The Hollywood Foreign Press did precisely the opposite of what the Broadcast Critics did a few days ago. They lavished praise upon early season frontrunner “Atonement” and kicked “Into The Wild” into the curb. “Into The Wild” got 7 Broadcast noms, but only two Globes nods, both for music. Did Sean Penn piss someone off?

It should not be surprising that “Atonement” ruled the Globes. After all, the HFPA previously went crazy for epic romances like “The English Patient” and “Cold Mountain.” James McAvoy and Keira Knightley must be breathing a sigh of relief. Both were shut out at the BFCAs, but now they are back on track for the Oscars.

The Globes haven’t been as good of a predictor as the BFCAs, but there are some subtle signs to look for this time around. Last year, Dreamgirls’ director Bill Condon didn’t get a director nod. That was sort of the beginning of the end for Dreamgirls’ Oscar bid. Notice that Tim Burton did for Sweeney Todd this morning. This might be an indicator that Sweeney Todd has more staying power. Also, note that three films got nominations for directing and writing: Atonement, No Country For Old Men, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. These three films will be tough to beat come Oscar nominations time.

Meanwhile, what is up with the Golden Globes listing SEVEN films for Best Picture Drama. It was bad enough when they picked six a few years ago. This is just downright ridiculous. It dilutes the significance of the other nominees and reveals an inexcusable indecisiveness among the HFPA.

Next week, we’ll update our Best Picture predictions and try to make some sense of the awards season so far.

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