Golden Globes Predictions: Best Picture Drama - Iraq War vs. Pandora War

2010 Golden Globe Predictions: Best Picture - Drama

The Hurt Locker by Kathryn Bigelow

The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow; scr: Mark Boal

A US Army elite unit disarms bombs in Iraq.

Invictus (above, with Matt Damon), d: Clint Eastwood; scr: Anthony Peckham

Newly elected South African president Nelson Mandela campaigns to stage the Rugby World Cup in South Africa so as to unite blacks and whites.

The Last Station (above, with Helen Mirren, James McAvoy), d & scr: Michael Hoffman

Leo Tolstoy's family life is upended by the writer's radical politics.

The Lovely Bones (above, with Saoirse Ronan), Peter Jackson; scr: Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens

A murdered girl sees the world, chiefly her small Pennsylvania town, from up above.

Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, d: Lee Daniels; scr: Geoffrey Fletcher

A pregnant, abused, illiterate teen is helped by a kind teacher.


The chief characteristic of the Golden Globes is that their nominees and winners tend to either be or feature stars. Not that the Academy Awards or US critics' groups are all that different, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has a televised party – with food, drinks, crass jokes – to worry about. If HFPA members can nominate songs composed by Clint Eastwood, songs sung by Miley Cyrus, supporting performances by the likes of Tom Cruise, or Sharon Stone in some capacity or other, they'll do it.

The Best Picture - Drama predictions are based on that premise. Looking at the Golden Globe nominees for Best Picture - Drama of the last ten years, the only three films that didn't feature at least one major name at the time of their nominations were Billy Elliot in 2000, Mulholland Dr. in 2001, and last year's unavoidable Slumdog Millionaire.

This year, there are two unavoidable starless nominees: The Hurt Locker and Precious. Both An Education and Bright Star are possibilities as well, but I'd say that between having to pick two more small films featuring relatively little-known performers (Carey Mulligan in the former; Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish in the latter) and two major “prestige” productions – one featuring Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, and Mark Wahlberg (The Lovely Bones, directed by Peter Jackson to boot); the other starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon (Invictus, directed by another star, Clint Eastwood) – I believe the HFPA will choose the latter two entries.

The Last Station, for its part, offers not only Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, and Paul Giamatti, but also Tolstoy, lofty ideas, and elaborate costumes.

The Road (above), though featuring Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron, is likely too downbeat for HFPA voters, who usually prefer more uplifting fare even when the films themselves aren't all that well received upon their release (e.g., The Great Debaters, Sunshine).

Addendum (Nov. 20): James Cameron's Avatar is also a possibility, though the fantasy epic remains a wild card.

Addendum (Nov. 22): Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds is another strong possibility that should have been included in this piece, especially since it's been both a box office hit and it stars 2009 Golden Globe fave Brad Pitt.

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2 Comments to Golden Globes Predictions: Best Picture Drama - Iraq War vs. Pandora War

  1. Andre

    My bad.
    INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS should have been included as another strong possibility.

  2. Jack

    Where is Inglourious Basterds?
    Everything was nearly perfect in that film.
    Christoph Waltz's genius acting, and of course the genius screenwriting and directing by Quentin Tarantino.