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Predicting the Golden Globes: Motion picture drama races

December 9, 2011 |  6:00 am

Jeremy Irvine in War Horse
How do you forecast what nutty notions might be floating around in the heads of the 83 full- and part-time entertainment journalists who constitute the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., a group that, for last year’s Golden Globes, labeled “The Tourist” a laugh riot and “Burlesque” one of the year’s best movies?

Easy. Think ratings. It’s why the foreign press association invited Ricky Gervais back to host the Globes, even though last time around he “joked” that the group’s members take bribes and nominate A-listers for shoddy work. So when predicting, if there’s any doubt, go with the celebrity. Julia Roberts for “Larry Crowne”? Why not? Mel Gibson for “The Beaver”? Maybe he’ll punch Gervais in the face? Worth considering. With that in mind, here's how things just might shake out with the nominations on Thursday.

Motion picture, drama
1. “War Horse”
2. “The Descendants”
3. “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
4. “The Help”
5. “The Ides of March”
6. “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
7. “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
8. “J. Edgar”
9. “Hugo”
10. “Moneyball”

Bubbling under: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2,” “The Iron Lady,” “Tree of Life,” “Albert Nobbs,” “Shame.”

Analysis: George Clooney’s full-scale charm offensive pushes “Ides” into the nominee circle. “Moneyball” whiffs with international journos still puzzled over why on-base-percentage is so important.

Lead actor, motion picture drama
1. George Clooney, “The Descendants”
2. Leonardo DiCaprio, “J. Edgar”
3. Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”
4. Ryan Gosling, “The Ides of March”
5. Michael Fassbender, “Shame”

Bubbling under: Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”; Daniel Craig, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”; Woody Harrelson, “Rampart”; Ralph Fiennes, “Coriolanus”; Martin Sheen, “The Way”
Analysis: Four movie stars and a German guy who soon will be one. It is possible, though, that Gosling wins his nomination for “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and Oldman or Craig sneaks in.

Lead actress, motion picture drama
1. Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
2. Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”
3. Viola Davis, “The Help”
4. Rooney Mara, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
5. Tilda Swinton, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

Bubbling under: Kirsten Dunst, “Melancholia”; Elizabeth Olsen, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”; Emma Stone, “The Help”; Keira Knightley, “A Dangerous Method”; Michelle Yeoh, “The Lady.”

Analysis: Wouldn’t be surprised if this one expands out to six (the foreign press group likes to do that) with Olsen and/or Dunst joining the party. Stone, a nominee last year for “Easy A,” remains a factor here and over in comedy for “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”


The Gold Standard: Oscar forecast

-- Glenn Whipp

Photo: Jeremy Irvine in "War Horse." Credit: Andrew Cooper/DreamWorks II