Golden Globes Nomination Predictions: What Stars Will Be Born This Year?

In a curious year with musicals competing as dramas and dramas competing as comedies, here’s what we think will come out on top in all major film and television categories

Last Updated: December 4, 2018 @ 5:46 PM

Golden Globes nominations often contain a handful of head-scratchers and curiosities, but this is already a more curious year than most at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Two films that could easily have qualified as musicals, “A Star Is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” elected to go into the drama category instead. One that could have been a drama, “Green Book,” entered as a comedy. And one that will be a major contender in many categories, “Roma,” is ineligible for the best drama category because it’s not in English.

Such is the landscape going into this year’s Golden Globes nominations. In trying to figure out which way the members of the HFPA are leaning, it helps to understand that even though the group only has around 90 voters, there are many factions within it: Some are focused on television, some are indie fans, some gravitate toward big stars who can make their ceremony the glitziest one possible.

Here are our best guesses in an odd year.

FILM CATEGORIES

Best Motion Picture – Drama
The two films that could have qualified as musicals, “A Star Is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” were both adored by many of the voters, making the former a prohibitive favorite and the latter a strong candidate for a nomination as well. Other contenders range from big-studio offerings like “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Widows” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” to indies like “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “BlacKkKlansman” and “Boy Erased.”

Expect a mixture of the two, with the provocative nature of “BlacKkKlansman” making it irresistible and the sheer craftsmanship and scale of “First Man” landing it a spot. The final slot might come down to “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “Black Panther,” “At Eternity’s Gate” or “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” The last of those may need to settle for acting nominations — and while the blockbuster status of “Black Panther” will be appealing to boost ratings, the artistic pedigree of Barry Jenkins and “Beale Street” could give it a slight edge over the potential sleeper, “At Eternity’s Gate.”

Predicted nominees:
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“A Star Is Born”

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Bradley Cooper is a lock for “A Star Is Born,” as is Rami Malek for playing Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Ryan Gosling, a winner two years ago for “La La Land,” should make it back for playing Neil Armstrong in “First Man.” That leaves two slots for actors from smaller movies: Ethan Hawke in “First Reformed,” Willem Dafoe in “At Eternity’s Gate,” Lucas Hedges in “Boy Erased,” John David Washington in “BlacKkKlansman” or Clint Eastwood in the last movie the HFPA saw before voting, “The Mule.”

We think Hawke will get in, perhaps buoyed by his Gotham Award win — and since the HFPA members have been suspiciously quiet about their reactions to “The Mule,” the last slot will go to Dafoe, whom they loved as Vincent Van Gogh.

Predicted nominees:
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Ryan Gosling, “First Man”
Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Lady Gaga is an absolute no-brainer here, and Glenn Close (“The Wife”) and Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) seem destined for nominations as well. And then it becomes a question of whether voters want to reward a complete newcomer like Yalitza Aparicio for “Roma” (which is eligible in other categories despite being in a foreign language), another foreign actress like Joanna Kulig for “Cold War” (apparently popular with voters), a genre performance like Toni Collette’s in “Hereditary,” or one or two of the big stars in the running: Nicole Kidman in “Destroyer,” Julia Roberts in “Ben Is Back,” Saoirse Ronan in “Mary Queen of Scots,” Natalie Portman in “Vox Lux,” or Viola Davis in “Widows.”

We’re guessing that Davis and Kidman get in and Roberts gets saved for the TV categories, but watch out for Kulig.

Predicted nominees:
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Viola Davis, “Widows”
Nicole Kidman, “Destroyer”

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
You can argue with the submission of “Green Book” as a comedy rather than a drama,  but the HFPA accepted it that way, and you can’t argue that it’ll be one of the finalists. “Mary Poppins Returns,” the one big musical that has submitted itself as such, should be there as well, along with “The Favourite,” which might live up to its name in this category. Beyond that, “Crazy Rich Asians” is hard to ignore in a year with so much emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and “Vice” is a flashy latecomer that could slip in as well.

Still, “Eighth Grade,” “The Old Man and the Gun,” “The Death of Stalin,” “Paddington 2,” “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” and even another true musical, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” aren’t out of the running.

Predicted nominees:
“Crazy Rich Asians”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Vice”

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Viggo Mortensen and Christian Bale, who gained a lot of weight for their roles in “Green Book” and “Vice,” respectively, are guaranteed to be nominated. Robert Redford’s (probably) final performance in “The Old Man and the Gun” should be charming enough to do the trick. And then voters could go for big names (Ewan McGregor for “Christopher Robin,” Ryan Reynolds for “Deadpool 2,” Lin-Manuel Miranda for “Mary Poppins Returns,” John C. Reilly for “Stan and Ollie”) or for Globes newcomers like Nick Robinson for “Love, Simon” or the fast-rising Lakeith Stanfield for “Sorry to Bother You.”

