-- Arthur J Pais
While Return Of The King could walk out with significant Golden Globes, some of the smaller films won't go home empty-handed. Expect Mystic River and Lost In Translation to get a few Globes.
The Golden Globes will be given on January 25, just a couple days before the Oscar nominations will be announced.
Here are our predictions in the major categories. In recent years, the Globes have acquired the visibility and clout next only to the Oscars.
Best Picture (Drama)
The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King
Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World
Prediction: The Lord of the Rings: The Return Of The King.
Not only a superbly crafted film with strong content, it is also a huge success, having grossed about $800 million (and counting). The law of diminishing returns that has affected series like The Godfather or the Matrix movies just did not touch this film. If the Globe voters decide to honour a 'smaller' film, there is no doubt Mystic River will be the winner.
Best Picture (Comedy/Musical)
Bend It Like Beckham
Lost In Translation
Prediction: Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo has grossed about $800 million (and still counting) worldwide, surprised many critics as it was far more inventive and sweet than expected. But if voters want to honour a quirky film, it would be the bittersweet comedy, Lost In Translation.
Sofia Coppola, Lost In Translation
Clint Eastwood, Mystic River
Peter Jackson, The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King
Anthony Minghella, Cold Mountain
Peter Weir, Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World
Prediction: Peter Jackson
For the awesome will power and tenacity in not only making a memorable trilogy but also bringing it to a superb conclusion.
Best Actress (Drama)
Cate Blanchett, Veronica Guerin
Nicole Kidman, Cold Mountain
Scarlett Johansson, Girl With A Pearl Earring
Charlize Theron, Monster
Uma Thurman, Kill Bill: Volume 1
Evan Rachel Wood, Thirteen
Prediction: Charlize Theron
The Monster, a film about a real life female serial killer, is too gritty and cold and not too many viewers will be able to endure it. For those who have stronger stomachs and patience, the best reward would be Charlize Theron who gives a breakout and startlingly well-etched performance.
Best Actor (Drama)
Russell Crowe, Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World
Tom Cruise, The Last Samurai
Ben Kingsley, House Of Sand And Fog
Jude Law, Cold Mountain
Sean Penn, Mystic River
Prediction: Sean Penn
Some may argue that Sean Penn is far more effective in 21 Grams, but the more appealing Mystic River got him a nomination. And the mercurial star is going to take home the Golden Globe for his soulful performance as a bereaved father who still cannot get past his anger and rage.
Best Actress (Comedy)
Jamie Lee Curtis, Freaky Friday
Scarlett Johansson, Lost In Translation
Diane Keaton, Something's Gotta Give
Diane Lane, Under the Tuscan Sun
Helen Mirren, Calendar Girls
Prediction: Scarlett Johansson
Johansson came from nowhere to give a luminous performance as a neglected wife who is about to fall for an older and washed out actor. Voters would also remember her excellent work as a servant who inspired a master painter in Girl with A Pearl Earring, which opened in a limited number of theatres in December and is slowly expanding its run.
Best Actor (Comedy)
Jack Black, The School Of Rock
Johnny Depp, Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl
Bill Murray, Lost Iin Translation
Jack Nicholson, Something's Gotta Give
Billy Bob Thornton, Bad Santa
Prediction: Bill Murray
He has been around for more than two decades and has acted in hugely popular films. But not many considered him award-worthy. Now, he has given an understated performance in a very small film. So powerful is his rueful face that it lights up the screen.
Best Foreign Language Film
The Barbarian Invasions (Canada) Good Bye, Lenin (Germany) Monsieur Ibrahim (France) Osama (Afghanistan) The Return (Russia)
Prediction: The Return
A suspenseful and psychological drama about a tragedy arising from a trip that an estranged father takes with his two sons, The Return has been a major hit at many prestigious film festivals.