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Season of the Brits: Could UK Talent Steal the Show at the Golden Globes?

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Films and TV shows packed with British talent are up for Golden Globe Awards, including "Salmon Fishing in the …

A quiet and terribly orderly revolution could be underway as Brits stand poised to storm Hollywood’s 70th Golden Globes ceremony, which airs on January 13. British talent appears in just about every category and dominates the silver-screen best actress divisions.

The UK’s ammunition includes two top-picture nominees — “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “Salmon Fishing in The Yemen” — as well as “Brave,” a contender for Best Animated Film. Among this revolution’s soldiers is the formidable Dame Maggie Smith, a double threat for her work in “Quartet” (a Dustin Hoffman-directed movie filmed in England) and “Downton Abbey,” the beloved PBS mini-series shot at Highclere Castle, an hour west of London.

Brits pack some categories, such as Best Dramatic Actress, so tightly that they resemble rush hour on the London Underground. Here the Limey lovelies Helen Mirren (“Hitchcock”), Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”) and Rachel Weisz (“The Deep Blue Sea”) square off against Yankee Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and France’s Marion Cotillard (“Rust and Bone”).

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Daniel Day-Lewis, here receiving a Critics' Choice Movie Award from actress Melissa Leo on January 10, is a heavy …

UK stars are also queuing up for best TV miniseries or movie actor. Overlooked last year, Benedict Cumberbatch has proven a hit this time around for his aloof, uber-modern interpretation of Sherlock Holmes, the planet’s most filmed character. He’s flanked by compatriots who played slightly more modern icons: Toby Jones as Alfred Hitchcock in “The Girl” and Clive Owen as the Nobel Prize-winning protagonist of “Hemingway & Gellhorn.”

Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance as the title character in “Lincoln” made him a frontrunner for best actor on Sunday and throughout the awards season. And even songbird Adele joins in the action with her track from the James Bond movie “Skyfall.” The Grammy-winning pop star will make her first post-baby appearance at the ceremony, which airs on NBC this Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

While they’ve been bashed for their glitz and eccentricity, the Golden Globe Awards — decided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — still act as a weather vane for the Oscars, BAFTAs and others. “They set up the main contenders,” points out Guardian film critic Xan Brooks. “It gives us the first draft of history; the rough guide to glory.”

Even if Sunday’s ceremony doesn’t herald the Season of the Brits, it should be a rollicking good show thanks to hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The two comedians mapped out a Golden Globe drinking game during a Hollywood Reporter interview — one that features a blaze of British glory, naturally.

Take off an item of clothing every time Judy Dench appears on screen, they joked. Ditto whenever Maggie Smith wins.

So layer up for a long — and starry — winter’s night!

by Amanda Castleman

BRITISH FILM NOMINEES

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • Salmon Fishing in The YemenBest Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

  • Ewan McGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama

  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical

  • Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
  • Judi Dench, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • Maggie Smith, Quartet

Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama

  • Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
  • Naomi Watts, The Impossible
  • Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea

Best Original Song

  • Skyfall (music and lyrics by Adele and Paul Epworth)

Best Animated Film

  • Brave

BRITISH TV NOMINEES

Best Drama Series

  • Downton Abbey: Season 2 (PBS)

Best Comedy Series

  • Episodes (Showtime)

Best Actor in a Television Drama Series

  • Damian Lewis, Homeland

Best Actress in a Television Drama Series

  • Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey: Season 2

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television

  • The Girl
  • The Hour

Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television

  • Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
  • Toby Jones, The Girl
  • Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn

Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television

  • Sienna Miller, The Girl

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television

  • Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

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