Some of us spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the 6,000-plus voting members of the Academy of Motion Picare thinking, but we’re less certain when it comes to the 80-odd members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
But on Sunday night, the votes cast by the HFPA, an organization of Los Angeles based journalists (and part-time journalists) for foreign outlets, will take center stage at the Golden Globes.
So here’s a stab at predicting how they might have cast their ballots, with the caveat that upsets are all but inevitable with such a small a body of voters. For good measure, we’ve thrown in thoughts on how they should have cast their ballots.
On the TV side, the HFPA can be ahead of the curve, which adds an extra element of surprise to an awards show famous for unexpected moments.
BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Nominees: “12 Years a Slave,” ”Captain Phillips,” “Gravity,” “Philomena,” “Rush”
Will win: “Gravity.” “12 Years a Slave” is the clear critics’ favorite so far, but I hear that HFPA voters like “Philomena” and “Rush” better than they like that movie. But I heard they liked “The King’s Speech” better than they liked “The Social Network” three years ago, and that didn’t stop them from giving the award to the consensus critical favorite. They could do the same thing this year with “12 Years,” but I think it’s more likely that they go for the other Oscar frontrunner, “Gravity.” “Captain Phillips” could possibly stage an upset.
Should win: “12 Years a Slave,” though it’s undeniably a tough sit.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Nominees: Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”; Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”; JudI Dench, “Philomena”; Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks”; Kate Winslet, “Labor Day”
Will win: Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine.” Globes voters might love Dench and Thompson, but nobody is beating Blanchett in this category.
Should win: Cate Blanchett. She’s undeniable.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE — DRAMA
Nominees: Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”; Idris Elba, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”; Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips”; Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”; Robert Redford, “All Is Lost”
Will win: Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club.” Ejiofor is a likely Oscar frontrunner, Redford would provide a big emotional moment and Hanks is the king of Hollywood. But after losing 40 pounds and enoying a terrific year that also includes “Mud” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” McConaughey will charm the pants off the room, and voters will give him that chance.
Should win: Robert Redford, “All Is Lost.” In a very tough category, Redford’s degree of difficulty (he doesn’t talk) might be even higher than McConaughey’s.
BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Nominees: “American Hustle,” ”Her,” ”Inside Llewyn Davis,” ”Nebraska,” “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Will win: “American Hustle.” It’s questionable whether many of the nominated films belong in the category – and if “Saving Mr. Banks” hadn’t insisted on being submitted as a drama, it might have had a good shot here. But David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” has lots of big stars, a hot director and critical approval – it’s close to a lock.
Should win: “Inside Llewyn Davis.” With my three favorite movies of 2013 in this category, I’d go for “Llewyn Davis” in a squeaker over “Her” and “Nebraska.”
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE — MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Nominees: Amy Adams, “American Hustle”; Julie Delpy, “Before Midnight”; Greta Gerwig, “Frances Ha”; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Enough Said”; Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”
Will win: Amy Adams, “American Hustle.” If they liked her movie better, Streep would have a chance. But they liked Adams’ movie better.
Should win: Greta Gerwig, “Frances Ha.” I’d go with one of the two women who also co-wrote their films. Gerwig wins by a hair over Julie Delpy.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE — MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Nominees: Christian Bale, “American Hustle”; Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”; Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”; Oscar Isaac, “Inside Llewyn Davis”; Joaquin Phoenix, “Her”
Will win: Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Bale, Dern and DiCaprio are all legitimate possibilities. I’m guessing star power and acting fireworks win out, and the Globe goes to DiCaprio.
Should win: Oscar Isaac, “Inside Llewyn Davis.” I’d find it incredibly hard to choose between Dern and Isaac, but I’ll give it to the latter because he also had to learn a new (old) style of guitar playing and master an entire repertoire.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Nominees: “The Croods,” “Despicable Me 2,″ “Frozen”
Will win: “Frozen.” The HFPA decided before nominating that this year’s crop of animated films only warranted three nominees – and while DreamWorks Animation has put on a full-court press on behalf of “The Croods” and Universal has done the same for “Desicable Me 2,” I suspect voters will go for the film that’s 15 to 20 percentage points higher than the others on Rotten Tomatoes.
