74th Golden Globe Predictions

Awards season is here and in full swing. With the announcement of the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations a couple of weeks ago, and now with the Writers Guild Awards nominations coming tomorrow, major guild awards are slowly coming along. This will eventually culminate in the 89th Academy Awards Nominations being announced on January 24th. For now, however, the big show to look forward to as always is the 74th Golden Globe Awards which will air on January 8th. So before that happens here’s some predictions for Sunday.

Keep in mind that the Golden Globes are very different from the Oscars. First of all, the Oscars are voted on by around 6,000 member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences while the Globes are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, with around 90 members. As a result they tend to vote very differently, with last year’s Globes predicting only 50% of eventual winners in their transferable categories at the Oscars. The Golden Globes are important for the Oscar race, however, because they have a wide audience and so they can help a film to build momentum. Take last year when Spotlight was the predicted winner for Best Motion Picture-Drama for many people, until The Revenant came and snatched it and made Best Picture more competitive. Also they tend to dislike awarding one movie every award. With that said, here we go:

Best Foreign Language Film

The nominees are:

  • Divines (France)
  • Elle (France)
  • Neruda (Chile)
  • The Salesman (Iran/France)
  • Toni Erdmann (Germany)

I don’t confess to knowing much about foreign language films, but in the past the Golden Globes have usually picked the most successful or well known film at the time. The one that seems out for me is Divines. The HFPA could seek to help Elle or Neruda, both of whom were snubbed for the Oscar’s shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film there. So they could seek to make up for that or give them a boost for the Oscars in other categories, which may not help at all at this point. The Salesman is by well-liked Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, which helps because the HFPA likes to award well-known artists. That being said, much of the buzz thus far in the awards season has been for Toni Erdmann, the German entry on the above list. Elle, meanwhile, is the only one with another nomination, which is also a good sign for the award.

Predicted Winner: Toni Erdmann

Alternate: Elle


Best Animated Feature Film

The nominees are:

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life as a Zucchini
  • Sing
  • Zootopia

Similar to what I said above, the HFPA tends to like financially successful and popular films. Ditto if the film is by Disney or Pixar, who have historically dominated this award. My Life as a Zucchini seems like the odd one out because of that, and while I was considering Kubo and the Two Strings, it seems like the film’s lack of financial success isn’t helping. Sing isn’t probably too far off, especially considering the money it’s making at the box office, while Moana has critical acclaim but not the run-away financial success of past Disney releases. Zootopia has all of the above prerequisites, however, including critical acclaim, financial success, and being a Disney feature. Therefore it seems like a pretty safe choice here, but Kubo could definitely come from behind to snag it if they like it enough.

Predicted Winner: Zootopia

Alternate: Kubo and the Two Strings


Best Original Song

The nominees are:

  • “Can’t Stop the Feeling” (Max Martin, Shellback, and Justin Timberlake) from Trolls
  • “City of Stars” (Justin Hurtwitz, Pasek & Paul) from La La Land
  • “Faith” (Ryan Tedder, Steve Wonder, and Francis Farewell Starlite) from Sing
  • “Gold” (Stephen Gaghan, Danger Mouse, Daniel Pemberton, and Iggy Pop) from Gold
  • “How Far I’ll Go” (Lin-Manuel Miranda) from Moana

As I said above the HFPA does not like to award movies with too many awards. The most I could find in recent memory is The Social Network, which won four Globes in 2011. Normally movies tend to win three maximum, but for now it is probably for the best to predict La La Land doing well in categories having to do with music. However, like other categories the Globes love to reward star power, which could really help Moana‘s songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer and lyricist of Hamilton. Technically that could help everyone in this category but it’s unlikely that TrollsGold, or even Sing would win here with the strength of the Top 2 competition. I’m conflicted here because the tendency to spread the love leans toward Moana but La La Land seems like a safer pick.

Predicted Winner: “City of Stars” from La La Land

Alternate: “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana


Best Original Score

The nominees are:

  • Moonlight by Nicholas Britell
  • La La Land by Justin Hurwitz
  • Arrival by Johann Johannsson
  • Lion by Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
  • Hidden Figures by Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams, and Benjamin Wallfisch

If there’s one category where I think that La La Land can feel pretty secure it’s in Original Score. This category can be pretty on-and-off with the HFPA, like when The Grand Budapest Hotel wasn’t even nominated here in the year that it won the Oscar. I don’t expect that to be a problem for this year though, and my main dilemma is finding an alternate. It would absolutely make sense to pick Arrival, which may not be getting any love anywhere else and this could be a nice consolation prize for Johann Johannsson’s work for that film since it’s been omitted by the Academy. On the other hand, Nicholas Britell’s work is wonderful and if they really want to reward Moonlight, they could very well give it a bump here. But for now La La Land and Arrival seem like solid bets.

