The Golden Globes have already had their category controversy this year, with a fair amount of outrage whipped up over the fact that Jordan Peele’s socially-conscious horror movie “Get Out” was submitted and accepted into the comedy categories. But with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gearing up to announce its nominations on Monday, it’s time to stop worrying about who’s in what category and start thinking about who’s getting in and who’s getting left out.
It no longer pays to predict outrageous or embarrassing choices: In recent years, the 90-odd members of the HFPA have for the most part come up with solid nominations, though it’s clear they have to stretch to fill the comedy or musical categories most years.
This year, they have one more wrinkle to deal with in the form of the sexual-misconduct allegations that have wracked Hollywood (and the rest of the country as well). Always aware of the face they’re showing to the public on their yearly television show, Golden Globes voters may well be keen to keep any suspect figures away from the Beverly Hilton ballroom when the show takes place on Jan. 7.
If these predictions are correct, “The Shape of Water” will lead all films with six nominations, and “Big Little Lies” and “Will and Grace” will be the top TV nominees with five. But with a relatively small group of voters who can have idiosyncratic tastes, surprises are all but inevitable.
Best Motion Picture – Drama
Predictions: “Call Me by Your Name,” “Dunkirk,” “The Post,” “The Shape of Water,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
With Oscar contenders like “Lady Bird” and “Get Out” consigned to the comedy or musical category, and “The Florida Project” perhaps too small and ragged for HFPA tastes, the final five will probably be “Call Me by Your Name,” “Dunkirk,” “The Post,” “The Shape of Water” and either “Darkest Hour” or “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Folks who know the voters think that the adventurous contingent in the HFPA loves “Three Billboards” enough to give it the edge over the safer “Darkest Hour.”
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Predictions: Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”; Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”; Jake Gyllenhaal, “Stronger”; Tom Hanks, “The Post”; Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
The first four are likely to be Oldman, Day-Lewis, Hanks and Chalamet. Denzel Washington has a shot for “Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” but the HFPA felt disrespected by his speech when they gave him the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2016. That could tip the scales to Gyllenhaal, if Christian Bale doesn’t sneak in for “Hostiles.”
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Predictions: Jessica Chastain, “Molly’s Game”; Gal Gadot, “Wonder Woman”; Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”; Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”; Meryl Streep, “The Post”
Again, the first four seem clear: McDormand, Hawkins, Streep and Chastain. In the fifth slot, the question is whether Woody Allen now makes voters squeamish enough that they’ll cool on longtime favorite Kate Winslet (“Wonder Wheel”) and give it to girl-power icon Gal Gadot. They might — but watch out for two HFPA faves, Jennifer Lawrence in “mother!” and Annette Bening in “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool.”
Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Predictions: “The Big Sick,” “Get Out,” “The Greatest Showman,” “I, Tonya,” “Lady Bird”
Jordan Peele didn’t make any friends in the HFPA when he appeared to complain about his social thriller “Get Out” being slotted in the comedy category, but it’s hard to imagine that voters will take it out on him and not nominate one of the year’s biggest sensations. “Lady Bird” and “I, Tonya” are locks, and “The Big Sick” isn’t far behind. But that still leaves “The Disaster Artist,” “Battle of the Sexes” and the only two real musicals in the running in a category that has the word musical in its title, “The Greatest Showman” and “Beauty and the Beast.” To prove the category warrants its name, “The Greatest Showman” should make the cut — though “Beauty and the Beast” could easily replace it, or even push out something else and join it.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Predictions: Steve Carell, “Battle of the Sexes”; Tom Cruise, “American Made”; James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”; Hugh Jackman, “The Greatest Showman”; Kumail Nanjiani, “The Big Sick”
Franco, Jackman and Nanjiani for sure, with Carell just behind. Daniel Kaluuya could land the fifth slot for “Get Out” – but wherever the comedy is in that film, it’s not really in his performance. There may not be enough love for “Downsizing” for Matt Damon to slip in here, or for “The Meyerowitz Stories” for Adam Sandler to do it. Ansel Elgort would be a fine choice for “Baby Driver,” but the HFPA is said to have really loved “American Made,” and Tom Cruise would be a perfect off-the-wall Globes comedy nominee.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Predictions: Judi Dench, “Victoria & Abdul”; Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”; Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”; Emma Stone, “Battle of the Sexes”; Emma Watson, “Beauty and the Beast”
Ronan, Robbie and Stone have nothing to worry about. Judi Dench, Emma Watson and Zoe Kazan (“The Big Sick”) all have shots at those final two spots, and the ability to salute an icon and give another nomination to a true musical may tip the scales in favor of the first two, though it’s a close call.
