Once again British talent shines through at the announcement on Thursday of the nominations for the Golden Globe Awards 2008.

Topping the bill for the Brits abroad are Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes, both garnering two nominantions apiece. Winslet follows in the footsteps of Helen Mirren two years ago and Daniel Day-Lewis last year (we will count him as British ignoring his Irish citizenship, he was born in London and has a very English accent) vying for one of the Best leading performance awards, a real chance for the British to make it three years in a row.

Fiennes meanwhile gains acclaim for his supporting role in The Duchess as well as for his role in the made for TV film Bernard and Doris with Susan Sarandon.
Behind the camera, British directors and screenwriters make up three out of the five nominees in both sections. Sam Mendes, Stephen Daldry and Danny Boyle all vie for the Best Director category with Daldry and Boyle’s pictures both entering the Best Picture list too.

The writers Simon Beaufoy, Sir David Hare and Peter Morgan overwhelm the screenwriting nominees. One would imagine Morgan’s translation of the play Frost/Nixon to be a hot pick to swipe the award come January 11th.
A surprise, however lay in store for Michael Sheen, whom, much tipped for nomination for his portrayal of Sir David Frost in Frost/Nixon, a role he took on with almost chameleon-like ease and yet without ever looking like an imitation, has been past over in the Best Actor category.

This seems no reflection on the film however, which tops the nominations list alongside Doubt starring Meryl Streep and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button starring Brad Pitt (an obsession with absurdly long film titles again shown by Pitt that even The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford did not seemingly satisfy) with five nominations.

Sheen’s co-star Frank Langella however gains well-deserved recognition, taking his place in the Best Actor list, an all-American affair, headed by three stalwarts of the Awards season, Sean Penn, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. A personal wish here lies with success for Sean Penn who stars in the inspiring biopic Milk that has gained him his fifth Golden Globe nomination and hopefully his second win, the first being Mystic River in 2004.

The Globes have entertained some surprise nominees this year, in particular the nominations in the ‘musical or comedy’ categories. Here Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder gains supporting actor nods to Tom Cruise’s turn as an unrecognisable studio executive and Robert Downey Jr.’s racially confused actor turned soldier; two performances that it would be wonderful to see honoured by the Globes in January.

A surprising British entrant on to the list also is Sally Hawkins, nominated for her role in Mike Leigh’s Happy Go Lucky. This nomination is encouraging in the Golden Globes’ ability to look beyond the big budget world of Hollywood to performances worthy of celebration.

Once again a successful year for the Brits at the Globes, who now look eagerly to the outcomes on January 11th and so too to the Oscars on February 22nd. And in case anyone feels they just haven’t got enough of award fever, we’ve always got the BAFTAS in the meantime. Bring on yet another awards season that looks bright for British film.