So the biggest surprise at last night’s Golden Globes was that there weren’t really any surprises. Awards were given, champagne was drunk in copious amounts and Robert Downey Jr. proved once and for all that he is a complete bad-ass (seriously, did you see his speech? If not, watch below.)
The Globes are great because they give a pretty good indication of what we can expect to see at the Oscars. Here are the storylines that got a little bit clearer after last night’s fairly tepid telecast.
The Dude vs. Danny Ocean:
Top Oscar prognosticators have been saying since November that the race for Best Actor was going to come down to a battle between Jeff Bridges and George Clooney. Bridges, a four-time nominee, has been receiving rave reviews for his turn as broken-down country singer Bad Blake in "Crazy Heart" and it definitely feels like the long-time Hollywood favorite is due for a win. And while Clooney gives the best performance of his career in "Up In the Air," having already won an Oscar for his work in "Syriana" probably hurts his chances. Bridges’ win last night and the long standing ovation he got once he reached the stage for his acceptance speech makes this definitely feel like Bridges’ year. Expect him to be the heavy favorite going into the March 7th award show.
Will Meryl "T-Bone" Streep grab her Third Oscar?
Not so fast. Sandra Bullock’s win for her turn as Leigh Anne Touhy in "The Blind Side" makes her a very strong contender. Bullock’s work is the kind of crowd-pleasing performance Oscar has rewarded before (Julia Roberts in "Erin Brockovich"). And "The Blind Side’s" big box office doesn’t hurt either. Meryl Streep is beloved and her performance as Julia Child in "Julie and Julia" has garnered her plenty of awards already, but having won two Oscars previously, the never-nominated Bullock may have a slight edge.
"What does a tiger dream of, when he takes a little tiger nap?" Maybe a Best Picture Nomination
Thanks to its surprise win for Best Musical or Comedy, "The Hangover" might just have secured itself a position as one of Oscar’s 10 contenders for Best Picture. By increasing the Best Picture nominations from five to 10, the Academy definitely made room for some surprising picks and Todd Phillips’ raunchy comedy would certainly be the first movie to involve roofies, tigers, Mike Tyson, a lost baby, a grandmother’s holocaust ring and Zack Galifianakis to be nominated for best picture. Sure, it doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning, but a nomination would be a victory in itself for such an unlikely contender.
Can anything stop "Avatar"?
It doesn’t look like it. Its detractors may still think of "Avatar" as "Dances with Smurfs," but it looks like James Cameron has another big-time award winner on his hands. Thanks to another massive box office haul over the holiday weekend, "Avatar" looks set to cruise past "Titanic’s" record-breaking $600 million domestic gross. And not only did Cameron’s sci-fi opus take home Best Picture Drama last night, but Cameron also beat out a strong favorite in ex-wife Katherine Bigelow and dark horse Jason Reitman (who did not look pleased) for Best Director. "Avatar’s" two big wins have to make it the presumptive choice for Best Picture come Oscar time and certainly hurt Bigelow’s chances at being the first female director to be honored with an Academy Award.
Can Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin outdo Ricky Gervais as co-hosts?
God I hope so. Gervais was pretty terrible (besides one killer Mel Gibson joke). Here’s hoping the dynamic duo can give the always-long Oscars a comedic punch that makes things seem to go by just a bit quicker.