Predicted nominees:
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”
Christian Bale, “Vice”
Robert Redford, “The Old Man and the Gun”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Mary Poppins Returns”
John C. Reilly, “Stan and Ollie”

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Olivia Colman is, yes, “The Favourite.” Emily Blunt is a practically perfect nominee for “Mary Poppins Returns.” It’d be a surprise if Constance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”) and Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”) didn’t make the cut as well.

That leaves the final slot open for a big star in a little-seen movie, like Charlize Theron in “Tully,” a well-liked actress in a well-liked indie; Kathryn Hahn in “Private Life”; Lily James in another true musical, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”; and surprise New York Film Critics Circle winner Regina Hall in “Support the Girls.” We think Hahn will edge out Theron for the spot.

Predicted nominees:
Emily Blunt, “Mary Poppins Returns”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Kathryn Hahn, “Private Life”
Elsie Fisher, “Eighth Grade”
Constance Wu, “Crazy Rich Asians”

Best Supporting Actor
Moving to the acting categories that aren’t split by genre, the top four in supporting actor seem clearly to be Mahershala Ali for “Green Book,” Timothee Chalamet for “Beautiful Boy,” Richard E. Grant for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and Sam Elliott for “A Star Is Born.”

If Sam Rockwell had more scenes in “Vice,” he’d be a lock — but his part as George W. Bush is so small that it could leave room for Adam Driver (“BlacKkKlansman”), Michael B. Jordan (“Black Panther”), Nicholas Hoult (“The Favorite”) or Hugh Grant (“Paddington 2”). But he’ll probably slip in because he manages to steal a couple of scenes from Christian Bale.

Predicted nominees:
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Timothee Chalamet, “Beautiful Boy”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

Best Supporting Actress
Two of the slots are likely reserved for schemers from “The Favourite,” Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. Regina King for “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Amy Adams for “Vice” will lock up two more. And then what? Claire Foy for “First Man,” Michelle Yeoh for “Crazy Rich Asians,” Nicole Kidman for “Boy Erased,” Margot Robbie for “Mary Queen of Scots”? Or would they dare give Meryl Streep her 32nd nomination for one scene in “Mary Poppins Returns?”

We think that “First Man” will claim another nomination here, though Yeoh or Robbie wouldn’t be a surprise.

Predicted nominees:
Amy Adams, “Vice”
Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”
Claire Foy, “First Man”

Best Director
He’s not eligible for Best Motion Picture – Drama, but “Roma” director Alfonso Cuaron is eligible here, and the HFPA likes him. They also like Bradley Cooper, and they can’t ignore Yorgos Lanthimos and Spike Lee.

That leaves a lot of additional choices: 2016 winner Damien Chazelle for “First Man,” Barry Jenkins for “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Peter Farrelly for “Green Book,” Adam McKay for “Vice,” Ryan Coogler for “Black Panther,” and Rob Marshall for “Mary Poppins Returns.”

Farrelly’s movie is a likelier winner in other categories, but voters may bypass the guy who directed “Dumb and Dumber” in favor of the guy whose movie “La La Land” swept the Globes two years ago.

Predicted nominees:
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Damien Chazelle, “First Man”
Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”

Best Screenplay
You might think that with two best-picture categories and only five screenplay nominees, this category would go almost exclusively to films nominated for one of the top two awards. But in fact, almost every year at least one of the screenplay nominees is not a best-film nominee. Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed” could well be the one to turn that trick this year (and maybe even “Eighth Grade” or “A Quiet Place,” if voters want to get adventurous). Among films that will be nominated for the top prizes, the barbs of “The Favourite” and the heart of “Green Book” should prevail, along with “BlacKkKlansman” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.” But “A Star Is Born,” “Roma,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” have real shots, too.

Predicted nominees:
“BlacKkKlansman”
“The Favourite”
“First Reformed”
“Green Book”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”

Best Original Score
It’s hard to predict what will stand out, and whether voters will focus on the songs in “A Star Is Born” and “Mary Poppins Returns” to the exclusion of the scores. But “First Man,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Incredibles 2,” “Widows” and “Isle of Dogs” have all attracted attention. And wouldn’t they love to nominate Radiohead’s Thom Yorke for his first film score, even if it means embracing Luca Guadagnino’s gory “Suspiria?”

