Film starring Modesto actor a Golden Globe finalist

Modesto's Jeremy Renner fell short in his bid to claim a Golden Globe Award nomination for best actor this morning.

However, the movie he starred in, "The Hurt Locker," was nominated for best motion picture (drama) and best screenplay. The movie's director, Kathryn Bigelow, also was nominated for best director.

The Globes are considered a bellwether in the movie-making industry for Academy Award contenders.

This morning's news came a few days after Renner took home the best actor award from the Boston Society of Film Critics and was nominated in the Broadcast Film Critics Association's Critics' Choice Movie Awards for his role as Staff Sgt. William James in the gripping Iraq war drama.

"The Hurt Locker" won top film honors from the Boston critics group, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and, on Monday, the New York Film Critics Circle. It also was announced as among the nominees in the Broadcast Film Critics Association awards.

Joining "The Hurt Locker" in the Golden Globe best picture (drama) category were "Avatar," "Inglourious Basterds," "Precious" and "Up in the Air."

"Up in the Air," about an executive who travels the country to fire people for companies too cowardly to do it themselves, led Golden Globe film contenders with six nominations, including acting honors for George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick.

In addition to Clooney, nominated this morning for best actor in a motion picture (drama) were Jeff Bridges, Colin Firth, Morgan Freeman, Tobey Maguire.

Renner, a 1989 Beyer High School graduate, has been riding high through this year's award season for his "Hurt Locker" work. He won the breakthrough actor award from the Gotham Awards, was nominated for best actor in the Independent Spirit Awards and has picked up several similar honors from other film groups and festivals across the country.

This isn't Renner's last chance at an important pre-Oscar nomination.

The Screen Actors Guild awards, which also provide a window into what might happen come Oscar time, will announce its nominations on Thursday morning.

The Golden Globe Awards are on Jan. 17, in Los Angeles. They will be televised live by NBC on the West Coast at 5 p.m.

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