It was so much easier back in the day for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.  As recently as 2008 HFPA members could end up nominating up to seven films in the best picture - drama or best picture - musical or comedy categories pretty much making every studio in town happy.  Not anymore.  The organization has put in rules to make such "ties" more difficult which means the chances of a major Hollywood studio becoming upset their contender didn't make the mix are much higher (uh oh).  In 2009, "The Wrestler" didn't make the cut in drama.  Last year, "An Education" was the surprise absentee in the same category.  This year?  Well, there will be numerous almost rans in some very competitive races. 

Along with HitFix's Dan Fienberg on the television side, I've already recapped the Golden Globes contender races and I've also made more specific picks as part of the Gurus of Gold.  However, the HFPA are an intriguing bunch. One week "True Grit's" Hailee Steinfeld is deemed a best actress qualifier and the next she's in the studio preferred best supporting actress pool.  So, as you can expect, things are always in flux with the HFPA.  With that in mind, ballots locked and the nominee announcement less than 12 hours away, here are my final predictions for the 2010 Golden Globes nominations - film. 


BEST PICTURE - DRAMA
"The Social Network"
"The King's Speech"
"Black Swan"
"Inception"
"True Grit"

Wildcard: "The Fighter"
Lowdown:  The HFPA are said to love the "Fighter," but my guess is we'll see that show up in numerous acting nods.  It would be tougher for them to drop "True Grit" which many of the men in the org loved.

BEST PICTURE - COMEDY or MUSICAL
"The Kids Are All Right"
"Casino Jack"
"Alice in Wonderland"
"Made in Dagenham"
"Burlesque"

Wildcards: "Love and Other Drugs," "Morning Glory"
Lowdown:  Word is the HFPA detested "Love" and "Glory" was a big box office bomb, which is why "Burlesque" (less of a bomb) beats them out.


BEST ACTOR - DRAMA
Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
James Franco, "127 Hours"
Jeff Bridges, "True Grit"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "Inception"
Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"

Wildcard: Mark Wahlberg, "The Fighter" or Robert Duvall, "Get Low"
Lowdown: The org is supposedly not fans of "Get Low" which explains Duvall's absence.  Their "Fighter" love may only be surpassed by their adoration for DiCaprio who has been nominated seven times previously and won for "The Aviator" in this category in 2004.

BEST ACTOR COMEDY or MUSICAL
Kevin Spacey, "Casino Jack"
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Love and Other Drugs"
Johnny Depp, "Alice in Wonderland"
Jim Carrey, "I Love You Phillip Morris"
Robert Downey, Jr. "Due Date"

Wildcard: Steve Carell, "Date Night"
Lowdown: Again, not fans of "Love," but won't stop them from recognizing Gyllenhaal again.

BEST ACTRESS - DRAMA
Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"
Leslie Manville, "Another Year"
Michelle Williams, "Blue Valentine"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone"

Wildcard: Naomi Watts, "Fair Game"
Lowdown:  Originally thought Tilda Swinton would get in here, but it's too much of a long shot at this point.  If anything, the HFPA goes for Lawrence (it appears they have watched the DVD even though she never did the expected HFPA press conference) or Watts (they liked "Fair Game" it seems).


BEST ACTRESS COMEDY or MUSICAL
Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"
Anne Hathaway, "Love and Other Drugs"
Emma Stone, "Easy A"
Julianne Moore, "The Kids Are All Right"
Sally Hawkins, "Made in Dagenham"

Wildcard:  Reese Witherspoon, "How Do You Know"
Lowdown:  Anyone wondering where Julia Roberts is for "Eat Pray Love"?  The HFPA were not fans.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Geoffrey Rush, "The King's Speech"
Christian Bale, "The Fighter"
Andrew Garfield, "The Social Network"
Michael Douglas, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"
Jeremy Renner, "The Town"

Wildcards: Mark Ruffalo, "The Kids Are All Right" or Sam Rockwell, "Conviction"
Lowdown: Tough, tough call.  In theory, Ruffalo should make it, but he's never been nominated before and the org has always been behind Douglas.  Could go either way.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Helena Bonham Carter, "The King's Speech"
Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"
Amy Adams, "The Fighter"
Miranda Richardson, "Made in Dagenham"
Hailee Steinfield, "True Grit"

Wildcard: Jacki Weaver, "Animal Kingdom" Juliette Lewis, "Conviction"
Lowdown: Another tough call. Weaver could jump in for Richardson, but it's close.  Or, Lewis could surprise.

BEST DIRECTOR
David Fincher, "The Social Network"
Darren Aronofsky, "Black Swan"
Tom Hooper, "The King's Speech"
Joel and Ethan Coen, "True Grit"
Chris Nolan, "Inception"

Wildcard: David O. Russell, "The Fighter"
Lowdown:  Again, they love the "Fighter," but who gets knocked out so he makes the five?

Who's in? Who's out? Share your thoughts below.

Look for complete coverage of the Golden Globe nominations Tuesday, Dec. 14 beginning at 5:30 AM PST, 8:30 PM EST on HitFix.

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