best picture nominees, which, along with "Carol" and "The Revenant," are: "Mad Max: Fury Road," ''Room" and "Spotlight."
Streaming series from Netflix, Amazon and Hulu dominated the TV side of the Globes, which scattered nominations across the dial. Six shows tied for the most nominations at three: "Fargo," ''Mr. Robot," ''Outlander," ''Transparent," ''American Crime" and "Wolf Hall."
Tom McCarthy's acclaimed Boston Globe drama "Spotlight," arguably the Oscar favorite, took three top nominations, including best director for McCarthy and best screenplay. But its ensemble cast is struggling to stand out from the pack.
After the Screen Actors Guild Awards passed over Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo on Wednesday, the Globes did, too. (Ruffalo, however, was nominated for his performance as a bipolar father in "Infinitely Polar Bear," and Liev Scheiber for Showtime's "Ray Donovan.")
"They know how good they are and recognize the work of all the other actors," McCarthy said of his cast. "The best picture nomination really speaks to that. Truthfully, I think all the nominations do. That's the wonderful thing about actors. They can take a little bit of credit all the way down the line."
Most of the expected contenders came away with something to show from the Globes, including the science-nerd space adventure "The Martian." It was nominated for best picture, comedy, actor (Matt Damon) and director (Ridley Scott).
David O. Russell's matriarch portrait "Joy," won nods for best picture, comedy, and best actress for Jennifer Lawrence, a Globe winner the last two years. The haul for "Mad Max" also included a nod for best director for George Miller. The Emma Donoghue adaption "Room," landed one for Brie Larson's lead performance as a captive mother.
Smith, whose upcoming "Concussion" has drawn headlines for its depiction of head trauma in football, apparently displaced Johnny Depp ("Black Mass") from the best actor, drama, nominees. The others in the category were Michael Fassbender ("Steve Jobs"), Eddie Redmayne ("The Danish Girl") and Bryan Cranston ("Trumbo").
Alicia Vikander, the ubiquitous star of 2015, joined the best dramatic actress field for Tom Hooper's transgender period drama "The Danish Girl," as well as the supporting actress nominees for her performance as an artificial intelligence in the sci-fi indie "Ex Machina."
Though some questionable category decisions left less humorous films competing for best comedy or musical, two of comedy's top stars will crash the party: Melissa McCarthy and Schumer. Both were nominated for best actress in a comedy, and their films __ "Spy" and "Trainwreck," respectively __ will compete for best comedic film.
In the best animated film category, the Charlie Kaufman-scripted, stop-motion animated "Anomalisa" slotted in alongside a quartet of more family-friendly releases: "Inside Out," ''The Good Dinosaur," ''The Peanuts Movie" and "Shaun the Sheep Movie."
Though younger stars like DiCaprio and Lawrence are the leading acting contenders, a number of esteemed veterans joined the nominations, too. Al Pacino ("Danny Collins"), Maggie Smith ("The Lady in the Van"), Jane Fonda ("Youth") and Helen Mirslren ("Trumbo") all earned nods.
Associated Press writers Lindsey Bahr, Lynn Elber and Derrick Lang contributed to this report from Los Angeles