Predicted Winner: La La Land



Best Screenplay

The nominees are:

  • La La Land by Damien Chazelle
  • Nocturnal Animals by Tom Ford
  • Moonlight by Barry Jenkins
  • Manchester by the Sea by Kenneth Lonergan
  • Hell or High Water by Taylor Sheridan

Originally I considered that this might be part of a La La Land sweep but given what I’ve been saying about sweeps I consider this the most likely place for it to lose out. Nocturnal Animals and Hell or High Water are solid additions to this category, but for me it comes down to Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight. Both are wonderful films with excellent screenplays, so I imagine that this one will be quite competitive and thus easier to call. However, it’s entirely possible that Manchester might not win anywhere else but here at the Globes, and the same goes for the Oscars. So I predict that this will be the easiest place for them to reward Lonergan, but with Jenkins’ work on Moonlight right behind it.

Predicted WinnerManchester by the Sea

Alternate: Moonlight


Best Director

The nominees are:

  • Damien Chazelle for La La Land
  • Tom Ford for Nocturnal Animals
  • Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge
  • Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
  • Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea

Coming back to the issue of a sweep, Chazelle has already won the Critics’ Choice award for La La Land, which may be a good sign. However, this award tends to be connected to the Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama, in fact it hasn’t gone to a Musical or Comedy director for about thirty years. That’s a big statistic to overcome. So for now I’m going to go with my gut and say that La La Land may not be winning here either. Mel Gibson seems like an interesting choice since they’ve liked his work in the past, and I find it unlikely that the Academy will nominate Gibson due to his past. So they could seek to reverse that here, especially if they do something as dramatic as give it the Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama. However, that’s just a scenario I’m keeping in the back of my head. For now I’m leaning towards Jenkins for Moonlight.

Predicted Winner: Barry Jenkins for Moonlight

Alternate: Damien Chazelle for La La Land


Best Supporting Actor

The nominees are:

  • Mahershala Ali for Moonlight
  • Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water
  • Simon Helberg for Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Dev Patel for Lion
  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson for Nocturnal Animals

My what an interesting category this one is. Simon Helberg and Aaron Taylor-Johnson getting in were the big surprises, in the place of Lucas Hedges or Michael Shannon. That being said, I don’t think that either is likely to win here. This category is actually quite good at predicting the Oscar winner or giving a potential front-runner some momentum. So far Mahershala Ali has won just about every Supporting Actor award there’s been, including Critics’ Choice. Jeff Bridges has been tailing him, however, and with his star power and prior success at the Globes he’s a possible spoiler. However, it’s best to predict Ali here for now, so I’ll stick with that.

Predicted Winner: Mahershala Ali for Moonlight

Alternate: Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water


Best Supporting Actress

The nominees are:

  • Viola Davis for Fences
  • Naomie Harris for Moonlight
  • Nicole Kidman for Lion
  • Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures
  • Michelle Williams for Manchester by the Sea

Oh man, what a tight category. It’s full of great talent and excellent performances, probably the toughest category out of the whole lot. That being said, everything here points toward Viola Davis for Fences. She has the star-power, she’s overdue for all of the big awards, and her four prior nominations at the Golden Globes help her here as well. The question for me is predicting an alternate. Michelle Williams does great work with limited screentime in Manchester by the Sea, as does Naomie Harris. However, considering where I’m predicting Moonlight elsewhere, I think if anyone is upsetting Viola Davis it’s Williams.

Predicted Winner: Viola Davis for Fences

Alternate: Michelle Williams for Manchester by the Sea


Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

The nominees are:

  • Annette Bening for 20th Century Women
  • Lily Collins for Rules Don’t Apply
  • Hailee Steinfeld for Edge of Seventeen
  • Emma Stone for La La Land
  • Meryl Streep for Florence Foster Jenkins

If there’s anywhere that I feel confident in predicting a La La Land win, besides Best Original Score, it would be here. Therefore Emma Stone seems like a solid front-runner here, and I’m going to stick with it. However, if the HFPA is looking for someone to choose other than Stone if they’re already giving plenty to La La Land, Meryl Streep and Annette Bening seem like the best options. Bening hasn’t gotten as much as I thought she would have so far this awards season, especially given her miss at SAG. Streep, on the other hand, has eight wins at the Globes before. Not only that, but the HFPA clearly liked the acting in Florence Foster Jenkins, considering its four nominations. She comes off as the clear alternate.

Predicted Winner: Emma Stone for La La Land

Alternate: Meryl Streep for Florence Foster Jenkins

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Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

The nominees are:

  • Colin Farrell for The Lobster
  • Ryan Gosling for La La Land
  • Hugh Grant for Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jonah Hill for War Dogs
  • Ryan Reynolds for Deadpool

This is a very diverse category, although there are only four people here (sorry Jonah Hill) that are in serious contention. Colin Farrell’s work in The Lobster has been getting critical praise for over a year-and-a-half since its Cannes premiere in May 2015. Ryan Reynolds’ nomination for Deadpool is something that the HFPA has become akin to, rewarding popular and critically-acclaimed blockbusters in these categories. I believe that this category comes down largely to two potential winners: Hugh Grant and Ryan Gosling. Gosling’s work for La La Land is the less flashy of the two lead performances in the movie, but like Stone’s win it hinges on them loving La La Land and being willing to award it plenty. Grant has been a constant force in the Supporting Actor race elsewhere but his nomination here is to garner momentum with a potential win. I feel very conflicted but I’m going to lean towards Gosling for the moment.

