The following are not final GG predictions but talking points. I'm updated the Oscar predictions over the weekend, so help me clear my head and winnow out the weak candidates with your comments on the Globes (everyone join hands, wheeee) The acting categories will come in part two. Let's discuss the films for now. OK? Go.
Unless the Globe voters cheat (and they might... the precursor voting bodies love to overshoot the traditional five-wide categories so as to be more predictive of Oscar: see also The Broadcast Film Critics Association-- or better yet: don't.) For the five dramatic slots you're looking at some combo of Babel, Bobby, The Departed, Flags of Our Fathers, The Good German, The Good Shepherd, The Last King of Scotland, Little Children, Notes on a Scandal, The Pursuit of Happyness, The Queen, World Trade Center, and United 93. I've put my current guesses in bold. Am I forgetting any viable contenders?
I know that Children isn't anywhere close to a sure thing but when have the Globes ever gone completely obvious for all five slots? The Globes do more thinking for themselves than some other groups so you might see a major shut-out a la Crash last year. I'm rooting against the meandering lukewarm bait of WTC and Flags --the Globes need to put these films in their place (that'd be out of the running) since it's easy to picture other predictive precursors biting. If we could forever rid awards voting bodies of their tendency to give extra points to subject matter and get them to focus on individual movie quality, awards season would be so very different, would it not?
The musical or comedy division is less likely to surprise with Borat, The Devil Wears Prada, Dreamgirls, Little Miss Sunshine looking lock-ish for 80% of the category. That fifth slot will probably go to either Stranger Than Fiction, or, people are saying, Thank You For Smoking. But if they're reaching back that far, early in the year, maybe it'll be Prairie Home Companion since it holds the musical advantage? They could also go self-reflexive cutesy and vote for awards-season skewering For Your Consideration. Or maybe a children's animated film: Cars, Happy Feet? In my fantasy awards season (the one that never comes to be *sigh*), we see a Shortbus nomination! Ha ha. Could you imagine? But not even the Globes are that crazy.
Since foreign language pictures aren't eligible for the Best Picture categories at the Globes here is where we'll get our first inkling of whether or not Almodovar's Volver or Yimou's The Curse of the Golden Flower can generate any traction outside of certain media drooling for their leading knockouts (Penelope Cruz and Gong Li, respectively).
Those two foreign auteurs will have to battle it out with other heavyweights like Eastwood (Flags) Field (Little Children), Greengrass (United 93), Innaritu (Babel), Stone (World Trade Center) and Soderbergh (Good German) for only two slots. Why only two? Well, I don't think Condon (Dreamgirls), Frears (The Queen) and Scorsese (The Departed) have anything to worry about, do you?
Your comments are welcome. More than welcome actually... there are so many variations possible in November. It's in that first week of December that hopeful movies start falling into permanent history book exile, the golden statues heavy on their minds: a last futile dying wish.
(it's going to be a long awards season)