There are a total of 70 nominations for 37 films across a dozen Golden Globes categories this year. Here are the nominees, who we think should win, and here's who we predict actually will win Sunday night:
BEST MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
"The Ides Of March"
Who should win: "The Help"
Who will win: "The Help"
Analysis: We're still puzzled by the adulation for "Hugo," "The Descendants" and "War Horse," and as much as we liked "Ides of March," it's not Best Picture material. So that leaves us with "The Help" vs. "Moneyball." While the latter has Brad Pitt, the former has Emma Stone, double the box office and an important message. Advantage: "The Help."
BEST ACTRESS - DRAMA
Glenn Close – "Albert Nobbs"
Viola Davis – "The Help"
Rooney Mara – "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"
Meryl Streep – "Iron Lady"
Tilda Swinton – "We Need To Talk About Kevin"
Who should win: Tilda Swinton
Who will win: Viola Davis
Meryl Streep has earned 26 Globes nominations, winning seven times, making it hard to gamble against her. But Viola Davis gives a emotionally charged turn in "The Help" as a maid who finds the courage to tell her story. That said, Tilda Swinton gave the most moving performance we saw among the women on this list, playing a mother struggling with the realization that her son is a sociopath--but it's hard to begrudge someone as talented as Davis.
BEST ACTOR - DRAMA NOMINEES
George Clooney – "The Descendants"
Leonardo DiCaprio – "J. Edgar"
Michael Fassbender – "Shame"
Ryan Gosling – "The Ides Of March"
Brad Pitt – "Moneyball"
Who should win: Michael Fassbender
Who will win: George Clooney
Both Pitt and Gosling won't win if for no other reason than the fact that they both gave better performances in other films. DiCaprio won't win because despite his great turn as Hoover, "J. Edgar" was a mess and a bore. Fassbender won't win because no one saw "Shame," and because the film was a huge bummer packed with enough sex to get an NC-17 rating. George Clooney will win because people love him.
BEST MOTION PICTURE - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
"Midnight In Paris"
"My Week With Marilyn"
Who should win: "Midnight In Paris"
Who will win: "Midnight In Paris"
Only a win by "My Week With Marilyn" would be a disappointment in this category, as the other four films were all very good to excellent. The HFPA has shown a willingness to acknowledge all manner of humor, so "Bridesmaids" is not to be dismissed, and "50/50" deserved a far bigger audience, but this one's gonna fall to Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris."
BEST ACTRESS - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Jodie Foster – "Carnage"
Charlize Theron – "Young Adult"
Kate Winslet – "Carnage"
Kristen Wiig – "Bridesmaids"
Michelle Williams – "My Week With Marilyn"
Who should win: Charlize Theron – "Young Adult"
Who will win: Michelle Williams – "My Week With Marilyn"
Foster and Winslet will cannibalize each other, Wiig is grateful for the nod, and Williams will walk away the winner because her transformation into Marilyn Monroe was mesmerizing, even if the film was only meh. But Theron was brilliant, giving everything she has to create a grown-up version of the girl we all hated, loved and or wanted to be in high school.
BEST ACTOR - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Jean Dujardin – "The Artist"
Brendan Gleeson – "The Guard"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – "50/50"
Ryan Gosling – "Crazy, Stupid, Love."
