Golden Globe Preview: Comedy/Musical

When the Academy expanded its best picture nominations to a round 10, observers thought that the spotlight might fall on the Globes’ comedy/musical nominees from 2009, helping to fill out the other five slots. That didn’t happen. But there is always this year.

“Alice in Wonderland”
Classic Precursor: “Time Bandits” (1981), another yarn nominally aimed at juveniles but given a lightly perverse spin.
Shot at a Globe Nod: It’s rare for the year’s top grosser not to appear in the Globe’s less weighty best picture category.
If Not the Big One: Johnny Depp has Cheshire Cat-grinned his way into a comedy actor nom on seven previous occasions.

Classic Precursor: “Chicago” (2002) if the backstage feathers ‘n’ frills mellerdrammer works. “Showgirls” (1995) if it doesn’t.
Shot at a Globe Nod: As the year’s sole tuner, Cher starrer should have a cher of the nominees’ slate if history is any guide: “Mamma Mia!” and “Nine” landed in previous years.
If Not the Big One: The former Mrs. Bono may garner votes, if only in anticipation of what she’ll wear to the banquet.

“The Concert”
Classic Precursor: Erstwhile conductor turned proletarian janitor rounds up a ragtag collection of nobodies to pull off a once-in-a-lifetime performance, in this Russian/French cousin of 1997’s “The Full Monty.”
Shot at a Globe Nod: Tres bien, thanks to pic’s combo of classical finesse and teary sentiment.
If Not the Big One: The Globes’ foreign film category doesn’t depend on individual nations’ submissions. “The Concert” should play loudly there.

“How Do You Know”
Classic Precursor: Rom-com smacks of classic, classy triangle plots like 1954’s “Sabrina.”
Shot at a Globe Nod: It’s James L. Brooks, so attention must be paid. But of his five helming credits, two (“I’ll Do Anything,” “Spanglish”) were locked out of the top Globes race. If “How” is a hit, watch it vault instantly into frontrunner status.
If Not the Big One: Jack Nicholson has won six competitive Globes on 17 nominations. Should this new role be substantial, he has a chance to add No. 18.

“I Love You Phillip Morris”
Classic Precursor: No such crazy intersection of out-of-control crime and ardent gay romance has been seen since “Dog Day Afternoon” (1975).
Shot at a Globe Nod: Strong. The foreign press likes nominating fare too edgy or extreme for the Motion Picture Academy: “The Hangover” (last year’s winner), “Burn After Reading,” “In Bruges.”
If Not the Big One: Carrey has won two Globes in six noms, and McGregor was nominated once, so neither name would be a surprising presence on the roster.

“The Kids Are All Right”
Classic Precursor: For all its hot button lesbian mom and sperm-donor details, “Kids” boils down to a rather sweet dramedy about a mismatched family working its way to normalcy — not so far removed from “Yours, Mine and Ours” (1968).
Shot at a Globe Nod: May be a little too domestic in flavor for the Continental-tinged HFPA, but its smart balance between tartness and sentiment should appeal.
If Not the Big One: Annette Bening is generally all right in the Globes’ actress categories: six nods, including a win for “Being Julia.”

“Love and Other Drugs”
Classic Precursor: Except for an 11th-hour “Lifetime” disease-movie-of-the-week detour, Ed Zwick’s pic is a sunny venture in humanizing a hotshot in the vein of “Jerry Maguire” (1996). Jerry had his girl at “hello”; Jake Gyllenhaal has Anne Hathaway at “Zoloft.”
Shot at a Globe Nod: Pretty good. “Jerry” got one.
If Not the Big One: Gyllenhaal’s cocksure Pfizer salesman could be an easy pill for HFPA voters to swallow.

“Made in Dagenham”
Classic Precursor: Sally Hawkins is a feisty union organizer right out of 1979’s “Norma Rae,” played with the same passion but more offbeat humor.
Shot at a Globe Nod: If the struggling lady millworkers are seen as relevant to today’s working stiffs, nomination chances are enhanced.
If Not the Big One: Hawkins nabbed a Globe for “Happy-Go-Lucky,” but was passed over by the Academy. It would be wholly in character for the foreign press to re-enshrine her this year.

“Morning Glory”
Classic Precursor: “Desk Set” (1957), another workplace clash between old-school approaches and the new.
Shot at a Globe Nod: Pretty good if Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton are perceived to radiate some of that old Tracy/Hepburn magic. Scripter Aline Brosh McKenna helped to usher “The Devil Wears Prada” into the top category.
If Not the Big One: Globe darling Ford just might cop supporting actor should he make it into the favored five.

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