Predicted Winner: Ryan Gosling for La La Land

Alternate: Hugh Grant for Florence Foster Jenkins


Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

The nominees are:

  • Amy Adams in Arrival
  • Jessica Chastain for Miss Sloane
  • Isabelle Huppert for Elle
  • Ruth Negga for Loving
  • Natalie Portman for Jackie

This is another very tough category to call, and in a world without La La Land or Meryl Streep (a dreary world indeed) this could even be the Oscar five. There are cases for all of these wonderful actresses. Ruth Negga could garner some much needed momentum here but that seems unlikely. If Elle is winning Best Foreign Language Film, Huppert could also be awarded if the HFPA has taken to the film that much. Chastain has won here before for Zero Dark Thirty and her lack of attention elsewhere could be a boon to a surprise win here. However, I believe that this will come down to Amy Adams and Natalie Portman. Adams’ work in Arrival is getting awarded everywhere among critics, and a win here could catapult the Oscar race into an unpredictable three way race with Stone and Portman. That being said, Natalie Portman’s work in Jackie is being called career-best work and a master class in acting, so I find it best to predict her winning here and keeping her momentum from Critics’ Choice going.

Predicted WinnerNatalie Portman for Jackie

Alternate: Amy Adams for Arrival


Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

The nominees are:

  • Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea
  • Joel Edgerton for Loving
  • Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge
  • Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic
  • Denzel Washington for Fences

Let me get through this part quick: I think that this race is essentially a two-man race between two very different performances, Denzel Washington in Fences and Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea. Washington’s work is loud, boisterous, and grandiose in the way that his best performances are, while Affleck’s work is quiet and internal. Denzel is an all-timer with two Oscars, three Globe wins, and all of the star-power that one could ask for. Affleck, on the other hand, is an up-and-coming actor who gives a career-best performance in a relatively lesser career compared to Washington. Affleck has been sweeping critics awards so far, including the Critics’ Choice, which makes him a safer pick on paper. However, that’s the critics. This could be the turning point for Washington to begin sweeping televised awards like the Globe, SAG, BAFTA, and then his third Oscar. This could is one of the most important awards of the night, and thus it’s hard to call. But I’m going with Affleck until proven otherwise on Sunday.

Predicted Winner: Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea

Denzel Washington: Denzel Washington for Fences


Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

The nominees are:

  • 20th Century Women
  • Deadpool
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • La La Land
  • Sing Street

This seems like another easy call for La La Land. In terms of the overall quality of the film and the grandiosity that the Globes tend to go for, none of the others seem to pull of that mix as well as La La Land. However, the same was said of Birdman, but it ended up losing to The Grand Budapest Hotel here a couple of years ago. The HFPA is fickle. Florence Foster Jenkins is more of a long-shot, but I could see a day when 20th Century Women surprises here. Even Deadpool, which has made big box office money is a threat here. But La La Land is the safest choice and I’m sticking with it.

Predicted Winner: La La Land

Alternate: Florence Foster Jenkins


Best Motion Picture – Drama

The nominees are:

  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Lion
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Moonlight

This is another very stacked category to unload. Here goes nothing. Hacksaw Ridge got plenty of love from the Globes, with nominations in Actor and Director, which could translate to a surprise win here if they feel they need to award it something. Hell or High Water is in the same position, and it could be a wonderful, surprising, and idiosyncratic win that could propel the movie down the line. Lion has been losing steam since November in terms of major awards appeal, but never doubt the Weinsteins at the Globes. But as I’ve said plenty above, this can be boiled down, in my opinion, to two major front-runners: Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight.

Both Moonlight and Manchester are excellent films. Both have terrific ensemble casts, well-crafted screenplays, and great direction. Most importantly, La La Land is likely going to start losing steam as we get closer to the Oscars, and this could help decide how many alternatives Oscar voters feel that they have. A Moonlight win here would be very helpful to establishing it as the main alternative, but Manchester could solidify a three-horse race. The same thing happened last year with The Revenant winning and becoming the main alternative to Spotlight until Oscar night. Luckily this isn’t a direct competition between front-runners, but it will be telling nonetheless. The HFPA tends to go with the film with the critical advantage, The Revenant not-withstanding; films like Boyhood12 Years a Slave, and The Social Network. For the time being that gives a slight advantage to Moonlight.

Predicted Winner: Moonlight

Alternate: Manchester by the Sea


Predicted Number of Wins

La La Land: 5

Moonlight: 3

Manchester by the Sea: 2

Make sure to watch the Golden Globes on Sunday, January 8th, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, at 8 PM EST on NBC. If you have opinions that differ from those above, feel free to comment below and discuss it!


3 thoughts on “74th Golden Globe Predictions

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