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Globe-trotting Fun

November 19, 2008|TOM O'NEIL

Warren Beatty once famously said, "The Golden Globes are fun; the Oscars are business." But there was no merriment last time, when the writers strike torpedoed the Globes ceremony and such winners as Jeremy Piven ("Entourage") had to accept his award in his driveway from a delivery boy. Nominations will be announced on Dec. 11 and, if a SAG strike doesn't hit this year, winners will accept Globes back at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 11.

DRAMA PICTURE

Favorites

"Australia"

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

"The Dark Knight"

"Doubt"

"Frost/Nixon"

"Gran Torino"

"Milk"

"The Reader"

"Rachel Getting Married"

"Revolutionary Road"

"Seven Pounds"

"Slumdog Millionaire"

Spotlight: Over the last 64 years, the Oscars have rubber-stamped one of the Globes' two best pictures (drama and comedy/musical) 42 times, usually the drama winner. How to predict which one will prevail next? Think backward from the Oscars, where the winner is usually the film with the most nominations, which include lots of crafts categories that the Globes don't have. That means the current front-runners are probably "Button," "Dark Knight" and "Revolutionary Road" or maybe "Australia."

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DRAMA ACTOR

Favorites

Benicio Del Toro, "Che"

Leonardo DiCaprio, "Revolutionary Road"

Clint Eastwood, "Gran Torino"

Hugh Jackman, "Australia"

Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"

Ben Kingsley, "Elegy"

Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon"

Sean Penn, "Milk"

Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler"

Will Smith, "Seven Pounds"

Spotlight: When Brad Pitt won the supporting actor Golden Globe for "Twelve Monkeys" 13 years ago, he delivered a charming acceptance speech confessing his nervousness. ("I'd like to thank the members of -- actually, the makers of Kaopectate. They've done a great service for their fellow man.") Voters love him. Pitt was recently nominated for "Babel" (2006), which won best drama picture, so he'll probably be back.

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DRAMA ACTRESS

Favorites

Cate Blanchett, "The Curious

Case of Benjamin Button"

Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting

Married"

Angelina Jolie, "Changeling"

Nicole Kidman, "Australia"

Keira Knightley, "The Duchess"

Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"

Meryl Streep, "Doubt"

Kristin Scott Thomas, "I've Loved

You So Long"

Kate Winslet, "Revolutionary

Road" / "The Reader"

Spotlight: The Golden Globes appreciate blockbuster superstars who cross over to do serious little indies -- like past champs Charlize Theron ("Monster") and Nicole Kidman ("The Hours"). This year, that trend could help Anne Hathaway ("Rachel Getting Married").

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COMEDY/ MUSICAL PICTURE

Favorites

"Burn After Reading"

"Cadillac Records"

"Happy-Go-Lucky"

"High School Musical 3: Senior Year"

"Last Chance Harvey"

"Mamma Mia!"

"Sex and the City"

"Vicky Christina

Barcelona"

Spotlight: Voters adore musicals in this category so much that they often nominate them even when they're bombs ("The Producers," "Phantom of the Opera"). A notable exception: "Rent." Was it just too young-skewing? That's the question looming over "High School Musical 3," which might, like "Mamma Mia!," get a boost because of box-office success overseas. Members of the Hollywood foreign press care a lot about that.

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COMEDY/ MUSICAL ACTOR

Favorites

Josh Brolin, "W."

Jim Carrey, "Yes Man"

George Clooney, "Burn After Reading"

Javier Bardem, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

Robert Downey Jr., "Iron Man"

Zac Efron, "High School Musical 3: Senior Year"

Dustin Hoffman, "Last Chance Harvey"

Will Smith, "Hancock"

Ben Stiller, "Tropic Thunder"

Spotlight: If Jim Carrey is poised for a big comeback, we may see it start here first. He won two of his five lead actor bids in this category ("The Truman Show," "Man on the Moon") but has never been nominated for an Oscar. He even made light of this when he accepted his 2000 Globe for "Moon," saying, "I'd like to thank the academy . . . oops"

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COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTRESS

Favorites

Tina Fey, "Baby Mama"

Anne Hathaway, "Rachel

Getting Married"

Sally Hawkins, "Happy-Go-Lucky"

Frances McDormand,

"Burn After Reading"

Sarah Jessica Parker, "Sex and the City"

Meryl Streep, "Mamma Mia!"

Emma Thompson, "Last Chance Harvey"

Spotlight: With 21 past bids for film and TV, Meryl Streep this year will surely tie or break Jack Lemmon's Globe record of 22 noms. And with five past movie wins and another for TV, Streep is tied with Jack Nicholson for most statuettes (his six are all for films). Can she not only surpass him, but also become the first star to win the lead acting categories for both drama ("Doubt") and comedy/musical ("Mamma Mia") in the same year? She has won these races in different years in the past: drama twice ("The French Lieutenant's Woman," "Sophie's Choice") and comedy/musical once ("The Devil Wears Prada"). Sigourney Weaver is the only thesp to receive two acting awards for film work in one year (1988): drama actress ("Gorillas in the Mist") and supporting actress ("Working Girl").

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TV DRAMA SERIES

Favorites

"Breaking Bad"

"Dexter"

"Gossip Girl"

"Grey's Anatomy"

"House M.D."

"In Treatment"

"Life on Mars"

"Lost"

"Mad Men"

"Summer Heights High"

"The Tudors"

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