Golden Globes 2015 Nominees: 5 Biggest Surprises

Gina Rodriguez, James Spader and Julianne Moore
 Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage; Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire; Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Holy unexpected Golden Globe nominees, Birdman! Before we’ve even rung in the New Year, 2015 is proving to be one of the most unexpected award seasons in recent memory with a slew of worthy films, shows, actors, and directors all wrestling, a la Foxcatcher, for a coveted nomination. 

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There are no Matthew McConaughey-esque clear winners this season (though he kept the McConaissance alive with a nomination for his role in HBO’s True Detective), and the limited slots have already led to a plethora of highly debated snubs once the Golden Globe nominees were announced on Thursday, Dec. 11.  

With these snubs comes a handful of happy surprises, in which the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has acknowledged films, shows, and stars that aren’t necessarily at the forefront of everyones’ minds during award season. 

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In no particular order, Us Weekly has rounded up the five biggest surprises from the 2015 Golden Globe nominees: 

1. Pride

Nestled in with the other, highly publicized films in the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category is the lesser known British comedy that’s based on the true story of a group of gay activists who helped miners during a strike in 1984. The film, which stars Bill Nighy, Dominic West, and Imelda Staunton, was screened at the Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals, but has not had a wide release in the U.S. yet. It snatched a potential nomination from the remake of Annie, which has been preparing for its Christmas Day release with endless commercials, billboards, and Cameron Diaz interviews.  

2. James Spader, The Blacklist

Megan Boone and James Spader star on NBC’s The Blacklist. Steve Sands/GC Images

Though the action-packed hit The Blacklist has been a ratings coup for NBC, it hasn’t received any noteworthy awards or acknowledgements thus far. So when star Spader picked up a Best Actor in a TV Series – Drama nom, it felt more like a plot twist from the show than real life. Thankfully the HFPA understands just how well Red Reddington can work that fedora. 

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3. Jane the Virgin

Jane the Virgin
Gina Rodriguez plays Jane in The CW’s Jane the Virgin. CW Network

While the cast of Modern Family puts back that bottle of champagne with a touch of chagrin this year, The CW’s new Cinderella story woke up to some shocking news. The telenovela-inspired Jane the Virgin picked up two major nominations, one for Best TV Series – Musical or Comedy and one for star Gina Rodriguez as Best Actress in a TV series – Musical or Comedy. Though it had already received some critical recognition (Us Weekly included), Jane has now scored its first major victory simply by being nominated. 

4. Ricky Gervais, Derek

Ricky Gervais stars in Netflix’s Derek. Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

It’s no secret that Netflix series are highly regarded by critics, but while House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black have stolen most of the spotlight, Ricky GervaisDerek has remained a relatively underground production since it premiered in 2012. So when Gervais nabbed a Best Actor in a TV Series – Musical or Comedy nod for his role as the lovable, quirky nursing home caretaker, it must have surprised much of Hollywood — especially following the three years he hosted the Globes and managed to piss off almost every single A-lister in the attendance.

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5. Julianne Moore

Still Alice
Julianne Moore plays the titular character, a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, in Still Alice. Sony Pictures Classics/courtesy Everett Collection

The idea of Julianne Moore as a Golden Globe nominee is no surprise — she has, in fact, scored four Oscar nominations. But the fact that she is up for two Best Actress in a Motion Picture Awards (for both Drama and Musical/Comedy) is of note. Neither of the films she’s been nominated for — Still Alice and Maps to the Stars — have gotten a wide release yet. In Still Alice, she plays the titular character, a woman who has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. But the nomination for her role as the strung-out, washed-up actress Havana Segrand in Maps to the Stars is a much more unanticipated nod, considering the film has received virtually zero publicity and doesn’t even hit theaters until Feb. 27, long after the Golden Globes air. 

Tell Us: What was the biggest surprise from the 2015 Golden Globe nominees?

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