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From left, Zoe Saldana, Aziz Ansari and Olivia Wilde teamed up to announce nominations for the Golden Globe Awards Thursday in Los Angeles.

Al Seib • Los Angeles Times,

This Nov. 5, 2013 photo shows Bob Barker posing on the set of "The Price is Right" with a cake celebrating his 90th birthday at CBS Studios in Los Angeles. The veteran game show host, at the helm of ìThe Price is Rightî from 1972 to 2007, was invited back by current host Drew Carey on Thursday, Dec. 12, to celebrate the milestone birthday. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

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Opposite films attract 14 Globe nominations

  • December 12, 2013 - 4:00 PM

The harrowing historical epic “12 Years a Slave” and the con-artist caper “American Hustle” led the 71st annual Golden Globes with seven nominations each, setting up two very different films as Academy Awards front-runners, one outlandish and farcical, the other grimly accurate.

Hailed by critics as the movies’ most unblinking portrait of slavery, “12 Years a Slave” verified its Oscar favorite status with nominations including best film drama, Chiwetel Ejiofor for best actor in a drama, Steve McQueen for best director and Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o for their supporting roles. The film is based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup, a free man kidnapped and sold into slavery.

“American Hustle” dominated on the Globes’ other category side: comedy or musical. The fictionalized story of the FBI’s Abscam investigation amid the disco-era 1970s earned nominations for best movie comedy and David O. Russell for best director. Much of its starry cast received nominations, including lead actors Christian Bale and Amy Adams, as well as last year’s Oscar darling, Jennifer Lawrence, for best supporting actress.

Also in the mix is Alexander Payne’s father-son road trip “Nebraska,” with five nominations, including best actor for Bruce Dern. The 3-D space odyssey “Gravity” earned four nominations, as did the Somali pirate thriller “Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks as the kidnapped cargo-ship captain. Somali-born Minneapolis resident Barkhad Abdi was nominated for best supporting actor for his work in the movie.

Alfonso Cuaron’s innovative spectacle and box-office hit “Gravity,” for which star Sandra Bullock received a best actress nomination, should be a heavyweight at the Academy Awards, which honor technical categories that the Globes don’t.

This year’s comedy competition could be the strongest field ever for the Globes. Aside from “American Hustle,” the group includes Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Payne’s “Nebraska,” Spike Jonze’s “Her” and the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

Come on down, it’s your birthday

Bob Barker’s 90th birthday present is urging one more contestant to “come on down” from the audience on “The Price Is Right.” The veteran game-show host, at the helm of “The Price Is Right” from 1972 to 2007, was invited back by current host Drew Carey on Thursday to celebrate the milestone birthday. The audience gave him a standing ovation.

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