By Peter Knegt | Indiewire January 14, 2010 at 5:32AM
Ah, the Golden Globes. The first major awards show of the season - Oscar's drunken, unpredictable cousin is also, more of then not, the most entertaining. This suggestion has been significantly boosted this year by Ricky Gervais, the ceremony's first host since 1995 and a major coup for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Globes (who's last hosts were a C-list tag team of John Larroquette and Janine Turner). Though Gervais - who has stolen the show as presenter in many years past - should just be icing on a cake already filled with unforeseeable winners, rowdy acceptance speeches, and the most starfucking this side of the People's Choice Awards.
The ceremony goes down Sunday night at The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, and will air live (on both coasts, for the first time) on NBC. For our part, indieWIRE is devoting this week's edition of "For Your Consideration" to a rundown of all the potential film winners (for predictions on the TV winners, click here). Save for a few races, the night looks wide open...
Best Picture - Drama
The Nominees: "Avatar," "The Hurt Locker," "Inglourious Basterds," "Precious," "Up in the Air" (which also would have likely been Oscar's top five had they not expanded)
Who Should Win: Either "Locker" or "Basterds" would suit me just fine.
Who Will Win: It's a surprisingly tough call (as are the majority of these races). "Precious" seems like the only film without much of a chance, and thereafter comes the same four-dog race that could resurface with Oscar. Given the significant momentum surrounding "Avatar" right now, I'd suspect it's the best bet (the Globes love them a bandwagon)... but nomination-leading "Up In The Air" should not be underestimated, nor should internationally flavored "Basterds."
Best Picture - Comedy or Musical
The Nominees: "(500) Days of Summer," "The Hangover," "It's Complicated," "Julie & Julia," "Nine"
Who Should Win: "A Serious Man." But, oh wait... Somehow the HFPA thought "The Hangover" and "It's Complicated" were both superior films. Honestly, I'm not much of a fan of any of these films.
Who Will Win: I'd imagine the Streep-fests will cancel each other out, leaving this a sorry three-way race between "Hangover," "Summer" and "Nine." When the nominations were announced, "Nine" seemed like an absolute sure thing - and could still win given its less-than-stiff competition. However, I'll wager the HFPA won't want to embarrass themselves by rewarding arguably the year's biggest financial and critical disappointment, and will opt for "(500) Days of Summer" instead (though, sadly, watch out for "The Hangover").
Best Actress - Drama
The Nominees: Emily Blunt, Sandra Bullock, Helen Mirren, Carey Mulligan, Gabourey Sidibe
Who Should Win: Carey Mulligan. And this totally would have been hers in the bag if it hadn't been for....
Who Will Win: Sandra Bullock!? The $200 million+ phenomenon that shockingly is "The Blind Side" might be hard for the HFPA to ignore. They do love them some movie stars, and Bullock is at the top of that pile right now. But the Globes have occasionally shown a surprising side of them in not opting to go this route (last year, Sally Hawkins upset Meryl Streep for her performance in "Mamma Mia"), so Mulligan (and to a slighter degree, Sidibe) definitely stand shots. I really want to vouch for one of them here, but 1996's Madonna-over-Frances McDormand moment is etched in my mind and I have to go with Sandra Bullock.
Best Actress - Comedy or Musical
The Nominees: Sandra Bullock, Marion Cotillard, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Meryl Streep
Who Should Win: Meryl Streep (for "Julie & Julia," NOT "It's Complicated). Absolutely no question.
Who Will Win: Argue all you want for the she-splits-with-herself hypothesis, but Meryl Streep and her work in "Julie & Julia" is a sure thing for this one.
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Best Actor - Drama
The Nominees: Jeff Bridges, George Clooney, Colin Firth, Morgan Freeman, Tobey Maguire
Who Should Win: Colin Firth.
Who Will Win: Already a two-time Globe winner, Clooney faces off against Firth and Bridges, both of whom have never won and all three of which have picked up a fair share of precursors. Any of them could win and it wouldn't be much of a surprise, but I suspect that Jeff Bridges - the slight frontrunner for the Oscar at this point - sneaks by in the end.
Best Actor - Comedy or Musical
The Nominees: Matt Damon, Daniel Day-Lewis, Robert Downey Jr., Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Stuhlbarg
Who Should Win: Both Stuhlbarg and Damon deserve recognition here, particularly since neither seem likely to get an Oscar nod.
Who Will Win: It's a five man race, really. Since none of them will go on to Oscar, as it was in this category last year (when Colin Farrell deservedly won for "In Bruges"), the Globes might have a little fun here. Like its best picture chances, "Nine" would have been a shoo-in for Daniel Day-Lewis if it hadn't crashed and burned, and while he still has a very good shot, I'd guess the Globes might make an honest category out of this and give it to Stuhlbarg, Damon or perhaps even Gordon-Levitt. Since Matt Damon is the star of the trio (and a double-nominee - as are previously predicted winners Streep and Bullock), I'll give him the edge.
Best Supporting Actress
The Nominees: Penelope Cruz, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Mo'Nique, Julianne Moore
Who Should Win: Mo'Nique. Her competitors all gave fine performances, but the power of her work in "Precious" is undeniably superior.
