Steve McQueen's acclaimed drama "12 Years a Slave" has long been considered this year's awards favorite, and the Golden Globes followed suit when nominations were announced on Thursday. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association honored the film with a Best Motion Picture - Drama nod, while Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o each received nominations for their performances. McQueen earned his first Best Director designation, while John Ridley and Hans Zimmer are up for Best Screenplay and Best Original Score, respectively.
"12 Years" is tied with "American Hustle" as the most-nominated movie of the year. "Hustle" is up for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy (Christian Bale), Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy (Amy Adams), Best Supporting Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Director (David O. Russell) and Best Screenplay (Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell).
"12 Years" has enjoyed a busy awards season thus far, receiving top honors from the American Film Institute and the Boston Society of Film Critics. In addition to the Globe nominations, the movie is currently up for major accolades at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Independent Spirit Awards and Satellite Awards.
This year marks the second nomination for Fassbender, who was previously up for 2011's "Shame." Ejiofor earned two nods this year, the second coming for the miniseries "Dancing on the Edge." That means Ejiofor, 36, is on his fourth round of Globes love, following 2004's "Kinky Boots," the 2006 miniseries "Tsunami: The Aftermath" and the 2009 TV movie "Endgame." Nyong'o has notched her first nomination, as "12 Years" is her debut feature role.
"It's just been terrific," Ejiofor said during his post-nominations appearance on the "Today" show. "Ever since we opened up the film, I couldn't be more happy with the way the film has been received. It's been an extraordinary time. It's almost surreal."
The movie has a strong chance of scoring the Best Picture Oscar, with pundits having deemed it the frontrunner weeks ago. It helps that "12 Years" was also the most-nominated movie at the SAG Awards, although the love for "Hustle" poses an obvious threat.