'The Help,' 'The Artist,' and the Globes: Official Winner Predictions
With the Critics Choice ceremony out of the way and Sunday's Golden Globes show on the horizon, it's time for Oscar prognosticators to begin tallying up which films are winning big at various events.
The Broadcast Film Critics Association may have very well set the pace for what we can expect to see unfold over the next few weeks leading up to the Academy Awards. Both The Artist and The Help garnered a healthy share of trophies from the BFCA, and a similar outcome is expected to take place on January 15, courtesy of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Just as they did with The Ides of March and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's Rooney Mara, the HFPA could help boost the Oscar prospects of certain performers and films that could really use that extra push. Or, they could mostly go the same way as the BFCA and present us with a few solid locks.
BEST PICTURE (Drama): THE HELP - Had the Golden Globes taken place a few months ago, I'd say this would easily be going to The Descendants. But a lot of the buzz surrounding Alexander Payne's latest has died down, and The Help has a few things currently working in its favor. As stated earlier, it performed relatively well at the BFCA. It made money both in box office and DVD sales receipts (always a good thing with Globe voters). And it's not expected to lose much traction between now and the Oscars (expect it to win for Best Ensemble Cast at the Screen Actors Guild Awards). It's picking up steam at just the right time.
ACTOR (Drama): George Clooney (THE DESCENDANTS) - Several have labeled Clooney's performance as Matt King his "career-best." Whether or not you think that's true (I don't, personally), in the end, outside of Brad Pitt, he doesn't have much competition from the others. Plus, the HFPA obviously likes him (he's won before, and they even nominated him for directing The Ides of March).
ACTRESS (Drama): Viola Davis (THE HELP) - Davis's ability to pull off a win over Meryl Streep largely depends on just how much the HFPA loved The Help (and I'm guessing they took to it). Sure, we all know how much the Globes love Streep, but the negative reaction to The Iron Lady (outside of her own performance) isn't doing her any favors. Conversely, Davis is fantastic is in a film that was well-received.
BEST PICTURE (Comedy or Musical): THE ARTIST - It would make for the biggest upset of the night if The Artist, the film currently expected to walk away with the Best Picture Academy Award, lost. Don't hold your breath for a shakeup here.
ACTOR (Comedy or Musical): Jean Dujardin (THE ARTIST) - Dujardin should be able to ride his film's momentum to a win for himself. Additionally, he's probably the only guy here who has a legitimate shot at earning an Oscar nomination.
ACTRESS (Comedy or Musical): Michelle Williams (MY WEEK WITH MARILYN) - It's Williams's to lose, but there's a slight chance Bridesmaids' Kristen Wiig could upset, given that film's recent nods from SAG and the Producers Guild of America. Not to mention, she's actually funny.
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christopher Plummer (BEGINNERS) - This should be one of the few fields that isn't a race at all, just a stepping stone for the ridiculously overdue Christopher Plummer, who should probably take his cue from Christoph Waltz and start tailoring his acceptance speeches for each respective venue.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Octavia Spencer (THE HELP) - Any time you're in a film and manage to steal the show, even for a short while, from Viola Davis (who has stolen the show from the likes of Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman), you're in good standing. It doesn't hurt when your character provides the movie's main antagonist with a homemade "pie" either.
DIRECTOR: Michel Hazanavicius (THE ARTIST) - He's the director behind the current Best Picture frontrunner, and few could argue that he made all the right choices behind the camera. He shouldn't have much of a problem taking this one home.
SCREENPLAY: MIDNIGHT IN PARIS - Except for The Ides of March, any of the other nominees could win. Voters may have a tough time choosing between the two adapted screenplays (The Descendants; Moneyball), and The Artist will likely be seen as more of a director's film than a screenwriter's (even though both tasks were performed by Hazanavicius). That gives Woody Allen the advantage.
MUSIC SCORE: THE ARTIST - Ludovic Bource's piece for The Artist really helps to make the movie, given that we need a soundtrack to play throughout the duration of the silent film. John Williams is an outside threat for War Horse, but that score (like the film) relies too heavily on pulling at your heartstrings, and sometimes it falls flat.
ORIGINAL SONG: "The Living Proof" (THE HELP) - This should be a relatively easy win for The Help. The potential upset is Albert Nobbs' "Lay Your Head Down," but the former is the better song from the better film.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: A SEPARATION - Iran's official Oscar entry has been garnering critical acclaim for the better part of the year, and it shouldn't have any problem capitalizing on that here.
ANIMATED FEATURE: RANGO - It's been a weak year for animated films, which means Rango benefits from a serious lack of competition.
DRAMA SERIES: BOARDWALK EMPIRE - There are a few new shows flirting with the win here, but ultimately, the reviews should carry Boardwalk to a second consecutive win (a la Mad Men). However, Game of Thrones would be a welcomed upset.
ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES: Bryan Cranston (BREAKING BAD) - This is where being in a brand new show helps, or a show that Globe voters are just now discovering. Last year the HFPA decided to finally reward Jim Parsons. The same thing could happen for Cranston, who has a wealth of episodes that showcase why he's won three consecutive Emmys.
ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES: Claire Danes (HOMELAND) - Danes has been earning some of the best reviews of her career for playing Carrie Mathison. This is hers to lose.
COMEDY SERIES: MODERN FAMILY - It's lost both times to Glee. This year feels like the one where they finally switch it up. Maybe.
ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES: Alec Baldwin (30 ROCK) - Because who else is going to win? This isn't much of a list.
ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES: Laura Dern (ENLIGHTENED) - This is probably between Dern and New Girl's Zooey Deschanel. Dern is given a slight edge for being a more seasoned performer.
MINISERIES OR MOVIE: MILDRED PIERCE - Even though the Emmys preferred the much less glamorized Downton Abbey over Todd Hayne's aesthetically pleasing miniseries, it's hard to imagine Globe voters doing the same.
ACTOR IN A MINISERIES/MOVIE: Idris Elba (LUTHER) - This should be Elba's without question. Ironically, his biggest competition is probably fellow Wire co-star Dominic West.
ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES/MOVIE: Kate Winslet (MILDRED PIERCE) - Should be one of the easiest calls of the night.
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Guy Pearce (MILDRED PIERCE) - Assuming Mildred Pierce is well-received by the HFPA, Pearce will likely benefit from its winnings. Peter Dinklage acts as a potential spoiler.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Maggie Smith (DOWNTON ABBEY) - This is the kind of role Smith could do in her sleep, so of course, she knocks it out on screen. Should be a cakewalk for her.
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