Best Supporting Actor
Predictions: Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”; Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”; Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”; Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”; Michael Stuhlbarg, “Call Me by Your Name”
Here’s a chance to make a statement by recognizing Plummer, the guy who replaced the disgraced Kevin Spacey at the eleventh hour. (Plus they apparently responded to his performance more than anything else in the film.) Dafoe and Rockwell are sure things, with Stuhlbarg just behind. That leaves Jenkins, Armie Hammer (“Call Me by Your Name”), Mark Rylance (“Dunkirk”) and Jason Mitchell (“Mudbound”) among those competing for the last slot, with Jenkins maybe holding a slight edge.
Best Supporting Actress
Predictions: Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”; Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”; Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”; Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”; Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”
Three of the nominees – Hunter, Metcalf and Janney – are obvious. Everybody loves Spencer, who’s got a killer scene late in “The Shape of Water” and knows what to do with it. And then there are Melissa Leo in “Novitiate,” Hong Chau in “Downsizing,” Michelle Pfeiffer in “mother!” But Blige just might have more buzz.
Predictions: Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”; Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”; Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me by Your Name”; Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”; Steven Spielberg, “The Post”
If Nolan, del Toro and Spielberg are inescapable and the Italian-born Guadagnino is irresistible to HFPA voters, do they pick a woman (Gerwig) or an African-American man (Jordan Peele, “Get Out”) for the last spot? They follow the headlines and choose the woman – or maybe they don’t worry about political statements, and they pick the director who didn’t embarrass them they way some think Peele did.
Martin McDonagh has a shot at getting in here for “Three Billboards,” too, as does Joe Wright for “Darkest Hour” — but in an echo of why the HFPA might be miffed at Peele these days, they probably still haven’t forgiven the way Ridley Scott (“All the Money in the World”) mocked them for accepting his film “The Martian” as a comedy.
Predictions: “The Big Sick,” “Call Me by Your Name,” “Get Out,” “Lady Bird,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
It’s hard to imagine voters bypassing “Call Me by Your Name,” “Three Billboards,” “Lady Bird” and probably “Get Out,” but will they see “The Shape of Water” as more of a visual than a verbal accomplishment? If so, “The Big Sick” could slip in. But what about the movie about journalism, “The Post?”
Best Original Score
Predictions: “Dunkirk,” “Phantom Thread,” “The Post,” “The Shape of Water,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Globes voters tend to love John Williams, who will likely land his record 26th nomination for “The Post.” They also have a tendency to go edgy at least once a year, which could help Jonny Greenwood’s urgent score to “Phantom Thread.” “The Shape of Water” has scale and romance, “Dunkirk” scale and tension. If two World War II movies aren’t one too many, “Darkest Hour” could join the list; if they are, “Blade Runner 2049” or “Three Billboards” could do it.
