“Across the Universe”
“Charlie Wilson’s War”
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
The “fun” category doesn’t look to have any front-runners, with each pic garnering a dedicated fan base but also more than a few detractors. “Juno” is receiving plenty of support for its screenplay, and lead Ellen Page is quickly rising among the ranks of top actress lists, but did the hipster comedy resonate with HFPA voters who might not be in on the vernacular? In the past, big eye-popping musical productions have taken home gold, which means “Hairspray,” a family-friendly, polished box office hit, and “Sweeney Todd,” a dark, bloody take on Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece of musical theater, could be serious contenders. “Sweeney” has considerable Globes history as it stars eight-time nominee Johnny Depp, while director Tim Burton has also garnered noms from the HFPA. “Charlie Wilson’s War” is one of those categorical head-scratchers: While not an outright comedy, it’s neither a straight drama either, and mixed reviews don’t help. What it does have, however, is starpower, which may make a difference. That leaves the ambitious and visually dazzling “Across the Universe” as the dark horse, a film chockful of talented young thesps singing terrific arrangements of Beatles songs, but its kudos legacy might be as memorable as a Pete Best drum solo.