How to Predict Golden Globe Winners

UPDATE: I plan on Twittering through the red carpet and award show tonight, with all the other million of movie tweeters out there. But I promise to be insightful and, of course, snarky. So follow along with me, my loyal readers, won’t you? Here’s my link.

I’m going to take a stab at which way I think the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the governing body who hands out the Golden Globes, will sway at the 67th Golden Globes this Sunday, Jan. 17.

Best Picture – Drama
“Avatar”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious”
“Up in the Air”
“The Hurt Locker”

How it’ll shake out: Indies Precious and The Hurt Locker probably don’t stand a chance, while Up in the Air, with the most Globe nominations (six in all), and Inglourious Basterds, with its international appeal, are now looking paler against what is shaping up to be one of the biggest movies in history: Avatar. It’s like Titanic all over again, except with decidedly bluer people.

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
“Nine”
“The Hangover”
“(500) Days of Summer”
“It’s Complicated”
“Julie & Julia”

How it’ll shake out: It’s Complicated and Julie & Julia play too cute and The Hangover too crass. And on paper, Nine should have had it in the bag – great cast, lots of song and dance, the whole Fellini angle – but the film’s poor performance at the box office AND in the critics’ circle may hurt its Globe chances, since it most likely will not be receiving an Oscar nomination. Which leaves the sweetly quirky (500) Days of Summer, which does sport an excellent musical number and could be the big upset. That’s my bet.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney, “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman, “Invictus”
Tobey Maguire, “Brothers”

How it’ll shake out: The top three on the list – Bridges, Clooney and Firth – are all neck in neck in this competition. But I just think it’s Bridges time to win the career awards for his washed-out, hard-drinkin’ country singer in Crazy Heart.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Carey Mulligan, “An Education”
Emily Blunt, “The Young Victoria”
Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”
Helen Mirren, “The Last Station”
Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”

How it’ll shake out: This race is really between Mulligan and Bullock, even though Sidibe turned in an amazing first-time performance. So, if we are going with the popular vote, then Sandra Bullock will win, hands down, for the tremendous year she has been having, but there’s that nagging suspicion the HFPA, loving their Brits from across the Pond, may award the Globe to Mulligan for her brilliance in An Education. I’m leaning towards that.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Matt Damon, “The Informant”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Nine”
Michael Stuhlbarg, “A Serious Man”
Robert Downey Jr., “Sherlock Holmes”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, “(500) Days of Summer”

How it’ll shake out: While Damon, Stuhlbarg and Gordon-Levitt give worthy but perhaps too specialized performances, Daniel Day-Lewis singing and dancing as a philandering Italian director dazzles. But again, the negative Nine reaction may cancel him out. That leaves Downey Jr. perhaps taking home the Globe for his wry, offbeat turn as Sherlock Holmes. Even if I’m wrong, he’s the one I WANT to win.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Marion Cotillard, “Nine”
Sandra Bullock, “The Proposal”
Meryl Streep, “Julie and Julia”
Julia Roberts, “Duplicity”
Meryl Streep, “It’s Complicated”

How it’ll shake out: There’s no real competition here: Streep’s performance as the effervescent Julia Child in Julie & Julia should win by a landslide.

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, “Nine”
Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique, “Precious”
Vera Farminga, “Up in the Air”
Julianne Moore, “A Single Man”

How it’ll shake out: Cruz has that “Nine” factor again; Kendrick and Farminga will probably cancel each other out, which leaves Mo’Nique and Moore. If Precious is going to win a Globe, it’ll be in this category:  Mo’Nique’s portrayal of an abusive mother stuns you. Although, it would also be nice to see Moore win one of these damn things at some point.

Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”
Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”
Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”
Matt Damon, “Invictus”

How it’ll shake out: Weeding out Damon, Tucci and Plummer, it comes down to Harrelson for his turn as an Iraq soldier returning home to become a next-of-kin notifier in The Messenger and Waltz for his deliciously sadistic Nazi in Basterds. I’m pretty sure Waltz will emerge victorious.

Best Director
Jason Reitman, “Up in the Air”
Quentin Tarantino, “Inglourious Basterds”
Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
James Cameron, “Avatar”
Clint Eastwood, “Invictus”

How it’ll shake out: A really tough category to pick from, I have to say. Each one of these directors have earned the award. But even if Avatar doesn’t win the Globe, Cameron certainly will for his over and above effort in staging his visually groundbreaking film.

Best Screenplay
“District 9”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“It’s Complicated”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Up in the Air”

How it’ll shake out: This is where Up in the Air should win its Globe. The relevant subject matter and zingy dialogue is too hard to pass up.

Best Foreign Language Film
“Broken Embraces,” Spain
“Baaria,” Italy
“The Maid,” Chile
“Un Prophet,” France
“The White Ribbon, ” Germany

How it’ll shake out: Sigh. I don’t get see as many foreign films as I would like before the award season begins, but I’ve only been hearing the most amazing things about the German film The White Ribbon, which has been getting all the year-end accolades. I believe that’s our winner. You know, I finally saw The Lives of Others, the German film that won the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2006, and was blown away. The Germans know their drama.

Best Animated Feature
“Coraline”
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“Up”
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”
“The Princess and the Frog”

How it’ll shake out: Again, no real guesswork here: Up has it in the bag, although I’m happy to see Fantastic Mr. Fox and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs on the list. It was a great year for animated films overall.

Best Original Song
“Cinema Italiano,” preformed by Kate Hudson, “Nine”
“Winter,” performed by U2, “Brothers”
“The Weary Kind,” performed by Ryan Bingham, “Crazy Heart”
“I Want to Come Home,” performed by Paul McCarney, “Everybody’s Fine”
“I Will See You,” performed by Leona Lewis, “Avatar”

How it’ll shake out: I’m going to side with Ryan Bingham’s “The Weary Kind” since it’s truly an original, although the Avatar song “I Will See You,” sung by Brit Leona Lewis, may sneak in there.

Best Original Score
Michael Giacchino, “Up”
Marvin Hamlisch, “The Informant!”
Karen O, Carter Burwell, “Where The Wild Things Are”
Abel Korzeniowski, “A Single Man”
James Horner, “Avatar”

How it’ll shake out: Horner’s Avatar score will most likely, ahem, score, but don’t completely dismiss Giacchino’s orchestration for Up.

As for the major TV nominees, here are my quick win guesses: Dexter for best drama; Glee for best comedy; Hugh Laurie for best actor, drama in House; Anna Paquin for best actress, drama in True Blood; Alec Baldwin for best actor, comedy in 30 Rock; Toni Collette for best actress, comedy in The United States of Tara; John Lithgow for best supporting actor in Dexter; Jane Lynch for best supporting actress in Glee.

Let’s see how many I get right. The show, hosted by Ricky Gervais, will air live on NBC at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT.

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