The Golden Globes have a special place in my heart.

No, it's not all those HFPA screenings filled with an international smorgasbord of perfumes and colognes I endured working in worldwide theatrical for Fox (that just caused allergy problems later on).  See, back when I had time to organize such endeavors, I used to hold an annual Golden Globes party.  I mean, anyone can have an Oscar or Super Bowl party, but this is the only night when the worlds of television and movies come together as one.  And while certainly an odd pairing, it creates a bizarre kitschiness of A and C-level stars crossing paths in ways that just shouldn't be allowed, but must be celebrated!

Plus, as many of you are so keenly aware, the show itself has a party atmosphere to it that is hard to hide on TV (not that NBC wants to anymore) and there's something fun about watching your favorite star try to present or accept an award after having few too many vodka tonics from that open bar in the back of the room. 

And in the context of awards season, the Globes actually can claim some influence this year (it's true!).  The past few shows found the Globes airing after Oscar ballots were due, but this year the glorious HFPA will be able to claim they swayed last minute voters who waited until the 5 PM Monday deadline.  That's a subject to wax about post-Oscar nods, but until then here are some predictions for Sunday night's spectacle.


BEST MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA
 
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"Frost/Nixon"
"The Reader"
"Revolutionary Road"
"Slumdog Millionaire" – WINNER

Breakdown: It would be a big surprise for "Button" to beat "Millionaire" out for this one.  The crowd pleaser should easily take this one home.
 
BEST MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
 
"Burn After Reading"
"Happy-Go-Lucky"
"In Bruges"
"Mamma Mia!"
"Vicky Cristina Barcelona" – WINNER

Lowdown: Word is many of the HFPA are not as big fans of ‘Mamma’ as you’d think (so much for that free trip they got to Greece).  The less commercial ‘Barcelona’ is the safer choice.
 
FOREIGN LANGUAGE PICTURE
 
"The Baader Meinhof Complex"
"Everlasting Moments"
"Gomorrah"
"I've Loved You So Long"
"Waltz With Bashir" – WINNER

Lowdown:  The universally praised ‘Bashir’ is powerful and timely.  It should easily win.
 
BEST DIRECTOR
 
Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire"
Stephen Daldry, "The Reader"
David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" - WINNER
Ron Howard, "Frost/Nixon"
Sam Mendes, "Revolutionary Road"

Lowdown: The HFPA loves to spread it around and it’s hard to imagine them giving ‘Millionaire’ both Best Picture and Director.  Instead, they’ll reward Fincher for his epic undertaking with ‘Button.’
 
BEST DRAMATIC ACTOR
 
Leonardo DiCaprio, "Revolutionary Road"
Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon"
Sean Penn, "Milk" - WINNER
Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler"

Lowdown: This could be the beginning of Penn distancing himself from the pack and solidifying his run at a second Oscar. 
 
BEST DRAMATIC ACTRESS
 
Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"
Angelina Jolie, "Changeling"
Meryl Streep, "Doubt" - WINNER
Kristin Scott Thomas, "I've Loved You So Long"
Kate Winslet, "Revolutionary Road"

Lowdown: The HFPA loves their Meryl and aren’t fans of “Road” whatsoever.  That won’t help Winslet.  Scott Thomas could surprise here though.
 
BEST ACTOR, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
 
Javier Bardem, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Colin Farrell, "In Bruges"
James Franco, "Pineapple Express"
Brendan Gleeson, "In Bruges"
Dustin Hoffman, "Last Chance Harvey" – WINNER

Lowdown: What a toughie.  None of these actors has a shot at an Oscar nod and, shoot, none of them even received a SAG nod.  So, through the process of elimination Hoffman should be the winner, but besides Gleeson any of the other nominees could easily walk away with this one.

BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
 
Rebecca Hall, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Sally Hawkins, "Happy-Go-Lucky" - WINNER
Frances McDormand, "Burn After Reading"
Meryl Streep, "Mamma Mia!"
Emma Thompson, "Last Chance Harvey"

Lowdown: It’s always possible that Streep could win two on Globes night, but don't bet on it.  Expect Hawkins, this year’s perfect ingénue candidate, to steal the statue instead.
 
SUPPORTING ACTOR
 
Tom Cruise, "Tropic Thunder"
Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder"
Ralph Fiennes, "The Duchess"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt"
Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight" – WINNER

Lowdown: His family has travelled from Australia to accept the award.  Do you really think he’s not going to get it?  Ledger is a lock for every supporting actor award given away this season.
 
SUPPORTING ACTRESS
 
Amy Adams, "Doubt"
Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" - WINNER
Viola Davis, "Doubt"
Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler"
Kate Winslet, "The Reader"

Lowdown: Winslet is pretty amazing in “Reader,” but Cruz is an HFPA favorite and they have never been able to reward her.  That will change for her scene-stealing role in “Barcelona.”


ANIMATED FILM
 
"Bolt"
"Kung Fu Panda"
"Wall-E" - WINNER
 
Lowdown:  Yawn.  Please.

SCREENPLAY
 
Simon Beaufoy, "Slumdog Millionaire" - WINNER
David Hare, "The Reader"
Peter Morgan, "Frost/Nixon"
Eric Roth, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
John Patrick Shanley, "Doubt"

Lowdown: It will be hard for the HFPA not to give “Millionaire” the love here, but Roth and “Button” also have a shot.
 
