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Tonight I will live blog along with the Golden Globes. This annual affair, put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is a freewheeling preview of the Oscars. But, there is a caveat. The HFPA is a very small group of "press" from small outlets around the world. There has been a deal of controversy as of late, with the HFPA declining membership to mainstream critics from larger papers and outlets in Australia, Europe and Asia. In fact, there have been some whispers of nomination and vote buying.

Still, the award show is a lot of fun. Tonight's host, Ricky Gervais, will have plenty of time to jab modern Hollywood. Of course, this evening is mostly about film. Winners get a "boost" going into Oscar season. But tonight is also about TV, as the Globes present awards to actors and shows.

So, tune in with me tonight starting just before 7 PM Central for all the fun.
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WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS (Twentieth Century Fox - 9/24) On paper, with its timely theme, this is exactly the kind of popular drama with an Oscar-heavy cast and director that the 10 Best Picture nominations would tend to favor. Well-received in Cannes last May, it still  hasn’t generated  the kind of serious buzz which fall fest entries like Social Network, The King’s Speech, and Black Swan all managed. Oscar Chance:  Bearish, since sequels rarely compete and Oliver Stone’s 1987 original received just a single nomination -- and won Best Actor for Michael Douglas. His bigger-than-life Gekko remains its best chance to jump in the race, particularly with goodwill for the actor running high due to his cancer and memories of his acclaimed work in the indie Solitary Man still fresh from earlier this year. Never-nominated Eli Wallach, 95, might have had a shot for his small but indelible role. But he’s already getting an Honorary Oscar in November.

NOWHERE BOY (The Weinstein Co - 10/8) This story of the young John Lennon opened last Christmas in England and has already hit British Airways and Blu-ray but is craftily timed for U.S. release the day before what would have been the musician’s 70th birthday. Oscar Chance:  Both female co-stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff were BAFTA nominatees last season and might have a long shot in the Supporting Actress category if Weinstein does any sort of serious campaign for this.

SECRETARIAT (Walt Disney Pictures - 10/8) This emotion stirring crowd-pleasing story of the 1973 Triple Crown winner and the woman who wouldn’t give up on him could appeal to the same feel-good contingent that made The Blind Side such a player last year. Oscar Chance: Diane Lane and John Malkovich could figure in acting races. While sound, cinematography, music, and Best Picture nominations are not out of the question. If 2003’s Seabiscuit, which landed 7 nominations including the big one back when there were only five slots, could do it, then it should be a breeze for this horse. But Disney has to campaign just as aggressively as Universal did back then.

COMPANY MEN (The Weinstein Co - 10/22) There hasn’t been a whole lot of buzz on this John Well written and directed title since it debuted to mixed reviews in Sundance. But this of-the-moment drama about the effect of corporate downsizing on three men has a strong cast that includes past Oscar winners Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, and Chris Cooper. Oscar Chance: A longshot that needs to step up its awards game or risk downsizing to also-ran status against stiff competition.

WELCOME TO THE RILEYS (Samuel Goldwyn - 10/29) Fine acting from James Gandolfini, Melissa Leo, and Kristen Stewart highlight this drama about the effect that a young runaway has on a married couple. Oscar Chance: This quiet and effective drama was a Sundance success. But it's likely to be more prominent at the Spirits than the Oscars.

FAIR GAME (Summit - 11/5)  The hot button Valerie Plame/CIA leak story gets the cinematic treatment from director Doug Liman. It played well to critics in competition at Cannes in May but has been dormant on the Fall Festival circuit. Oscar Chance: It has two stars, Sean Penn and Naomi Watts, who are usually Academy bait. But so far neither is generating much heat in the highly competitive lead actor and actress races. Perhaps that will change when the film gets its second shot at glory just after election day. Of course, Penn already has a couple of Oscars.

FOR COLORED GIRLS (Lionsgate - 11/5) Except for the trailer, no one’s really yet seen this Tyler Perry adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s 1975 play with the longer title For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. But apparently Lionsgate has enuf confidence to push the release right up to the start date of the film industry’s official holiday movie season. Oscar Chance: Perry’s a cash cow for Lionsgate but he’s got no Oscar cred yet except for an AMPAS membership card. Last year, this distributor scored 6 nominations and 2 Oscars with  Precious (which Perry supported by lending his name). But can lightning strike twice?

