Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama): Meryl Streep
This best actress category is pretty much a mini-race between Meryl Streep and Viola Davis, her costar in 2008’s Doubt (and expect them to face-off again come Oscar-time). Both star in period pieces, which the Hollywood Foreign Press Association loves. But Streep’s steely take on Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady will likely edge out Davis’ heartfelt performance in The Help on three counts. Not only is Streep a Golden Globes favorite, but she also took on a historical European character (a key distinction, because the HFPA is, indeed, foreign) and made a compelling physical transformation to do so -- then picked up a New York Film Critics Circle Award. In those senses, she is this year’s Colin Firth, who took home a Golden Globe for best actor in drama last year for his role in The King's Speech.