Not since the 2002 awards season was bouncily dominated by "Chicago" -- the last comedy, or indeed musical, to take the Best Picture Oscar -- has drama looked like more of an afterthought at the Golden Globe Awards. As Rob Marshall's frisky tuner swept the comedy/musical categories at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's perennially boozy shindig, the top prize in the corresponding drama category was handed to "The Hours," a modest, downbeat female ensemble piece that everyone knew hadn't a shot in hell at the Oscar. The award that usually represents the climax of the Globes ceremony had been downgraded to consolation-prize status.
Nine years later, as if to restore some lustre to a category that last year named "The Tourist" one of the year's best films, we're looking at a similar situation. "The Artist," the silent French wonder that currently leads the Oscar race by a comfortable distance, is a foreordained winner of the musical/comedy Best Picture Globe tonight (as well as a Best Actor prize for star Jean Dujardin), while over in the drama race, a number of less favored titles are jostling for the title of Official Opposition.