Best Original Song
Predictions: “Evermore” from “Beauty and the Beast”; “Remember Me” from “Coco”; “Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall”; “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman”; “You Shouldn’t Look at Me That Way” from “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”
They nominated Iggy Pop in this category last year for “Gold,” bless ‘em. Could they possibly do it again for Iggy and Oneohtrix Point Never’s even better “The Pure and the Damned” from “Good Time?” Probably not. But Elvis Costello could be an attractive nominee, alongside the newest anthem from five-time nominee Diane Warren (“Stand Up for Something,” with Common) and three songs from the musical-theater world: “Remember Me” from “Frozen” songwriters Bobby and Kristin Anderson Lopez, “This Is Me” from last year’s “La La Land” winners, Broadway faves Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and “Evermore,” one of the new songs that Alan Menken wrote for the live-action “Beauty and the Beast.” If voters don’t want to get quite so theatrical, other contenders include Questlove, Mary J. Blige, Ryan Tedder and T Bone Burnett, Sara Bareilles, Nick Jonas, the late Chris Cornell and a delicious wild card, Sufjan Stevens, for his two songs from “Call Me by Your Name.”
Best Foreign Language Film
Predictions: “The Divine Order,” “First They Killed My Father,” “Foxtrot,” “Loveless,” “The Square”
You know that Angelina Jolie’s second foreign-language movie, “First They Killed My Father,” will get in here, just as her first one (“In the Land of Blood and Honey”) did six years ago. “The Square,” “Loveless” and “Foxtrot” are all challenging films, but they’re critical favorites that’ll make Globes voters look good. And “The Divine Order” is the entertaining film they simply loved.
Best Animated Feature Film
Predictions: “The Breadwinner,” “Coco,” “Despicable Me 3,” “The LEGO Batman Movie,” “Loving Vincent”
Once you get past Pixar’s “Coco,” it’s a weak year for major-studio animated films; that’s why the Globes voters will probably give two of their nominations to smaller indie works, “The Breadwinner” (it’s executive produced by Angelina Jolie!) and “Loving Vincent” (it’s made up of oil paintings!). But then they’ll want to give a couple more nods to the big companies that treat them well – so “The LEGO Batman Movie” should be good for a nod, and maybe their longstanding relationship with Illumination Entertainment will give “Despicable Me 3” a slight edge over “The Boss Baby” or “Ferdinand.”
Best Drama Series
Predictions: “The Crown,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Good Doctor,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “This is Us”
In the television categories, the HFPA would rather lead the Emmys than follow them – but in the absence of a new show as hot as last year’s “The Crown,” they’re almost forced to stick with four recent Emmy nominees in that show, “Game of Thrones,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “This Is Us.” But the voters may have cooled on the second season of “Stranger Things,” which could leave an opening for one new show from among “The Good Doctor,” “Mindhunter,” “Ozark” and “The Deuce.” We’re betting on the first of those.
Best Actor in a Television Series – Drama
Predictions: Jason Bateman, “Ozark”; Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”; James Franco, “The Deuce”; Freddie Highmore, “The Good Doctor”; Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Here’s where voters can really go for new shows: Franco, Highmore, Bateman and Jonathan Groff (“Mindhunter”) are all contenders, though it’d be silly to rule out Rami Malek for “Mr. Robot” as well.
Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama
Predictions: Carrie Coon, “The Leftovers”; Claire Foy, “The Crown”; Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Deuce”; Laura Linney, “Ozark”; Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Coon is the biggest longshot here – but she’s having a moment the HFPA may want to be a part of, and there’s too much competition for them to nominate her in the movies/minis category for “Fargo.” Catriona Balfe (“Outlander”), Mandy Moore (“This Is Us”) and Keri Russell (“The Americans”) are definitely in the running too.
Best Comedy Series
Predictions: “black-ish,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Master of None,” “Veep,” “Will and Grace”
If voters want to embrace something new, they can choose from “GLOW,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “SMILF” or “The Good Place” – but the recent return of both “Curb your Enthusiasm” and “Will and Grace” may well have struck more of a chord with them. Meanwhile, they can’t not nominated “Veep” and “black-ish,” and probably not “Master of None” either. Meanwhile, the sexual-misconduct allegations about Jeffrey Tambor may knock “Transparent” out of contention.
