Golden Globe contenders for drama

Golden Globes Race

Pix with a strong international flavor go toe-to-toe with distinctly American stories as the HFPA assembles its slate for best motion picture drama. Don’t assume an overseas bias: Remember, “The Social Network” beat the “The King’s Speech.”

Albert Nobbs
Classic precursor: GG nominated “The Remains of the Day” (1983)
Chances for a nom: Rather good. Over a dozen GG nods, and twin wins for Glenn Close, have previously gone to pic’s cast.
If not the big one: Turns by Glenn Close and Janet McTeer

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Classic precursor: With the handheld battle footage, you’d swear it’s “The Hurt Locker,” at least until the iambic pentameter kicks in.
Chances for a nom: Other juxtapositions of modern visuals and Shakespearean diction — Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet” and Julie Taymor’s “Tempest” — made little impression.
If not the big one: Vanessa Redgrave sinks teeth into her juiciest film role in years.

Janet McTeer

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A Dangerous Method
Classic precursor: Think ego and id, “Frost/Nixon.”
Chances for a nom: At least one intellectual heavyweight shows up on every GG drama list.
If not the big one: Viggo Mortensen’s Freud looks impressive upon careful analysis.

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The Descendants
Classic precursor: 1983 winner “Terms of Endearment”
Chances for a nom: Heavily touted award chances don’t seem to be waning.
If not the big one: George Clooney is a foreign press fave.

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Classic precursor: 1994 megasmash “Forrest Gump”
Chances for a nom: Stephen Daldry’s features have gone three-for-three.
If not the big one: Max von Sydow’s haunted Old World grandpa

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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Classic precursor: Shares with “Insomnia” the bone-tingling atmosphere of a Scandinavian murder mystery, and status as a U.S. remake of an overseas original.
Chances for a nom: Few outright thrillers have appeared on the Globe rolls.
If not the big one: Rooney Mara — fresh face; flashy part

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The Help
Classic precursor: ’60s idealistic streak, invokes 2006 nominee “Bobby.”
Chances for a nom: Excellent, given the HFPA penchant for sentimental ensemble dramas.
If not the big one: Octavia Spencer

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Classic precursor: 1953’s “Lili”
Chances for a nom: Infused with love of cinema, European temperament and 3D dazzle, this one will be tough to ignore.
If not the big one: Martin Scorsese’s helming

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The Iron Lady
Classic precursor: Meryl Streep walked off with a Globe as another real-life lady, that time with an iron skillet, in “Julie & Julia.”
Chances for a nom: It’s a rare Streep vehicle that doesn’t show up on the annual HFPA roster
If not the big one: Streep’s Thatcher

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J. Edgar
Classic precursor: “Citizen Kane” and “The Aviator”
Chances for a nom: The overseas scribes have shown American historical sagas a surprising amount of love.
If not the big one: Leonardo DiCaprio’s eponymous role

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Martha Marcy May Marlene
Classic precursor: 2002 Globe honoree “The Hours”
Chances for a nom: Muted female-centric melodramas haven’t figured often in GG/Drama races.
If not the big one: A fresh young female face has copped a nod annually for the past eight years; Elizabeth Olsen may make it nine.

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Classic precursor: A young hotshot barges in to shake an org to its core; shades of “Gung Ho” (1986).
Chances for a nom: At risk: They didn’t nominate “Bull Durham” or “Field of Dreams.”
If not the big one: Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin’s hip, witty script could tickle even committed baseballphobes.

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Classic precursor: “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold”
Chances for a nom: Pic’s hyperawareness of Europolitical tension will hit a nerve.
If not the big one: Lack of GG attention to Gary Oldman should come to an end this year.

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The Tree of Life
Classic precursor: Carl Dreyer, who (yes!) copped a Globe back in 1956, for “Ordet”
Chances for a nom: Palme d’Or may have been honor enough.
If not the big one: Should Jessica Chastain get a nod, it’s likely to be for this film, of the nearly dozen she made in 2011.

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War Horse
Classic precursor: Steven Spielberg directs the sniffle-inducing odyssey of a young boy and his beloved creature. Can you say “E.T.”?
Chances for a nom: Thoroughbred has impressive European pedigree mixed with “Seabiscuit” sentiment.
If not the big one: John Williams’ Prokofiev-tinged score is one of his most stirring.

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Tops in tubthumps?
Best Picture: Drama | Best Picture: Comedy or Musical | Television | Animation

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