The Ray and Million Dollar Baby stars should win, but what about best movie?

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated January 16, 2005 12:00 PM
Credit: Lisa O'Connor/Zuma; Chris Delmas/VISUALPressAgency

Some 250 million viewers around the world are expected to tune in for Sunday night’s 62nd annual Golden Globes, and 93 members of the amorphous Hollywood Foreign Press Association have selected the winners, but one thing is still up in the air: What movie will win the big prize?

In the acting races, the shoo-ins probably already have their names engraved on their Globes: Ray star Jamie Foxx and former Boys Don’t Cry Oscar winner Hilary Swank, for her performance in Million Dollar Baby.

But don’t expect a sweep for any one particular movie. There’s no Chicago this year, or Lord of the Rings. While Alexander Payne’s quirky Sideways has been piling up critics’ awards (especially for supporting players Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen) and will probably be named best movie comedy on Sunday, the dramatic picture competition remains a big question mark.

Loyalties are fairly evenly divided between Clint Eastwood’s critically praised yet sparse Million Dollar Baby and Martin Scorsese’s epic (but some say overlong) Howard Hughes biography, The Aviator. The only spoiler looks to be the gentle story of Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, Finding Neverland. The other nominees, Kinsey and Hotel Rwanda, may only expect polite applause when their titles are read prior to the opening of the envelope.

The best dramatic actor divides the field even further. With the comedy/musical actor award going to Foxx, the dramatic actor race is nearly impossible to call, among nominees Javier Bardem (The Sea Inside), Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda), Johnny Depp (Finding Neverland), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Aviator) and Liam Neeson (Kinsey).

For comedy/musical actress, Annette Bening, a Hollywood favorite, has a fighting chance for her overlooked period comedy Being Julia. Her strongest competition could come from Kate Winslet for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The others – Ashley Judd in De-Lovely and Emmy Rossum in The Phantom of the Opera – were burdened by weak movies, and though she’s a Globe favorite, Renee Zellweger (in Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason) has won before.

If anything, the stiffest competition Sunday night is bound to come from viewers – having to decide between watching the Globes on NBC (8 p.m. ET/PT) or switching over to the multiple nominee, Desperate Housewives, on ABC. And may the best wife win.