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1 (Warner Bros - 11/19) The mega-box office Harry Potter series begins its wrap party with the first of a 2-part finale. Oscar Chance: These films are usually good for one or two technical nods but haven’t broken through into the marquee categories. If Harry has any shot at pulling a Lord Of The Rings-style victory lap, it’s probably with the more emotionally potent Part 2 which gets a July release.

THE NEXT THREE DAYS (Lionsgate - 11/19) Oscar-winner Paul Haggis co-wrote and directed this thriller about the turmoil in a couple’s life after the wife is accused of murder. Russell Crowe, Liam Neeson, and Elizabeth Banks star. Oscar Chance: Although Haggis and Lionsgate last struck Oscar gold together with Crash, this one is said to be a strictly commercial bet with no similar awards trajectory.

BURLESQUE (Sony/Screen Gems - 11/24) The trailer for this showbiz tale of a young singer (Christina Aguilera) who arrives in town and winds up working in some sort of burlesque club run by Cher looks like the movie wants to be Chicago. Well, that’s a lot better than trying to be another Showgirls, right? Oscar Chance: Let’s hope Cher and Christina have a duet.

LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS (Twentieth Century Fox - 11/24) This rare adult comedy from a major studio centers around a womanizing pharmaceutical salesman who falls hard for a free-spirited girl with early onset of Parkinsons disease. Director Ed Zwick delivers sex, drugs, nudity, and smart dialogue in a film that will do for Viagra what Social Network does for Facebook. Oscar Chance: A winning Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway in career-best performances should be high on any list. And the film is sophisticated and different enough to become a strong possibility in Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay, too.

TANGLED (Walt Disney Pictures - 11/24) A throwback to the style of Disney animated musicals like The Little Mermaid and Pochahantas. This tale of Rapunzel with all that blonde hair is given a contemporary twist and new Alan Menken songs. Oscar Chance: Eight-time winner Menken could go for a record-tying 9 with “I See The Light”. An animated feature nod is definitely possible if there are 5 slots this year. But it will be fighting for holiday season attention with MEGAMIND (DreamWorks Animation - 11/5).

I LOVE YOU, PHILIP MORRIS (Roadside Attractions - 12/3) Once embroiled in a nasty distribution battle, this Jim Carrey/Ewan McGregor comedy based on a true story was originally bought at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival  and already has  been  played out internationally. It is finally getting a long delayed U.S. release through its new indie savior Roadside Attractions. Oscar Chance: Start with a  musical/comedy Golden Globe nod and hope the never Oscar-nominated Carrey can then gain traction at last with the more difficult-to-please Academy.  

THE FIGHTER (Paramount - 12/10) This long time passion project for Mark Wahlberg chronicles the relationship between boxer “Irish” Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and the brother who helped train him (Christian Bale). Oscar Chance:  Could be a strong Best Picture prospect with both Wahlberg and Christian Bale prime prospects for lead and supporting actor respectively. Melissa Leo is said to be to rising to the top of supporting actress lists for her performance here.

THE TOURIST (Sony Pictures - 12/10) A thriller set in Venice with the superstar teaming of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp should spell a huge holiday hit for Sony. Oscar Chance: Probably too much of a popcorn flick for much awards consideration, even though it reps the English language directorial debut of Oscar winning Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck whose The Lives Of Others won Best Foreign Language Film in 2006.

HOW DO YOU KNOW? (Sony Pictures - 12/17) Writer/Director James Brooks delivers this relationship comedy with an all-star cast, including Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, Paul Rudd, and Owen Wilson. Oscar Chance: Despite Oscar winners Witherspoon's and Nicholson’s presence, I am told Paul Rudd is the standout here. Best chance for the movie is likely at the Globes where it may duke it out with The Kids Are All Right and Love And Other Drugs for Best Picture Comedy or Musical.

COUNTRY STRONG (Sony/Screen Gems - 12/22) This dramatic country musical shows off the considerable singing skills of Gwyneth Paltrow, who stars opposite Nashville favorite Tim Mc Graw as a fallen star out to make a comeback professionally and personally. Oscar Chance:  Past Oscar-winner Gwyneth shows a different side of her talents here. But this year's overcrowded Best Actress race really doesn’t need any more applicants this year.

