Let's face it: the Golden Globes are possibly the most unpredictable awards show of the season. Unlike the Oscars, you never know what the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will nominate, or even elect as winner. Although some of the nominees are the to-be-expected such as likely winner Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor they are also the people who included Cher's Burlesque as a contender two years ago, and this year is no different. With a nomination for Smash as Best TV Series in the Musical and Comedy category (hey, I watch the show and think this is ridiculous) and three awards for the barely-heard-of comedy Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, this year looks like it will be as insane as ever. So here are some underdogs who might surprise us all.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama -- Richard Gere, Arbitrage
Although it would be nice to see Gere take home the victory for his acclaimed performance -- David Denby of The New Yorker said it's his best yet -- there is almost zero chance of Daniel Day Lewis not taking the gold for his complete transformation into President Lincoln.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy -- Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Emily Blunt is awesome. Let me just throw that out there. She is hilarious and has great comedic timing. But this year Jennifer Lawrence is the girl on fire. Between her role the mega-blockbuster Hunger Games and her critically acclaimed performance in the loved Silver Linings Playbook, she deserves to shine.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy -- Bill Murray, Hyde Park on the Hudson
It's hard for an actor to win a category based on a movie that was not liked. Even if the performance is top-notch, it's hard to vote for something you hated. Anyway, I have a feeling Hugh Jackman will take this category. I mean, who knew the dude could sing? His performance in Les Miserables was just too awesome to lose, and that's just proves why it's so unfortunate that musicals and comedies, which have nothing in common, are lumped together.
Best Motion Picture Director -- Ang Lee, Life of Pi
This category seems to be one of the most wide open, leaving a chance for the underdog to crawl through to the top. Some people think Steven Spielberg is too big of a juggernaut to lose for his smart, presidential Lincoln, while others can't image the HFPA snubbing Kathryn Bigelow for a second time for Zero Dark Thirty. And with the reviews and box office numbers for Ben Affleck's Argo and Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, it's hard to tell who will take the prize. So maybe the only movie that's non-political -- and that doesn't take itself too seriously -- will win.
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture -- Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
It's really a shame that the HFPA doesn't think supporting casts are important enough to warrant having their own categories. But in this case, it may help Nicole Kidman. Although I can't see a world in which Anne Hathaway doesn't win for her heart-wrenching performance in Les Miserables, Kidman's role in The Paperboy provided grit and the unexpected (heck, she pees on Zac Efron for crying out loud), so maybe the beloved actress will take the unexpected victory.
Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama -- Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom (HBO)
I'm in the minority, but I would love for Daniels to win. The Newsroom was probably my favorite new show that premiered in 2012, and I found Will McAvoy to be enchanting and honest, making me wish we had news anchors like that in the real world. Unfortunately, even though The Newsroom is the only new show in the category, from what I can tell from talk around the Web, Damian Lewis from Homeland (Showtime) is a shoo-in.
Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama -- Connie Britton, Nashville (ABC)
Damn, girl can sing! Connie Britton is one of my favorite television actresses from her time as Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights and I'd love to see her finally win an award. Especially since Nashville, like The Newsroom, is the only new show in its category. However, Homeland will likely sweep this category as well, with Claire Danes taking the trophy.
Best Actor in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical -- Don Cheadle, House of Lies (Showtime)
With so many huge names, there is no clear winner in this category. I think in the end Alec Baldwin will win for the final season of 30 Rock (NBC), but the prize can just as easily go to last year's winner, Jim Parsons for Big Bang Theory (CBS), the always-hilarious Matt Leblanc for Episodes (Showtime), or Louis C.K. for his new comedy in which he stars, writes, directs, Louie (FX). Unfortunately for the charming Cheadle, I just don't think he can beat his competition.
Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical -- Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation (NBC)
This category was rigged from the get-go. Both of this year's hosts, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, were nominated. That's not to say they didn't deserve it. Just throwing that out there. Although any of the actresses could win, I do think one of the hosts will get the honors. Question is, who? This is 30 Rock's last season, so they might throw Fey one last bone, but Parks and Recreation has been consistently criminally underrated, so it would be nice to see Poehler best her bestie.
Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie -- Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife (CBS)
If Archie Panjabi doesn't win, heads will roll at the HFPA. No, seriously. I think it's ridiculous that all supporting cast members have to share a category, regardless of genre, and this will mean that the indescribably amazing Maggie Smith doesn't win, Panjabi has been snubbed for her three years on the show, and Kalinda had the main storyline this year (even if the story sucked, she was amazing). It is time.
Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie -- Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn (HBO)
Like Jennifer Lawrence in her category, this is the year of Benedict Cumberbatch, and his competition will have a tough time besting him for his role in Sherlock (BBC). With his roles in The Hobbit and the upcoming Star Trek sequel, his name is just everywhere right now. However, if judging by performance alone, the category is an open field for an underdog to sneak in and win.
Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie -- Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals (USA)
I'm still mourning the premature cancellation of Political Animals (even if it's not technically a cancellation, since it was intended originally as a miniseries). And Weaver blew me away as Elaine Barrish, a caricature of Hillary Clinton. Although I'm sure Jessica Lange will win for the critically and commercially beloved American Horror Story: Asylum (FX).