Zooey Deschanel, Brad Pitt
Awards season kicks off Sunday with the 69th Golden Globe Awards (8 ET/5 PT on NBC). Who will emerge victorious? We don't know yet, but we can have fun predicting — and so can you. Download your ballot here, make your picks and compare them to ours below.
Homeland, New Girl and new shows lead Golden Globe nominations
Will win: Homeland
The Showtime thriller premiered to a ton of buzz that only grew with every successive episode, culminating in a tense, edge-of-your-seat season finale last month. That, plus the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's affinity for newbies equals a winning formula.
Watch out for: Game of Thrones
The sprawling and lavish series is the sort of pretty new thing that's right up the HFPA's alley. Also keep an eye out for American Horror Story, as the group is quite fond of Ryan Murphy (besides Glee's wins, Nip/Tuck won this category seven years ago).
Will win: Modern Family
With its affection for two-time defending champ Glee waning (the show received zero acting nominations), the HFPA should at long last jump on the Modern Family bandwagon (hey, it didn't reward 30 Rock until three seasons in, either). Ironically, the trophy would come during season that, while still hilarious and heartwarming, isn't as sharp as the first two.
Watch out for: New Girl
It helps to have the It Girl as your lead.
Will win: Kelsey Grammer, Boss
Playing against type as a cagey, ruthless and morally ambiguous Chicago mayor should play into Grammer's favor. A Globe favorite, Grammer has eight nominations and two Globes at home for Frasier, and he no doubt helped his little-seen show to a series nomination.
Watch out for: Damian Lewis, Homeland
We'd love to pick Bryan Cranston (for the win even), but we've accepted the fact that the HFPA does not like Breaking Bad. Lewis gets the edge for being on the hot new show — especially compared to Jeremy Irons (The Borgias). Plus, the odds are not in Boardwalk Empire's Steve Buscemi's favor to repeat: In the past 28 years, only Hugh Laurie (House) managed to win more than once.
Will win: Claire Danes, Homeland
Already 2-for-2 at the Globes, Danes ought to maintain her perfect record for her riveting powerhouse turn that ensured her TV legacy will be much more than just Angela Chase. Also working in her favor: She's the only nominee whose show has a series nomination.
Watch out for: Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
Revenge is the watercooler new show of the season, and part of that is thanks to Stowe's divine ice queen Victoria Grayson, whom she plays with a hardnosed yet vulnerable touch.
Will win: Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
A four-time nominee (previously nominated for Friends and, yes, even Joey), LeBlanc can finally score his first major award for his brazen satire of himself, not to mention Hollywood — and the HFPA will love the nudge-nudge-wink-wink of Americans bastardizing British shows. Like Danes, LeBlanc also benefits from being the only nominee whose show is nominated for series.
Watch out for: Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
The support is there for Galecki, who shockingly made it into this race without co-star and defending champ Jim Parsons.
Will win: Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
No contest. The trophy's been engraved with Deschanel's name since New Girl premiered. The HFPA has a thing for ingénues and it won't be able to resist Deschanel's quirky magnetism.
Watch out for: Laura Dern, Enlightened
Cable's dark comedy ladies have triumphed in this category two years running, which bodes well.
Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie
Will win: Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Pearce should get a Globe to go along with his Emmy for his disarming and dissolute playboy.
Watch out for: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
It's tough for series stars to face off against the TV movie/miniseries folk, but Dinklage has the chops to pull off a win. His impish Tyrion crackles in every scene he's in and, like Pearce, he also deserves a Globe to go with his Emmy award.
Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie
Will win: Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Lange's fabulous Southern belle from hell ought to snatch the Golden Globe favorite (this is her 12th nomination) her fifth statuette, which would tie her for third-most wins with Rosalind Russell.
Watch out for: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
The only thing better than a fake Southern dame? A real British (and two-time Globe-winning) dame. Don't be surprised if the HFPA falls just as hard for the British period drama as we Americans have.
Golden Globe surprises and snubs: So many new faces, but still no Breaking Bad
Will win: The Descendants
With The Artist competing in comedy, Alexander Payne's first flick since Sideways, full of pathos, laughs and tears as it explores imperfection, should take the prize here.
Watch out for: The Help
You can't disregard the most commercially successful and beloved film of the lineup.
Will win: The Artist
This is sewn up. The crowd-pleasing and warm throwback to silent films will be catnip to HFPA voters, who fancy stylishly crafted period pieces. A win would cement The Artist as the Oscar front-runner. Fun fact: Since The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King's across-the-board coronation eight years ago, the Globes film winner — from either genre — has matched with the Oscars only once (with Slumdog Millionaire three years ago).
Watch out for: Bridesmaids
If The Hangover could win, why can't the ladies?
Will win: Brad Pitt, Moneyball
His pal and closest competitor George Clooney has three nods, but Pitt, who won his only Globe 16 years ago, had an equally banner year with The Tree of Life and Moneyball, in which his quiet performance, imbued with a Redford-like charm, reminds us just how skilled an actor he is. With that said, let's be real — no one loses when any of these hotties wins.
Watch out for: George Clooney, The Descendants
HFPA voters love them some Clooney. In resurrecting his pet project The Ides of March from near awards death, they gave the two-time winner four nominations. If they don't want Clooney to go home empty-handed, this will be the best spot to reward him (since he's totally not winning drama picture, director or screenplay).
Will win: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
It's a tight race, but Streep's flawless portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, combined with her Globes history — she's the most nominated performer with 26 — could net the living legend her record-setting eighth statuette. Plus, the film's subject matter alone would appeal to the foreign press.
Watch out for: Viola Davis, The Help
Davis' Aibileen is the heart and soul of The Help, and the veteran actress shines in her first lead film role.
Will win: Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Easy win here. The Artist wouldn't be half the film it is without Dujardin's enchanting and devastating performance, conveyed with more emotion without saying a word than by most actors with pages-long, baity dialogue.
Watch out for: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
2011 may have been the Year of Ryan Gosling, but his double nominations (he's up for Crazy, Stupid, Love here and for The Ides of March in drama) may hurt him, paving the opening for his fellow next-gen talent, who superbly carried a film about a sensitive subject.
Will win: Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Another lock. Williams should win her first Globe for her brilliant portrayal of the multi-faceted Marilyn Monroe we didn't see in pictures. It also helps that Monroe was a Globe darling herself, having won three trophies, including two in the now-defunct category of World Film Favorite — Female.
Watch out for: Charlize Theron, Young Adult
No matter how unlikeable her Mavis Gary is, Theron is a past champ with the most critical adoration of the remaining women. Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet's Carnage barely registered, and the nomination is the award for Bridesmaids' Kristen Wiig.
Will win: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Giving Plummer the trophy would not only honor his poignant portrait of a gay man in late bloom, but recognize his heretofore largely unrewarded half-century film career.
Watch out for: Albert Brooks, Drive
Brooks' sinister mobster is the hip and cool vote.
Will win: Octavia Spencer, The Help
The most fluid race of the season, the award could go to any of these ladies. Spencer's co-star Jessica Chastain may have more films to her 2011 resume, but we'll tip Spencer for her outspoken and spirited Minny who never borders on cartoonish. It's a breakout role for the 41-year-old who spent years toiling as a character actress with bit parts.
Watch out for: Berenice Bejo, The Artist
If The Help gals split the vote, Bejo's luminous turn can snatch her the prize.
Who do you think will win?