TRUE GRIT (Paramount - 12/25) The Coen Brothers' remake of 1969’s western hit is said to adhere more to Charles Portis’ original book than the John Wayne version. But it’s still the same story: a determined young woman enlists Rooster J Cogburn to track down her father’s killer. Oscar Chance: Wayne won an Oscar. But it’s really Mattie’s tale, so look for a possible supporting actress in newcomer Hailie Steinfeld.  Thankfully, the La Beouf role which Glen Campbell screwed up 40 years ago is now in Matt Damon’s hands. And reigning Best Actor winner Jeff Bridges takes on Cogburn. Never, but never, underestimate what the Coens are up to. So this could also be the rare western to make the Best Picture honor roll. No one has seen it yet, though.

ANYTHING WITH HELEN MIRREN IN IT: Helen Mirren stars in 3 more upcoming 2010 releases, so take your choice. RED (Summit -10/15) Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman join with Mirren as an Over The Hill gang who do one last job. THE TEMPEST (Touchstone - 12/10) Prospero has made a gender switch to Prospera in director Julie Taymor’s wild take on Shakespeare’s classic. THE DEBT (Miramax - 12/29) Post-WWII thriller in the Munich mode co-starring Sam Worthington, Ciaran Hinds, and Tom Wilkinson. Oscar Chances:  Nice to see the great Dame is a workaholic. But based on festival buzz, don’t expect a return to the Kodak stage this year.
 

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The movies have been unveiled, the reviews are in, the bloggers have blogged, so what’s the verdict? Who’s in, who’s out, who’s hoping for a recount? With a surprisingly active Toronto Film Festival winding down to a halt, and Venice and Telluride becoming distant memories, let’s see where the movies that came in with Oscar ambition and hit one, two, or all three award contender-centric fests now stand at this key early juncture. 

THE SOCIAL NETWORK - Ironically, the one movie that perhaps generated the biggest buzz this week wasn’t at any of the Big Three. The Social Network stole the thunder from Toronto by beginning screenings for onliners in New York and Los Angeles before it opens the New York Film Festival on September 24th. Oscar Chance: It instantly became anointed a frontrunner for Best Picture.

THE BLACK SWAN - It took Venice by storm with one of the most enthusiastic opening night ovations in years. But at award time on the Lido it was virtually overlooked (except for a breakthrough honor for Mila Kunis). Top reviews and lots of awards talk followed at Telluride and Toronto, especially for Natalie Portman. Oscar Chance: Very much alive in key races including newfound frontrunner status for Portman in Best Actress. Big question is how will older voters react to film’s kinkier aspects?

SOMEWHERE - Sofia Coppola’s quiet character study won the top prize in Venice despite mixed reviews and some cries that jury president and Coppola intimate Quentin Tarantino played favorites. (Tarantino vehemently dismissed the criticism.) The film sat out Telluride and Toronto by design and will likely be held back from screenings until closer to its late December release. Oscar Chance: Still a bit of a mystery but may be too soft to make a dent. Coppola though is well-liked by her fellow writers and directors and Stephen Dorff is said to be quite good in it.

127 HOURS - Danny Boyle’s first effort since sweeping the Oscars with Slumdog Millionaire two years ago was generally met with favorable reviews and good buzz in Telluride followed by at least one standing ovation in Toronto. Oscar Chance: Strongest bet in Best Actor for James Franco. A longer shot in Best Picture as "Farewell to Arm" scene may be too much for some at the Academy.

CONVICTION - Middling reviews and lack of strong buzz in Toronto make this true story a long shot. Oscar Chance: Hillary Swank has a shot in Best Actress but she’s down the list in an exceptionally tough field. Sam Rockwell has film’s best shot in Supporting Actor. Juliette Lewis is also possible but role may be too small.

THE KING’S SPEECH - Strong outstanding period piece puts Harvey Weinstein back in the Oscar game big-time. Triumphed over all comers in Telluride with subsequent buzz seeing hundreds turned away in Toronto. Great reviews and a real crowd pleaser. Oscar Chance: A slam dunk for major nominations across the board and an instant frontrunner that should play right into Academy’s lap.

