By CAINE GARDNER
The Hollywood awards season will kick off this Sunday when the Golden Globes are announced. Looser than the Oscars, with actors sharing drinks and laughs, but one thing is for certain; when it comes to the Golden Globes, expect the unexpected.
Long thought of as a predictor of the Oscars, many times in recent years that hasn't been the case. Last season, Dream Girls made a strong statement at the Globes and was virtually shut out at the Oscars. This year the field is as wide open as ever and there are sure to be some surprises as the night unfolds.
Will we see Brad Pitt walk away with his first leading Globe award, could Kate Winslet come away with two awards on the night or could we see Danny Boyle and David Fincher duke it out for Best Director?
Here are my thoughts on who will win and who we be on the outside looking in at this year's Golden Globe ceremony.
2009 Golden Globe Predictions
Best Actress -- Drama
Anne Hathaway -- Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie -- Changeling
Meryl Streep -- Doubt
Kristen Scott Thomas -- I've Loved You So Long
Kate Winslet -- Revolutionary Road
Winner: Anne Hathaway has found a role that will garner some much deserving hardware. Hathaway shows venerability and edge that is well beyond her years.
Best Actor -- Drama
Leonardo Dicaprio -- Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella -- Nixon/Frost
Sean Penn -- Milk
Brad Pitt -- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke -- The Wrestler
Winner: Brad Pitt will finally be rewarded for an emotionally moving performance. Pitt has been overlooked for some quality performances in the past, but 2009 should be his year.
Best Picture -- Drama
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Winner: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. This was a tossup, with Button and Millionaire battling to the finish. The epic feel of Button is what ultimately made the difference.
Best Actress -- Comedy/Musical
Rebecca Hall -- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Sally Hawkins -- Happy-Go-Lucky
Frances McDormand -- Burn After Reading
Meryl Streep --Mamma Mia!
Emma Thompson -- Last Chance Harvey
Winner: Meryl Streep can't be nominated twice and walk away empty handled. Not a performance that knocks your socks off, but the Globes love Streep and this year should be no exception.
Best Actor -- Comedy/Musical
Javier Bardem -- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Colin Farrell -- In Bruges
James Franco -- Pineapple Express
Brendan Gleeson -- In Bruges
Dustin Hoffman -- Last Chance Harvey
Winner: James Franco will outlast Dustin Hoffman to take the award. Wonderful performances from Farrell and Gleeson will nullify each other and Bardem dominated the awards last season, so it will be between Hoffman and Franco.
Best Picture -- Comedy/Musical
Burn After Reading
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Winner: Mamma Mia! will have its praises sung by the HFPA, despite a crooning of Pierce Brosnan. Barcelona could give Mamma Mia! a run for its money, but there seems to be much love for Streep and the flick. On a personal note, Burn After Reading should not have been nominated in this or any other categories. With the Coen Brothers name on the cover, it must be good right? I'm still begging for the time I lost watching it.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams -- Doubt
Penelope Cruz -- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis -- Doubt
Marisa Tomei -- The Wrestler
Kate Winslet -- The Reader
Winner: Kate Winslet is another double nominee, but this is the performance everyone is buzzing about. She quickly moved to the top of critics lists after delivering a powerful performance and should have a Golden glow when the evening is over.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Tom Cruise -- Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey Jr. -- Tropic Thunder
Ralph Fiennes -- The Duchess
Philip Seymour Hoffman -- Doubt
Heath Ledger -- The Dark Knight
Winner: Heath Ledger. I said it from the moment I viewed The Dark Knight and I will say it again, this performance is the real deal. Not a product of hype or the reaction to tragedy, Ledger gives us the most deliciously decadent performance ever put on the screen.
Best Animated Feature
Kung Fu Panda
Winner: Wall*E is taking the top spots on many critics list and I think it could just as easily be put in the Best Picture category and left off Best Animated. At times you forget your watching a computer generated robot and the emotional moments in the film are some of the most powerful of any offering out there.
Best Foreign Language Film
The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
Everlasting Moments (Sweden, Denmark)
I've Loved You So Long (France)
Waltz With Bashir (Isreal)
Winner: Gomorrah was chosen as my winner my simple process of elimination. Eni-meni-minni-mo.
Danny Boyle -- Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry -- The Reader
David Fincher -- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard -- Frost/Nixon
Sam Mendes -- Revolutionary Road
Winner: David Fincher will walk away with the trophy for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but I'm not certain that will mean a strong showing at the Oscars. Beautifully shot with dazzling special effects, Button has it all -- interesting story, great performances and the only movies that seems tailor-made for award season.
Final Cut: While there are a myriad of strong performances and movies that touched us this year, the Globes and subsequent Oscar races are wide open, which will result in some interesting selections. There will be a little over a month between the two awards shows, so get up, get out and get down with some quality flicks.
Tune in to the Golden Globes this Sunday at 8 p.m. on NBC.