Even on a drunken road trip, it'd be hard to imagine that a small-budget buddy comedy would ever be drenched in Hollywood's highest honors, and yet "Sideways" is poised to be an awards show powerhouse.
Hollywood's annual season of self-congratulation kicks into high gear on Sunday as the red carpet rolls out for the 62nd Golden Globe Awards. Momentum for "Sideways" continued to build this week, as the Alexander Payne movie picked up four Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.
Even cast members say they're surprised by all the acclaim.
"All of us are just blown away that this is happening because no one was thinking about that while we were shooting. This was just, like, a smaller film," said Virginia Madsen, who plays a waitress romanced by Paul Giamatti.
As a junior high school teacher in the aftermath of an ego-crushing divorce, Giamatti takes his soon-to-be-married college buddy Jack (Thomas Haden Church) on a weeklong drive up to California's wine country.
The $12 million film, based on a Rex Pickett novel, earned a leading seven Golden Globe nominations, one more than "The Aviator," Martin Scorsese's $100 million film about billionaire Howard Hughes.
"It almost seemed like it was just for us when we were making it," said Madsen. "We were just on this pink cloud, just all of us making this little, little movie and, uh, here we are like, 'Wow!' "
There will be several newcomers at this year's Golden Globes. ABC's "Desperate Housewives" leads all TV shows with five nominations, and if you thought the women of Wisteria Lane got competitive on their show, three of the stars -- Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman -- are nominees for best actress in the TV musical or comedy category.
But that's not the only way the stars of "Desperate Housewives" will be competing. Their show will air Sunday at its regularly scheduled time while the awards will be presented on NBC, in a telecast that begins at 8 p.m.
To top it off, the stars of "Desperate Housewives" will also be presenters on the NBC telecast, making it very likely that these ladies will be on the evenings' two most watched TV shows -- at the exact same time.
The Globes will once again feature a parade of stars, including Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman, Kate Hudson, Usher, Prince, Naomi Watts and Renée Zellweger, who will share in the hosting and presenting duties.
Each year, the 94-member Hollywood Foreign Press Association honors the best in TV and film. Unlike the Oscars, in this ceremony, there are separate awards in the categories of drama and comedy/musical.
The Golden Globes have been criticized over the years, mostly because their body of voters is so small. In comparison, more than 4,500 film industry professionals cast Oscar ballots. Still, even as the number of awards shows has exploded, the Golden Globes continue to score high TV ratings, last year second only to the Oscars ceremony.
At this year's show, you'll get to watch legendary cut-up Robin Williams, a six-time Globe winner, as he accepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award, 26 years after the HFPA first honored him for "Mork and Mindy."
You'll also see Clint Eastwood's darling daughter Kathryn, 16, assist with the presentation of awards as Miss Golden Globe 2005, raising the expectation that she'll be up on the podium if her dad, himself a former DeMille winner, wins for "Million Dollar Baby," which is nominated in five categories, including best director.