Golden Globe nominations: The Top 5 snubs

And the race is on.

The nominations for the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards were announced in Hollywood bright and early this morning, and several lucky stars received the best kind of wake-up call: news of a Golden Globe nomination.

But as always, it’s those phones that didn’t ring that really have Hollywood insiders talking.

Here are the five biggest snubs from today’s nominations.

Angelina Jolie, Best Director for “Unbroken” 

The tabloid magnet has long been a favorite of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA,) the group which bestows the Golden Globes. She won three consecutive trophies in the late 1990’s for television roles in “George Wallace” and “Gia,” plus a Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture award for “Girl Interrupted.” The group has since honored her with three more film acting nominations, and even included her 2011 directorial debut “In the Land of Blood and Honey” in the Best Foreign Language film category. Jolie’s widely-hyped “Unbroken,” about the true story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini  and his ordeal in a Japanese prison camp, seemed to be tailor-made for awards success and was once seen as the Oscar frontrunner. But with today’s omission in all categories, Jolie’s prospects at the Academy Awards appear to be everything but unbroken.

Christopher Nolan, Best Director for “Interstellar” 

He’s arguably the most powerful director on the planet, with a resume that includes blockbusters like “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “Inception.” His highbrow action films have somehow managed to impress the critics and wow mainstream moviegoers. In “Insterstellar,” Nolan guided cast of heavyweights through a human drama with fascinating questions about astronomy and astrophysics. The film received just a single nomination for Best Motion Picture Score. Did the film leave HFPA members lost in space? It’s not the best launch into the awards season, but the film still has a stellar chance to clean up the technical categories at the Academy Awards.

Bradley Cooper, Best Actor in “American Sniper” 

The Hollywood heartthrob was most recently nominated for 2012’s “Silver Linings Playbook” and last year’s “American Hustle.” He was widely expected to make it three in a row with his upcoming film, in which he plays the most lethal sniper in US military history. “American Sniper” is directed by Clint Eastwood, another HFPA favorite and three-time Globe winner for Best Motion Picture Director. Cooper’s omission probably had more to do with the fierce competition (including Steve Carrell in “Foxcatcher,” Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Imitation Game” and Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything”) than his performance itself. But without a boost today, it’s Cooper’s Oscar hopes have undoubtedly taken a bullet.

Chris Rock, Best Actor in Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for “Top Five” 

I spoke to Rock last week and told him that he was all but assured of a Golden Globe nomination for his new film, “Top Five,” which has earned him the best reviews of his career. Some have even described the movie as his “Annie Hall,” Woody Allen’s award-winning 1977 classic. The HFPA loves to honor big stars, and this would have been Rock’s first-ever Golden Globe nomination. The actor-comedian likely just missed hitting the category, which features the likes of Michael Keaton in “Birdman,” Bill Murrary in “St. Vincent” and Joaquin Phoenix in “Inherent Vice.” It’s still hard to believe that Rock didn’t make it into the top five.

Ben Affleck, Best Actor in “Gone Girl” 

Okay, so he was far from a sure thing. However, the star has a long history with the Golden Globes. He and Matt Damon won Best Motion Picture Screenplay of 1997 for “Good Will Hunting,” which gave them a chance to practice the Academy Awards speech they would deliver just a few months later. Two years ago, Affleck won the Globe for Best Motion Picture Director for “Argo,” just days after famously being denied of an Academy Award nomination.  Today “Gone Girl” found nods for its director David Fincher, screenwriter Gillian Flynn, and lead actress Rosamund Pike. The only thing gone is a nomination for Affleck.