Starring James D'Arcy and Andrea Riseborough as King Edward VIII and his lover Wallis Simpson, "W.E." tells the story of when the monarch abdicated his throne in 1936 to marry the twice-divorced American.
Currently sitting with a 30 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film, which won't be released wide until February, was unsurprisingly shut out of the major acting and best-film categories. The Hollywood Reporter called Madonna's second try at directing "pleasing to the eyes and ears, but lacking anything for the soul" and Salon noted it was "too nonsensical" to be considered a total disaster.
The multi-faceted star's previous directing credit on a feature was in the 2008 comedy "Filth and Wisdom," about a Ukrainian Gypsy and his two roommates in London.
Other original song nominees include Elton John's "Hello Hello" from "Gnomeo and Juliet," Chris Cornell's "The Keeper" from "Machine Gun Preacher," the Sinéad O'Connor-sung "Lay My Head Down" from "Albert Nobbs" (lyrics by its star, Glenn Close) and Mary J. Blige's "The Living Proof" from "The Help."
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are early frontrunners to repeat in the original score category, for David Fincher's highly anticipated "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." The pair won the Golden Globe and the Oscar earlier this year for scoring Fincher's "The Social Network."
Other nominees in this category include Abel Korzeniowski for "W.E.," Ludoic Bource for "The Artist," Howard Shore for "Hugo" and John Williams for "War Horse."
In television, "Glee" was tapped for best comedy or musical series for a third year running. It's the tenth nod overall for the FOX series, but in stark contrast with previous seasons, none of the show's actors were nominated.
She & Him's Zooey Deschanel scored a best performance by an actress nomination for her hit FOX series, "New Girl," which will be competing with "Glee" in the best comedy or musical series category.
The 69th annual Golden Globes will be broadcast live on NBC Jan. 15 with Ricky Gervais returning as host.
• See a full nominations list at The Hollywood Reporter.