November 11, 2006
Globe Comedy Thoughts

EDIT (5:28 PM EST): Tom O'Neil is reporting that Peter O'Toole is switching to the Drama race to avoid competition with Borat. This strikes me as an odd move. But O'Neil does get the inside buzz from within the HFPA so I've adjusted accordingly.

I always love that there’s a place where performances like Billy Bob Thornton's in "Bad Santa" can get some awards love. Whatever one thinks of the HFPA, they know how to put on a party. And I really doubt that party would be as good without the comedy nominees.

So I'll put out my thoughts on who I expect to be invited to said party.

"The Devil Wears Prada"
"Little Miss Sunshine"
"Stranger than Fiction"

“Borat” and “Little Miss Sunshine” are both locked for nods here. “Dreamgirls” is the sort of film they’ll eat up with a spoon. It’s bound to get a ridiculous number of HFPA nods.

Thereafter, things get tricky but with a likely Globe-winning performance and its big hit status, I’d wager “The Devil Wears Prada” makes it in.

“Stranger than Fiction” is very very iffy but it comes with more prestige than the average comedy and it’s the sort of clever thing the HFPA goes for even when AMPAS doesn’t.

Sasha Baron Cohen – "Borat"
Johnny Depp – "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest"
Aaron Eckhart – "Thank You for Smoking"
Will Ferrell – "Stranger than Fiction"
Jamie Foxx – "Dreamgirls"

With O'Toole apparently exiting this race, Cohen seems very likely to take the statuette. There’s also no way “Stranger than Fiction” can get a BP nod without Ferrell getting cited here. They love Depp and he’s in the year’s biggest hit. And, as I said above, “Dreamgirls” will likely be something the HFPA will lose their shit over, despite Foxx not really having a baity role.

I've gone with Aaron Eckhart in the last slot over two other thespians whose campaigns depend on Fox Searchlight, Greg Kinnear and Richard Griffiths. A nod for Ewan McGregor would not shock me, though, given the HFPA's love for the Weinsteins.

And does anyone else think Steve Carrell might be classified as lead here?

Annette Bening – "Running with Scissors"
Jennifer Hudson – "Dreamgirls"
Beyoncé Knowles – "Dreamgirls"
Meryl Streep – "The Devil Wears Prada"
Renée Zellweger – "Miss Potter"

Streep is obviously a lock and we know the Globes love both Zellweger and the Weinsteins. Bening ought to make it in as well, critically maligned film or not.

The trouble after these three becomes the issue of where the women from “Dreamgirls” end up being categorized. But I’m betting they won’t say no to a superstar like Knowles (who will surely be lead) while also deeming Hudson, in the more awards-friendly role, to be a leading player as well.

Yet one could make cases for Toni Collette and/or Abigail Breslin being classified lead by the HFPA and scoring here.

The women from “The Holiday” are also possibilities. The film looks awful but that doesn’t always matter with awards bodies, especially for the HFPA when have big stars are involved.


With very good reviews from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, along with the box office potential, I think Happy Feet is a strong contender.

We'll see how that ultimately pans out. But it is possible as the film could be huge.

Actually, I was wrong in my note in that "Happy Feet" post. The HFPA has a new animated film category this year, so "Happy Feet" won't be nomianted for best picture comedy/musical. And therefore, gone are the days when brilliant animated films received Best Pic nods from HFPA.

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