For the past several weeks, juries and critic groups that basically no one beside Hollywood insiders and awards-season prognosticators know anything about have been doling out accolades. On Tuesday morning, the mainstream arm of awards season begins when the Golden Globe nominations are announced.
What films are likely to be recognized? Which performances are the ones that will be remembered? MTV News took a look back at the year in movies and came up with our picks for the actors, actresses and their films that are most likely to be selected for the big show.
Best Motion Picture, Drama
If you haven't heard about the Jason Reitman-directed, George Clooney-starring "Up in the Air," start preparing now. The film has been critically lauded since its debut at the Telluride Film Festival in the fall. It's a lock for this category, and might even be the favorite to win. The harrowing urban drama "Precious" is another film that's been garnering serious critical buzz, this one ever since bowing at Sundance in January. Expect "Precious" to get the nod. Ditto to Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds," the director's highest-grossing film ever.
Based on the buzz following pre-opening screenings, "Avatar" seems well-positioned for a Globe nom. Cameron's 3-D sci-fi flick will compete with Iraq War drama "The Hurt Locker" (which has been topping many critics' lists) and the Nelson Mandela-focused "Invictus" for the remaining spots. Other possibilities include "The Lovely Bones," "The Messenger," "An Education" and "A Single Man."
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
It's a story about what happens when you have a little too much fun in Vegas; it also made almost $280 million at the box office. "The Hangover" should now get some Globe love. And when you have Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Penélope Cruz and Judi Dench in a movie together, you can be sure the Globes will pay attention — so consider the period musical "Nine" a lock.
The Globes have their own animated feature category, so you won't see "Up" get a top picture nod (though it certainly deserves it). Instead, watch out for Meryl Streep's "It's Complicated." Look out, as well, for awards-season darlings the Coen brothers and their film "A Serious Man." What else could we see? "(500) Days of Summer," "The Proposal" or, if the Hollywood Foreign Press is feeling especially adventurous, "Zombieland."
Best Actor, Drama
Clooney's a no-brainer, as is "Invictus" star Morgan Freeman. That leaves Viggo Mortensen in the long-delayed post-apocalyptic father/son tale "The Road"; Colin Firth in Tom Ford's "A Single Man"; Jeremy Renner in "The Hurt Locker"; and Jeff Bridges as a washed-up country singer in "Crazy Heart." These gentlemen might be the front-runners, but don't count out Woody Harrelson ("Messenger") or Sam Rockwell ("Moon").
Best Actress, Drama
The names of both "Precious" newcomer Gabourey Sidibe and Carey Mulligan ("An Education") are certain to be called on Tuesday. Other picks could include Saoirse Ronan ("The Lovely Bones"), Emily Blunt ("The Young Victoria"), Sandra Bullock ("The Blind Side") and Abbie Cornish ("Bright Star"). A long but deserving shot is Alison Lohman in the inventive horror flick "Drag Me to Hell."
Best Actress, Musical or Comedy
Since awards shows are essentially forbidden from not recognizing Streep, and because she makes lovely turns in "Julie & Julia" and "Complicated," the venerable actress should get one nod, if not two. Depending on what happens in the Drama category, Bullock could receive a nomination for "The Proposal," while Marion Cotillard will certainly get one for "Nine." Zooey Deschanel, (" Days of Summer") should also make the cut.
Best Actor, Musical or Comedy
Write it down now: Day-Lewis and Michael Stuhlbarg ("Serious Man"). Where do we go from there? Joseph Gordon-Levitt (" Days of Summer") could get some Globe attention, as could Bradley Cooper ("Hangover"), Robert Downey Jr. ("Sherlock Holmes") and Matt Damon ("The Informant!"). Other possibilities are Sacha Baron Cohen ("Brüno") and, in a long shot, Patton Oswalt ("Big Fan").
The 67th annual Golden Globe Awards air January 17 on NBC at 8 pm. MTV News will bring you all the news, fashion and fun straight from the red carpet, with exclusive photos, interviews, live blogs and more!