By Dave Karger
Updated December 13, 2010 at 10:12 PM EST
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Suzanne Tenner

Image Credit: Suzanne TennerI’ve learned over the years not to place too much stock in the Golden Globe nominations when it comes to predicting what the Academy might do. After all, only once in the last six years has one of the Globe Best Picture winners actually gone on to win the Oscar. But the Hollywood Foreign Press Association always manages to put together an entertaining list of nominees. Tomorrow morning they’ll announce this year’s lists; you can see me talking about them on Access Hollywood Live. In the meantime, here are some things to look out for.

1. Best Drama: Who’ll be left out? Assuming the HFPA only nominates five films for its top prize, that means four top Oscar contenders won’t be recognized. Count on The Social Network and The King’s Speech to make the list, with Inception and The Fighter decent bets as well. That leaves Black Swan, 127 Hours, True Grit, The Town, and Winter’s Bone all fighting for the final slot.

2. Kids will make a comeback After being overlooked by the National Board of Review and the Broadcast Film Critics Association, The Kids Are All Right will surely come roaring back with a Best Comedy nomination and probably two Best Actress in a Comedy citations. Can it maintain its spot in the overall top 10 contenders list?

3. Best Actor in a Comedy…anyone? I can’t recall a year when the pickings were so slim. There’s Johnny Depp for Alice in Wonderland, and I’d love to see Paul Rudd get in for How Do You Know. Beyond that, there’s not much. Bruce Willis for Red? Paul Giamatti for Barney’s Version? Robert Downey, Jr. for Due Date? If I had a ballot I’d be tempted to suggest Jackass 3D‘s Johnny Knoxville.

4. Category dramas galore Several contenders will likely miss out on a nomination because of the HFPA’s rulings on category placement. Gwyneth Paltrow’s music-biz film Country Strong was ruled a drama, meaning she’ll have a tough time making the Best Actress cut. Likewise the amusing Get Low, which could hurt Robert Duvall’s chances. And True Grit standout Hailee Steinfeld was placed in Best Actress despite Paramount’s supporting campaign, so don’t expect to hear her name called either.

5. A-list surprises Remember when Tom Cruise got a Globe nod for Tropic Thunder? Or Julia Roberts for Duplicity? The HFPA loves to fill the Beverly Hilton ballroom with big stars, so there will likely be a handful of mega-celebs who score nods even though they’re not exactly top contenders in the overall Oscar race. I’m thinking Christina Aguilera and Cher for Burlesque, Justin Timberlake for The Social Network, Angelina Jolie for The Tourist, and maybe even Roberts herself for Eat Pray Love.

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