Golden Globe picks help sort out Oscar prospects

AP News
Posted: Dec 15, 2009 12:12 AM

Having 10 best-picture nominees will be something different for the next Academy Awards, but it's nothing new at the Golden Globes.

The Globes, whose nominations come out Tuesday morning, have long featured 10 or more best-picture nominees, divided into two categories: best drama and best musical or comedy.

Plenty of Globe nominees for musical or comedy have made the best-picture cut at the Academy Awards, some even going on to win the top prize at the Oscars, such as 2002's "Chicago."

But the Globe dramatic picks typically are the films that have scored well at the Oscars, where the best-picture category has been doubled from five nominees to 10 for the first time in 66 years.

That could make the Globes even more of a bellwether for how Academy Awards nominations will play out Feb. 2, potentially opening the best-picture race to populist lighter films that often get overlooked amid the gloomy fare favored by Oscar voters.

George Clooney and Jason Reitman have a likely Globe nominee with their comedy "Up in the Air," which has earned such widespread acclaim that it probably would have been an Academy Awards contender if the Oscars still had only five nominees.

Other strong Globe prospects include the Iraq War drama "The Hurt Locker," the inner-city tale "Precious: Based on the Novel `Push' by Sapphire," the British romantic dramas "An Education" and "Bright Star," the Nelson Mandela saga "Invictus" and two Meryl Streep comic-tinged stories, "Julie & Julia" and "It's Complicated."

Streep and Clooney's cartoon comedy "Fantastic Mr. Fox" is a contender for best animated film, along with the blockbuster "Up," the musical fairy tale "The Princess and the Frog" and the dark fantasy "Coraline."

Acting prospects range from old pros Streep, Clooney, Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") and Morgan Freeman ("Invictus") to fresh faces such as Carey Mulligan ("An Education"), Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious"), Abbie Cornish ("Bright Star") and Ben Foster ("The Messenger").

The 67th annual Globes will be handed out Jan. 17, six days before nomination voting closes for the Oscars. Globe winners can get a last-minute bump for an Oscar nomination, particularly on smaller films such as 1999's "Boys Don't Cry," whose Globe triumph for Hilary Swank helped put her on the map for a best-actress win at the Oscars.

Last year's best drama winner at the Globes, "Slumdog Millionaire," went on to win best picture and dominate at the Oscars. Other Globe recipients who followed with Oscar wins included Heath Ledger as supporting actor for "The Dark Knight" and Kate Winslet, who won supporting actress at the Globes for "The Reader" and best actress for that film at the Oscars.

The Globes are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 85 critics and reporters for overseas outlets.


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