The Golden Globes love them some Angelina Jolie, nominating her writing-directing debut "In the Land of Blood and Honey" for a best foreign film. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is not known for being impartial -- last year it nominated Jolie and co-star Johnny Depp for the universally despised "The Tourist" -- and both attended the dinner. While it was a bit of a surprise that "In The Land of Blood and Honey" was included since it had not received any early awards love, this was the rare case where the HFPA recognized a difficult movie -- a love story in war-torn Bosnia -- and gave it the honor it deserves.
Still, it's no secret that the HFPA loves power A-list couple Jolie and Brad Pitt, whose "Moneyball" received four awards for best picture/drama, best screenplay, best actor Pitt, and best supporting actor Jonah Hill. Jolie and Pitt are past winners: Together the two have received four Golden Globes in the past, and have been nominated six additional times. So, will the duo attend the awards dinner on January 15 at the Beverly Hilton? Indubitably!
[ Photos: The most stylish red carpet couples ]
It's also an "Ocean's Eleven" reunion with Pitt's buddy George Clooney. The charming A-lister came out of the nominations a big double winner. It was a slam-dunk that he would be nominated for best actor for "The Descendants," which also earned co-star Shailene Woodley a supporting actress nomination and kudos for Alexander Payne's direction and screenplay. It's more surprising that he got a best director nomination for his labor of political love, "The Ides of March," which is up for best picture/drama and screenplay and earned star Ryan Gosling a best actor/drama nomination.
For double-nominee Gosling, the "March" recognition cemented his position as the rising leading man of 2011. He also got a very surprising comedy nomination for his role in the ensemble "Crazy, Stupid, Love."
In another surprise, Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet will go head-to-head in the supporting actress/comedy category for the dark comedy "Carnage." Still, don't expect Oscar spillover, because general reaction to the film has been underwhelming despite the fact that it opened the New York Film Festival this fall. The saving grace is that the nomination adds two more A-list actresses to the menu at the Globes awards dinner.
On the flipside, "Ocean's Eleven" rat-packer Matt Damon came up empty with Cameron Crowe's much-anticipated -- and much screened -- "We Bought a Zoo."
Possibly the most heartfelt snub went to Woody Harrelson, who dragged himself up at the crack of dawn to announce the nominees, only to find that he'd been passed over for his brilliant performance as a dirty L.A. cop in "Rampart," along with the film itself. He did manage to grab his moment -- plug the film's opening day, January 27. Gerard Butler also stepped up to make announcements, even though his star-studded Shakespeare drama, "Coriolanus," directed by Ralph Fiennes and co-starring Oscar hopeful Vanessa Redgrave, was shut out.
In another snub, the Scott Rudin's late entry, the weepy, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," came up short. Neither A-listers Sandra Bullock nor Tom Hanks earned nominations. Even harder to believe: the HFPA overlooked the much-buzzed supporting performance of octogenarian Max von Sydow.
In another apparent oversight, "Bridesmaids" break-out performer Melissa McCarthy was not nominated for supporting actress (blame those "Carnage" actresses!), although the movie got a best picture/comedy nod, as did star Kristen Wiig. It raises the question: Is McCarthy losing steam just when her comedy is gaining awards traction?
Gaining momentum: "The Help," "The Artist," "The Ides of March," "The Descendants," "Moneyball," and "My Week With Marilyn" are looking strong going into the Oscars.
Losing ground: "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," "J. Edgar," "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," "Drive," "Shame," "Young Adult," "Coriolanus," and "The Tree of Life," are fading.
The 69th Annual Golden Globes will take place on January 15, starting at 5 p.m. PT. Tune in to Yahoo! for complete coverage.