Steven Spielberg's Lincoln led the Golden Globe nominations with seven nods today. Yet, it is surprise inclusions and exclusions that tend to generate the most chatter among those who closely follow the end-of-year awards race.

The winner in that competition is Lasse Hallström's Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, a nearly forgotten 2012 title that earned three nominations: Best Picture, Musical or Comedy; Best Actor, Musical or Comedy (Ewan McGregor); and Best Actress, Musical or Comedy (Emily Blunt). Meanwhile, Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild, a critical darling since its debut at Sundance nearly a year ago, was entirely snubbed.

Today's nominations will keep folks in the film industry buzzing until publications like Film Comment, Village Voice and Indiewire release the results of their critics' polls of the best movies of the year.

Spielberg's latest, looking at the American President's passage of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, was nominated for Best Picture, Drama; Best Director (Spielberg); Best Actor, Drama (Daniel Day-Lewis); Best Supporting Actress (Sally Field); Best Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones); Best Screenplay (Tony Kushner); and Original Score (John Williams). The acclaimed film debuted this fall as the surprise screening at this year's New York Film Festival.

Quentin Tarantino's entirely different slavery story, Django Unchained, was a runner-up in the race for the most nominations this morning in Los Angeles. It will open in theaters later this month and was surely boosted by today's attention from the Globes. Both Django and Ben Affleck's Argo each received five nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Argo, the story of a small group of would-be hostages secretly rescued from Iran in 1980 by the C.I.A., is considered as much of an Oscar front-runner as Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, which follows the decade-long C.I.A. hunt for Osama Bin Laden.

Other films that figured brightly with the Globes this morning and are also seen as awards season contenders include Tom Hooper's Les Miserables, David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, and Ang Lee's Life of Pi

The HFPA annually stirs chatter about its own relevance even as the annual awards show garners considerable media attention. The group is made up of a small group of mostly uknown journalists who write for small outlets in foreign countries. Despite the ongoing debate about the significance of the awards, the nominations are an important part of the annual awards season and can impact a film's Oscar chances.

The Golden Globe Awards will be presented on Sunday, January 13th in Los Angeles.

The full list of Golden Globe Film nominations:

Motion Picture, Drama
Argo, Warner Bros. Pictures, GK Films, Smokehouse Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures
Django Unchained, The Weinstein Company, Columbia Pictures; The Weinstein Company/Sony Pictures Releasing
Life of Pi, Fox 2000 Pictures; Twentieth Century Fox
Lincoln, DreamWorks Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox; Touchstone Pictures
Zero Dark Thirty, Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing

Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Blueprint Pictures/Participant Media; Fox Searchlight Pictures
Les Miserables, Universal Pictures, A Working Title Films/Cameron Mackintosh Productions; Universal Pictures
Moonrise Kingdom, Indian Paintbrush; Focus Features
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, CBS Films
Silver Linings Playbook, The Weinstein Company

Foreign-Language Picture
Amour (Austria)
A Royal Affair (Denmark)
The Intouchables (France)
Kon-Tiki (Norway, U.K., Denmark)
Rust and Bone, (France)

Animated Feature Film
Hotel Transylvania
Rise of the Guardians
Wreck-It Ralph

Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Actor, Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Richard Gere, Arbitrage
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

Actress, Drama
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea

Actor, Comedy or Musical
Jack Black, Bernie
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
Ewan McGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson

Actress, Comedy or Musical
Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Judi Dench, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Maggie Smith, Quartet
Meryl Streep, Hope Springs

Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, Argo
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
Tony Kushner, Lincoln
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Chris Terrio, Argo

Original Score
Life of Pi, Michael Danna
Argo, Alexandre Desplat
Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli
Cloud Atlas, Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil
Lincoln, John Williams

Original Song
“For You,” Act of Valor
“Not Running Anymore,” Stand Up Guys
“Safe and Sound,” The Hunger Games
“Skyfall,” Skyfall
“Suddenly,” Les Misérables