MADE IN DAGENHAM - Another British period piece that debuted in Toronto to good results and sweet reviews. Story about a group of female factory workers fighting for equal pay is very accessible entertainment. Oscar Chance: This may be Sony Classics' best shot to get into Best Picture, very Academy friendly film with acting noms possible for star Sally Hawkins and supporters Miranda Richardson and Bob Hoskins.

ANOTHER YEAR - Mike Leigh’s best film since Secrets And Lies didn’t win anything in Cannes in May and seemed to get mixed to excellent reactions in North American premieres in Telluride and Toronto. Those who like it love it. Oscar Chance: Leigh films usually go over well with the Academy but surest thing is the acclaimed performance of Lesley Manville. She should go for supporting where she'd have a better chance than in the overcrowded lead actress category.

THE TOWN - Ben Affleck drew pretty good reviews as an actor and especially director out of Venice and Toronto. Depending on how it does at the box office starting this weekend, it could follow a similar trajectory as its producer Graham King’s Oscar winning The Departed. Or not. Oscar Chance: Pedigree is fine but may be too much in the violent action genre. Strong performances could crack one of the acting categories, with Jeremy Renner the most likely possibility in support.

HEREAFTER - Clint Eastwood ‘s latest got mixed reviews out of Toronto. But Ebert and Corliss dug it and this likely will play better with the older-skewing Academy members who may relate to its themes of afterlife. The 4-time Oscar winner and Acad favorite is now 80 and, even though his most recent two films Gran Torino and Invictus got a grand total of just two noms between them, you can never count Clint out. Oscar Chance: Clint is still a force. May have an ‘afterlife’ following Toronto and upcoming closing night spot at the New York Film Festival.

RABBIT HOLE - Glowing reviews, especially for its three main actors -- Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest. Thursday’s news of Lionsgate’s quick pickup following Monday night’s Toronto World Premiere, and a planned 2010 Oscar campaign, make this biggest award season news to come out of Toronto. Oscar Chance: With a savvy push by Lionsgate and top notch performances and writing, this is suddenly a player in the marquee categories.

BURIED - Ryan Reynolds' tour-de-force turn as a man-trapped-in-a-coffin has been overshadowed by James Franco’s similar guy-trapped-in-a-cave in 127 Hours. But look for Ryan to catch up when this opens next week. Oscar Chance: Funny guy Reynolds going dramatic could be irresistible to his fellow actors if Lionsgate decides to spend some money campaigning for him.

CASINO JACK - Its on-again/off-again release is now on again courtesy of an ATO pickup at Toronto. Two-time winner Kevin Spacey has a new opportunity for top honors playing disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff with flair and humor. Oscar Chance: Indie film needs to grab attention against higher profile competition in December if Spacey is to squeeze into the race.

LET ME IN - Superb gloriously reviewed American remake of Sweden’s 2008 cult vampire coming-of-age flick Let The Right One In, this is actually better than the original. Oscar Chance: Reviews could help. But good as it is, this type of movie is not really Oscar fodder and Relativity probably knows that.

MIRAL - In its Venice and Toronto screenings, Julian Schnabel’s first film since his award magnet, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, failed to excite. Oscar Chance: Dimming since Venice.

STONE - Entertaining but odd mix of styles make this movie difficult to peg. But the actors are enormously watchable. Oscar Chance: Long shot even though Milla Jovovich is seductively appealing. Robert DeNiro turns in his best work in a while but probably has as much chance of a Best Actor nod for this as he does for Machete and Little Fockers.

NEVER LET ME GO - Audiences in Telluride and Toronto liked this one better the more they thought about it. So all that lingering in the mind could improve it awards prospects. Oscar Chance: If it were a weaker year for actresses, Carey Mulligan would be way up there again. Andrew Garfield will likely be recognized for The Social Network instead of his equally fine work here. Rachel Portman’s haunting score should be a shoo-in nominee though.

BARNEY’S VERSION - Sony Pictures Classics' Toronto pickup of this Venice hit is a smart move and could result in some nominations. Oscar Chance: With a decent campaign, Paul Giamatti can make a Best Actor play and Dustin Hoffman is possible in support.

BIUTIFUL - Javier Bardem’s Cannes Festival-winning performance lost none of its power in Telluride or Toronto where the American reviews improved from their mixed bag status on the Riviera. Oscar Chance: Bardem for sure. Foreign film if Mexico submits it. Dark horse in Best Picture if voters don’t turn it off because its “too depressing”.

