Things we learned at the Golden Globes: Carey Mulligan ("An Education") and Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious") probably don't need to prepare an acceptance speech on Oscar night. Woody Harrelson ("The Messenger") didn't upset Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds"), so odds are decreasing that an upset can happen in that category. Oh, yeah, and "Avatar" won best picture.
Admit it. You wondered if "Avatar" would triumph after "The Hurt Locker" won two days ago at the Critics Choice Awards. It's one thing that "The Hurt Locker" swept the prizes bestowed by the critics in New York, L.A. and the national society earlier. Those are the snooty kind of print journos. Critics' Choice Awards are bestowed by the junket press — journos similar in sensibility to members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. It was a shockeroo that "The Hurt Locker" triumphed with the Yankee equivalent. If that victory had repeated with the foreign folks, it would've signaled a bizarre Oscar derby ahead. Bizarre because movies that don't have big stars, that make little money at the box office and are about the Iraqi war usually don't do well at the Academy Awards.
But "Avatar" prevailed at the Globes as expected. Beware: It's not a slam-dunk at the Oscars next where a sci-fi film has never won the top prize. Furthermore, the academy is using a weighted ballot to determine the winner out of 10 nominees instead of the usual system of having voters check off one preference out of five alternatives. That means anything can happen, including victories by "The Hurt Locker," "Up in the Air" or "Inglourious Basterds."
Jeff Bridges' ("Crazy Heart") victory at the Globes and Critics' Choice sure makes a repeat seem inevitable on Oscar night. Now he's got the Big Mo, but Bridges still needs to get past the Screen Actors' Guild Awards next week. Ditto for Sandra Bullock ("The Blind Side") and Meryl Streep ("Julie & Julia") ,who won both the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award too.
Mo'Nique ("Precious") and Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds") now seem like locks in those supporting races.
Photo from "Avatar": 20th Century Fox