Gold Derby nuggets: Golden Globes lowdown | 'The Climb' falls out of Grammys race | 'Flight of the Conchords' grounded
• Justin Timberlake, John Krasinski and Diane Kruger are getting up extra early Tuesday morning to announce the Golden Globe nominations. They will join HFPA president Phillip Berk at the podium at 5:30 a.m. PST to read off nominees' names in 25 categories. As with the Jan. 17 kudocast, this nomination presentation takes place at the Beverly Hilton.
• In anticipation of Tuesday, Sasha Stone offers up her first round of predictions for the Golden Globe nominations. She thinks the best drama picture race will include: "Invictus," "The Hurt Locker," "Up in the Air," "Inglourious Basterds," "An Education" and one of "Precious," "Avatar" and "The Messenger." On the comedy/musical front, Sasha sees "Nine," "It’s Complicated," "Julie & Julia," "The Hangover" and "A Serious Man" making the cut. AWARDS DAILY
• Dave Karger looks at the best director race at the Golden Globes, noting that, "since the Globes have two Best Picture categories, most of the big Oscar contenders ('Up in the Air,' 'Precious,' 'The Hurt Locker,' 'Invictus,' 'Nine,' 'It’s Complicated,' etc.) should be recognized in that respect. So I’m actually more curious to see the HFPA’s much more exclusive list for Best Director, which will only have five slots. The foregone conclusions seem to be 'Up in the Air’s' Jason Reitman and 'Inglourious Basterds' ' Quentin Tarantino, while I’d imagine 'Precious' ' Lee Daniels and 'The Hurt Locker's' Kathryn Bigelow will earn their rightful places as well, even though they’re not marquee names like Reitman and Tarantino. As for the fifth spot, I’m thinking it’ll be Clint Eastwood for 'Invictus,' since, well, he’s Clint Eastwood." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
• And Rick Porter previews the Golden Globe TV nods. Surveying the field Rick says: "The mini-renaissance of TV comedy this year, on both broadcast and cable networks, could land several new shows in the best comedy series category when the nominations are announced Tuesday. In fact, it's not inconceivable to envision an all-new field in the category, made up of, say, 'Glee,' 'Modern Family,' 'Cougar Town,' 'Nurse Jackie' and 'United States of Tara.'" However, he adds, "OK, so that's probably also not very likely. It's hard to see last year's winner, '30 Rock,' getting overlooked, and probably at least one of the other 2008 nominees -- 'Californication,' 'Entourage,' 'The Office' and 'Weeds' -- will make the cut too ('The Big Bang Theory,' which has become a top-15 hit this year, could also be in the mix). But 'Glee' and 'Modern Family' feel like strong contenders, and either 'Jackie' or 'Tara' could take a spot too." ZAP2IT
• Oops, say the Grammys. Turns out the hit record "The Climb" -- sung by Miley Cyrus in "Hannah Montana: The Movie" -- was not penned for the film so it has been disqualified from that race at the recording industry's top kudos. In a statement, the academy said: "Walt Disney Records was proactive and forthcoming to our awards department and verified that the song was not written specifically for the film 'Hannah Montana: The Movie' (as eligibility rules state). Based on this information, the Academy has complied with the label's request. Per our process in this circumstance, the Academy has pulled up the next eligible song in this category." That moves "All Is Love" from "Where the Wild Things Are" into contention. That song was written by Karen O and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and performed by Karen O & the Kids. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are also contending for alternative music album with "It's Blitz."
