Drama field includes historical portayals, ingenues, football coach
“The Young Victoria”
How She Got Here: Blunt is no stranger to the Globes scene, but then again, neither is her character, Queen Victoria. The actress won supporting honors on the TV side for “Gideon’s Daughter” in 2006, while Judi Dench topped this category for her portrayal of the grieving royal in 1997′s “Mrs. Brown.” Dench’s turn primarily focused on the post-Prince Albert years, whereas Blunt’s perf offers up a livelier queen with tinges of modern insight. As proved by both Dench and Helen Mirren, a two-time royal winner, regal representations often do well with the org. But a plucky one? Now that’s golden.
“The Blind Side”
How She Got Here: Bullock capitalizes on a banner year of record-setting B.O. returns with two lead actress Globe noms (the other is in the comedy category for “The Proposal”). For her turn in “The Blind Side,” Bullock flexes her dramatic muscles, proving she’s just as compelling in weighty roles as she is in lighter fare. She deftly masters Southern-belle panache as the real-life Leigh Anne Tuohy without sacrificing the character’s tough-girl sensibilities, much like Julia Roberts’ Globe-winning blonde in “Erin Brockovich” nine years earlier. HELEN MIRREN
“The Last Station”
How She Got Here: Mirren has a history of playing historical figures, and the HFPA has a history of nominating them. Having already won in this category for her stately role in 2006′s “The Queen,” the seasoned Brit switches gears, and nationalities, as the explosive wife of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy in “The Last Station.” Mirren’s combative love-hate relationship with supporting actor nominee Christopher Plummer’s character harks back to her regal turn in HBO’s telepic “Elizabeth I,” for which she won a second actress trophy concurrent with her win for “The Queen.” CAREY MULLIGAN
How She Got Here: Ingenues typically do well with the Globes. Last year Anne Hathaway was nommed in this category for “Rachel Getting Married,” and in 2005, Mulligan’s “Pride and Prejudice” co-star Keira Knightley made the cut. As Hollywood’s new “it” girl, Mulligan has already nabbed numerous crix awards and a spot on SAG’s lead actress shortlist for her spirited perf as a beyond-her-years teen in “An Education.” Even though Mulligan represents the pic’s sole nomination, “Education’s” foreign interests could bode well for the twentysomething actress among Globes voters. GABOUREY SIBIDE
How She Got Here: Plucked straight out of Harlem, Sidibe debuts in a performance that has garnered critical praise and ovations from industryites including Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey, both of whom serve as exec producers. Sidibe was a university psychology major before auditioning for “Precious” with no real long-term acting aspirations, yet her debut gives her instant onscreen credibility. She’s the beating heart of this tough-as-nails film and proves that you don’t have to be a seasoned pro in order to strike a chord with auds and voting populaces alike.