BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.–“The King’s Speech,” a historical drama about a British king with a stammer, earned a leading seven nominations for the 2011 Golden Globe Awards, including a best dramatic film nod.

The film was nominated for best dramatic picture along with “The Social Network,” “Black Swan,” “The Fighter” and “Inception.”

“The Social Network” and “The Fighter” each earned six nominations, while “Black Swan,” “Inception” and “The Kids Are All Right” all earned four.

In addition to its nod for best drama film, “The King’s Speech” also earned nominations for best actor for Colin Firth, best actress for Helena Bonham Carter, supporting actor for Geoffrey Rush, best director for Tom Hooper, screenplay for David Seidler and best movie score for Alexandre

Nominated along with Firth in the best-actor category were James Franco for “127 Hours,” Ryan Gosling for “Blue Valentine,” Mark Wahlberg for “The Fighter” and Jesse Eisenberg for “The Social Network.”

For best actress in a motion picture drama, the nominees were Halle Berry in “Frankie and Alice,” Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole,” Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone,” Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” and Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine.”

Unlike the Oscars, the Golden Globes have two categories for best picture–one for musicals and comedies, the other for dramas.

In the best motion picture comedy or musical category, “Alice in Wonderland,” “Burlesque,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “Red” and “The Tourist” were nominated for best picture.

In a twist, Johnny Depp came away with two nods in the best performance by an actor in a comedy or musical category, for “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Tourist.”

Depp will compete with Paul Giamatti in “Barney’s Version,” Jake Gyllenhaal in “Love and Other Drugs” and Kevin Spacey in “Casino Jack.”

The nominees for best actress in a musical or comedy were Annette Bening and Julianne Moore for “The Kids are All Right,” Anne Hathaway for “Love and Other Drugs,” Angelina Jolie for “The Tourist” and Emma Stone for “Easy A.”

Rush reacted with surprise that his role as the real-life Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue resulted in a Globe nod for best supporting actor.

“Playing an Australian commoner called upon to teach a reluctant English king some life lessons for me was fascinating in itself,” said Rush, who has won two previous Golden Globe awards. “Seeing a small scale project play into an international arena makes this all the more worthwhile.”

Rush will compete with Christian Bale of “The Fighter,” Michael Douglas of “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” Andrew Garfield for “The Social Network” and Jeremy Renner for “The Town.”

Best supporting-actress nominees were Amy Adams and Melissa Leo for “The Fighter,” Helena Bonham Carter of “The King’s Speech,” Mila Kunis for “Black Swan” and Jacki Weaver for “Animal Kingdom.”

Along with Hooper, the nominees for best director are Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan,” David Fincher for “The Social Network,” Christopher Nolan for “Inception” and David O. Russell for “The Fighter.”

The best animated feature film nominees were “Despicable Me,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” “The Illusionist,” Tangled” and “Toy Story 3.”

In the TV categories, the hit series “Glee” was the top contender with five nods, followed by “30 Rock,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Dexter,” “The Good Wife,” “Mad Men,” “Modern Family,” “Pillars of the Earth” and “Temple Grandin” tied with three nods apiece.

“30 Rock is back, bigger and better than ever,” said Alec Baldwin, who earned a nod for best performance by an actor in a television comedy series.

“We are very grateful to the Hollywood Foreign Press.”

Baldwin is vying in the category with Steve Carell for “The Office,” Thomas Jane for “Hung,” Matthew Morrison for “Glee” and Jim Parsons for “The Big Bang Theory.”

For best actress in a television series, comedy or musical, the contenders are Toni Collette for “United States of Tara,” Edie Falco for “Nurse Jackie,” Tina Fey for “30 Rock,” Laura Linney for “The Big C” and Lea Michele for “Glee.”

For best television drama series, HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” was nominated along with Showtime’s “Dexter,” CBS’ “The Good Wife,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” and the category’s three-time winner, “Mad Men.”

Nominees for best actor in a television drama series are Steve Buscemi for “Boardwalk Empire,” Bryan Cranston for “Breaking Bad,” Michael C. Hall for “Dexter,” Jon Hamm for “Mad Men” and Hugh Laurie for “House.”

Best actress in a television drama series nominees are Julianna Margulies for “The Good Wife,” Elisabeth Moss for “Mad Men,” Piper Perabo for “Covert Affairs,” Katey Sagal for “Sons of Anarchy” and Kyra Sedgwick for “The Closer.”

Fox Broadcasting’s previous winner, “Glee,” and ABC’s “Modern Family” are contenders for best television comedy or musical series, along with NBC’s “30 Rock,” CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” Showtime’s “The Big C” and “Nurse Jackie.”

The Golden Globe Awards are often promoted as an early indicator of who will win on Oscar night, but 2008’s “Slumdog Millionaire” is the only Golden Globe best picture winner that has gone on to win the best picture Academy Award in the past six years.

Earlier this year, the Golden Globe for best dramatic picture was awarded to “Avatar,” but the Oscar for best picture went to “The Hurt Locker.”

Since the Golden Globes adopted the split drama/music format in 1963, 66 percent of the films that ended up with best picture Academy Awards had first received a Golden Globe.

The drama winner has gone on to win best picture 25 of 47 times–54.3 percent–while the musical or comedy winner has won six times at the Oscars, including each of the first three years.

Presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Golden Globes will be handed out Jan. 16 in a live three-hour NBC telecast from the Beverly Hilton hotel. Ricky Gervais will return as host.

Two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro will receive the group’s Cecil B. DeMille Award.

By Fred Shuster | City News Service