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IMAGE: Social Network
Merrick Morton  /  AP
"The Social Network" is a favorite to win big this awards season.
updated 12/14/2010 8:18:05 AM ET 2010-12-14T13:18:05

The Golden Globes remain Hollywood's second-biggest film honors. Yet they are not the weather vane they used to be for predicting which film might triumph at the Academy Awards.

The 68th annual Globes, whose nominations come out Tuesday morning, will feature 10 best-picture nominees, five each in the dramatic category and the musical or comedy category.

The Oscars switched from five best-picture nominees to 10 last year and will continue with that doubled lineup, so plenty of overlap can be expected between Globe and Oscar contenders.

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But only once in the last six years has the winner of one of the Globe best-film prizes gone on to win best picture at the Oscars — 2008's "Slumdog Millionaire."

That came after a stretch of eight-straight years when a Globe winner in either the dramatic or musical-comedy category went on to claim the best-picture Oscar.

With two acclaimed dramas — the British monarchy tale "The King's Speech" and the Facebook story "The Social Network" — considered front-runners this time, there are prospects of another divergent year between the Globes and the Oscars, whose nominations come out Jan. 25, nine days after the Globes are presented.

"The Social Network" already has snagged two key prizes as both Los Angeles and New York film critics groups picked it as the year's best movie.

Other possible Globe drama contenders include the sci-fi smash "Inception," the ballet tale "Black Swan," the Western "True Grit," the boxing saga "The Fighter" and the survival story "127 Hours."

Among musical and comedy prospects are the lesbian-family tale "The Kids Are All Right," the Lewis Carroll fantasy "Alice in Wonderland," the song-and-dance extravaganza "Burlesque," the curmudgeon chronicle "Barney's Version" and the romances "Greenberg," "Love & Other Drugs," "How Do You Know" and "Cyrus."

The Globes and Oscars typically line up better on acting winners. Last year, "Avatar" won best drama at the Globes and "The Hurt Locker" took best picture at the Oscars. But all four Oscar acting recipients — Sandra Bullock for "The Blind Side," Jeff Bridges for "Crazy Heart," Mo'Nique for "Precious" and Christoph Waltz for "Inglourious Basterds" — also won prizes at the Globes first.

Clear favorites have emerged this season for best actor (Colin Firth in "The King's Speech") and supporting actor (Christian Bale in "The Fighter").

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Annette Bening for "The Kids Are All Right" and Natalie Portman for "Black Swan" could wind up in a two-woman race for best actress, while the supporting-actress category is up for grabs among prospects that include Amy Adams and Melissa Leo for "The Fighter," Helena Bonham Carter for "The King's Speech" and 14-year-old newcomer Hailee Steinfeld for "True Grit."

No matter how the two awards shows line up on winners, the stars generally can count on a good time at the Globes, a more laid-back, dinner-and-drinks affair than the stately Oscars.

The Globes are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 85 critics and reporters for overseas outlets. Actors Katie Holmes, Blair Underwood and Josh Duhamel will announce nominees.

Robert De Niro, an eight-time Globe nominee who won a best-actor prize there for "Raging Bull," will receive the group's Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.

Ricky Gervais is returning as host of the Globes ceremony, which will air live Jan. 16 on NBC.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: December

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  1. 'Black Swan'

    Stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis

    Director: Darren Aronofsky

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 3

    An ambitious young dancer (Portman) is given the lead in a production of "Swan Lake," but must come to grips with a threatening new rival (Kunis) and her own dark side in "Black Swan." (Fox Searchlight) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. 'I Love You Phillip Morris'

    Stars: Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Rodrigo Santoro

    Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 3

    Carrey plays a married police officer who discovers his true self as a gay man in "I Love You Phillip Morris." Jailed as a con man, he falls in love with another inmate (McGregor) and will do anything to be with him. (Newmarket Films) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. 'All Good Things'

    Stars: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst

    Director: Andrew Jarecki

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 3

    Inspired by the real-life Robert Durst murder case, "All Good Things" tells a tale of family, obsession, love and loss. (Magnolia Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. 'The Tourist'

