The 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards will answer those questions on Sunday, when we’ll learn the choices of the 90-odd voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Oscar voters won’t really give a hoot about who the HFPA picks, but lots of people will be watching — and the victors will have bragging rights for at least four days, until Academy Award nominations are announced next Thursday morning (Jan. 14).
The foibles, favorites and blind spots of the HFPA have been widely chronicled: their desire to see movie stars on their stage; their attempts to curry favor with the studios who wine and dine them, and fly them around the world; historic embarrassments like giving an award to Pia Zadora way back when. But this year’s slate of nominees won’t give them many chances to look foolish — and in many cases, the nominees I think they’ll pick are the same ones I would vote for myself.
Here are my predictions for who’ll win on the film side, along with my personal favorites in each category.
Best Motion Picture, Drama
The nominees: “Carol,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Revenant,” “Room,” “Spotlight”
“Mad Max” has been a surprising force throughout awards season, but no other film has won nearly as many critics’ awards as “Spotlight” — and when there’s a critical favorite going into the Golden Globes show, it tends to win. (See “The Social Network,” “Boyhood,” etc.) Plus it’s a story about journalism — and for as much as we like to mock them, the HFPA are journalists.
While I will have no quarrels with a “Spotlight” win, my vote would go to Todd Haynes‘ exquisite “Carol.”
Will win: “Spotlight”
Should win: “Carol”
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
The nominees: “The Big Short,” “Joy,” “The Martian,” “Spy,” “Trainwreck”
Until a couple of weeks ago, “The Martian” would have been a real threat to win here — but the late-breaking “The Big Short” is coming on strong at exactly the right time. And when you throw in the fact that some members aren’t happy that an HFPA committee allowed Fox to designate “The Martian” as a comedy to put it in this presumably weaker category, Ridley Scott‘s movie will have trouble winning. Unless the voters opt for a real comedy, “Trainwreck,” look for “The Big Short” to go long. And to my mind, that’d be a smart choice.
Will win: “The Big Short”
Should win: “The Big Short”
Best Director, Motion Picture
Category fraud won’t hurt “The Martian” here, because the Globes don’t separate directors into comedy and drama categories. The competition is formidable, and George Miller is a real threat to win for “Mad Max,” but Ridley Scott is overdue at the Golden Globes, where he’s never won.
For me, the guy who directed my favorite movie in the category usually gets my vote for best director, so I’d go with Haynes, whose attention to detail and grasp of delicate nuance made “Carol” so special.
Best Screenplay, Motion Picture
This could go several different ways. Globe voters love Aaron Sorkin … but “The Big Short” has momentum … but Quentin Tarantino would no doubt enliven the Globes stage … but if “Spotlight” wins best drama, shouldn’t it take home at least one other award? In a tough, competitive category, I’m guessing the HFPA and I will agree.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
The only thing that could stop two-time Globe winner Leonardo DiCaprio is a growing annoyance at the “see how much he suffered!” campaign, which could help the eminently likeable Cranston. But Globe voters aren’t all that annoyed, and they want Leo on their TV show. Personally, I’d go for the guy who spoke a million words over the guy who spoke a dozen — not that it’s harder or anything, but Fassbender’s verbal tour de force is irresistible.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
This one is impossible. The two frontrunners are Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan; both are brilliant in their films, and I couldn’t possibly feel bad about either one of them winning. Globe voters will likely go for Larson, and good for them. I’d agonize for a while and go for Ronan, and good for me.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
It probably comes down to Damon, who carries “The Martian” and provides the bulk of its small amount of humor, or Carell, the flashiest and funniest of the ensemble in “The Big Short.” The terrific-as-always Christian Bale might siphon off a few “Big Short” votes, and who doesn’t love Matt Damon?
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
The HFPA loves Lawrence, McCarthy and Schumer are true comic stars and Smith and Tomlin are legends. There’s a lot to choose from here, but I have a hunch the voters will embrace the year of Amy Schumer and figure J-Law will have lots more shots. Meanwhile, I’d have to go for Lily Tomlin in the role of a lifetime.
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
The feel-good comeback story of Stallone will likely prove irresistible to voters, despite all the critics’ awards for Rylance. But I completely bought Dano as Brian Wilson in “Love & Mercy,” so he gets my vote.
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
The Globes nominated Vikander in this category and in drama actress (for “The Danish Girl”) and they’ll want to recognize her amazing year by giving her an award somewhere. If they don’t love the sci-fi drama “Ex Machina” enough to do that, the award could really go to any of the other contenders — including my choice, Winslet, who stands toe-to-toe with Michael Fassbender throughout “Steve Jobs” and humanizes his character simply because she seems to like him.
Best Animated Feature Film
The nominees: “Anomalisa,” “The Good Dinosaur,” “Inside Out,” “The Peanuts Movie,” “Shaun The Sheep Movie,”
Globes voters could really make a statement here, going with the daring and unconventional “Anomalisa” over Pixar’s “Inside Out.” But Charlie Kaufman picked the wrong year to make a great, weird animated film, because “Inside Out” is just too good.
Will win: “Inside Out”
Should win: “Inside Out”
Best Foreign Language Film
The nominees: “The Brand New Testament,” “The Club,” “The Fencer,” “Mustang,” “Son of Saul”
Will Globe voters go for the movie they think they should vote for, the dark and disturbing “Son of Saul,” or the one they probably enjoyed more when they watched it, the moving “Mustang?” Taking a cue from last year, when they gave the award to the monumentally dark “Leviathan” over Oscar winner “Ida,” I suspect they’ll pick the acclaimed Holocaust movie, and rightly so.
Will win: “Son of Saul”
Should win: “Son of Saul”
Best Original Score, Motion Picture
Burwell’s “Carol” is moving, Desplat is always a favorite, voters like how Pemberton wrote three different scores for the three acts of “Steve Jobs,” and “The Revenant” is a chance to stick it to the Oscar Music Branch that disqualified that score. But c’mon, “The Hateful Eight” is Ennio Freakin’ Morricone writing his first Western score in decades.
Will win: Ennio Morricone, “The Hateful Eight”
Best Original Song, Motion Picture
The nominees: “Love Me Life You Do” from “Fifty Shades of Grey”; “One Kind of Love” from “Love & Mercy”; “See You Again” from “Furious 7”; “Simple Song #3” from “Youth”; “Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre”
If they want a legend on their stage, it’ll be Brian Wilson winning for “One Kind of Love,” another Oscar disqualification. But “See You Again” has the unstoppable emotional pull of being a farewell song to Paul Walker, and a big hit and pretty good song to boot.
Will win: “See You Again” from “Furious 7”
Should win: “See You Again” from “Furious 7”