Home Movie CraftsActors & Actresses Golden Globe Predictions: Meryl Streep & Sandra Bullock + George Clooney & Robert Downey Jr.

Golden Globe Predictions: Meryl Streep & Sandra Bullock + George Clooney & Robert Downey Jr.

Vera Farmiga, George Clooney Up in the Air
Vera Farmiga, George Clooney in Up in the Air (Dale Robinette / Paramount)

Jan. 17 update: Hosted by Ricky Gervais, the 2010 Golden Globes ceremony will be broadcast live coast to coast later this evening, January 17, on NBC (5 to 8 pm PT, 8 to 11 pm ET) from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. (Please, scroll down for our final predictions.)

Golden Globe presenters include more than 50 stars and stars-in-the-making, from screen siren Sophia Loren to screen werewolf Taylor Lautner – and just everything in-between, including two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster, two-time Oscar winner and (more recently) pariah Mel Gibson (making his big-screen comeback as well in Edge of Darkness), and The Hangover dudes Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, and Ed Helms.

Also, Oscar winners Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman, Oscar nominees Leonardo DiCaprio and Josh Brolin, Oscar winners Kate Winslet and Reese Witherspoon, Oscar nominees Harrison Ford and Kate Hudson, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who’s never won or been nominated for an Oscar, but who’s now the governor of a state on the brink.

Below is our list of Golden Globe Predictions (including a handful of TV categories). I’m the one posting this, but if it’s mostly wrong, make sure to blame someone else at Alt Film Guide.

Best Picture (drama): Avatar

Best Picture (comedy or musical): It’s Complicated

Best Foreign Language Film: The White Ribbon

Best Animated Feature: Up

Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker

Best Actor (drama): George Clooney, Up in the Air

Best Actress (drama): Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

Best Actor (comedy or musical): Robert Downey Jr, Sherlock Holmes

Best Actress (comedy or musical): Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, Precious

Best Screenplay: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air

Best Original Score: Michael Giacchino, Up

Best Song: “The Weary Kind,” Crazy Heart

Best TV Series or Movie: Grey Gardens

Best Actress in a TV Series or Movie: Sigourney Weaver, Prayers for Bobby

Best Actor in a TV Series or Movie: Kevin Bacon, Taking Chance

Best Supporting Actress (TV): Jane Lynch, Glee

Best Supporting Actor (TV): Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother

Golden Globe predictions

Jan. 13: Who would have thought a mere six weeks ago? I don’t believe many were expecting The Blind Side to earn even one quarter of what it has so far ($220 million at the domestic box office and counting) or that Sandra Bullock would be named the top moneymaking star of 2009, the first woman on that spot since Julia Roberts back in 1999.

Critics weren’t crazy about The Blind Side, but the public is. And for the most part even critics aren’t screaming bloody murder over the fact that Bullock has been nominated for a best actress SAG Award and will be probably up for an Oscar when nominations are announced on Feb. 2. After all, Bullock has been around for about two decades, she’s paid her dues, and hers is the rebirth story of the year. And she’s so darned cute. It’s her time to get some kind of recognition.

Bullock’s competition: Carey Mulligan (An Education), Helen Mirren (The Last Station), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), and Emily Blunt (Young Victoria). Mulligan is one of the two critics’ faves (Meryl Streep is the other) of 2009, but her movie is very small, she’s a Hollywood outsider and I don’t believe the Sally Hawkins Effect will be manifested again this year.

Photo: The Blind Side (Ralph Nelson / Warner Bros.)

The best actor category may be more difficult to predict at the Oscars, but for the Golden Globes George Clooney is the undisputable favorite. He’s a star, he’s good-looking, he’s charming, he’ll probably have interesting things to say when he goes onstage to get his award, he’s the year-end critics’ favorite, his movie is doing well at the box office, it has relevant things to say about modern life and the economic meltdown, etc. etc.

Jeff Bridges has a 40-year film career, lots of excellent performances, and a handful of critic’s awards. But Crazy Heart is hardly a box office hit, and Bridges is an actor, not a movie star. The same could be said about Colin Firth, whose A Single Man is actually doing well enough for a small movie about a gay guy with suicidal thoughts.

Fellow best actor (drama) nominees Morgan Freeman, who plays Nelson Mandela in the box office disappointment Invictus, and Tobey Maguire, one of the stars of Brothers, don’t have much of a chance. Freeman would have been a much stronger contender had his movie been a bigger hit. Maguire could have gotten the sympathy vote had news about the demise of Spider-Man 4 been announced a few days earlier.

