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No clear frontrunner for 2015 Golden Globes

By: - Columnist
/ 12:02 AM January 11, 2015
 THIS may be the final year for Tina Fey (left) and Amy Poehler as hosts of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual party.

THIS may be the final year for Tina Fey (left) and Amy Poehler as hosts of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual party.

LOS ANGELES—Will Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton win their first Golden Globes? Will Julianne Moore and Emily Blunt snag their second? Will Meryl Streep win her ninth? These are among the exciting questions that will be answered when the 72nd Golden Globe Awards goes underway at the Beverly Hilton Sunday evening (Monday morning, Manila time).

In an awards season where there are no clear front-runners, the Golden Globe Awards, regarded as Hollywood’s party of the year, will be anything but predictable. Millions of viewers around the world are expected to watch the televised show hosted again by the winning pair, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. This may be the final year for Fey and Poehler as hosts of the annual event in which the Hollywood Foreign Press Association honors excellence in film and television.

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At press time, presenters in the star-studded show already include Streep, Jennifer Aniston, Bryan Cranston, Harrison Ford, Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Lupita Nyong’o, Kerry Washington, Robert Downey Jr., Ricky Gervais, Kevin Hart, Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Strong male performances

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Will Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood,” intermittently shot for 12 years, triumph as Best Picture-Drama? Or will James Marsh’s “The Theory of Everything,” featuring a brilliant Redmayne as genius theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, triumph over “Boyhood,” “The Imitation Game,” “Foxcatcher” and “Selma”?

In a year of strong male performances, Redmayne faces stiff competition in the Best Actor-Drama derby: Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game”), Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher”), Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler”) and David Oyelowo (“Selma”).

Actress-Drama race

Awards prognosticators predict Moore’s Best Actress-Drama victory for her portrayal of a woman with Alzheimer’s disease in “Still Alice.” But Jennifer Aniston, who also essayed a debilitating condition, chronic back pain, in “Cake” may pull a coup over Moore, Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”), Reese Witherspoon (“Wild”) and Felicity Jones (“Theory…”).

In the Best Picture-Comedy or Musical race, Alejandro G. Iñarritu’s “Birdman” has tough challengers in Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Rob Marshall’s “Into the Woods,” Matthew Warchus’ “Pride” and Theodore Melfi’s “St. Vincent.”

Will Michael Keaton, superb as a has-been actor who once played a superhero, win Best Actor-Comedy or Musical honors to make “Birdman” soar? Standing in Keaton’s way are Ralph Fiennes (“Grand Budapest…”), Bill Murray (“St. Vincent”), Joaquin Phoenix (“Inherent Vice”) and Christoph Waltz (“Big Eyes”).

Double nominees

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Emily Blunt, as the Baker’s Wife in “Into the Woods,” may block Moore’s chances of bagging a second best actress trophy, this time in the Comedy or Musical category. Moore is in the running for “Maps to the Stars,” along with Amy Adams (“Big Eyes”), Helen Mirren (“The Hundred-Foot Journey”) and Quvenzhané Wallis (“Annie”).

Two other double nominees are Bill Murray and Mark Ruffalo.

Meryl Streep, most nominated performer in Globes history (29 nods), stands to gain a ninth trophy for her bewitching performance in “Into the Woods.” Streep’s fellow Best Supporting Actress nominees are Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”), Emma Stone (“Birdman”), Keira Knightley “(Imitation…”) and Jessica Chastain (“A Most Violent Year”).

J.K. Simmons, as a “terror” college jazz band instructor in “Whiplash,” may win his first Golden Globe on his first time to be nominated. But he faces formidable competition in the Best Supporting Actor field: Mark Ruffalo (“Foxcatcher”), Edward Norton (“Birdman”), Robert Duvall (“The Judge”) and Ethan Hawke (“Boyhood”).

The Best Director category is a wide open race: Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”), Alejandro G. Iñarritu (“Birdman”), Wes Anderson (“Grand Budapest…”), David Fincher (“Gone Girl”) and Ava DuVernay (“Selma”). Win or lose, DuVernay already made history as the first black woman to earn a Globe Best Director nod.

Will Poland and Denmark’s “Ida” continue its winning streak and bag the Best Foreign Film trophy? Its rivals are Estonia’s “Tangerines (Mandariinid),” a surprise contender, a simple yet very effective depiction of the absurdity of war; Sweden’s “Force Majeure (Turist),” Russia’s “Leviathan” and Israel’s “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem”

In a rare year with no entry from Pixar, the Best Animated Film competition field is also wide open: “Big Hero 6,” “The Book of Life,” “The Boxtrolls,” “How to Train Your Dragon 2” and “The Lego Movie.”

TV categories

In the TV categories, if former Golden Globe show host Ricky Gervais wins the Best Actor-Comedy or Musical Series award for “Derek” and Fey and Poehler are onstage when he accepts his trophy, it will be one of the evening’s highlights. Gervais is up against Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”), Louis C.K. (“Louie”), Don Cheadle (“House of Lies”) and William H. Macy (“Shameless”).

In that category’s actress field, will first-time nominee Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”) or Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”), who’s been nominated for three consecutive years but never won, beat Lena

Dunham (“Girls”), Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie”) and Taylor Schilling (“Orange is the New Black”)?

Duking it out for Best TV Series-Comedy or Musical are “Transparent,” “Jane the Virgin,” “Silicon Valley,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “Girls.”

In the Best TV Series-Drama competition, will the critically acclaimed newcomer “The Affair” steal the thunder from “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Good Wife” and “House of Cards”?

Will “The Affair’s” Ruth Wilson, in her second nomination (first was for 2006’s “Jane Eyre”), win over Globe “veterans” Claire Danes (“Homeland”), Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”), Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder”) and Robin Wright (“House of Cards”) for the Best Actress-Drama Series award?

Wilson’s costar, Dominic West, is in the running for Best Actor-Drama Series award against James Spader (“The Blacklist”), Clive Owen (“The Knick”), Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”) and Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”).

In the Best Mini-Series or Movie Made for TV Award, Starz’s “The Missing” and FX’s “Fargo” are pitted against three from HBO: “The Normal Heart,” “Olive Kitteridge” and “True Detective.”

Two performers from the same shows, Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey (“True Detective”) and Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman (“Fargo”) are competing for the Best Actor, Mini-Series or Movie Made for TV award. Will Mark Ruffalo (“Normal Heart”) benefit from those four actors canceling each other out and win?

Two named Frances

Two thespians named Frances—McDormand (“Olive Kitteridge”) and O’Connor (“The Missing”)—are vying for the Best Actress, Mini-Series or Movie Made for TV prize, along with Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Honorable Woman”), Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story: Freak Show”) and Allison Tolman (“Fargo”).

First-time Globe nominees

Uzo Aduba (“Orange Is…”), Joanne Froggatt (“Downton Abbey”) and Michelle Monaghan (“True Detective”) are up against Kathy Bates (“American Horror…”) and Allison Janney (“Mom”) in the Best Supporting Actress-Series, Mini-Series or Movie Made for TV race.

In the actor equivalent of the category, the contenders are Matt Bomer (“Normal Heart”), Bill Murray (“Olive Kitteridge”), Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”), Jon Voight (“Ray Donovan”) and Colin Hanks (“Fargo”).

(Email the columnist at [email protected] Follow him at http://twitter.com/nepalesruben.)

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