If the Golden Globe nominations are anything to go by, this year's Oscar selection will include a host of movies that audiences identify with, feel strongly about and will remember.

As sure as night follows day, Oscar selections have had an unofficial theme going every year. 2004 was the year of fantasy movies with Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings winning the big honours of the night. 2005 was a year for biopics with movies such as Ray, Aviator and Million Dollar Baby assumed sure winners even before the awards were announced.

The selection for the upcoming Oscar awards next year however, might just be a mixed bag. Watch out for the 7-Golden Globe nominated cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain, the Jane Austen costume pageant Pride and Prejudice, the Broadway musical The Producers, the best-seller based Memoirs of a Geisha, Woody Allen's against-type thriller Matchpoint and, of course, Peter Jackson's triumphant return after LOTR, King Kong, a movie many have already dubbed the movie of the century.

In terms of actors, everybody's favourite (seriously, is there anyone who dislikes this man?) George Clooney might just be the star of the night at the Oscar Awards. Clooney is in the forefront as the main man involved in two movies, both of which have been generating a lot of pre-Oscar buzz. First up is Good Night And Good Luck, a black-and-white, Clooney-directed tribute to crusading 1950s newsman Edward R. Murrow. The actor is also a likely Oscar contender for his performance in the political thriller Syriana.

Analysing who will be warming the best director's seat is a tough one. Most often, the best director is logically the one who has also made the best film, which is the biggest award of the night. Only twice in the past 15 years have the 2 awards not been linked. In 2000, Russell Crowe and Gladiator snagged the actor and picture honours, while Steven Soderbergh won the directing award for Traffic. And in 2002, voters chose Chicago as Best Picture, but thought it was time to honour Roman Polanski for The Pianist, at the expense of Chicago director Rob Marshall.

This year too, Marshall might just be in the running for Best Director and hopefully Best Movie with Memoirs Of A Geisha, a movie that might also generate a Best Actress nomination for Ziyi Zhang. The film has many elements that the Oscar board normally looks out for. It's a historical costume drama based upon the best-selling novel about the last famous geisha of Imperial Japan.

The few people likely to get in Marshall's way are the larger-than-life Peter Jackson (King Kong), the once-disgrace-now-redeemed Woody Allen ( Matchpoint), two-time Oscar winner Steven Spielberg ( Munich) and of course, Mr Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee.

Unlike last year and the year before, it looks like Hollywood's popcorn pictures won't make the grade this year. This year's big budget flicks such as the overhyped War Of The Worlds, Star Wars and Harry Potter didn't even create a ripple in the Oscar world. Neither did any based-on-a-true-story type of movies. Next year's Oscar biggies could well go to the most talented and the most creative movies, moviemakers and actors in Hollywood.

And while the pre-Oscar buzz is nothing but guess-work, there is one surety: Brokeback Mountain. If the movie is not already on your list of must-wins, why are you even bothered about reading a pre-Oscar article?