They did it again: a perfect spread. Golden Globes voters like to shower their love around a wide variety of pictures and actors, and this year's batch of nominations is no exception, with "Lincoln" leading the way with seven nods but followed closely by "Argo," "Django Unchained," "Les Miserables" and "Silver Linings Playbook." The little "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," a comedic drama from last spring, scored multiple nominations, in one of the bigger surprises. And the Globes even found a way to get Meryl Streep on its red carpet, nominating her for "Hope Springs."

Globe voters have a history of idiosyncrasies; "Burlesque" was nominated in 2010, so it's easy to be dismissive of them. But the Globe nominations, unveiled Thursday, may have never mattered more. This year the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced its picks just four days before the unusually early onset of Oscar voting. So an armful of Globes nominations will put momentum behind certain Academy Award hopefuls.

Among the films with the most to gain from Globes nominations are "Django Unchained," "Life of Pi," and "Moonrise Kingdom," none of which figured heavily in Wednesday's Screen Actors Guild nominations. Nicole Kidman was thrust more prominently into the awards race, picking up a Globe nomination for her steamy work in "The Paperboy." She also got a nod in a TV category for "Hemingway & Gelhorn."

As always, there were some prominent snubs. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" was ignored. "Flight" picked up a nod for Denzel Washington but not for picture and directing. Keira Knightley's awards road for "Anna Karenina" likely ends; that heavily campaigned picture picked up a nomination only for best score. And the list included no hobbits. The awards will be presented Jan. 13 on NBC, with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey handling hosting duties.

Bieber was target of murder-for-hire plot

A prison mastermind with a fetish for paisley ties and a tattoo of Justin Bieber on his leg concocted a cross-country murder-for-hire plot targeting the young superstar. The New Mexico State Police moved quickly, the plot was foiled, arrests have been made and Bieber was unharmed. A purported $2,500-per-testicle castration order was directed at other targets, not Bieber, court documents said. Arrest affidavits obtained by the Los Angeles Times said convicted killer Dana Martin, "has become infatuated with Victim 3." "When asked to explain why Victim 3 was to be killed, Mr. Martin stated that Victim 3 has a measure of fame," an investigator wrote in the affidavit. "This infatuation was exemplified by the tattooing of an image of Victim 3 on Mr. Martin's leg. Mr. Martin stated that he had attempted to solicit correspondence on numerous occasions between Victim 3 and him and Victim 3 never returned in kind."