Predicted nominees:
“BlacKkKlansman” Terence Blanchard
“First Man” Justin Hurwitz
“If Beale Street Could Talk” Nicholas Britell
“Incredibles 2” Michael Giacchino
“Suspiria” Thom Yorke

Best Original Song
“Shallow?” Of course. A song from “Mary Poppins Returns?” Naturally. A Kendrick Lamar song from “Black Panther?” Can’t miss that opportunity. In a category often littered with big names — and one in which documentary songs from the likes of Diane Warren and Tim McGraw are ineligible — look for Annie Lennox (“Requiem for a Private War”) and Dolly Parton (“The Girl in the Movies”) to have enough luster to grab the final two spots in a crowded field that also includes potential nominees Troye Sivan and Jonsi, Alan Menken, Kesha and Arlissa.

Predicted nominees:
“All the Stars” from “Black Panther”
“The Girl in the Movies” from “Dumplin'”
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns”
“Requiem for A Private War” from “A Private War”
“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born”

Best Motion Picture – Animated
Without any of the indie animated films making a big splash this year, the major studios seem to have this category all but locked up: Disney/Pixar with “Incredibles 2” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Fox with “Isle of Dogs” and Sony with “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” The last slot could go to a smaller film like “Mirai,” “Tito and the Birds” or “Ruben Brandt, Collector,” but it’s more likely to be “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch,” “Early Man” or “Smallfoot.”

Predicted nominees:
“Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch”
“Incredibles 2”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
Where the Oscar foreign-language race has 87 submissions from 87 different countries, the Globes voters are only considering 37 films, fewer than half of which are in the Oscar race. Still, Oscar contenders “Cold War” (which voters loved), “Roma” (which they might not have loved but will feel obligated to nominate), “Capernaum” and “Girl” (both of which hit hard) should be safe, and joined by the non-Oscar contender “Everybody Knows,” which has the advantage of starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

But watch out for “Shoplifters,” “Museo” (starring Globes favorite Gael Garcia Bernal), “What Will People Say,” “The Guilty” and “Happy as Lazzaro” (which will give them another chance to salute a widely acclaimed film ineligible for the Oscars).

Predictions:
“Capernaum”
“Cold War”
“Everybody Knows”
“Girl”
“Roma”

TELEVISION CATEGORIES

Best Television Series – Drama
With nominations moved up to the first week of December instead of the second week, voters had less time than usual to catch up on the glut of television. That might help existing shows over new ones, although “Killing Eve” is inescapable and the presence of Julia Roberts in “Homecoming” should be more than enough to give that show a nomination.

Otherwise, it’s likely that voters will lean toward last year’s winner, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and maybe the final season of “The Americans,” and lots of HFPA members are still fans of “This Is Us.” Among new shows, “Pose” might be a little too adventurous for their tastes. But “Better Call Saul” or “Westworld” could easily end up in the mix, as could HBO’s summer premiere “Succession,” which would allow the Globes to recognize a show before the Emmys can.

Predicted nominees:
“The Americans”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Homecoming”
“Killing Eve”
“This Is Us”

Best Actor in a Drama Series
Voters still love “This Is Us” and they’ve always loved Kevin Costner, so that takes care of three slots. It would seem churlish to deny Matthew Rhys in the final season of “The Americans,” and J.K. Simmons could make it in a battle with John Krasinski (“Jack Ryan”), Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) and Stephan James (“Homecoming”) for that last spot.

Predicted nominees:
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
Kevin Costner, “Yellowstone”
Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”
J.K. Simmons, “Counterpart”
Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us”

Best Actress in a Drama Series
Do the voters want Julia Roberts to come to their party? Of course they do. They know they also need Sandra Oh and Elisabeth Moss and Keri Russell, but from there they could go for Oh’s castmate Jodie Comer, Evan Rachel Wood for another season of “Westworld” or two ways to make a statement: Rewarding Jodie Whittaker for being the first female “Doctor Who” or Robin Wright for anchoring the Kevin Spacey-less “House of Cards.” That last one might be irresistible.

Predicted nominees:
Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”
Julia Roberts, “Homecoming”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Keri Russell, “The Americans”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
A few new comedy shows are vying for spots in this category, among them “Barry,” “The Kominsky Method,” “Kidding” and “Camping.” “Barry” seems to be a lock and “The Kominsky Method,” with HFPA favorite Michael Douglas as its star, has a strong shot at securing a nomination alongside last year’s winner, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and the previous year’s winner, “Atlanta.” But you can’t rule out two-time nominee “black-ish” or the second season of “The Good Place.” And you can’t rule out the star power of Jim Carry in “Kidding,” or the shot of adrenaline he might deliver to the awards show.

