BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The British monarchy tale The King's Speech led Golden Globe contenders Tuesday with seven nominations, including best drama and acting honors for Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.
Kentucky natives Johnny Depp and Jennifer Lawrence also were nominated for acting prizes. Depp was nominated twice.
Other best-drama nominees were the psychosexual dance thriller Black Swan, the boxing saga The Fighter, the sci-fi blockbuster Inception and the Facebook chronicle The Social Network.
Nominees in the Globes' other best-picture category, for musical or comedy, are the Lewis Carroll fantasy Alice in Wonderland, the song-and-dance extravaganza Burlesque, the lesbian-family tale The Kids Are All Right, the action tale Red and the romantic thriller The Tourist.
The Social Network and The Fighter tied for second with six nominations each. Among nominations for The Social Network were Jesse Eisenberg as best dramatic actor, Andrew Garfield as supporting actor and David Fincher as director.
The Fighter earned four acting nominations: best actor for Mark Wahlberg and supporting honors for Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. Its nominations included a directing slot for David O. Russell.
Depp earned two nominations for best actor in a musical or comedy: for Alice in Wonderland and The Tourist.
Along with Eisenberg, Firth and Wahlberg, contenders for best dramatic actor are James Franco for the survival story 127 Hours and Ryan Gosling for the marital tale Blue Valentine.
Along with Lawrence, a Louisville native who starred in the Ozarks crime yarn Winter's Bone, nominees for best dramatic actress are Halle Berry for the multiple-personality drama Frankie and Alice, Nicole Kidman for the grieving-parent tale Rabbit Hole, Natalie Portman for Black Swan and Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine.
Hollywood's second-highest film honors, the Globes traditionally were a solid weather vane for predicting which film might triumph at the Academy Awards. But the Globes have provided murky forecasts in recent times. In the last six years, only a single recipient of one of the Globe best-film prizes — 2008's Slumdog Millionaire — has won best picture at the Oscars.
That came after a stretch of eight straight years when a Globe winner in the dramatic or musical-comedy category went on to claim the Oscar.
Like the Globes, the Oscars will feature 10 best-picture nominees, but in a single category, after academy overseers doubled the number of contenders so a broader range of films could compete.
With two acclaimed dramas — The King's Speech and The Social Network — considered front-runners this time, there are prospects of another divergent year between the Globes and the Oscars, whose nominations come out Jan. 25, nine days after the Globes are presented.
The Social Network already has snagged two key prizes: the Los Angeles and New York film critics groups picked it as the year's best movie. The National Board of Review, a group of film historians, educators and students, also picked The Social Network as best of the year.
The Globes and Oscars typically line up better on acting winners. Last year, Avatar won best drama at the Globes and The Hurt Locker took best picture at the Oscars. But all four Oscar acting recipients — Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side, Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart, Mo'Nique for Precious and Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds — also won prizes at the Globes first.
Clear favorites have emerged this season for best actor (Firth in The King's Speech) and supporting actor (Bale in The Fighter).
Musical or comedy actress nominee Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right and Portman for Black Swan could wind up in a two-woman race for best actress at the Oscars, while the supporting-actress category is up for grabs among prospects that include Adams and Leo for The Fighter, Bonham Carter for The King's Speech and 14-year-old newcomer Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit.
No matter how the two awards shows line up on winners, the stars generally can count on a good time at the Globes, a more laid-back, dinner-and-drinks affair than the Oscars.
The Globes are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 85 critics and reporters for overseas outlets..
Robert De Niro, an eight-time Globe nominee who won a best-actor prize there for Raging Bull, will receive the group's Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.
Ricky Gervais is returning as host of the Globes ceremony, which will air live Jan. 16 on NBC.