Cate Blanchett, “I’m Not There”
Julia Roberts, “Charlie Wilson’s War”
Saoirse Ronan, “Atonement”
Amy Ryan, “Gone Baby Gone”
Tilda Swinton, “Michael Clayton”
Appropriately enough for a Boston-set film, Amy Ryan looks about as dominant in the supporting actress category — at least among the various critics awards — as the 16-0 New England Patriots did this past NFL season. That doesn’t preclude a Globes upset, but the virtual point spread is huge.
Cate Blanchett would have played the Indianapolis Colts to Ryan’s Patriots. Picking up her sixth and seventh career Globes nods this year (she’s also nommed in the competitive lead drama actress group), Blanchett might nevertheless remain stuck on her sole victory for 1998’s “Elizabeth” unless she can trip up the Ryan juggernaut.
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Few are talking up Julia Roberts, but the “Charlie Wilson’s War” co-star has been a longtime HFPA fave, winning three Globes out of six noms. Her legacy of success, like that of the five-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, can’t be dismissed.
The true wild cards are Tilda Swinton, who delivered a finely etched performance in “Michael Clayton,” and 13-year-old Saoirse Ronan, who beat out the legendary Vanessa Redgrave (playing the same character) for a spot in the playoffs. A triumph for Swinton would be noteworthy, but Ronan coming out on top would be one for the ages.