Who Will Win: Mo'Nique, who fingers crossed prevails through this awards season despite the silly "refuses to campaign" controversy surrounding her.
Best Supporting Actor
The Nominees: Matt Damon, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Plummer, Stanley Tucci, Christoph Waltz
Who Should Win: Christoph Waltz, for Mo'Nique-esque reasons.
Who Will Win: One would think Christoph Waltz - who has received almost every precursor out there. But the Globes haven't tended to hand this category to someone so lacking in star power in quite some time (Klaus Maria Brandauer in 1985?), and Woody Harrelson might appear tempting for them. But one would hope such things don't come into play, and Christoph Waltz deservedly continues his cakewalk to Oscar.
The Nominees: Kathryn Bigelow, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Jason Reitman, Quentin Tarantino
Who Should Win: Kathryn Bigelow!
Who Will Win: While I cannot imagine Bigelow - who has some sixteen awards under her belt right now - losing at the upcoming DGAs and Oscars, she could lose here, particularly if the momentum surrounding her ex-husband James Cameron takes hold of HFPA voters. However, while its no certainty, I'm suspecting Kathryn Bigelow can soon add "first female other than Barbra Streisand to win a directing Golden Globe" - for whatever that's worth - to her resume.
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The Nominees: "District 9," "The Hurt Locker," "Inglourious Basterds," "It's Complicated," "Up In The Air"
Who Should Win: Anything but "It's Complicated" works for me.
Who Will Win: This is a good place to reward either Jason Reitman and Quentin Tarantino, as neither seem likely to get the best director trophy. But which one? Since at this point I haven't predicted the nomination-leading "Up In The Air", I'll give it its due here.
Best Foreign-Language Film
The Nominees: "Baaria," "Broken Embraces," "The Maid," "A Prophet," "The White Ribbon."
Who Should Win: "A Prophet" - already a frontrunner for the best film released in U.S. theaters in 2010.
Who Will Win: It's a Sony Classics showdown with "Ribbon," "Prophet" and "Embraces" the three feasible winners here. And while the Globes do love Almodovar (he's won twice here already), "Embraces" might not feel like the right time to honor him once again, breaking the race down to what one can assume might be the Oscar's frontrunners as well (though assumptions for this category and the Academy are not easy to make): "A Prophet" and "The White Ribbon." Haneke is the better known filmmaker of the two, so I'd guess "The White Ribbon" ends up taking this.
Best Animated Film
The Nominees: "Coraline," "Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs," "Fantastic Mr. Fox," "The Princess and the Frog," "Up"
Who Should Win: It's been an incredible year for animated features, and I'd be happy to see any of "Mr. Fox," "Coraline" or "Up" represent it.
Who Will Win: In this category's four-year history, never has a film not produced by Pixar won. Even "Cars" - which lost the Oscar to "Happy Feet" - won. So while "Mr. Fox" might give it a wee run for its money, "Up" is winning this.
Best Original Song
The Nominees: "Cinema Italiano" ("Nine"), "I See You" ("Avatar"), "(I Want To) Come Home" ("Everybody's Fine"), "The Weary Kind" ("Crazy Heart"), "Winter" ("Brothers")
Who Should Win: Ryan Bingham's "The Weary Kind," though I really wish "Where The Wild Things Are"'s fantastic track "All Is Love" was getting more recognition.
Who Will Win: This category seems like it basically exists to starfuck. Bob Dylan, Sting, Mick Jagger, Prince, Eddie Vedder and Bruce Springsteen all got Globes in the 2000s, and only one of them (Dylan) went on to an Oscar. While "The Weary Kind" seems like the best bet for Oscar, Ryan Bingham is no Paul McCartney, and "Everybody's Fine" nominee McCartney's already been announced as a presenter, and has never won this award. But definitely watch out for "Avatar"'s "I See You." The Globes might want to recognize that film as much as it possibly can.
Best Original Score
The Nominees: "Avatar," "The Informant!," "A Single Man," "Up," "Where The Wild Things Are"
Who Should Win: A deserving batch of nominees across the board, though since they are ineligible for Oscar, I would love to see Karen O. and Carter Burwell get the recognition they deserve here for "Wild Things"
Who Will Win: "Avatar", to up its win count. Though "The Informant!" is the spoiler.
"For Your Consideration" is a weekly column written by indieWIRE Associate Editor Peter Knegt. Check out the previous editions of the column:
For Your Consideration: Is Kathryn Bigelow a Female Director?
For Your Consideration: Re-Assessing The Major Categories
For Your Consideration: How Much Does Oscar Love a Musical?
For Your Consideration: 10 Surprises From The Spirit Award Nominations
For Your Consideration: A Guide To The Oscar Precursors
For Your Consideration: 25 Things The Academy Got Right In The 2000s
For Your Consideration: The 50 Most Despicable Oscar Snubs of the 2000s
For Your Consideration: Assessing The Major Oscar Categories
For Your Consideration: Oscar's Gay Tendencies
For Your Consideration: 11 Underdog Performances
For Your Consideration: History Repeats as Major Foreign Films Left Off Academy List
For Your Consideration: 10 Things The Fall Fests Told Us About Awards Season