The nominations for this year's Golden Globes have been released and there are a lot of familiar names going head to head this year in the Best Actress categories. Head to head with themselves, that is.

Topping the actress lists this year are ageless wonders Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep, both of whom not only go toe-to-toe against each other but also compete with their own ouvre thanks to nominations for multiple films. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's slow up and break things down by starting with a look at the nominees in the premiere category ... The nominations for this year's Golden Globes have been released and there are a lot of familiar names going head to head this year in the Best Actress categories. Head to head with themselves, that is.

Topping the actress lists this year are ageless wonders Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep, both of whom not only go toe-to-toe against each other but also compete with their own ouvre thanks to nominations for multiple films. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's slow up and break things down by starting with a look at the nominees in the premiere category ...

BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA


Unknown just a few short weeks ago, Gabourey Sidibe burst into the national consciousness with her star-making turn in 'Precious.' The film, which has already become an awards favorite and which also earned a nomination for Best Motion Picture, Drama, hinges on the powerful performance by Sidibe, making her the early frontrunner.

She's not a shoo-in, however, thanks to the more mainstream effort by Sandra Bullock in 'The Blind Side,' which capped off a career year for the popular veteran actress. If this were the Oscars, we'd have to give the edge to Bullock, as the family friendly fare in 'Blind Side' is easier viewing than the more challenging 'Precious' and voters would be likely to reward Bullock for her body of work. Given that the Golden Globe are handed out by the more persnickety Hollywood Foreign Press, however, we'd have to handicap this as a toss-up.

Also in the mix are two of Britain's most famous queens, Victoria and Helen Mirren. Dame Mirren, who back in 2007 managed the feat of winning Golden Globes for playing two different queens in the same year (Elizabeth in 'Elizabeth I' and Elizabeth II in 'The Queen'), is up this time for 'The Last Station,' where she plays the long-suffering wife of legendary Russian author Leo Tolstoy, ceding the title role in 'The Young Victoria' to Emily Blunt.

Blunt and Mirren both are hindered by the fact that their films are relatively low-profile affairs and, unlike 'Precious,' neither has mounted a particularly compelling awards campaign thus far. The fact that both movies deal with foreign subject matter, however, may give them a slight boost as members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association may be more familiar with the film than American Oscar voters might be. Still, we'd be surprised if either of them came away with the trophy.

Inexplicable awards nominations often have critics calling for a mulligan, but this may be the first time one was actually given. That's no knock on Carey Mulligan's turn in 'An Education,' however, a role that many film buffs are viewing as a career launching role perhaps even more powerful than Sidibe's. Mulligan's nomination is the ultimate wild card in the field; with so few people having actually seen the arthouse film, it's impossible to say whether she will be an afterthought or if the critics who run the Golden Globes will stick to their guns and reward a complete unknown in one of the night's biggest categories. The answer should provide one of the most interesting moments of the evening.

As up-in-the-air as the Drama category is, it's got nothing on the other actress category, which features not one but two Meryl Streeps, proving that even living legends aren't as unique as we thought.

BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Stop us if you've heard this one, but Sandra Bullock leads the list of nominees with her role as a Canadian businesswoman fighting deportation with arranged marriage in 'The Proposal.' The biggest danger for Bullock is that her dual nominations in both the Drama and Comedy categories will split the vote among her supporters, leaving her short on both counts.

That dilemma seems almost boring compared to the one facing Streep, however, as she goes up against herself in this category, with nominations for her roles in both 'Julie and Julia' and 'It's Complicated.' We have a feeling her turn as international cooking sensation Julia Child will dominate the more paint-by-numbers menopausal fantasy of 'It's Complicated,' though, which may make Streep the frontrunner over Bullock.

Marion Cotillard is no stranger to this Golden Globes, having won this very category just two years ago for her role in 'La vie en rose.' This time she's nominated for 'Nine,' which sees her singing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis. That may get her a few votes for sheer weirdness, but since 'Nine' is an ensemble piece (the title refers to the nine women in the life of Day-Lewis's character), the nomination is likely all she'll receive.

Julia Roberts is one of the biggest female stars in film history. Yet somehow, nobody went to see 'Duplicity.' Name recognition is great, but being Julia Roberts will have to be it's own reward as she has little to no chance at winning this year.