• No big surprise that Billboard named Taylor Swift artist of the year. The teen singing sensation -- whose best pal Miley came in fifth while her nemesis Kanye West sat at sixth -- seems to have won every music award on offer this year. In selecting Swift as tops among the top 20, the magazine said: "She sold more albums than any artist not named Michael Jackson. Her first headlining tour, 'Fearless 2009,' sold out every show within minutes. She became the youngest woman to win the Country Music Assn.'s entertainer of the year award, and she set seemingly every chart record that exists. But most important, she proved herself a graceful, timeless celebrity, handling hosting duties on 'Saturday Night Live' and a rampaging Kanye West at the MTV Video Music Awards with equal aplomb." BILLBOARD
• Lane Brown's latest edition of Oscar Futures has "Avatar" and helmer James Cameron way up -- "screenings this week melt critics' brains, rendering them incapable of sticking to Fox's embargo or expressing themselves in nonsuperlatives" -- while "Nine" may no longer look like a 10 -- "Harvey should still be able to get the movie a nod, but Marshall's could be tricky" -- and "The Lovely Bones" may end up buried by mixed reviews. NEW YORK
• Anne Thompson and Jack Mathews debate the Oscar chances of "Precious." For Jack, "if the Academy hadn’t just doubled the number of Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10 this year, we wouldn’t be talking about ‘Precious’ as an Oscar contender now. In fact, if director Lee Daniels had cleaned up the language a bit and eliminated an unnecessary rape clip, 'Precious' might have found its natural home -- as a movie-of-the-week on TV -- and we’d be talking about its rightful fate of an Emmy winner." Rebuts Anne, "Yes, 10 slots make 'Precious' a sure nomination, but 'Precious' earned a spot on its merits as one of the best-reviewed movies of the year, ever since its launch at Sundance and galvanizing showings at the Cannes, Toronto, New York and London film fests." THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD
• One of the female-only journalist groups -- the Women Film Critics Circle -- has announced its top picks for pics this year. "Coco Before Chanel" and "My One and Only" were the "best movies about women" while "Julie and Julia" was the "best movie by a woman." Abbie Cornish ("Bright Star") was named best actress while Ben Foster ("The Messenger") was best actor and Gabby Sidibe ("Precious") won breakthrough performance. WFCC
• "Flight of the Conchords" is ending after just two seasons on HBO. Stars Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement along with co-creator and director James Bobin said in a statement: “We’ve noticed the less we say about the future of the show, the more people want to talk about it, so in an effort to reverse this trend we are today announcing that we won’t be returning for a 3rd season. We’re very proud of the two seasons we made and we like the way the show ended. We’d like to thank everyone who helped make the show and also everyone who watched it. While the characters Bret and Jemaine will no longer be around, the real Bret and Jemaine will continue to exist." The first two seasons of "Conchords" netted 10 Emmy nods but no wins. At the most recent Emmys, the show lost the best comedy series race to three-time victor "30 Rock" while Clement lost his best actor bid to that show's repeating champ Alec Baldwin. FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS
• David Ng delivers an in-depth analysis of the decision by the Tony Awards administrative committee to place both "Oleanna" and "After Miss Julie" in the revival category rather than have them contend as new plays. While "Oleanna" -- written by David Mamet in 1992 and performed widely since then though not on Broadway till now -- is arguably part of the "popular repertoire" and therefore not eligible for the new-play Tony, the same cannot be said of Patrick Marber's "After Miss Julie" which premiered in London in 2003 and only made its American debut when it was presented on the rialto earlier this season. CULTURE MONSTER
• The Palm Springs filmfest keeps adding boldfaced names to its Jan. 5 gala. Jason Reitman will be feted for his directing of "Up in the Air," Jeremy Renner gave the breakthrough performance in "The Hurt Locker" and T Bone Burnett is cited for his "Crazy Heart" score. PALM SPRINGS FILM FESTIVAL
• Not to be outdone, the Santa Barbara filmfest has named Julianne Moore ("A Single Man") as the recipient of the Montecito award, which is given in recognition of a series of classic and standout performances over a career. Previous honorees were Annette Bening (2005), Naomi Watts (2006), Javier Bardem (2007) and Kate Winslet last year. The press release cites Moore as "the quintessential actress, easily transitioning from light humor to heavy dramatic roles, expertly guiding us on each of her characters’ individual journeys." SANTA BARBARA FILM FESTIVAL
Photos: Golden Globes (NBC); "Hannah Montana: The Movie" soundtrack (Walt Disney Records); "The Flight of the Conchords" DVD (HBO)