Owen Wilson – "Midnight In Paris"
Who should win: Jean Dujardin
Who will win: Jean Dujardin
Gosling took a stock role and turned it into something with real depth and wit, informing his Lothario with a self-awareness and a wink that let you know it was OK to laugh. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt made it OK to laugh at cancer. But Dujardin's rubber face somehow manages to express more emotion and thought in 30 seconds than some folks can muster in an entire film career.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
"The Adventures Of Tintin"
"Puss In Boots"
Who should win: "Rango"
Who will win: "The Adventures of Tintin"
With the help of Peter Jackson's FX wizard's, Steven Spielberg's "Tintin" was a breathtaking visual achievement, but it lacked heart, an unprecedented turn of events for the prolific director who's collaborated with John Williams to cook up lots of schmaltz. Writer-director Gore Verbinski's "Rango," however, was a clever and witty ode Spaghetti Westerns and old Hollywood masquerading as a cartoon about a chameleon suffering through an identity crisis.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
"A Separation" (Iran)
"In The Land Of Blood And Honey" (United States)
"The Flowers Of War" (China)
"The Kid With A Bike" (Belgium)
"The Skin I Live In" (Spain)
Who should win: "The Skin I Live In"
Who will win: "The Skin I Live In"
This is Pedro Almodovar's seventh GG nomination, and he's already got two wins under his belt, making it hard to pick against, as, like Allen, 2011 found him achieving some of his past glory. But with Angelina Jolie's "In The Land Of Blood And Honey" lurking in the weeds, anything can happen.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Berenice Bejo – "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain – "The Help"
Janet McTeer – "Albert Nobbs"
Octavia Spencer – "The Help"
Shailene Woodle -- "The Desendents"
Who should win: Shailene Woodley
Who will win: Shailene Woodley
We would happily pay $12 to watch Berenice Bejo smile for two hours, possessing, as she does, a radiance that jumps off the screen. Octavia Spencer was fierce and hilarious in "The Help," but will get overshadowed by Davis, leaving the door open for Shailene Woodley, who was the real star of "The Descendants," making Clooney look so good in the process that he got nominated as well.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kenneth Branagh – "My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks – "Drive"
Jonah Hill – "Moneyball"
Viggo Mortensen – "A Dangerous Method"
Christopher Plummer – "Beginners"
Who should win: Christopher Plummer
Who will win: Christopher Plummer
This is tough--Brooks was brilliant playing against type as a murderously knife-wielding, but somehow charming mobster in "Drive," but Plummer was simply amazing as Ewan McGregor's cancer-stricken father who comes out of the closet in his '70s. It's a shame only one of these guys can we, but this one's gonna go to Plummer, who, let's be frank, won't have that many more chances to be nominated for anything.
George Clooney – "The Ides Of March"
Michel Hazanavicius – "The Artist"
Alexander Payne – "The Descendants"
Martin Scorsese – "Hugo"
Who should win: Michel Hazanavicius
Who will win: Martin Scorsese
Woody's 0-for-4 as a GG Best Director nominee, Clooney's 0-for-1, Payne's 0-for-2. Hazanavicius is a newbie, but Scorsese is 2-for-6, so we'll give him the edge. Though we found "Hugo" to be a crushing bore, and it featured the most amateurish rendering of a trampling we've ever seen, Hazanavicius probably did the best job of the nominees. Plus, to give you a sense of how the HFPA feels about "Hollywood" vs. "Foreign," they didn't give Roberto Benigni's "Life Is Beautiful" a single nomination for anything.
Michel Hazanavicius - "The Artist"
Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne, Jim Rash - "The Descendants"
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon - "The Ides Of March"
Woody Allen - "Midnight In Paris"
Stan Chervin, Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian - "Moneyball"
Who should win: Woody Allen
Who will win: Woody Allen
"The Artist"? Throw in some dialog and we'll talk. "Descendants," 'Ides of March" and "Moneyball" are all adaptations. This leaves only Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," his best film in 20 years, as the only original story among the nominees that had, like, dialog, and, as we've noted before, the best ending of any film of the year.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Ludovic Bource - "The Artist"
Abel Korzeniowski - "W.E."
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"
Howard Shore - "Hugo"
John Williams - "War Horse"
Who should win: Ludovic Bource
Who will win: Ludovic Bource
No film leaned more heavily on music than "The Artist," and Ludovic Bource's score was up to the job of adding depth to the great performances of stars Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo. From the film's joyous heights to its trenchant lows, Bource helped drive the action and set the tone every beat of the way.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"Hello, Hello," Elton John & Bernie Taupin from "Gnomeo & Juliet"
"The Keeper," by Chris Cornell from Machine "Gun Preacher"
"Lay Your Head Down," Brian Byrne & Glenn Close from "Albert Nobbs"
"The Living Proof," by Thomas Newman, Mary J. Blige, Harvey Mason, Jr. and Damon Thomas, from "The Help"
"Masterpiece," by Madonna, Julie Frost and Jimmy Harr, from "W.E."
Who should win: "The Living Proof"
Who will win: "The Living Proof"
We don't pretend to understand the musical tastes of Globe voters, but we'll guess Mary J. Blige takes this prize. She's a legitimate R&B legend singing a song from a hit film with a good and decent message that received mostly positive reviews. Each of the other nominees have a strike or two against them: crap film, lousy box office, has-been singer...
The Golden Globes will air at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT Sunday Jan. 15 on NBC.