Looking for Locks: Golden Globe Predix 2011

For tomorrow's announcement of the 2011-2012 Golden Globe Award nominees, two films in particular are expected to rack up nominations: The Artist and Hugo. Additionally, The Help and The Descendants should probably bet on picking up steam as we head into January's Oscar nominations.

Since we still don't know for sure exactly how many movies will be dubbed Best Picture-worthy (an earlier announcement by the AMPAS told us to expect anywhere from five to ten), the aforementioned four are the only films that feel like safe bets at this juncture.

And that's what makes this year's Golden Globe nominations important. In a week that's seen key precursor notices from the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Screen Actors Guild, the race is really starting to take shape now. The films that do (or don't) earn nominations tomorrow morning should have a better understanding of just how close (or far) they are from reaching the finish line.

As always, this article will just focus on the 14 film categories.

*Actual nominees are in bold italics.


Motion Picture (Drama)

  • THE DESCENDANTS
  • EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE (The Ides of March; Moneyball)
  • THE HELP
  • HUGO
  • WAR HORSE

> Frontrunners: The Descendants, Hugo and The Help should be locks. Although it failed to earn an important SAG nomination, it's hard to imagine the Hollywood Foreign Press denying anything Spielberg does, and War Horse's trailer screams Oscar attention. The wild card here is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, but early buzz for the film has been good, and the BFCA mention only helps.

> Possibilities: Drive and Moneyball are definite alternates, and both films could really use that extra push. The Tree of Life also acts as a very real prospect. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has the reviews, but it's not doing too great with the early precursors. The Ides of March has all but fallen off the face of the earth, and it's do-or-die time for Clooney's political drama. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been getting shunned by early awards venues so far, and if it fails to earn anything significant here, it's probably over.



Actor (Drama)

  • George Clooney/THE DESCENDANTS
  • Leonardo DiCaprio/J. EDGAR
  • Michael Fassbender/SHAME
  • Gary Oldman/TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY (Ryan Gosling/THE IDES OF MARCH)
  • Brad Pitt/MONEYBALL

> Frontrunners: Ocean's co-stars Clooney and Pitt are the only locks here, with the latter looking more and more like the man to beat. DiCaprio has suddenly surged into the race after picking up nominations from both the BFCA and the SAG. Considering it's the Hollywood Foreign Press, non-Americans Fassbender and Oldman should fill out the rest of the bill. The former is definitely good enough, and the latter is way overdue.

> Possibilities: Damien Bichir (A Better Life); Ryan Gosling (Drive); Tom Hardy (Warrior); Woody Harrelson (Rampart); Thomas Horn (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close); Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)



Actress (Drama)

  • Glenn Close/ALBERT NOBBS
  • Viola Davis/THE HELP
  • Elizabeth Olsen/MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (Rooney Mara/THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO)
  • Meryl Streep/THE IRON LADY
  • Tilda Swinton/WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN

> Frontrunners: Davis is out in front, and Streep is right behind her. Despite what most of us thought months ago, Close's Oscar prospects aren't looking too hot (she's missed out on quite a few early precursor awards), but she should definitely land a nomination here. Swinton is starting to get notices where she needs them. Olsen was being talked up months ago (even by Alec Baldwin, no less), but a lot of that buzz has quieted down. She should still make the cut, but it's been an unusually competitive year (finally!) for actresses, particularly those in dramas.

> Possibilities: Olivia Colman (Tyrannosaur); Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia); Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo); Emma Stone (The Help).



Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical)

  • THE ARTIST
  • BRIDESMAIDS
  • CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE. (50/50)
  • MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
  • THE MUPPETS (My Week with Marilyn)

> Frontrunners: No matter which films get nominated, at least we won't have a repeat of last year's laughable lineup (one good film vs. four mediocre/bad ones). The Artist is in, and we can go ahead and call this one in its favor. Bridesmaids sustained too much critical and mainstream praise to be snubbed, and Midnight in Paris is the first good Woody Allen movie since 2005's Match Point. The other two could change, but The Muppets seemed to hit all the right notes with audiences and critics alike. Crazy, Stupid, Love. is the major wild card, but it deserves the nomination.

