Jeremy Irvine and his co-star in “War Horse.” (DreamWorks II)

Various critics groups have weighed in on the year’s best films. The Screen Actors Guild did the same this morning. Next up: Thursday morning’s Golden Globe Award nominations, a list of contenders that often, though not always, synchs up nicely with the eventual crop of Academy Award nominations.

One of the most interesting categories to watch tomorrow will be best motion picture — drama, a field in which multiple films will compete for the traditional five open slots. (Back in 2007, the Hollywood Foreign Press nominated seven movies in the category, but presumably the voters will stick with the usual quintet this time.)

So which films are likely in and which will likely be out come tomorrow morning? Let’s guess . . . uh, I mean, predict.

Also read:

Golden Globe predictions for best musical or comedy

The Locks

Remember, some strong best picture favorites like “The Artist” are already competing for the Globes’ best musical or comedy award. Which leaves the following sure-thing dramas to get recognized in the other Globes best picture category.

(Merie Wallace/AP/Fox Searchlight)

“The Descendants”

It’s been nominated by the Broadcast Film Critics, the AFI, SAG, the Spirit Award voters and several critics groups. The HFPA will follow suit.

(JAAP BUITENDIJK/Paramount Pictures)


A gorgeous film by Martin Scorsese that celebrates the history of the cinema. Don’t see how this one can be left out either.

(Warner Bros.)

“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

A genuine weeper with strong performances (particularly from Max von Sydow) and a focus on the aftermath of 9/11 that gives it an emotional gravitas. The only reason it might not make the cut is if some voting members haven’t gotten a chance to see it. Presumably, they managed to.

The Possibles

“War Horse”

Steven Spielberg’s epic war story of a boy and his equine best friend has all the markings of a Golden Globe and Oscar contender. The problem is it never strikes enough of an emotional chord, or at least it didn’t with me. But the Foreign Press is known for showering attention on big names. And that may give the esteemed Mr. Spielberg an edge.

“The Help”

If “War Horse” gets in, that may bump this summertime hit out of the race. I would not be surprised. For starters, “The Help” may speak more to American audiences than it does to the Foreign Press voters. Also, its greatest assets are in its performances; the main Golden Globe recognition this adaptation earns may fall in the acting categories.


A movie with a fine script, a marquee star in Brad Pitt and a narrative based on an inspiring true story? All those ingredients should make “Moneyball” a shoo-in for a best picture nomination. I think it could go either way.

“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

There’s a chance this much-ballyhooed thriller will sneak in. But I think it may be deemed too dark to be widely embraced by the HFPA.

“J. Edgar”

Like “The Help,” this biopic is more notable for its performances than the actual movie itself. But the Foreign Press adores director Clint Eastwood and may feel obligated to show him some love.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”

Given all the competition, it seems unlikely that the biggest blockbuster of the year will get a nomination in a field that often shuns mainstream fare. Still, the Foreign Press doesn’t always follow convention. Also, the members of the group who hail from the UK may want to do something to recognize the finale of such a lucrative, England-based franchise, so much so that they could try to sway their fellow voters . . . maybe.

Of those possibles, which would you most like to see get a best picture nomination? And what have I left out that should be nominated tomorrow morning? Weigh in by posting a comment.