Photo: Up in the Air (Dale Robinette / Paramount)

Kathryn Bigelow is by far the U.S. critic’s favorite film director of 2009, but she isn’t a star like Quentin Tarantino or James Cameron – or Barbra Streisand, the only woman to win a Golden Globe for best director (Yentl, 1983). Could Bigelow become the second female director to take home a Globe? Well, we think so.

Bigelow has a number of things working for her: The Hurt Locker is prestigious, it is perceived as a director’s film, she’s a woman who has succeeded as the director of a “man’s film,” she was married to James Cameron and achieved success on her own and now is competing against him, she has a good chance of winning an Oscar and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association members can tell the Academy they did it first, etc. etc. Not logical reasons necessarily, but more often than not logic has little to do with voting choices.

Working against Bigelow: The Hurt Locker made about $11 million at the U.S. and Canada box office. James Cameron’s Avatar, on the other hand, made more than that on one day – several times over. It has grossed more than $400 million to date. Avatar: it’s big, it’s popular, it’s nature-worshipping. Could HFPA voters go pagan and choose Cameron as best director? Sure.

They could also get all vengeful and bloodthirsty and vote for Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds. But we still say they’ll go for prestige, not box office, here. Hey, there’s always the Best Picture (drama) category if they want to choose box office.

Jason Reitman has a smaller chance of winning for Up in the Air, but he shouldn’t be totally discounted. Clint Eastwood has about as much a chance of winning for Invictus as Morgan Freeman in the best actor (drama) category.

Photo: The Hurt Locker (Jonathan Olley / Summit Entertainment)

This is another category that is hard to predict because of the absence of a clear front-runner. The closest to a “favorite” is Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon, winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes and of several critics’ awards in the United States. Working for it: Prestige, relevance, seriousness. Working against it: Starkness, darkness, mean children.

If Hollywood Foreign Press Association voters decide there’s too much starkness, darkness, and too many evil brats in the world as is, then Giuseppe Tornatore’s Baaria will likely be their choice. The sentimental, semi-autobiographical drama featuring music by Ennio Morricone has received a few pans, but it has its enthusiasts as well. It’s also the kind of sweeping melodrama that, if well-marketed, becomes a box office hit. The fact that Baaria was made by the same guy responsible for Cinema Paradiso probably doesn’t hurt, or that the film stars some of the greatest-looking performers working in films anywhere in the world: Francesco Scianna, Margareth Madè, and Raoul Bova.

Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces, which stars Lluís Homar and 2010 Goya Award nominee Penélope Cruz; Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet, starring BAFTA’s 2010 Orange Rising Star nominee Tahar Rahim; and Sebastian Silva’s The Maid would all be respectable winners as well. Broken Embraces has won several awards from US critics’ groups, The Prophet won the Grand Prix at Cannes and was the National Board of Review’s foreign film of choice, and The Maid earned star Catalina Saavedra a breakthrough performer trophy at the Gotham Awards ceremony.

Photo: The White Ribbon (Films du Losange / Sony Pictures Classics)

Peter Docter’s Up should take the Golden Globe for best animated feature. It’s a huge box office success that has been greeted by some of the best reviews of the year. Although Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox has its fans and has won a number of awards from film critics’ groups, it doesn’t really stand much of a chance here.

The other nominees in this category are Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Coraline, and The Princess and the Frog. Even though all three movies did generally get good reviews, none of them is on a class with either Up or Fantastic Mr. Fox in terms of critical response. And none gets even close to Up when it comes to box office returns.

If Up doesn’t win, we’ll be very, very surprised. Pete Docter will probably be very surprised, too.

Photo: Up (Disney / Pixar)

Whereas the best actor (comedy or musical) and the best foreign language film categories are hard to predict because they don’t have any discernible favorites, the best picture (drama) category is a tough one because there are no less than 4 (four) favorites: critics’ fave and highly topical Up in the Air, critics’ fave and highly topical The Hurt Locker, some critics’ fave and cultish classic-in-the-making Inglourious Basterds, and box office record-breaker Avatar. Which shall it be?

Well, if you’ve noticed the oversized text in green up above then you already know that we think it’ll be James Cameron’s Avatar. No, we didn’t pick it because we believe that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association members are all a bunch of neo-pagan nature-worshippers. Avatar isn’t just a back-to-nature epic; it has gotten a number of good reviews, it’s considered one of the most innovative and groundbreaking movies ever made, and its message may bother some (the far right, the Vatican) but it has been embraced by tens of millions the world over. In other words: HFPA voters can go pagan (and populist) without being afraid of being excommunicated by serious-minded pundits.