> Possibilities: Beginners scored big at the Gotham Awards, but they're not exactly a major precursor venue. 50/50 feels like a real contender here (especially after the Spirit Awards threw it a Best Film nomination), but does it really deserve the nod? I don't think so, but then again, I'm not a voter on the board. Win Win and We Bought A Zoo have outside shots, but the buzz really isn't there. My Week with Marilyn also acts as a potential dark horse, as does Young Adult, although word on the street is many voters didn't care for the latter.



Actor (Comedy or Musical)

  • Matt Damon/WE BOUGHT A ZOO (Ryan Gosling/CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE)
  • Johnny Depp/THE RUM DIARY (Owen Wilson/MIDNIGHT IN PARIS)
  • Jean Dujardin/THE ARTIST
  • Brendan Gleeson/THE GUARD
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt/50-50

> Frontrunners: Damon earned some high marks for his performance in Cameron Crowe's latest, and we all know the Globes are notorious movie star lovers, so you can bet they'd love to offer him seat. Speaking of which, Depp is going to be hear his name called tomorrow morning,too (I think The Tourist and Alice in Wonderland proved he can be nominated for anything). Dujardin is part of what appears to be the most loved film of the year, and he's the only one in this category that has a real shot at the Oscar. Gleeson's been nominated by the HFPA before (In Bruges; Into the Storm), although this one feels like less of a sure thing. Many had hoped Gordon-Levitt would be more in the Oscar mix for 50/50, so this is a way of throwing him a bone.

> Possibilities: Steve Carell (Crazy, Stupid, Love.); Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows); Paul Giamatti (Win Win); Ryan Gosling (Crazy, Stupid, Love.); Christoph Waltz (Carnage); Owen Wilson (Midnight in Paris)



Actress (Comedy or Musical)

  • Cameron Diaz/BAD TEACHER (Jodie Foster/CARNAGE)
  • Charlize Theron/YOUNG ADULT
  • Kristen Wiig/BRIDESMAIDS
  • Michelle Williams/MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
  • Kate Winslet/CARNAGE

> Frontrunners: This is one of the hardest categories to try and solve. On the one hand, Theron, Wiig and Williams are near-locks, with Williams the most likely to win. After that, it turns into filling the ballot with celebrities. Diaz was fine in Bad Teacher, but the movie itself wasn't anything too special. Reactions have been mixed on Carnage, and that extends to Winslet's performance, but name recognition will probably keep her safe.

> Possibilities: Anna Faris (What's Your Number?); Jodie Foster (Carnage); Sarah Jessica Parker (I Don't Know How She Does It); Julia Roberts (Larry Crowne)



Supporting Actor

  • Kenneth Branagh/MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
  • Albert Brooks/DRIVE
  • Jonah Hill/MONEYBALL
  • Nick Nolte/WARRIOR (Viggo Mortensen/A DANGEROUS METHOD)
  • Christopher Plummer/BEGINNERS

> Frontrunners: Plummer is the one to beat, and both Branagh and Brooks appear to be safe bets. Nolte is starting to get noticed when it really counts, and a nomination here could be big for him. The last slot could go to a number of people, but I have a feeling the HFPA will follow the SAG's lead and acknowledge Hill's transition from comedy to drama.

> Possibilities: Ben Kingsley (Hugo); Patton Oswalt (Young Adult); Kevin Spacey (Margin Call); Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)



Supporting Actress

  • Berenice Bejo/THE ARTIST
  • Jessica Chastain/THE HELP
  • Melissa McCarthy/BRIDESMAIDS (Janet McTeer/ALBERT NOBBS)
  • Octavia Spencer/THE HELP
  • Shailene Woodley/THE DESCENDANTS

> Frontrunners: This seems like a solid lineup. I wouldn't expect the official list to change, if it does, by one person.

> Possibilities: Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life); Anjelica Huston (50/50); Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs); Carey Mulligan (Shame); Vanessa Redgrave (Coriolanus)



Director

  • Stephen Daldry/EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE (Woody Allen/MIDNIGHT IN PARIS)
  • Michel Hazanavicius/THE ARTIST
  • Terrence Malick/THE TREE OF LIFE (George Clooney/THE IDES OF MARCH)
  • Martin Scorsese/HUGO
  • Steven Spielberg/WAR HORSE (Alexander Payne/THE DESCENDANTS)

> Frontrunners: Hazanavicius should make the cut since his film has the most buzz, and both Scorsese and Spielberg are big name directors with titles that are very much in contention. Daldry has always fared well with the HFPA, and Malick's unique entry has been collecting lots of accolades from smaller venues.

