Here’s one thing to remember about the Golden Globes: It only has 87 voters, or slightly more than 1% as many as the Oscars do. And those 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association bring with them a variety of competing agendas, which makes predicting what they’ll do maddening at times.
For the most part, though, they like to think their votes will put them on the right side of history. (I’ll let you decide whether last year’s choices of “Bohemian Rhapsody” for dramatic film and “Green Book” for comedy did that, but the HFPA was surely pleased that the Academy more or less followed suit.)
The voters also like to spread the wealth, with their top films rarely sweeping too many categories. (“La La Land” going seven-for-seven in 2017 was a real anomaly.) And in the television categories, the group’s focus is on finding shows and performances that are new to the awards game — unlike the Emmys, they almost never give a show the same award in consecutive years.
Here’s what we think will happen on Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton.
Best Motion Picture – Drama
“The Two Popes”
“Marriage Story” received more nominations, six, than any other film – so why does it seem to be an underdog here? Maybe because “The Irishman” and “1917” feel bigger and more significant, and because those who work with the group say they’ve also got a real passion for “The Two Popes.” If voters go for the movie they enjoyed the most, as they did last year with “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the year before with “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” this could go to “The Two Popes” or even “Joker” in something of an upset; if they want the more substantial film, it’ll be “Irishman” or “1917.”
Unlike some Oscar voters, the HFPA doesn’t have a problem with Netflix, which treats them very well – so even though “The Irishman” might be more divisive and maybe not even as well liked overall, the heft it has as Martin Scorsese’s last word on gang movies could give it a very slight edge.
Predicted winner: “The Irishman”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Renée Zellweger, “Judy”
For months, Renée Zellweger has been the presumed front-runner for channeling Judy Garland in “Judy.” This will be her first real test, and it seems unlikely that Globes voters will resist — but Charlize Theron’s performance as Megyn Kelly in “Bombshell” broke late and picked up momentum, so she can’t be ruled out.
Predicted winner: Renée Zellweger, “Judy”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Christian Bale, “Ford v Ferrari”
Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”
Divorced dad or disturbed loner? Adam Driver and Joaquin Phoenix are probably the two strongest contenders here, with Jonathan Pryce and Antonio Banderas angling for what would be a big upset. Driver also has performances in “The Report” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” to bolster his resume, while a Phoenix win would likely be the best way to recognize “Joker,” which a number of Globes voters are said to have loved.
Predicted winner: Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
“Dolemite Is My Name”
“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
The two likeliest winners in this category have always been “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” and “Jojo Rabbit” but numbers alone would suggest that the former film has the upper hand: it received five nominations, tied with “The Irishman” and trailing only “Marriage Story,” while “Jojo” is only nominated in one other category, actor in a comedy. The only thing that could hurt “OUATIH” would be the Globes’ longstanding tendency to spread the wealth — with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt favorites in their categories and Quentin Tarantino a possible frontrunner for both directing and writing, will they want to give something else an award here? Probably not – if they are looking to avoid a Tarantino sweep, they’ll probably do so in a different category.
Predicted winner: “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Ana de Armas, “Knives Out”
Awkwafina, “The Farewell”
Cate Blanchett, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?”
Beanie Feldstein, “Booksmart”
Emma Thompson, “Late Night”
While Blanchett and Thompson are legends, their films weren’t widely seen. Nominations in other categories would suggest that “Knives Out” and “The Farewell” are the two films here that voters like the best, and Awkwafina is certainly the person in this group that the HFPA will most want to see on stage at the Globes.
Predicted winner: Awkwafina, “The Farewell”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Daniel Craig, “Knives Out”
Roman Griffin Davis, “Jojo Rabbit”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
Taron Egerton, “Rocketman”
Eddie Murphy, “Dolemite Is My Name”
While Taron Egerton would help the HFPA justify the “musical” part of this category’s name, he has the disadvantage of being in a category with two icons, Leonardo DiCaprio and Eddie Murphy, both of them in well-liked movies. Murphy has a real shot, particularly if voters are trying to spread the wealth, but DiCaprio probably has more across-the-board support.
Predicted winner: Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
Best Director – Motion Picture
Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”
Sam Mendes, “1917”
Todd Phillips, “Joker”
Martin Scorsese, ‘The Irishman”
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
This one is tough. If “1917” or “The Irishman” win in the drama category, it stands to reason that Sam Mendes or Martin Scorsese should win here. But the two categories have matched only twice in the last six years, and Globe voters could easily go to Quentin Tarantino or Bong Joon Ho, whose films will likely win in the comedy and foreign language categories, respectively.
