Damien Chazelle's Los Angeles musical "La La Land" sang and danced its way to a leading seven Golden Globes nominations, with Barry Jenkins' celebrated coming-of-age tale "Moonlight" close on its heels with six nods.
"La La Land" earned nominations for its lead actors, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, as well best picture, comedy or musical. The film also scored nominations for directing, screenplay, score and original song in the nominations announced Monday in Los Angeles by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
"Moonlight," spread across three chapters of a young man's life in Miami, led the field in the dramatic categories, including best picture. It earned nods for Jenkins' directing and script, supporting actor favorite Mahershala Ali and supporting actress Naomie Harris.
The other nominees for best picture, drama, were "Manchester by the Sea," "Lion," "Hell or High Water" and "Hacksaw Ridge."
On the television side, "The People v. O.J. Simpson" continued its awards success with five nominations, including best limited series and nods for stars Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown and John Travolta.
Other awards regulars ("Veep," "Transparent") were recognized, though a number of more recent acclaimed shows not eligible for September's Emmy Awards elbowed their way in, including "The Night Of," "Westworld," "Atlanta," "This Is Us" and "Insecure.
The film nominees also verified that this year's awards season isn't nearly so white as last year's. Along with "Moonlight," nominations were heaped on Denzel Washington's August Wilson adaptation "Fences" (including acting nods for Washington and Viola Davis), the interracial marriage drama "Loving" (leads Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton were each nominated) and the inspirational NASA drama about African-American mathematicians "Hidden Figures" (including Octavia Spencer). Those nominations confirmed what has already solidified as a notably more diverse Oscar field.
Kenneth Lonergan's tender portrait of grief, "Manchester by the Sea," landed five nominations, including best actor in a drama for Casey Affleck. Producer Matt Damon, in a statement, thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press "for championing a little movie like ours."
The Weinstein Co.'s "Lion," about an Indian boy separated from his family, had an especially good morning. The film also earned four nods, including acting nominations for Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman.
Mel Gibson, long a divisive, controversial figure in Hollywood, also had reason to celebrate. His World War II drama "Hacksaw Ridge" landed three nominations, including best director and best actor in a drama for star Andrew Garfield.
But a few of Hollywood's most revered directors went empty-handed. Neither Martin Scorsese's "Silence" nor Clint Eastwood's "Sully" landed anything.
The best actress race is one of the year's most competitive, though it's so far been dominated by "Elle" star Isabelle Huppert. She was nominated for best actress in a drama, along with Amy Adams ("Arrival"), Natalie Portman ("Jackie"), Jessica Chastain ("Miss Sloane") and Negga.
Along with "La La Land," the best picture, comedy or musical, nominees were "20th Century Women," "Sing Street," "Florence Foster Jenkins" and -- most strikingly -- the R-rated superhero romp "Deadpool." "As we speak, the entire 'Deadpool' team is engaged in a grotesque, early morning tickle-fight," tweeted the film's star, Ryan Reynolds, who was also nominated.
The Hollywood Foreign Press, a collection of mostly freelance journalists, has a history of sometimes playing favorites and packing its lively banquet with stars. This year's picks featured some eyebrow-raising outliers like the unheralded Aaron Taylor-Johnson for Tom Ford's "Nocturnal Animals" for best supporting actor and Jonah Hill for the poorly reviewed "War Dogs."
The Globes, which will be hosted in Beverly Hills by Jimmy Fallon in Jan. 8, are no Oscar predictor, but their nominations did nothing to unsettle the front-runner status of "La La Land" (the top choice by the New York Film Critics and the Critics Choice Awards) or the close pursuit of "Moonlight" (Los Angeles Film Critics Association and Gotham Independent Film Awards winner). "Manchester by Sea" also has the look of a shoo-in.
Other choices were anything but surprising. Meryl Streep landed her 30th nomination for best actress in a musical or comedy for "Florence Foster Jenkins." The film, about a Manhattan heiress' quixotic dreams of singing opera, was one of the morning's biggest winners, scoring four nominations including nods for Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg. Streep, an eight-time winner, will also be the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement.
Along with Streep and Stone, the best actress, comedy or musical, nominees include Annette Bening ("20th Century Women"), Hailee Steinfeld for the teen comedy "The Edge of Seventeen" and Lily Collins for Warren Beatty's "Rules Don't Apply."
In a sign of Hollywood's increasing dichotomy between mega blockbusters and smaller independent films, the lead nominee getters were overwhelmingly independent. Lionsgate led the way with 13 nods thanks largely to "La La Land." The indie outfit A24, producer of "Moonlight," followed with nine. Amazon Studios, which is distributing "Manchester by the Sea," outranked goliaths like the Walt Disney Co. (three noms) and Warner Bros. (just one). Plus, it earned five TV nods for "Transparent" and "Mozart in the Jungle."
The nominees for best animated film are: "Zootopia," "Kubo and the Two Strings," "Moana," "My Life as a Zuchini" and "Sing." Left out was "Finding Dory," the year's top domestic box-office hit.
The best foreign language film nominees are "Elle," "The Salesman," "Toni Erdmann," "Neruda" and "Divines."