Should win: “Frozen,” I guess. The three animated films I would have preferred – “Ernest & Celestine,” “The Wind Rises” and “Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?: An Animated Conversation With Noam Chomsky” – weren’t eligible.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Nominees: ”Blue Is The Warmest Color” (France); “The Great Beauty” (Italy); “The Hunt” (Denmark); “The Past” (Iran); “The Wind Rises” (Japan)
Will win: “Blue Is the Warmest Color.” It might be too much for some voters, but also has that Palme d’Or to give it cachet. Plus, it’s a way to stick it to the Academy by giving the award to a film that isn’t eligible for the foreign-language Oscar. Its chief rival just might be “The Wind Rises,” an animated feature that could be the beneficiary of the feeling among some voters that it ought to have been eligible in that category.
Should win: “Blue Is the Warmest Color.” By a wide margin.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Nominees: Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”; Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”; Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”; Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”; June Squibb, “Nebraska”
Will win: Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave.” Jennifer Lawrence could easily win her second Globe in two years, but they’ll want to give something to “12 Years a Slave.” Nyong’o could be that film’s winner.
Should win: Lupita Nyong’o. While I love Squibb and Hawkins and think Lawrence makes the most out of every one of her scenes, Nyong’o’s is the performance that lingers.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Nominees: Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”; Daniel Bruhl, “Rush”; Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”; Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”; Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Will win: Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club.” Leto has won almost everything else, and there’s little reason to think he won’t win this too.
Should win: Jared Leto. (And I’d pick him even if James Franco were on the ballot for “Spring Breakers.”)
BEST DIRECTOR — MOTION PICTURE
Nominees: Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”; Paul Greengrass, “Captain Phillips”; Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”; Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”; David O. Russell, “American Hustle”
Will win: Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity.” Russell has a chance and McQueen could win if voters want to make history, but “Gravity” is such a technical accomplishment that voters will recognize it. (Remember, the Globes don’t have cinematograpy, editing, sound and visual effects categories that “Gravity” would otherwise dominate.)
Should win: Alexander Payne, “Nebraska.” Cuaron did wonders, but I’d give this one to Payne for the deft balancing act he pulls off in turning the slow-paced “Nebraska” into a sparkling blend of tragedy, comedy and heart.
BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
Nominees: Spike Jonze, “Her”; Bob Nelson, “Nebraska”; Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan, “Philomena”; John Ridley, “12 Years a Slave”; Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, “American Hustle”
Will win: Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, “American Hustle.” Words, words, words. People who vote for screenplays tend to like lots of words. “American Hustle” is full of ‘em.
Should win: Spike Jonze, “Her.” The movie shouldn’t work, but it does, beautifully. Jonze deserves credit somewhere.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
Nominees: Alex Ebert, “All Is Lost”; Alex Heffes, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”; Steven Price, “Gravity”; John Williams, “The Book Thief”; Hans Zimmer, “12 Years a Slave”
Will win: Steven Price, “Gravity.” Unless voters are in the mood to give 25-time nominee John Williams his fifth win (which they could be), this race might be between the big, assertive score to “Gravity” and the quiet, subtle one to “12 Years a Slave.” Give the nod to the bolder entry.
Should win: “Gravity.” On CD, there’s something annoying about the way “Gravity” constantly relies on big crescendos abruptly cutting to silence. But onscreen, in a movie that pays some attention to the fact that there’s no sound in space, Price uses percussion and vibration in a way that’s absolutely essential to making the movie an immersive experience.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE
Nominees: “Atlas” from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” written by Coldplay; “Let It Go” from “Frozen,” written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson Lopez; “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” written by U2; “Please Mr. Kennedy” from “Inside Llewyn Davis,” written by Ed Rush, George Cromarty, T Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen; “Sweeter Than Fiction” from “One Chance,” written by Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff.
Will win: “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” The list of recent winners is full of rock stars: Adele, Madonna, Bruce Springteen, Eddie Vedder, Prince, Mick Jagger … U2 will fit right in.