ORIGINAL SCORE
 
Alexandre Desplat, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" - WINNER
Clint Eastwood, "Changeling"
James Newton Howard, "Defiance"
Hans Zimmer, "Frost/Nixon"
A.R. Rahman, "Slumdog Millionaire"
Lowdown: Rahman and “Millionaire” could create a Searchlight night, but Desplat and “Button” is the safer choice.
 
SONG
 
"Down to Earth" (performed by Peter Gabriel, written by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman), "Wall-E"
"Gran Torino" (performed by Clint Eastwood, Jamie Cullum, Kyle Eastwood, Michael Stevens, lyrics by: Kyle Eastwood, Michael Stevens), "Gran Torino"
"I Thought I Lost You" (performed by Miley Cyrus and John Travolta, written by Miley Cyrus and Jeffrey Steele), "Bolt"
"Once in a Lifetime" (performed by Beyoncé, written by Beyoncé Knowles, Amanda Ghost, Scott McFarnon, Ian Dench, James Dring, Jody Street), "Cadillac Records"
"The Wrestler" (performed by Bruce Springsteen, written by Bruce Springsteen), "The Wrestler" - WINNER
 
Lowdown: If you see Springsteen in the audience he wins.  It’s that simple.

TELEVISION CATEGORIES
 
O.K., complete disclosure here, my esteemed HitFix colleague, Dan Fienberg, helped with a number of these picks even after my third or fourth response of “Really? Are you sure?”  But like the theatrical side, the HFPA are nothing but consistent when it comes to their small screen tastes.

DRAMATIC TV SERIES
 
"Dexter"
"House M.D."
"In Treatment" - WINNER
"Mad Men"
"True Blood"

Lowdown: Acclaimed TV show on HBO?  Prefect HFPA fodder.


BEST ACTOR, TV DRAMA
 
Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment" - WINNER
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Hugh Laurie, "House M.D."
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, "The Tudors"

Lowdown: Byrne is the sort of classy veteran actor they like to reward here.  In theory, Hamm or Hall could also win this too.
 
BEST ACTRESS, TV DRAMA
 
Sally Field, "Brothers & Sisters"
Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU"
January Jones, "Mad Men"
Anna Paquin, "True Blood" - WINNER
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"

Lowdown: Paquin is the young actress in a buzzed about series that usually wins this award.  If not her, Sedgwick will win again.
 
TV SERIES, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
 
"Californication"
"Entourage"
"The Office"
"30 Rock" - WINNER
"Weeds"

Lowdown: Arguably the best comedy on TV and it’s still on a creative stride.  Although “The Office” could win here as well.  Either way, NBC gets some good news.
 
BEST ACTOR, TV MUSICAL OR COMEDY
 
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" - WINNER
Steve Carell, "The Office"
Kevin Connolly, "Entourage"
David Duchovny, "Californication"
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"

Lowdown: Baldwin got snubbed last year, look for them to correct the mistake this year.
 
BEST ACTRESS, TV MUSICAL OR COMEDY
 
Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?"
America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock" - WINNER
Debra Messing, "The Starter Wife"
Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds"
 
Lowdown: It’s the year of the Fey.  She wins easy.


BEST MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
 
"Cranford"
"Bernard & Doris"
"John Adams" - WINNER
"A Raisin in the Sun"
"Recount"

Lowdown: It would be an historic upset of “Adams” doesn’t win.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have some competition in this category both at the GLobes and at the Emmys one year?  Just once?
 
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
 
Judi Dench, "Cranford"
Laura Linney, "John Adams" - WINNER

Catherine Keener, "An American Crime"
Shirley MacLaine, "Coco Chanel"
Susan Sarandon, "Bernard & Doris"

Lowdown: This may be the only time in Laura Linney’s career where she’ll be able to beat the likes of Dench, Sarandon and Keener, and I say that as fan.
 
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
 
Ralph Fiennes, "Bernard and Doris"
Paul Giammatti, "John Adams" - WINNER
Kevin Spacey, "Recount"
Kiefer Sutherland, "24: Redemption"
Tom Wilkinson, "Recount"

Lowdown: Giamatti of course.  And yes, even with all the “Adams” accolades, he’s probably still bitter he didn’t get that Oscar nod for “Sideways.”
 
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
 
Eileen Atkins, "Cranford"
Laura Dern, "Recount" - WINNER

Melissa George, "In Treatment"
Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers & Sisters"
Dianne Wiest, "In Treatment"

Lowdown: Tough one, but we go with the statuesque Dern for her pitch perfect take on Katherine Harris in “Recount.”
 
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
 
Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother"
Denis Leary, "Recount"
Jeremy Piven, "Entourage"
Blair Underwood, "In Treatment"
Tom Wilkinson, "John Adams" – WINNER
Lowdown: Wilkinson received two nods this year, third and fourth Globe nods respectively, and this would be the perfect place for them to reward him.  Although they love that Neil Patrick Harris…

Start a new tradition and make HitFix your Golden Globe source Sunday night.  Feinberg will be providing his witty musings on the live show, I’ll have analysis of the winners and reports from a Fox-y party.  We’ll also have red carpet galleries and more!  (And then excuse us as we sleep in on Monday).

For more Globe predictions, check out Tom O'Neil's roundup on The Envelope.