It would all work beautifully: Avatar gets best picture (drama), Up in the Air gets best screenplay (Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner) and best actor (George Clooney), The Hurt Locker gets best director (Kathryn Bigelow), Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds gets best supporting actor (Christoph Waltz), and fifth nominee Precious gets best supporting actress (Mo’Nique). Just like in most world-class film festivals, where top awards are given to different movies.

True, life usually doesn’t work that harmoniously, but things may be different in the movie realm of the Golden Globes.

Hosted by Ricky Gervais, the 2010 Golden Globes ceremony will be broadcast live coast to coast Sunday, January 17, on NBC (5 to 8 pm PT, 8 to 11 pm ET) from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Photo: Avatar (WETA / 20th Century Fox)

Best Picture - Comedy or Musical: ‘It’s Complicated’

None of the five nominees in the best picture (comedy or musical) category has a matching best director nomination. Only one of them has a matching best screenplay nod, It’s Complicated. That shouldn’t be enough for this Nancy Meyers comedy to win, but this may well be the Year of the Woman at the Golden Globes. A romantic comedy directed by a woman wins, Kathryn Bigelow wins as best director, Dame Meryl Streep wins (again) for Julie & Julia, Top Box Office Star Sandra Bullock wins for The Blind Side, Big Bad Mama Mo’Nique wins as best supporting actress for Precious. Who cares about the men?

Well, Meryl Streep’s character in It’s Complicated clearly does, as she’s torn between two of them – Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. There’s romance, laughter, being true to oneself, an ensemble cast that includes John Krasinski, Mary Kay Place, and Hunter Parrish, and big buck$s at the domestic box office. Better yet, It’s Complicated is still playing. It’s fresh, it’s happening, it’s out there.

Another one that’s out there is Rob Marshall’s Nine, but that one is just limping along after mostly poor reviews and audience indifference. According to various reports, the film will lose either Relativity or The Weinstein Co. – or both – millions. If Hollywood Foreign Press Association voters want to cozy up with the Weinstein Co. folks, they may pick Nine as their top choice. But we believe that a nomination for the musical extravaganza was more than enough cozying up if the HFPA wants to be taken at all seriously.

The other nominees are Marc Webb’s (500) Days of Summer, Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia, and Todd Phillips’ The Hangover.

It’s time for Meryl Streep to be honored once again with all kinds of top awards. In fact, it’s been time for a very long time. And whether or not you respect the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and their Globes, the fact is that they’re quite influential, even if only because of all the publicity surrounding their awards. A Golden Globe nomination may well inspire some Academy member or other – or even dozens (hundreds?) of them – to either go to a screening or watch a screener featuring some Golden Globe nominee or other.

Streep’s last Golden Globe win was in 2006, as best actress (comedy or musical) for The Devil Wears Prada. She had previously won five times (Kramer vs. Kramer, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Sophie’s Choice, Adaptation, and for the television movie Angels in America). If she gets the Globe for Julie & Julia, in which she plays Julia Child, that will be her seventh win. And her eighteenth loss. Streep, who’s also up for a best actress (comedy or musical) award for It’s Complicated, has been nominated for a total of 25 Golden Globes in the last 31 years. Last year, she even had the dubious honor of losing twice.

This prediction may go awry, of course, if the HFPA members go bananas for Sandra Bullock and decide to give her two awards in one single night – like they did last year for Kate Winslet. Bullock is in the running in the drama category for The Blind Side, for which she’ll likely win. She’s also up for a comedy/musical best actress award for the box office hit The Proposal.

The other two nominees are Julia Roberts for Duplicity and Marion Cotillard for Nine.

Photo: Julie & Julia (Columbia Pictures)

This is probably the most difficult motion-picture category to hazard a guess for the very simple fact that none of the five nominated actors have received much esteem and admiration, i.e., year-end awards, from US-based critics’ groups. None of the five is up for an individual SAG Award. On the other hand, only one of the five starred in a major box office hit in 2009…

… And that’s why Robert Downey Jr is our choice to take home the 2010 Golden Globe for best performance by an actor in a comedy or musical, even though Sherlock Holmes isn’t exactly either. Guy Ritchie’s reinterpretation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s hero opened just a couple of weeks ago, it’s making tons of money, got lots of mediocre reviews, and that’s all that matters. Well, all except for the mediocre reviews.