Should win: “Please Mr. Kennedy” from “Inside Llewyn Davis.” It may be an extensively rewritten version of a song from the ’60s that borrowed heavily from a song from the ’50s, but “Please Mr. Kennedy” is integral to the film in a way that only “Let It Go” is among the other nominees. And it’s much funnier than “Let It Go.”
See video: 10 Golden Globes Deliciously Awkward Moments
BEST TV SERIES — DRAMA
Nominees: “Breaking Bad,” “Downton Abbey,” “The Good Wife,” “House of Cards,” “Masters of Sex”
“Breaking Bad” has dominated the television talk this year. We can’t imagine the Hollywood Foreign Press will stray from the trend. Plus, it deserves it.
Should win: “Breaking Bad”
Will win: “Breaking Bad”
BEST ACTRESS IN A TV SERIES — DRAMA
Nominees: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”; Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”; Taylor Schilling, “Orange Is the New Black”; Kerry Washington, “Scandal”;
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
“Orphan Black” star Tatiana Maslany is a strong candidate for the win as the Globes likes to go with first season breakthrough stars. But, we’re going to go with an ongoing favorite and a slightly new star for our picks.
Should win: Juliana Margulies, “The Good Wife”
Will win: Kerry Washington, “Scandal”
BEST ACTOR IN A TV SERIES — DRAMA
Nominees: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”; Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”; Michael Sheen, “Masters of Sex”; Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”; James Spader, “The Blacklist”
See above regarding “Breaking Bad.” They own this past year. But, we have nothing but respect for every guy in this category, specifically “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey.
Should win: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad“
Will win: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
BEST TV SERIES — MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Nominees: “The Big Bang Theory,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Girls,” “Modern Family,” “Parks and Recreation”
Points for freshman Fox comedy, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” but again we’re going to with series that have proven some staying power.
Should win: “Parks and Recreation”
Will win: “Girls”
BEST ACTRESS IN A TV SERIES — MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Nominees: Zooey Deschanel, “New Girl”; Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”; Lena Dunham, “Girls”; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”; Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”
Tough race. We don’t believe Lena Dunham or Zooey Deschanel have delivered performances thus far that challenge Edie Falco, Julia Louis-Dreyfus or Amy Poehler for the actual win.
Should win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Will win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
BEST ACTOR IN A TV SERIES — MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Nominees: Jason Bateman, “Arrested Development”; Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”; Michael J. Fox, “The Michael J. Fox Show”; Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”; Andy Samberg, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Don Cheadle won last year, but “House of Lies” has lost a lot of buzz since then. Once. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s” Andy Samberg is an attractive pick here, but we’re thinking there’s something about having a veteran return to TV.
Should win: Andy Samberg, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Will win: Michael J. Fox, “The Michael J. Fox Show”
BEST TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
Nominees: “American Horror Story: Coven”; “Behind the Candelabra”; “Dancing on the Edge”; “Top of the Lake”; “White Queen”
We thoroughly enjoyed Sundance’s “Top of the Lake” and Starz’s “White Queen,” but we think FX’s “American Horror Story: Coven” is the best installment of the show yet. But, “Behind the Candelabra” will probably take the prize for its movie star leads and over-the-top staging.
Should win: “American Horror Story: Coven”
Will win: “Behind the Candelabra”
BEST ACTRESS — TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
Nominees: Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton and Taylor”; Rebecca Ferguson, “White Queen”; Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven”; Helen Mirren, “Phil Spector”; Elisabeth Moss, “Top of the Lake”
Jessica Lange is a wonder to behold on “American Horror Story: Coven,” but she won’t get the prize. We think this contingent will throw its vote to an international entry.
Should win: Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Will win: Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton and Taylor“
BEST ACTOR — TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES
Nominees: Matt Damon, “Behind the Candelbra”; Michael Douglas, “Behind the Candelabra”; Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Dancing on the Edge”; Idris Elba, “Luther”; Al Pacino, “Phil Spector”
Two noms for the “Behind the Candelabra” stars: Will they split the vote? We’re crazy for Idris Elba on “Luther,” but we think that Michael Douglas will get the nod.
Should win: Idris Elba, “Luther”
Will win: Michael Douglas, “Behind the Candelabra”