Still, when 2016 nominations were announced from the Beverly Hilton on Monday morning, there were plenty of surprises.
Here are six of the bigger snubs and surprises from the film side of the Golden Globes ledger.
Swimming in the “Deadpool.” It’s no secret the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. likes its hits and its stars; the comedy/musical category is practically gerrymandered into the field so the group can have more of them. Still, all the love for “Deadpool” was surprising. In a year with little comedy-musical depth, the R-rated superhero comedy — the fifth-highest grossing release of the year — notched a spot in the best picture, comedy/musical category. As far as we can tell, it's the first time a superhero film has ever landed a nomination there.
Star Ryan Reynolds also scored a slot in best actor comedy/musical. That meant a snub for time-tested veterans Robert De Niro ("The Comedian") and Warren Beatty ("Rules Don't Apply"), two pundit favorites and, maybe more important, two association favorites — they have at least 10 nominations each.
“Silence” silenced. De Niro and Beatty weren't the only Hollywood titans left out Monday. There was pretty strong thinking that Clint Eastwood's "Sully" and Martin Scorsese's "Silence" would get some Globes love, not least in the director category. But amazingly, neither director was nominated — Kenneth Lonergan ("Manchester By The Sea") and Tom Ford ("Nocturnal Animals") were longer shots that took slots. Even more amazingly, neither "Silence" nor "Sully" garnered any nominations, in any category, including Tom Hanks, a four-time Globes winner. The closest either movie came was with "Silence" star Andrew Garfield nabbing a nomination for best actor in a drama — except it was for "Hacksaw Ridge."
Climbing the Hill. And speaking of edge-outs in the actor category: Jonah Hill. The comedic actor had been tipped as a potential awards contender back in the summer when his outsize performance in the fact-based arms-smuggling tale “War Dogs” began screening. Then the movie came out, was greeted with tepid critical and commercial response, and promptly went away with the August breezes. On Monday, the Golden Globes brought it back. Hill's turn as the crass gunrunner Efraim Diveroli earned him a nomination for best actor in a comedy/musical, his second after 2011's "Moneyball.
Newly fantastic. On the matter of those actor surprises, Viggo Mortensen's been nominated a couple of times before (for "A Dangerous Method" and "Eastern Promises"). But he's not a Globes go-to and he was certainly considered a long shot for his turn as survivalist dad Ben Cash in "Captain Fantastic." Yet when names were called out for best actor in a drama, Mortensen was on the list — over such performers as Michael Keaton, who's been coming on strong in his turn as Ray Kroc in "The Founder" (and is part of a campaign from the Weinstein Co., which does well with the Globes, and did so elsewhere on Monday). Mortensen will now look for his first Globe win.
OK, against Garfield, Casey Affleck and Joel Edgerton, it probably won't happen. Still.
On the edge. Actresses had their share of surprises, too. Perhaps biggest among them is Hailee Steinfeld, whose "The Edge of Seventeen" has garnered warm reviews if not big box office since coming out last month. Steinfeld plays Nadine, a blackly comic teen just the other side of outcast. This is the kind of comedy role the academy tends not to recognize but that the Globes lets the air in on. One reason it's a surprise? Steinfeld's breakout role, the one that earned her an Oscar nomination at age 14, was part of the one of the great Globes snubs of all time: "True Grit" received no nominations in the same year as — yep "The Tourist.”
High Water rising. It’s been climbing a mountain since the moment it came out in the non-awards-y summer. But on Monday, “Hell or High Water” got a boost in that effort as it landed a slot in the best picture, drama category, joining favorites like “Moonlight” and “Manchester by the Sea.” Many pundits had the gritty Jeff Bridges thriller off the ballot, likely in favor of the fact-based NASA tale “Hidden Figures.” But the David Mackenzie neo-Western wound up with a slot, as did Bridges, for supporting actor. Oh yes, Bridges was part of that "True Grit" snub too. If nothing else, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. on Monday was making up for lost time.
On Twitter: @ZeitchikLAT