Bong is the real wild card here — Globe rules prevented his film from being nominated in one of the two top film categories, and voters could make a big statement by giving him this award (or the screenplay prize). I’m guessing Tarantino but I’m tempted to go with Bong.
Predicted winner: Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
Annette Bening, “The Report”
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”
A vote for Laura Dern also honors her performance in “Little Women” and gives “Marriage Story” a win, so she’s a strong contender. But will Jennifer Lopez’s star power, and that pole dance in “Hustlers,” be enough to convince voters that they want her on their stage? Probably.
Predicted winner: Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”
Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
In a formidable lineup of actors who are almost all co-leads in their movies, the edge may go to the most undeniable movie star of the bunch. In fact, Brad Pitt is probably one of the surest bets for a “OUATIH” win.
Predicted winner: Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story”
Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won, “Parasite”
Anthony McCarten, “The Two Popes”
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon A Time … in Hollywood”
Steven Zaillian, “The Irishman”
By combining original scripts and adaptations into a single category, Globe voters created a strong field in which any one of the film nominees could conceivably win. If Quentin Tarantino doesn’t win Best Director, he probably will win here – but if he wins director, this could be a spot for any of the other nominees.
“Parasite” is absolutely possible and so is “The Two Popes,” but this may be the easiest place to honor Noah Baumbach and “Marriage Story.”
Predicted winner: Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story”
Best Motion Picture – Animated
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
“The Lion King”
“Toy Story 4”
The last installments of “Frozen,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Toy Story” all won in this category, but will voters want to go back to any of those franchises a second time? And Disney didn’t even submit the “live-action” remake of “The Lion King” to the Globes as an animated film, so its chances of winning in a category where it didn’t want to be are slim.
If voters balk at honoring a sequel, it’ll help “Missing Link,” the only non-sequel or remake in the category, and a film from a company, Laika, that has avidly courted the HFPA. (Of course, so has everybody else.) I’ll pick the sequel that feels the least like its predecessors, “Toy Story 4,” to win in a close race with “Missing Link.”
Predicted winner: “Toy Story 4”
Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
“Pain and Glory”
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”
“The Farewell” is a crowd-pleasing film that would have been nominated in the comedy category except for Globes rules excluding foreign-language films from that category, but “Parasite” also has nominations for director and screenplay. The HFPA is smart enough to know that if they give the award to anything else, they’ll look silly.
Predicted winner: “Parasite”
Best Original Score – Motion Picture
If Joaquin Phoenix doesn’t win for “Joker,” this category could be the movie’s consolation prize – and while that would be an adventurous choice musically, Globe voters don’t usually get adventurous here. In fact, they usually go with the most obvious choice, which this year is clearly Thomas Newman’s essential score for “1917” over his cousin Randy’s more intimate work on “Marriage Story.”
Predicted winner: “1917”
Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Beautiful Ghosts” from “Cats”
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”
“Into the Unknown” from “Frozen 2”
“Spirit” from “The Lion King”
“Stand Up” from “Harriet”
At one point, I might have suggested that Globes voters would want to glory in the fact that they nominated Taylor Swift when the Academy didn’t even shortlist her for the song she wrote with Andrew Lloyd Webber for “Cats.” But now that the film is a fiasco of epic proportions, HFPA members know they’ll be ridiculed if they give that movie any awards.
Robert Lopez and Kristin Anderson-Lopez won Oscars for the original “Frozen” and for “Coco,” but they lost both times at the Globes and may be up against too much celebrity here. Cynthia Erivo has a real chance to win for “Stand Up” from the movie in which she also stars, and she apparently wowed the voters at her HFPA press conference. But Elton John for “Rocketman” and Beyonce for “The Lion King” are clearly formidable as well. I give a slight edge to Elton because they liked his film enough to also give it picture and actor nominations.
Predicted winner: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”
Best Television Series – Drama
“Big Little Lies”
“The Morning Show”
The Globes rarely have repeat winners in this category – which won’t be a problem, considering that last year’s winner, “The Americans,” is now off the air. But one otherwise strong contender, “The Crown,” won in this category three years ago, and “Big Little Lies” won four awards in 2017, when the HFPA and HBO pretended it was a limited series rather than a continuing one.
Those past wins might give a boost to two newer shows, “Succession” and “The Morning Show” — and given the HFPA’s love for finding and saluting first-year shows, and the fact that their members are said to adore “The Morning Show,” I’ll go with Season 1 of that show beating Season 2 of “Succession.”
Predicted winner: “The Morning Show”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
Olivia Colman, “The Crown”
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Reese Witherspoon, “The Morning Show”
Olivia Colman could be irresistible for what she’s done in taking over the Queen Elizabeth role in “The Crown” – but if the two “Morning Show” nominees don’t split the vote, that show could well win here too. It’s been 17 years since Jennifer Aniston has won a Globe, and the voters may want to welcome her back.
