Dave Karger's 2006 Golden Globes predictions: Wins look likely for ''Brokeback Mountain,'' as well as George Clooney, Reese Witherspoon, and Ang Lee
Credit: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: Kimberly French

EW’s Globes expert calls the big movie races

This year’s surprise-filled Golden Globe nominations made the Oscar race as complicated as the last hour of Syriana — no Munich, Crash, or Capote for Best Picture? — leaving Hollywood wondering what the field will look like after the ceremony on Jan. 16. But since waiting’s no fun, you can start speculating right now with our set of Fearless Predictions.

Best Picture, Drama With seven nominations (three more than its nearest competitors), Brokeback Mountain will easily ride off with the night’s biggest prize, setting the cowboy drama up as the Oscar front-runner.

Best Picture, Comedy/Musical Barring a spread-the-wealth gesture that results in an upset for Pride & Prejudice, Walk the Line will ride that train all the way to victory.

Best Actor, Drama Capote‘s Philip Seymour Hoffman has racked up the critics’ prizes (15 so far, including a high-profile win from the broadcast critics), but the movie’s shutout in all other categories hints at a lack of support. Expect Brokeback‘s Heath Ledger to lasso the statuette.

Best Actress, Drama Brokeba…er, sorry. We’re getting a little too used to typing that one. Actually, we’re guessing Felicity Huffman’s turn in Transamerica will prove irresistible.

Best Actor, Comedy/Musical If Jamie Foxx could lip-synch his way to victory in this category last year, then Joaquin Phoenix, who did his own singing in Walk the Line, is a lock.

Best Actress, Comedy/Musical Again, there’s a slight chance of a Pride & Prejudice upset (Keira Knightley), but Walk the Line‘s Reese Witherspoon should pick up another of what will be many awards over the next two months.

Best Supporting Actor The toughest race to call. Our guess is that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will make up for past snubs and recognize Cinderella Man‘s Paul Giamatti.

Best Supporting Actress With A History of Violence‘s Maria Bello misplaced in the lead category, Michelle Williams will add another trophy to Brokeback‘s count.

Best Screenplay This is the best chance of victory for triple nominee George Clooney, who co-wrote Good Night, and Good Luck with Grant Heslov.

Best Director Given all that momentum, it’s hard to see how Brokeback‘s Ang Lee could be overlooked here. The Golden Globes just can’t quit him.