Film News

Golden Globes lift Avatar's Oscar prospects

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - With Oscars looming -- Academy members must turn in their ballots Saturday ahead of the February 2 nominations announcement -- “Avatar’s” prospects are looking formidable in the wake of its key Golden Globe wins Sunday.

The Globes provided part of the momentum that propelled Cameron’s last dramatic feature, the sweeping, romantic drama “Titanic,” to Oscar glory a decade ago. (“Titanic,” in fact, took home four Globes, including score and song, to “Avatar’s” two, for picture and director.)

But while “Titanic” was the kind of movie that older Academy voters have shown love for over the years, science-fiction is a category of movies rarely nominated in Oscar’s topline categories.

Its validation from the Globes is, however, likely to propel the blue people toward Oscar gold. It will almost certainly be one of the 10 best picture nominees; Cameron, already a Directors Guild of America nominee, should be a directing nominee; and plenty of technical nominations are assured.

Its biggest weakness is sure to be in the acting categories, even though Cameron took time Sunday to praise the movie’s actors.

Meanwhile, “The Hurt Locker,” which has been riding a wave of critics’ awards, hit a speed bump as a result of its Globes shut-out. While it is still likely to be an Oscar best picture nominee, it faces an uphill battle to take home the top award.

And “Up in the Air,” which led the field with six Globe nominations, had to settle for just one win: the screenplay nod to Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner. While it’s still expected to figure in lots of Oscar categories, winning gold is another thing.

Things do look good for several other contenders: the two best supporting actor winners, Mo’Nique in “Precious” and Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds” as well as the best foreign-language picture winner “The White Ribbon.”

And the wins for Disney/Pixar’s hit “Up” for best animated film and its musical score add to its inevitable nomination for best animated film and will fuel speculation it will also be nommed for best picture.

Among performers, both Jeff Bridges, for “Crazy Heart,” and Sandra Bullock, for “The Blind Side,” got a boost -- the popular actress should get her first Oscar nomination after years of being ignored.

The Globes comedy category doesn’t often contribute as much to Oscar recognition. “The Hangover” remains a longshot and Robert Downey Jr. probably won’t make it into the best actor circle for “Sherlock Holmes.” But Meryl Streep, rewarded for “Julie & Julia,” is looking like she’s positioned to secure a nomination.