The 69th annual Golden Globe Award nominations will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 15. The Golden Globes can be a bit tricky to get your head around, as they encompass both film and television, and divide film nominations into two categories: Drama and the oft-abused Musical or Comedy. Studios will often submit movies that rather stretch the definition of Musical or Comedy when the competition in the Drama category appears too stiff - and in 2012, there is a surplus of worthy contenders.

Historically, the Globes have proven to favor A-list celebrities (see last year's actor nominations for The Tourist, as well as out-of-left-field wildcards (Michael Douglas for Wall Street) -- there's usually at least one surprise, somewhere. (We have only included film predictions in this list -- T.V. predictions will be published separately.)

This year, My Week with Marilyn is the most eyebrow-raising submission to the Musical and Comedy category; so much so that we have left it out of our nomination predictions altogether. (Michelle Williams gets a pass, however.)

Beginners is another film that could have just as easily been submitted in the drama category, but we really liked it, so we'd like it be considered any way that it can. (We never claimed this list was bias-free).

Some categories just had too wide and impressive a pool of possibilities to be narrowed down to only five, so we've included an alternate or two (designated by an *) here and there.

Check back in Thursday for the full list of Golden Globe nominees. For now, here are our film award predictions: We've tried to maintain a balance between what we want to see (ie. multiple Beginners nods) and what we expect to see (lots of The Help).

 Best Motion Picture - Drama

The Descendants

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

War Horse




*The Help

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama

Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs

Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene

Viola Davis, The Help

Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia

*Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

*Rooney Mara, The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo


Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama

George Clooney, The Descendants

Leonardo diCaprio, J. Edgar

Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

Woody Harrelson, Rampart

*Ryan Gosling, Drive


Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical

The Artist

Midnight in Paris



The Muppets

*Young Adult

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical

Charlize Theron , Young Adult

Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Kristin Wiig, Bridesmaids

Mélanie Laurent, Beginners

Ellen Barkin, Another Happy Day

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical

Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris

Christoph Waltz, Carnage

Brendan Gleeson, The Guard

Ewan MacGregor, Beginners

*Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50

Best Animated Feature Film

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn


Arthur Christmas

Puss in Boots

Winnie the Pooh

Kung Fu Panda 2


Best Foreign Language Film

Where do We Go Now?

A Separation

Miss Bala

In Darkness

Le Harve

*Flowers of War


Best Performance by an Actress in A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Octavia Spencer, The Help

Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids

Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Bérénice Bejo , The Artist

Sandra Bullock, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Albert Brooks, Drive

Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Patton Oswalt, Young Adult

Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn

*Kevin Spacey, Margin Call


Best Director - Motion Picture

Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Alexander Payne, The Descendants

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Stephen Daldry, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

*Steven Spielberg, War Horse


Best Screenplay - Motion Picture

Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, and Stan Chervin, Moneyball

Michel Hazanvicius, The Artist

Eric Roth, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

*Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumulo, Bridesmaids


Best Original Score - Motion Picture

Ludovic Bource, The Artist

John Williams, War Horse

Mychael Danna, Moneyball

Alexandre Desplat, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Abel Korzeniowsky, W.E.

Best Original Song - Motion Picture

Coeur Valant, Hugo

Lay Your Head Down, Albert Nobbs

 Pictures in my Head, The Muppets

Hello Hello, Gnomeo and Juliet

Where the River Goes, Footloose

*The Living Proof, The Help