Predicted nominees:
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“Barry”
“Atlanta”
“The Good Place”
“The Kominsky Method”

Best Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Rachel Brosnahan won last year and she’s not going anywhere. The HFPA has long had a great relationship with “Camping” star Jennifer Garner. Our other picks are from an array of contenders that also include Issa Rae for “Insecure,” Candice Bergen for “Murphy Brown,” Constance Wu for “Fresh Off the Boat,” Tracee Ellis Ross for “black-ish,” Allison Janney for “Mom” and Lily Tomlin for “Grace and Frankie.”

Predicted nominees:
Kristen Bell, “The Good Place”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Alison Brie, “GLOW”
Jennifer Garner, “Camping”
Maya Rudolph, “Forever”

Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Bill Hader is a must for “Barry” and Jim Carrey and Michael Douglas are old HPFA faves now eligible again for “Kidding” and “The Kominsky Method,” so count them in. But that leaves a batch of men contending for two slots: Donald Glover for “Atlanta,” Ted Danson for “The Good Place,” Anthony Anderson for “black-ish,” William H. Macy for “Shameless,” Tracy Morgan for “The Last O.G.,” and even Sacha Baron Cohen for “Who Is America.” (They do want some viral moments on their show, after all.)

Predicted nominees:
Jim Carrey, “Kidding”
Ted Danson, “The Good Place”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
Donald Glover, “Atlanta”
Bill Hader, “Barry”

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Ryan Murphy is the old reliable in this category, and “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” will be nominated for everything, just as it was at the Emmys. But then it’s a matter of which miniseries registered most strongly with the voters: “Sharp Objects,” “A Very English Scandal,” “Maniac,” “Escape at Dannemora,” or “The Romanoffs.”

The first two seem like good bets, but the HFPA have shown less visible enthusiasm for “Maniac” and “Escape at Dannemora,” which could open the way to the TV movie “The Tale” or for “Patrick Melrose.”

Predicted nominees:
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
“The Romanoffs”
“Sharp Objects”
“The Tale”
“A Very English Scandal”

Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Darren Criss, Hugh Grant and Benedict Cumberbatch seem to be favorites here, but is there enough support in the HFPA ranks for “Escape at Dannemora” and “Maniac” for Benicio del Toro and Jonah Hill to grab the last two slots? John Legend (“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”) and Antonio Banderas (“Genius: Picasso”) are lurking – and so is a real wild card, Peter Dinklage in the HBO movie “My Dinner With Herve.”

Predicted nominees:
Darren Criss, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Patrick Melrose”
Benicio del Toro, “Escape at Dannemora”
Peter Dinklage, “My Dinner With Herve”
Hugh Grant, “A Very English Scandal”

Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie
As a star at the center of a big film (“Vice”) and a big HBO miniseries (“Sharp Objects”), Amy Adams is on solid footing here to land two Globe nominations, one in film and one in TV. So is Regina King, who may well pair her “If Beale Street Could Talk” film nom with another one for “Seven Seconds.” And you know, Emma Stone might just double up with “The Favourite” in film and “Maniac” in TV.

If they want actresses who won’t have another Globe nomination in a different category, they’ll likely look to Patricia Arquette (“Escape at Dannemora”), Laura Dern (“The Tale”) and maybe Florence Pugh (“The Little Drummer Girl”), Hayley Atwell (“Howards End”) or Sarah Paulson (“American Horror Story: Apocalypse”).

Predicted nominees:
Amy Adams, “Sharp Objects”
Emma Stone, “Maniac”
Patricia Arquette, “Escape at Dannemora”
Laura Dern, “The Tale”
Regina King, “Seven Seconds”

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited Series or Movie Made for Television
The supporting categories in television are wide open, mixing comedy and drama series with TV movies and limited series. Among the hundreds of potential nominees, we’re going with a mixture of old favorites and hot newcomers, with the emphasis on the former.

Predicted nominees:
Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
Edgar Ramirez, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Ben Whishaw, “A Very English Scandal”
Henry Winkler, “Barry”

Best Supporting Actress Series, Limited Series or Movie Made for Television
Again, performers from every type of TV show are eligible — and again, it’s hard to make sense of the possibilities except that Globe voters like these folks. Bonus points to Laurie Metcalf for surviving the “Roseanne” wreck.

Predicted nominees:
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”
Penelope Cruz, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
Laurie Metcalf, “The Conners”
Thandie Newton, “Westworld”