JACK GOES BOATING - Philip Seymour Hoffman makes his directorial debut and stars as a plain lonely guy who hooks up with a plain lonely girl in this quirkly comedy/drama reminiscent of 1955’s Best Picture and Actor winner, Marty. Oscar Chance: This isn’t 1955 and sorry Jack, but you’re no Marty. Strictly indie (as in Spirit Awards).

BLUE VALENTINE - Continuing its marathon festival journey from Sundance to Cannes (where it was 7 minutes shorter) to Toronto, Blue Valentine and its lead actors are still generating plenty of awards heat. Oscar Chance: Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are definite contenders.

TAMARA DREWE - Sony Classics would love this in-house production to get some traction. But no matter how you slice it, it’s pure comedy and that usually has its best shot at the limelight at the Globes. Oscar Chance: Writers like to laugh, so maybe screenplay.

THE WAY BACK - Newmarket picked up this classically made Peter Weir adventure just as it hit its one and only festival, Telluride. They still haven’t announced an Oscar qualifying run for December. But it would seem a no-brainer for this January 21st pretty wide release. Oscar Chance: Fellow directors could go for overdue 4-time nominee Weir. And the cinematography is right up there with anything released this year.

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Hello all. It is the middle of January, and that can mean a few things.

One, it is cold. At least in the Northern Hemisphere.

Two, the NFL playoffs are in high gear. Geaux Saints!

And, three, the Golden Globes are waiting in the wings. This Sunday, January 17, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will hand out this year’s first crop of major awards. While the Oscars are just for movies, the Globes combine the best in film and television.

But the Globes are not just any other award show. They are different in two ways. They are selected by a very small group (between 50 and 100 voting members who are, as the name implies, foreign media members who report from Hollywood), and they are more casual than the Oscars and Emmys. The latter makes for a more free-for-all award show where celebs routinely do odd things. The former, well, that means the voters tend to go to those with more global reach and certain political philosophies rather than the most deserving.

Still, the Globes are a great indicator to what the Oscar season has in store. So, without further delay, here are my picks for the 2010 Golden Globes!

TELEVISION BALLOT

Best TV Series - Drama

Nominees: Big Love, Dexter, House, Mad Men, True Blood
Will Win: Mad Men
Should Win: Dexter
--- Mad Men is an excellent series and has won this award before. That should be enough to give it another win. But Dexter, also an excellent series, had its best season yet. The serial killer drama should win, but will sadly fall short.

Best TV Series - Comedy or Musical
Nominees: 30 Rock, Entourage, Glee, Modern Family, The Office
Will Win: Glee
Should Win: Glee
--- That’s right. The HFPA will get this one right. Glee has a lot going for it. One, it is a great series. Two, it’s a feel-good show. Three, it is supremely musical. Four, it is beyond diverse. It has something for everyone AND it is excellent. The only series that could upstage Glee would be Modern Family. Not likely, but it has an outside chance.

Best Actor - Drama

Nominees: Simon Barker (The Mentalist), Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Hugh Laurie (House), Bill Paxton (Big Love)
Will Win: Hugh Laurie (House)
Should Win: Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
--- Hugh Laurie will walk away with the award. Any why not? He is British, a plus for the foreign voters, and he is an amazing actor who blew me away in House’s opener. But Hall, who plays the titular Dexter, makes cold-blooded sociopath look cool.

Best Actress - Drama
Nominees: Glenn Close (Damages), January Jones (Mad Men), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Anna Paquin (True Blood), Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)
Will Win: January Jones (Mad Men)
Should Win: January Jones (Mad Men)
--- Another winner for the HFPA. January Jones is the best actress on the show. She outshines even her co-star, Jon Hamm, and that says a lot.

Best Actor - Comedy or Musical
Nominees: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Steve Carell (The Office), David Duchovny (Californication), Thomas Jane (Hung), Matthew Morrison (Glee)
Will Win: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Should Win: Matthew Morrison (Glee)
--- While Baldwin is a shoe-in (he has won the Emmy for the role already AND he is a HFPA favorite), Morrison shines as the glee coach in Glee.

