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Going for the gold at the Globes

Black Swan

Black Swan Photo Credit: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Ready to lose some money?

Just enter that office pool for the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards. Bestowed by the enigmatic Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Globes are among the movie industry's least-predictable awards. Unlike the Oscars, the Globes have separate categories for dramas and comedies/musicals, which may have less to do with taxonomy and more to do with nominating as many stars as possible. The Globes also hand out statues somewhat liberally: They like to crown one director for best picture but another for best director, and seem fond of little-loved films like the Colin Farrell comedy "In Bruges."

The Globes aren't really accurate predictors of the Oscars, but it's still fun to play the game. If "The King's Speech" wins the Globe for best dramatic picture, could it edge out "The Social Network" for the Oscar? Will a best actress Globe for Natalie Portman lead to her first Academy Award? Could anything stop Christian Bale from winning a supporting actor Oscar for "The Fighter"?

Check your picks against the list below when the Golden Globe Awards are broadcast live Sunday at 8 p.m. on NBC.



NOMINEES "Black Swan," "The Fighter," "Inception," "The King's Speech," "The Social Network"

WHO SHOULD WIN Christopher Nolan's dream-in-a-dream thriller "Inception" takes the cake for sheer ambition and visual virtuosity. The only problem: Nobody understood it.

WHO WILL WIN Oddsmakers are heavily favoring "The Social Network," but here's a contrarian view: The crowd-pleasing period piece "The King's Speech" will take the award.


Comedy or musical

NOMINEES "Alice in Wonderland," "Burlesque," "The Kids Are All Right," "Red," "The Tourist"

WHO SHOULD WIN "The Kids Are All Right," a nuanced dramedy that's head and shoulders above the competition.

WHO WILL WIN "The Kids Are All Right." When there's a clear winner in this jumbled category, it often (though not always!) gets its due.



NOMINEES Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan"), David Fincher ("The Social Network"), Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech"), Christopher Nolan ("Inception"), David O. Russell ("The Fighter")


WHO WILL WIN This statue doesn't always go to the director of the best dramatic picture. No matter which movie wins the top award, Fincher seems the obvious choice.


Actor - drama

NOMINEES Jesse Eisenberg ("The Social Network"), Colin Firth ("The King's Speech"), James Franco ("127 Hours"), Ryan Gosling ("Blue Valentine"), Mark Wahlberg ("The Fighter")

WHO SHOULD WIN Eisenberg, perfect as a vengeful computer geek who creates Facebook to rule the ruling classes. It is, and may forever be, his role of a lifetime.

WHO WILL WIN Firth, for his sensitive portrayal of a stuttering British king. The dark horse could be James Franco by a nose (or an arm).


Actress - drama

NOMINEES Halle Berry ("Frankie and Alice"), Nicole Kidman ("Rabbit Hole"), Jennifer Lawrence ("Winter's Bone"), Natalie Portman ("Black Swan"), Michelle Williams ("Blue Valentine")

WHO SHOULD WIN Jennifer Lawrence. She's so convincing as a hard-bitten Ozarks girl that you'd swear the casting scout found her in the woods.

WHO WILL WIN Let's see, who is this minute's highest-profile star? Probably Portman, slated to appear in a slew of movies this year.


Actor - comedy or musical

NOMINEES Johnny Depp ("Alice in Wonderland"), Johnny Depp ("The Tourist"), Paul Giamatti ("Barney's Version"), Jake Gyllenhaal ("Love and Other Drugs"), Kevin Spacey ("Casino Jack")

WHO SHOULD WIN Giamatti, terrific as a philandering husband in this freewheeling but heartbreaking comedy-drama.

WHO WILL WIN This category is often won by big, broad, buzzed-about performances - think Robert Downey Jr. in "Sherlock Holmes" or Joaquin Phoenix in "Walk the Line." That makes Depp, as the Mad Hatter in "Alice," the front-runner.


Actress - comedy or musical

NOMINEES Annette Bening ("The Kids Are All Right"), Anne Hathaway ("Love and Other Drugs"), Angelina Jolie ("The Tourist"), Julianne Moore ("The Kids Are All Right"), Emma Stone ("Easy A")

WHO SHOULD WIN Bening, as a tough but vulnerable lesbian mother. Her only real competition is her terrific co-star, Moore.



Supporting actor

NOMINEES Christian Bale ("The Fighter"), Michael Douglas ("Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"), Andrew Garfield ("The Social Network"), Jeremy Renner ("The Town"), Geoffrey Rush ("The King's Speech"

WHO SHOULD WIN Bale, who as a recovering crack addict gives "The Fighter" its humor and heart.

WHO WILL WIN Bale, also a lock for the supporting actor Oscar.


Supporting actress

NOMINEES Amy Adams ("The Fighter"), Helena Bonham Carter ("The King's Speech"), Mila Kunis ("Black Swan"), Melissa Leo ("The Fighter"), Jacki Weaver ("Animal Kingdom")

WHO SHOULD WIN Helena Bonham Carter, in a welcome return to "real" acting after years of cartoony roles in the "Harry Potter" films and other goth-fantasies.

WHO WILL WIN Bonham Carter.


Animated feature

NOMINEES "Despicable Me," "How To Train Your Dragon," "The Illusionist," "Tangled," "Toy Story 3"

WHO SHOULD WIN "Toy Story 3," yet another Disney-Pixar effort that was better than most live-action films released its same year.

WHO WILL WIN "Toy Story 3."

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