Has Hollywood Forgiven Mel Gibson?

'Hacksaw Ridge' earns him Best Director Globe nomination among others; 'La La Land,' O.J. Simpson drama score big as well

The Golden Globe nominations were announced Monday morning in Beverly Hills — and perhaps one of the biggest surprises was the forgiveness Mel Gibson appears to have earned this year.

After being forced to self-finance and distribute his 2004 film about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (“The Passion of the Christ”) and then enduring some other public embarrassments, Gibson was having great trouble landing work and financing projects. Now, his latest work, “Hacksaw Ridge,” marks a comeback for the filmmaker — both inside and outside of Hollywood. Gibson was nominated for Best Director, and his film earned nominations for Best Picture-Drama and Best Actor-Drama (Andrew Garfield). The film is a war story that celebrates the power of faith, and it’s a pleasant surprise to see it get mainstream recognition.

Related: Mel Gibson on God, Heroes and War

Considered one of Hollywood’s biggest awards ceremonies, running behind the Oscars, the Globes recognizes both television and movies. A handful of predicted films dominated their given categories like “Manchester by the Sea,” “La La Land,” and “Moonlight” — the latter a coming-of-age story about a gay black man that has Oscar bait written all over it.

“Manchester by the Sea” got nods for Best Screenplay, Best Picture-Drama, and Best Actor-Drama (Casey Affleck). “La La Land,” a love letter to old Hollywood musicals, was recognized for its directing (Damien Chazelle), acting (Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone), and screenplay (Chazelle). It was also nominated for Best Original Score and Best Original Song.

“Moonlight” picked up nominations for Best Picture-Drama, Best Director (Barry Jenkins), Best Supporting Actor-Drama (Mahershala Ali), Best Supporting Actress (Naomie Harris), Best Screenplay (Jenkins), and Best Original Score. The sleeper hit at the box office is a favorite heading into the Oscars as it has the social appeal  of past Best Picture winners like “Spotlight” and “12 Years a Slave.”

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Other surprises among the film nominations included the recognition of the early 2016 breakout hit “Deadpool,” which earned nominations such as Best Actor-Comedy (Ryan Reynolds) and Best Picture-Comedy or Musical. Since the Golden Globes breaks down its nominations by genre, it made it easier for the seemingly awards-allergic film to land some nominations. Other surprises included a Best Supporting Actor nod for Jonah Hill’s work in the summer flop, “War Dogs,” and a Best Picture-Drama nod to “Hell or High Water,” a modern-day western that was a sleeper hit over the summer.

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The arena of television was full of predictable and returning shows. Newcomers included the miniseries, “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” which had people reliving the ’90s murder case involving former football star O.J. Simpson. It was recognized for Best TV Miniseries or Movie, as well as for its star-studded acting work.

HBO’s new head-scratcher “Westworld” has been argued endlessly by fans and critics — especially over whether it’s actually any good — but the nomination announcements likely had the network feeling easier about its recent second season pickup. The show was nominated for Best Series-Drama along with “Game of Thrones” and newcomers “This is Us,” “Stranger Things,” and “The Crown.”

Donald Glover’s new show, “Atlanta,” also got major recognition with a nomination for Best Series-Comedy —  and, significantly, there appears to be no difference in the minds of awards voters when it comes to streaming and “regular” television. Besides the nominations for Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and “The Crown,” Billy Bob Thornton was nominated for Best Actor-Drama for Amazon’s “Goliath,” and the streaming giant’s “Transparent” and “Mozart in the Jungle” were nominated as Best Series-Comedy.

The announcements were made by actor Don Cheadle, actress Laura Dern, and Anna Kendrick. The Globes, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, will air Jan. 8.

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