    Stars: Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp

    Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 10

    An American tourist in Europe (Johnny Depp) gets caught up in a whirlwind romance with a mysterious woman (Angelina Jolie), and a game of cat and mouse with an unknown, but deadly adversary in "The Tourist." (Columbia Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. 'The Tempest'

    Stars: Helen Mirren, Felicity Jones, David Strathairn, Djimon Hounsou, Russell Brand

    Director: Julie Taymor

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 10

    A gender-bending twist on the Shakespearean comedy, "The Tempest" turns the Bard's male Prospero into Prospera (Mirren). A duchess finds herself and her daughter (Jones) stranded on an island with the beast Caliban (Hounsou). She eventually seeks revenge against the brother who left her there. (Touchstone Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. 'Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader'

    Stars: Georgia Henley, Skandar Keynes, Liam Neeson, Simon Pegg

    Director: Michael Apted

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 10

    3-D fantasy based on the third novel in C. S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" series. With the land now at peace, Prince Caspian along with Lucy, Edmund and cousin Eustace begin a quest to find the seven lost lords of the land. (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. 'The Fighter'

    Stars: Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg

    Director: David O. Russell

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 10

    In "The Fighter," Wahlberg plays a professional boxer on the rise, training with his brother (Bale), once a boxer himself who fell victim to drugs and the world of crime. (Paramount Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. 'Tron: Legacy'

    Stars: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlunc

    Director: Joseph Kosinski

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 17

    This 3-D sci-fi flick is a follow-up to 1982's "Tron." Kevin Flynn's now-adult son investigates what made his father disappear 20 years ago and finds himself pulled into the video-game world of the first film. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. 'Yogi Bear'

    Stars: Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake, Christine Taylor

    Director: Eric Brevig

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 17

    "Yogi Bear," the famous cartoon bear of Jellystone Park (voiced by Aykroyd), takes center stage in a 3-D adventure that utilizes both live-action and CGI. Timberlake provides the voice of his little pal, Boo-Boo. (Warner Bros.) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. 'Little Fockers'

    Stars: Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Owen Wilson

    Director: Paul Weitz

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 22

    Uptight father-in-law Jack (De Niro) visits the Focker family to celebrate their twins' birthday, and check in on his son-in-law, Greg (Stiller) in "Little Fockers." (Universal Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. 'Somewhere'

    Stars: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning, Benicio del Toro

    Director: Sofia Coppola

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 22

    A Hollywood bad boy (Dorff) must examine and change his lifestyle when his 11-year-old daughter (Fanning) comes into his life in "Somewhere." (Focus Features) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. 'Country Strong'

    Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund, Leighton Meester

    Director: Shana Feste

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 22

    A fallen country music star (Paltrow) hits the road to start her comeback tour, but a love triangle between her husband and opening act star threatens them all in "Country Strong." (Screen Gems) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. 'Gulliver's Travels'

    Stars: Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Jason Segel, Amanda Peet

    Director: Rob Letterman

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 22

    Black takes on the famous role as a man who finds himself a giant among tiny people on the hidden island of Lilliput in "Gulliver's Travels." (20th Century Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. 'True Grit'

    Stars: Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin, Matt Damon

    Director: Joel and Ethan Coen

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 25

    The Coen brothers remake John Wayne's famous 1969 Western, "True Grit." A 14-year-old girl hires tough U.S. marshal "Rooster" Cogburn (Bridges) to track down the man who killed her father. (Paramount Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. 'Blue Valentine'

    Stars: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams

    Director: Derek Cianfrance

    Scheduled release date: Dec. 31

    "Blue Valentine," a romantic drama about a married couple's disintegrating relationship, was originally given an NC-17 rating due to an intense sex scene, but was given an R rating after an appeal. (The Weinstein Company) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Fox Searchlight
    Above: Slideshow (15) Winter movie guide - December
  2. Lionsgate
    Slideshow (8) Winter movie guide - January
  3. Universal Pictures
    Slideshow (11) Winter movie guide - February

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