Best Actress - Comedy or Musical
Nominees: Toni Collette (United States of Tara), Courtney Cox (Cougar Town), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Tina Fey (30 Rock), Lea Michele (Glee)
Will Win: Toni Collette (United States of Tara)
Should Win: Tina Fey (30 Rock)
--- Collette has always had broad support within the HFPA and this year is no different. Add the fact she just won an Emmy for this role into the mix, and she should walk away with a Globe. But Fey’s spot-on genius as Liz Lemon on 30 Rock should be the winner.

FILM BALLOT

Best Drama
Nominees: Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, Up in the Ait
Will Win: Up in the Air
Should Win: Precious
--- Up in the Air has Clooney. And in Globes season, that is enough for a mediocre film to take home the biggest prize. But it is Precious that should get the nod.

Best Comedy or Musical
Nominees: (500) Days of Summer, The Hangover, It’s Complicated, Julie & Julia, Nine
Will Win: Nine
Should Win: The Hangover
--- Nine is a lavish musical. That is all the HFPA look for. Though, I must admit (500) Days of Summer could get the upset win. But it is The Hangover that is the best comedy. Too bad the best comedy won’t win the best comedy category.

Best Actor - Drama
Nominees: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), George Clooney (Up in the Air),  Colin Firth (A Single Man), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), Tobey Maguire (Brothers)
Will Win: George Clooney (Up in the Air)
Should Win: Colin Firth (A Single Man)
--- Clooney cannot walk into the HFPA’s ballroom and not go home with a prize. It’s as simple as that. Too bad he’s not the most deserving. That honor goes to Colin Firth. Too bad he’s going home empty handed.

Best Actress - Drama

Nominees: Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria), Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), Helen Mirren (The Last Station), Carey Mulligan (An Education), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
Will Win: Carey Mulligan (An Education)
Should Win: Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
--- Mulligan is a British actress in a British film. So, of course, the foreign media will award the Globe to her. And she is deserving. Just not as deserving as Sidibe, who managed to put warmth and love into a loveless and cold character in Precious.

Best Actor - Comedy or Musical
Nominees: Matt Damon (The Informant!), Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes), Joseph Gordon Levitt ((500) Days of Summer), Daniel Day Lewis (Nine), Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man)
Will Win: Daniel Day Lewis (Nine)
Should Win:  Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man)
--- Daniel Day Lewis is another HFPA favorite. And in Nine he sings and dances. That is enough for a Globe win. But Stuhlbarg is far and away the better actor in the black comedy from the Coen Brothers.

Best Actress - Comedy or Musical

Nominees: Sandra Bullock (The Proposal), Maron Cotillard (Nine), Julia Roberts (Duplicity), Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia), Meryl Streep (It’s Complicated)
Will Win: Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)
Should Win: Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)
--- This is an easy one. Despite Cotillard being foreign in a musical, Streep knocks it out of the park as Julia Child. End of story.

Best Supporting Actor
Nominees: Matt Damon (Invictus), Woody Harrelson (The Mesenger), Christopher Plummer (The Last Station), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Will Win: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Should Win: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Another one the HFPA will get right. Waltz’s brilliant turn as a Jew-hunter in Tarantino’s flick shines above the others. Add to it his European birth, and the Globe is his.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Penelope Cruz (Nine), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), Julianne Moore (A Single Man), Mo’nique (Precious)
Will Win: Mo’nique (Precious)
Should Win: Mo’nique (Precious)
--- Wow. The HFPA is racking the right choices up. Mo’nique makes Precious even more authentic as the abusive mother. But it is her end of the film apology that makes her performance award-winning.

Best Director
Nominees: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), James Cameron (Avatar), Clint Eastwood (Invictus), Jason Reitman (Up in the Air), Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
Will Win: James Cameron (Avatar)
Should Win: Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
--- The HFPA will likely give the nod to Cameron for his anti-capitalistic, liberal epic, Avatar. He deserves it for the tech, but for nothing else. Quentin Tarantino deserves the win for vision and actual direction. But, the HFPA could go for an upset and give the Globe to Bigelow. They’d love to crown a woman, especially one who spearheaded an anti-Iraq war flick.

Best Animated

Nominees: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog, Up
Will Win: Up
Should Win: Up
--- Up is the best animated flick of the year. In fact, it may compete with the big boys come Oscar time.

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