Oscar File: Your Very Own Golden Globe Guide

Borat and Jennifer Hudson have high hopes, we predict.

It’s all about the green most days in Hollywood, but it’ll be all about the gold come Monday night, when the 64th annual Golden Globes are handed out. You’ll see Borat rubbing shoulders with Beyoncé, Leo taking on Leo, and Marty duking it out with Clint. Such is the spectacle that is the Globes.

So now that you’ve seen all the flicks — well, at least a few of them — and staked out your spot on the couch, all you need is your very own cheat sheet. That’s what we’re here for — to provide you with a guide to the top categories at the Globes (see “Beyonce, ‘Borat’ And ‘Babel’ Lead Golden Globes Nominees” ).

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Which films are up for it?

· “Babel”

· “Bobby”

· “The Departed”

· “Little Children”

· “The Queen”

Which is the favorite?

Conventional wisdom says to go with the film with the most nominations: “Babel.” But this is the Golden Globes, and unlike Mr. Oscar, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association actually gives awards to Martin Scorsese (see “Gangs of New York”). Bet on the tough guys of “The Departed” walking away with this one.

Which is the dark horse?

Then again, Scorsese’s crime flick hasn’t hauled off a ton of prestigious critics’ prizes for best picture (apologies to the Florida Film Critics Circle). Also, we’ve been watching the awards game long enough to know to never underestimate the power of Harvey Weinstein. “Bobby” is getting a big promotional push from the man who made “Chocolat” an Oscar contender, so it’s not impossible for the ensemble drama to pull an upset.

Which should win?

“Little Children” is haunting. “Babel” is shattering. “The Queen” has the performance of the year. And “Bobby” has Ashton Kutcher and Anthony Hopkins in the same movie! But our gritty, bloodthirsty heart loves “The Departed” most of all.

Best Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical

Which films are up for it?

· “Borat”

· “The Devil Wears Prada”

· “Dreamgirls”

· “Little Miss Sunshine”

· “Thank You for Smoking”

Which is the favorite?

From the moment the film was green-lit, it had the pedigree: the material, the cast, the director. It just feels right. Shine the spotlight on “Dreamgirls” — it’s the one to beat.

Which is the dark horse?

From the darling of Sundance a year ago to its recent release on DVD, no film has had the buzz that “Little Miss Sunshine” has had month after month. It’s the crowd-pleaser for dysfunctional families — and aren’t we all a little dysfunctional anyway?

Which should win?

Nothing would please our anarchic spirit more than to see “Borat” take the gold here. It was the comic event of 2006 bar none.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Who is up for it?

· Leonardo DiCaprio, “Blood Diamond”

· Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Departed”

· Forest Whitaker, “The Last King of Scotland”

· Peter O’Toole, “Venus”

· Will Smith, “The Pursuit of Happyness”

Who is the favorite?

Forest Whitaker has won most of the biggest critics’ prizes for months for his portrayal of Idi Amin. The timing just feels right for this veteran, who’s always been solid.

Who is the dark horse?

Remember, this is the HFPA, and no movie star is bigger overseas than Will Smith. Don’t be surprised if his touching performance in “The Pursuit of Happyness” jump-starts his Oscar campaign.

Who should win?

These are five great performances by four accomplished actors, but if you love movies, then you want to see Peter O’Toole take the stage one more time.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

Who is up for it?

· Penélope Cruz, “Volver”

· Judi Dench, “Notes on a Scandal”

· Maggie Gyllenhaal, “Sherrybaby”

· Helen Mirren, “The Queen”

· Kate Winslet, “Little Children”

Who is the favorite?

The oh-so-appropriate word might be “coronation.” Helen Mirren is indeed “The Queen” come Monday.

Who is the dark horse?

Penélope Cruz. She (and her castmates) won an acting prize in Cannes and she’s an international star, plus the Foreign Press love to award the most photogenic celebrities.

Who should win?

All hail the queen. Helen Mirren has been so good for so long, and she merits time in the spotlight for this. How do you make an audience forget you’re watching a performance of one of the world’s most famous people? She did it.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical

Who is up for it?

· Sacha Baron Cohen, “Borat”

· Johnny Depp, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”

· Aaron Eckhart, “Thank You for Smoking”

· Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Kinky Boots”

· Will Ferrell, “Stranger Than Fiction”

Who is the favorite?

This is why we love the Globes: Sacha Baron Cohen is actually the favorite to win this! The only question is whether he accepts in character or not. We’re guessing the latter.

Who is the dark horse?

The Globes love Johnny Depp (this is his seventh nomination). The performance was a lot more innovative the first time around, but it’s possible they’ll finally award him his first prize. Not likely, but possible.

Who should win?

We loved Eckhart’s sharp turn as a sly merchant of death, but no one can touch the comic creation that was Borat. Peter Sellers would be proud.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical

Who is up for it?

· Annette Bening, “Running With Scissors”

· Beyoncé Knowles, “Dreamgirls”

· Meryl Streep, “The Devil Wears Prada”

· Renée Zellweger, “Miss Potter”

· Toni Collette, “Little Miss Sunshine”

Who is the favorite?

Twenty one Golden Globe nominations in her career. A performance that elevated a chick flick to a whole other level. Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Meryl Streep.

Who is the dark horse?

It’s an odd category. Streep may be the only one to make it to the Oscar ceremony. But wouldn’t a Beyoncé surprise grab a few headlines? Don’t put it past the HFPA.

Who should win?

Not even close. Meryl owned her role. As her character might say, “That’s all.”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Who is up for it?

· Ben Affleck, “Hollywoodland”

· Eddie Murphy, “Dreamgirls”

· Jack Nicholson, “The Departed”

· Brad Pitt, “Babel”

· Mark Wahlberg, “The Departed”

Who is the favorite?

With two potential Oscar contenders not even in the running (Jackie Earle Haley and Michael Sheen), this is one of the toughest categories to call. The revelatory dramatic turn by Eddie Murphy looks to be the beneficiary.

Who is the dark horse?

Virtually anyone can win this one — all right, maybe not Mark Wahlberg — so take your pick. If we were feeling lucky, we’d place a few bucks on Brad Pitt’s grim turn in “Babel.”

Who should win?

The one guy we just said doesn’t have a shot — the artist formerly known as Marky Mark. Make fun of “Planet of the Apes” as much as you like, Wahlberg stole more scenes in “The Departed” than Nicholson!

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Who is up for it?

· Adriana Barraza, “Babel”

· Cate Blanchett, “Notes on a Scandal”

· Emily Blunt, “The Devil Wears Prada”

· Jennifer Hudson, “Dreamgirls”

· Rinko Kikuchi, “Babel”

Who is the favorite?

Who needs “American Idol”?: Jennifer Hudson is an honest-to-goodness movie star. Hopefully she’s got a large mantle, because her stash of awards is just going to grow and grow.

Who is the dark horse?

With two spots taken up by virtual unknowns — Adriana who? Rinko what? — it’s hard to imagine anyone stealing Hudson’s moment. Cate Blanchett? We’re struggling here.

Who should win?

Count us among those who were cheering Hudson’s showstopper in “Dreamgirls.” It’s the scene of the year and star-making performance of the season.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Borat,” “Dreamgirls” and “The Departed.”

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