Full disclosure: Despite their reputation for being a barometer for the Oscars, I’ve never given much credibility to the Golden Globes.
The organization that votes for them, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), is made up of roughly 85 members, many of whom don’t even write about the entertainment industry on a full-time basis. Compare that to the Motion Picture Academy, which is comprised of 5,777 elite members, and they actually make movies, as opposed to just writing about them.
Then there’s the matter of the Lead Actor and Actress categories, which are divided between “Drama” and “Musical or Comedy.” That means the HFPA has 10 chances to predict five Oscar nominees, which isn’t all that hard if you think about it.
But the Globes have been around for 67 years, and it’s one of the only awards show that honors both TV and film. It’s also an excuse for Hollywood to throw one big party, and as we all know — Hollywood loves to party.
At least one thing’s for sure: Ricky Gervais is going to be one heckuva host. After stealing previous awards shows as a presenter or a winner (or both!), it was a major coup for the HFPA to book him for the Globes while the Academy was still formalizing its plans for the Oscars.
So despite my opinion, I will still watch the Golden Globes, which should shape up to look like this, at least on the movie side…
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
The Nominees: Penelope Cruz (“Nine”), Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air”), Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air”), Mo’Nique (“Precious”), Julianne Moore (“A Single Man”)
Should Win: Mo’Nique (“Precious”)
Will Win: Mo’Nique (“Precious”)
Why: While Mo’Nique was best known as a stand-up comic and a talk show host, her bravura performance as an abusive inner-city mother was one for the books. She was terrifying, and she could have left it at that. But it’s a testament to her talent that when all was said and done, you still felt sorry for her.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
The Nominees: Matt Damon (“Invictus”), Woody Harrelson (“The Messenger”), Christopher Plummer (“The Last Station”), Stanley Tucci (“The Lovely Bones”), Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”)
Should Win: Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”)
Will Win: Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”)
Why: There are two locks during this year’s awards season. One is Supporting Actress, and this is the other. Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” was an awesome revenge fantasy, but Christoph Waltz’s unforgettable turn as a sadistic, manipulative and cunning SS Colonel was one of the greatest supporting performances in motion picture history.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Nominees: “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “Coraline,” The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Up”
Should Win: “Up”
Will Win: “Up”
Why: It was a great year for animated movies, and any one of these films would have been a worthy winner. But Pixar is still at the top of its game, and “Up” – a moving and exciting adventure that’s more for grown-ups than for kids – is one of their best computer-animated movies yet.
BEST ACTRESS – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
The Nominees: Sandra Bullock (“The Proposal”), Marion Cotillard (“Nine”), Julia Roberts (“Duplicity”), Meryl Streep (“It’s Complicated”), Meryl Streep (“Julie and Julia”)
Should Win: Sandra Bullock (“The Proposal”)
Will Win: Meryl Streep (“Julie and Julia”)
Why: At a time when a lot of movies featuring A-list (read: expensive) stars underperformed at the box office, Sandra Bullock had an amazing year, and “The Proposal” was the best romantic comedy of her career. But she has more momentum behind her for “The Blind Side” (and deservedly so), so as long as Meryl Streep doesn’t cancel herself out in this category, her performance as the legendary cook Julia Child should take the cake.
BEST ACTOR – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
The Nominees: Matt Damon (“The Informant!”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Nine”), Robert Downey Jr. (“Sherlock Holmes”), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“(500) Days of Summer”), Michael Stuhlbarg (“A Serious Man”)
Should Win: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“(500) Days of Summer”)
Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis (“Nine”)
Why: Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the heart and soul of “(500) Days of Summer,” the inventive, clever, heartfelt and heartbreaking Sundance hit. But even though “Nine” was a critical and commercial disappointment, it was still an ambitious musical, toplined by the mighty Daniel Day-Lewis.
BEST ACTRESS – DRAMA
The Nominees: Emily Blunt (“The Young Victoria”), Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”), Helen Mirren (“The Last Station), Carey Mulligan (“An Education”), Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”)
Should Win: Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”)
Will Win: Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”)
Why: Carey Mulligan was amazing as a wise-beyond-her-years high school student in “An Education,” while Gabourey Sidibe was also spectacular as a pregnant inner-city teen in “Precious.” But it’s Sandra Bullock’s year, and “The Blind Side” is her “Erin Brockovich.”
BEST ACTOR – DRAMA
The Nominees: Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”), George Clooney (“Up in the Air”), Colin Firth (“A Serious Man”), Morgan Freeman (“Invictus”), Tobey Maguire (“Brothers”)
Should Win: George Clooney (“Up in the Air”)
Will Win: Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”)
Why: Clooney was in the better movie – the powerful, poignant and timely “Up in the Air” – but many feel like he just played himself (I beg to differ). “Crazy Heart” was more predictable and contrived, but Bridges gave the performance of his career as a down-on-his-luck country music legend.
The Nominees: Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”), James Cameron (“Avatar”), Clint Eastwood (“Invictus”), Jason Reitman (“Up in the Air”), Quentin Tarantino (“Inglourious Basterds”)
Should Win: Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”)
Will Win: James Cameron (“Avatar”)
Why: Kathryn Bigelow’s visceral direction of “The Hurt Locker” raised the bar for how intense and realistic a war movie can be. But with the world caught up in “Avatar” fever, Bigelow’s ex-husband, James Cameron, will take the prize for his groundbreaking visual feast.
BEST PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
The Nominees: “(500) Days of Summer,” “The Hangover,” “It’s Complicated,” “Julie and Julia,” “Nine”
Should Win: “(500) Days of Summer
Will Win: “(500) Days of Summer”
Why: “The Hangover” was a huge sleeper hit last summer, but is it really the year’s best comedy? And even though musicals usually dominate this category, let’s face it: “Nine” was no “Chicago.” That leaves “(500) Days of Summer,” a delightful romantic comedy that had an inventive storytelling structure.
BEST PICTURE – DRAMA
The Nominees: “Avatar,” “The Hurt Locker,’ “Inglourious Basterds,” “Precious,” “Up in the Air”
Should Win: “Up in the Air”
Will Win: “Avatar”
Why: “Up in the Air” was just as timely as it was timeless. They story was relevant, given the Great Recession, but it was also filled with depth, humor and heartbreak. “Avatar” was basically “Dances with Wolves” in space, but the landmark technical achievement overshadowed the derivative story, and James Cameron proved that he was the King of another world too.