> Possibilities: Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris); David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo); Bennett Miller (Moneyball); Alexander Payne (The Descendants); Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive); Jason Reitman (Young Adult)




Screenplay

  • THE ARTIST
  • THE DESCENDANTS
  • THE HELP (THE IDES OF MARCH)
  • MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
  • MONEYBALL

> Frontrunners: The Artist's current status as the one to beat should guarantee nominations in virtually every category. The Descendants, Midnight in Paris and Moneyball benefit from having well-known screenwriters behind each of them (Alexander Payne, Woody Allen and Aaron Sorkin & Steven Zaillian, respectively). The last spot will likely go to The Help, given the popularity of its source material.

> Possibilities: Beginners; Bridesmaids; Drive; Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; Hugo; The Ides of March; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; War Horse; Win Win; Young Adult



Score

  • THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN/John Williams (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO/Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)
  • THE ARTIST/Ludovic Bource
  • HUGO/Howard Shore
  • THE SKIN I LIVE IN/Alberto Iglesias (W.E./Abel Korzeniowski)
  • WAR HORSE/John Williams

> Frontrunners: This is always a tricky category to predict. There seems to always be an endless list of qualified music scores, and 2011 was no different. At the very least, any time Williams's name pops up, you have to take note. Bource's piece is arguably the best from the year. The other two have their pros as well, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a few other options here either.

> Possibilities: Contagion (Cliff Martinez); Drive (Cliff Martinez); Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Alexandre Desplat); The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (Alexandre Desplat); The Help (Thomas Newman); Jane Eyre (Dario Marianelli); Super 8 (Michael Giacchino); The Tree of Life (Alexandre Desplat); W.E. (Abel Korzeniowski); We Bought A Zoo (Jonsi)



Song

  • ALBERT NOBBS, "Lay Your Head Down"
  • GNOMEO & JULIET, "Hello Hello"
  • THE HELP, "The Living Proof"
  • THE MUPPETS, "Life's A Happy Song" (MACHINE GUN PREACHER/The Keeper)
  • THE MUPPETS, "Pictures in My Head" (W.E./Masterpiece)

> Frontrunners: This is one category that should be dominated by The Muppets. Sinead O'Connor's song seems like the kind most venues would eat up, but Albert Nobbs isn't as well-liked as pundits predicted. It would be a small shock if Mary J. Blige's contribution to The Help was overlooked, and, unmemorable as it was, Gnomeo & Juliet includes a tune by Elton John, and that will probably be hard for a lot of voters to pass up.

> Possibilities: Captain America: The First Avenger ("Star Spangled Man"); Machine Gun Preacher ("The Keeper"); Moneyball ("The Show"); The Muppets ("Man or Muppet"); Rio ("Real in Rio"); W.E. ("Masterpiece")



Foreign Language Film

  • THE FLOWERS OF WAR - China
  • IN DARKNESS - Poland (IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY - United States of America)
  • PINA - Germany (THE KID WITH A BIKE - Belgium)
  • A SEPARATION - Iran
  • THE SKIN I LIVE IN - Spain

> Frontrunners: This is always a crap shoot. The basic rule of them is if a title is well-known (i.e. A Separation) or has a notable director behind it (The Skin I Live In), it's in.

> Possibilities: Le Havre (Finland); In the Land of Blood and Honey (USA); The Kid with the Bike (Belgium); Miss Bala (Mexico); Where Do We Go Now? (Lebanon)



Animated Film

  • THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN
  • ARTHUR CHRISTMAS
  • KUNG FU PANDA 2 (CARS 2)
  • PUSS IN BOOTS
  • RANGO

> Frontrunners: Three films - The Adventures of Tintin, Arthur Christmas, Rango - should have no problem cracking the list. Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots both picked up nominations at the Annie Awards and, honestly, there isn't much else to choose from in this field.

> Possibilities: Cars 2; Gnomeo & Juliet; Mars Needs Moms; Rio; Winnie the Pooh



FINAL TALLY: 49 out of 71 [69% accurate]

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