Predicted winner: Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama
Brian Cox, “Succession”
Kit Harington, “Game of Thrones”
Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”
Tobias Menzies, “The Crown”
Billy Porter, “Pose”
“Game of Thrones” and “Mr. Robot” have had enough Globes success that those shows don’t need final-season parting gifts from the HFPA, and Tobias Menzies is probably a less likely winner than his “The Crown” castmate Olivia Colman is in her category. While voters would no doubt love the shot of energy that Billy Porter would bring to the stage, Brian Cox and “Succession” are just too formidable.
Predicted winner: Brian Cox, “Succession”
Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
“The Kominsky Method”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“The Kominsky Method” won last year. A series hasn’t won the Globe in this category in consecutive years since “Glee” in 2010-2011, and “Kominsky” doesn’t seem likely to do it either. “Maisel” won two years ago, so it gets docked a notch as well, while “Barry” was nominated last year. If voters are truly looking for something new, that’d be “The Politician” – but “Fleabag” is a first-time nominee and was the hottest show at the Emmys this year.
The question is whether the HFPA wants to pick something the Television Academy already honored – and the answer, I suspect, is that Season 2 of “Fleabag” was so cool that they’ll be OK doing just that.
Predicted winner: “Fleabag”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Kirsten Dunst, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”
Natasha Lyonne, “Russian Doll”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”
Rachel Brosnahan has won in this category the last two years in a row, but the Globes have only had the same winner in three consecutive years once, when Sarah Jessica Parker did it from 1999 through 2001. There’s too much competition for Brosnahan to do that, particularly in the form of Kirsten Dunst and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Dunst has the newer show, but Waller-Bridge is the year’s hottest star.
Predicted winner: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
Bill Hader, “Barry”
Ben Platt, “The Politician”
Paul Rudd, “Living With Yourself”
Ramy Youssef, “Ramy”
Douglas won last year. Hader would be the obvious choice except that he was nominated last year, and voters might look for someone on a newer show, either Ben Platt for “The Politician” or Ramy Youssef for “Ramy.” The again, that “ronny/lily” episode of “Barry” was pretty awesome, and the show did come into its own in Season 2.
Predicted winner: Bill Hader, “Barry”
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
“The Loudest Voice”
Shockingly, HFPA voters completely overlooked “When They See Us” in this category. With Ava DuVernay’s miniseries out of the running, the strongest candidates are probably the Emmy winner, “Chernobyl”; the newest show, “Unbelievable”; and the flashiest one, “Fosse/Verdon.” “Chernobyl” would be the obvious choice and “Unbelievable” the trendy one, but I hear the voters really loved “Fosse/Verdon.”
Predicted winner: “Fosse/Verdon”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Kaitlyn Dever, “Unbelievable”
Joey King, “The Act”
Helen Mirren, “Catherine The Great”
Merritt Wever, “Unbelievable”
Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”
Helen Mirren is, you know, Helen Freakin’ Mirren. Merritt Wever is an Emmy favorite who’s never before been nominated for a Globe, so they owe her. And Michelle Williams is dazzling as Gwen Verdon in the miniseries that voters might like best in this category.
Predicted winner: Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Christopher Abbott, “Catch-22”
Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Spy”
Russell Crowe, “The Loudest Voice”
Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”
Sam Rockwell, “Fosse/Verdon”
If a “Fosse/Verdon” sweep is unlikely, which I think it is, it’ll be hard to overlook Jared Harris in “Chernobyl.” And it’ll also be hard for the HFPA not to give something to that powerful miniseries.
Predicted winner: Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Patricia Arquette, “The Act”
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”
Meryl Streep, “Big Little Lies”
Emily Watson, “Chernobyl”
Just about everybody in Season 1 of “Big Little Lies” won an award – so why not HFPA favorite Meryl Streep for Season 2? Helena Bonham Carter and Toni Collette could supply some pretty good reasons why not, but voters will remember how Streep stole the show the last time she took the stage at the Globes.
Predicted winner: Meryl Streep, “Big Little Lies”
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
Andrew Scott, “Fleabag”
Stellan Skarsgard, “Chernobyl”
Henry Winkler, “Barry”
I would say that the favorite is Andrew Scott from “Fleabag,” but by my reckoning that would give that show three Globes – and only two series in the last decade, “Homeland” and “Glee,” won that many awards in a single show. (Three miniseries did as well.) Still, despite the possibility of a Kieran Culkin win, how do you not give an award to the hot priest, especially after the Emmys didn’t even nominate him?
Predicted winner: Andrew Scott, “Fleabag”