It could have been worse: Daniel Day-Lewis is the star of a movie (Nine) that not only got mediocre reviews but flopped as well. Matt Damon’s shape-shifting star turn in The Informant! was widely praised, but the film was a box office disappointment and has barely been mentioned in the last six weeks or so. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the star of the sleeper indie hit (500) Days of Summer, could be the Sally Hawkins of 2010, except that Hawkins won at the Globes after having been named best actress in New York, Los Angeles, etc. Gordon-Levitt hasn’t been that lucky – though he’s good.

And then there’s Michael Stuhlbarg, who was lucky enough to get a nomination even though he’s not a movie star and Joel and Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man failed to ignite the North American box office. Of the five, he’d be the unlikeliest winner.

There’s plenty of room for “surprises,” but we’re betting on Robert Downey Jr.

Photo: Sherlock Holmes (Alex Bailey / Warner Bros.)

Can it be anyone else?

The other best supporting actress Golden Globe nominees are Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Penélope Cruz (Nine), and Julianne Moore (A Single Man). They’re all fine actresses and their performances have for the most part heaped quite a bit of praise. If the Hollywood Foreign Press members were more adventurous, perhaps someone like Anna Kendrick might have a chance, but that seems highly unlikely.

Mo’Nique has momentum thanks to loads of critical awards, while her abusive mom in Precious is the sort of show-stopping role that turns mere actors into stars. I mean, at a talk-show interview Mo’Nique recently said that Oprah Winfrey herself called her to say something like, “Girl, what are you going to wear for the Oscars?” before even offering her the part.

Can it be anyone else?

Hosted by Ricky Gervais, the 2010 Golden Globes ceremony will be broadcast live coast to coast Sunday, January 17, on NBC (5 to 8 pm PT, 8 to 11 pm ET) from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Like in the case of Mo’Nique: Can it be anyone else for this year’s Golden Globe for best supporting actor?

Christoph Waltz has not only won just about every critics’ award out there, his is also a performance in a respectable box office hit, Quentin Tarantino’s World War II revenge fantasy Inglorious Basterds. Although Waltz can’t be considered a bona fide movie star at this stage – members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association love their movie stars – his critical reception and his film’s popularity should guarantee him the Golden Globe.

If there’s to be an upset – and that would be a major upset – it’d be a victory for veteran Christopher Plummer, whose Leo Tolstoy in Michael Hoffman’s The Last Station, apart perhaps from a 2010 SAG Award nomination, has gone under the radar these last few weeks.

Waltz and Plummer’s competitors are Woody Harrelson in The Messenger, Matt Damon in Invictus, and Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones.

Photo: François Duhamel / The Weinstein Co.

The Golden Globe for best screenplay is trickier to predict than the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s choices for Best Supporting Actress (Mo’Nique) and Best Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz). Up in the Air would be our choice for a couple of reasons:

  • Unlike The Hurt Locker (scr: Mark Boal), which is perceived as a director’s movie, Up in the Air is more of a story/characters’ movie.
  • The film’s underlying Great Recession theme is in a sense even more timely – and closer to home – than the war in Iraq

If Reitman and Turner don’t take the Globe, then it’ll be Quentin Tarantino, a star-director in his own right, for Inglourious Basterds. Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell (District 9) and Nancy Meyers (It’s Complicated).

Photo: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air (Dale Robinette / Paramount)

6 comments

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6 comments

Diane McDonald -

Meryl Streep is without question acting royalty. No only is she due for a boat load of awards this year but she is REDICULOULY OVERDUE!

THIS IS MERYL’S YEAR!

Reply
jd -

One is an outstanding actress.
One is an entrepreneur.
Many of us movie lovers will be disappointed if the Hollywood Foreign Press, The Academy and Screen Actors Guild can’t understand the difference.

Reply
imranbzu -

Sandra Bullock is a famous drama actress.she has got best actress SAG Award.

Reply
Javi -

and.. what´s your opinion about best film musical/comedy ? Nine 100% or not ?

Reply
Matthew -

Script was fine, so was the acting and story, they were all superb. I read the Avatar screenplay and it was a real interesting read as it was, very detailed and good tough dialogue.

Would be the most deserved best picture win since Lord of the Rings: Return of The King.

Avatar stands above everything this year.

Reply
bisle -

the problem most people have with Avatar was not its message but its script, period! And this is the reason why it shouldn’t have any “best picture” award

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