Best Actor in a Television Series – Comedy
Predictions: Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”; Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”; Ted Danson, “The Good Place”; Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”; Eric McCormack, “Will and Grace”
It’s hard to imagine that they’ll want to offer an encore to perennial nominee Jeffrey Tambor, and the glow around “Mozart in the Jungle” may have faded enough that Gael Garcia Bernal will fall out as well. That should allow TV vets Danson and David back in, though it’d be nice if Hank Azaria could get some love for “Brockmire.”
Best Actress in a Television Series – Comedy
Predictions: Alison Brie, “GLOW”; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”; Debra Messing, “Will and Grace”; Issa Rae, “Insecure”; Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”
Rae and Ross have momentum. They want to welcome Messing back. Louis-Dreyfus, because of course. It’s tempting to go out on a limb and predict a nod for Frankie Shaw in “SMILF” in the fifth slot, but Brie is probably a safer bet. Surprise Emmy nominee Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”) won’t be helped by the fact that Louis C.K. is involved with her show, but Rachel Brosnahan could be a real contender for the up-and-coming “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
Best Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Predictions: “Big Little Lies,” “Fargo,” “Feud: Bette and Joan,” “The Sinner,” “Twin Peaks”
The miniseries were among the year’s biggest TV events, and Globe voters won’t be able to resist “Big Little Lies,” “Fargo” and “Feud.” “The Sinner” gives them a new program to rally around. “Twin Peaks” might well be too damn weird for their tastes, but it also felt like an event, which could give it an edge over “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” “Alias Grace” and “American Horror Story: Cult.”
Best Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Predictions: Jeff Daniels, “Godless”; Robert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”; Jude Law, “The Young Pope” Kyle MacLachlan, “Twin Peaks”; Ewan McGregor, “Fargo”
Let’s assume that voters don’t feel the need to reward the frequent Globes host Ricky Gervais with a nomination for “David Brent: Life on the Road” (they might), and that Geoffrey Rush lost a few votes for “Genius” because of vague tabloid accusations (can’t be too careful these days). The lineup that’s left leaves out Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock: The Lying Detective”) and Evan Peters (“American Horror Story: Cult”), both of whom might find a way in.
Best Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Predictions: Jessica Biel, “The Sinner”; Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”; Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette and Joan”; Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette and Joan”; Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”
The HFPA loves Biel. Emmy nominees Kidman, Lange, Sarandon and Witherspoon are a formidable quartet, though it probably didn’t help Sarandon any when she talked about how Hilary Clinton would have been as bad as Donald Trump right around the time voters were casting their ballots. If that comes back to bite her, the beneficiary could be Elisabeth Moss (“Top of the Lake: China Girl”) or Oprah Winfrey (“Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”).
Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Predictions: Joseph Fiennes, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Sean Hayes, “Will and Grace”; Michael McKean, “Better Call Saul”; Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”; David Thewlis, “Fargo”
With a category that encompasses comedy series, drama series, miniseries and TV movies, it’s almost impossible to get a handle on all the supporting-actor contenders. We’ve got one from a comedy series, two from miniseries and two from drama series – this last pair including the biggest longshot, Michael McKean, whose “Better Call Saul” swan song just might get more attention from the HFPA than from the Television Academy. But watch out for Alfred Molina, Idris Elba, Tituss Burgess and, oh, about a hundred others.
Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Predictions: Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”; Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”; Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Chrissy Metz, “This Is Us”; Megan Mullally, “Will and Grace”
The same thing applies here as in the supporting actor category: too vast a field to cover, too many contenders. Still, Dern and Brown and Dowd and Metz seem almost unstoppable, and Mullally can be a force of nature. Winona Ryder, Alexis Bledel, Rita Moreno and even Judith Light (a consolation prize for “Transparent”) are in the running as well.
Nominations will be announced in the wee hours on Monday, Dec. 11.