With the end of the year coming up, awards season is starting to kick off for Hollywood, starting with the Critics Choice Awards on December 11. This was followed up with the Hollywood Foreign Press announcing the nominees for the 74th Golden Globes. The show hasn't really been looked at as a clear sign of how the Academy Awards is going to shake up, serving more as an evening for some of Hollywood's brightest stars to cut loose and have fun in an award show setting.

And the nominees are...

Leading the pack of nominees this year were critical darlings "La La Land", "Moonlight", and "Manchester by the Sea." "Manchester by the Sea" has been on the awards radar since it was first screened back in January during this year's Sundance Film Festival, taking the festival by storm, being overshadowed only by Nate Parker's "Birth of a Nation." Over time, though, word spread more about Amazon Studios' latest film, keeping its awards buzz status through most of the year.

"La La Land" and "Moonlight" emerged later in the year at film festivals like Toronto and Cannes, emerging as two of the higher praised films, with "La La Land" gaining more and more momentum headed into awards season. All three walked away with nominations for best director, while "Manchester by the Sea" and "Moonlight" dominated the drama categories and "La La Land" dominated comedy/musical.

While those three walked away with the most nominations, there were very few surprises among the other films nominated.

Mel Gibson's directorial comeback, "Hacksaw Ridge", walked away with nominations in directing, acting - drama, and picture - drama. Indie-darling "Sing Street" also managed to walk away with nomination for best picture - comedy/musical. Other films to get nominated include "Jackie", "Lion", "Nocturnal Animals", "Hell or High Water", and "Edge of Seventeen".

Not without surprises

While many of the films mentioned almost seemed like givens to receive nominations come awards time, there still managed to be a few surprises on the final list.

The most notable was the absence of Martin Scorcese's latest film, "Silence", which told the story of Jesuit priests in feudal Japan. It's entirely possible that the film just wasn't ready or released in time for the Hollywood Foreign Press to start the nomination process, but given the strong reaction it has received, it is surprising.

Another surprise was the nomination of Fox's R-rated superhero film, "Deadpool." Traditionally, comic book/superhero films aren't normally nominated at the major awards shows outside of the technical awards.

However, "Deadpool" managed to slip in with nominations for best picture - comedy/musical and best actor - comedy/musical. While it is almost a given that the 'merc with a mouth' won't get nominations in those categories at award shows like the Oscars or the SAGs, this is definitely a nice nod to a film that hit it big when it was released back in February.

All in all, these were the only noteworthy surprises to emerge from this year's Golden Globe nominees, while the rest are filled with films that most critics expected to hit big in awards season. And while it may not carry the prestige or notoriety of shows like the Academy Awards, it is still a fun night to spend with Hollywood.

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