The 76th annual Golden Globe Awards are this Sunday. This film critic has shuffled the cards and read the tea leaves to lay down some confident (or maybe sure-to-go-wrong) picks of who should win the movie award categories and who will actually be hearing their name and walking to the stage as the true winners. Enjoy and come back Sunday to keep score!
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Nominees: Marco Beltrami — A Quiet Place, Alexandre Desplat — Isle of Dogs. Ludwig Göransson — Black Panther, Justin Hurwitz — First Man, Marc Shaiman — Mary Poppins Returns
Hey, what about me? The big missing contender here is Nicholas Britell and his beautiful jazz for If Beale Street Could Talk. According to my Awards Tracker, his work has won the most awards in this category this awards season. I’ll also add a sentimental vote for the late Johann Johannsson for Mandy, his final film.
Who should win? Of the fine composers left, an encouraging winner should be Ludwig Goransson and his masterful blend of ethnic sources and big beats for Black Panther, easily the most unique superhero score in a long time. I’ve been a fan Ludwig’s infusions since Creed.
Who will win? This is a battle between the last two winners of this category: La La Land’s Justin Hurwtiz and The Shape of Water’s Alexandre Desplat. The better and more honored score so far is First Man, so let’s go with it see what happens. If there is a dark horse, it’s Shaiman and the big Disney label of Mary Poppins Returns.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Nominees: “All the Stars” (Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Sounwave, Al Shux) — Black Panther, “Girl in the Movies” (Dolly Parton, Linda Perry) — Dumplin’, “Requiem for a Private War” (Annie Lennox) — A Private War, “Revelation” (Jónsi, Troye Sivan, Leland) — Boy Erased, “Shallow” (Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt) — A Star Is Born
Hey, what about me? I’ll be the guy that shouts from the mountaintops for the inclusion of everything about Hearts Beat Loud. Its title track or “Everything Must Go” deserve to play with the big boys and are better than every nominee on the list. That said, you could argue that A Star is Born could have more than one nominee. And, if you’re really crazy, throw in “An Upbeat Inspirational Song About Life” from Teen Titans Go! to the Movies.
Who should and will win? This is a no-doubter for “Shallow” from A Star is Born. It’s the best and most memorable song from the big hit of the season. Nothing else is even close to its favor or airplay. Call this award a no-doubt lock.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Nominees: Capernaum, Girl, Never Look Away, Roma, Shoplifters
Hey, what about me? Burning is the missing title here, without question. The winner of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award could bounce any of these but about two.
Who should win and will win? Speaking of locks, it would be an upset-and-a-half if anything but Roma won this one. Shoplifters is a legitimate contender, but Roma is the monster critical darling of the year and isn’t budging from this category.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Nominees: Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Mirai, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Hey, what about me? I’m sure the busy cheerleaders at Illumination Entertainment wish The Grinch made this field, but it’s hard to deny the four big names and the international inclusion of Mirai. Make better movies, Minion House!
Who should win and will win? Prognosticators always need to watch out for the Disney favoritism between their house offering of Ralph Breaks the Internet and Pixar’s Incredibles 2. This will be a year that worry is low because of the immense success and acclaim that has swung to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Here’s your one superhero movie victory of the night, if that’s what you’re looking for.
Nominees: Alfonso Cuarón — Roma, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly, and Nick Vallelonga — Green Book, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara — The Favourite, Barry Jenkins — If Beale Street Could Talk, Adam McKay — Vice
Hey, what about me? For this unnecessarily combined category of adaptations and original works, the leading winner of all screenplay winners and the Original Screenplay Oscar frontrunner this awards season has been Paul Schrader for First Reformed. I know it’s an underseen independent film for the foreign press voting pool, but it’s a shocking snub nonetheless.
Who should win? The deepest and best work on this nominee list belongs to Barry Jenkins. His passion project weaving the poetic narrative of James Baldwin for his Moonlight follow-up If Beale Street Could Talk is phenomenal and the Oscar favorite in the adapted side of screenplay categories.
Who will win? Unless your name is Aaron Sorkin, the 2010 and 2015 winner for The Social Network and Steve Jobs, the Golden Globe voters tend to favor the original works over the adaptations in this field. Sorkin is the only adapted winner this decade. With that in mind and without Schrader here to win, that spreads the wealth to the Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara team for The Favourite.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Nominees: Amy Adams — Vice, Claire Foy — First Man, Regina King — If Beale Street Could Talk, Emma Stone — The Favourite, Rachel Weisz — The Favourite
Hey, what about me? For combining drama and comedy, this is an extremely solid field. No one is a black sheep, but there is one mishandled chess piece. I know Fox Searchlight has slotted Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz as the supporting actresses for The Favourite, but Stone is more of the lead than Olivia Colman. If Stone was bumped up to lead, that would open a slot for someone popular like Blake Lively’s villain from A Simple Favor or Michelle Yeoh’s matron from Crazy Rich Asians.
Who should win? Rachel Weisz has all of the best lines and moments in Yorgos Lanthimos’s dark comedy. Her acid was the secret ingredient of that potent drink. Her chances of winning are split with her co-star and distantly behind the category leader.
Who will win? Regina King has won over 20 early season awards in this spot for If Beale Street Could Talk. The next closest person is Olivia Colman for The Favourite who is up in the lead actress category. King’s dominance increases here with a Golden Globe win.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Nominees: Mahershala Ali — Green Book, Timothée Chalamet — Beautiful Boy, Adam Driver — BlacKkKlansman, Richard E. Grant — Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Sam Rockwell — Vice
Hey, what about me? The villains this year have had some of the best supporting roles. There are two standouts, one funny and one intense. Michael B. Jordan has gotten universal praise for Black Panther, and mark me down as a big Hugh Grant cheerleader for his delightfully cheeky Paddington 2 villain. Either of them would look a great deal more deserving that last year’s winner Sam Rockwell coming back with Vice in a part too small to matter like the others. A Star is Born’s Sam Elliott also deserves to be here.
Who should win? Of the five gentlemen here, my personal pick would be Timothée Chalamet. He was absolutely captivating in a challenging shell of a person. I think it was an equal or better performance than his Call My By Your Name breakthrough.
Who will win? Like Regina King among the women, Richard E. Grant has run away and hid with this category so far this awards season. He was the vibrant stick that stirred the depression-soaked drink of Can You Ever Forgive Me? He is a respected actor of stage and screen and worthy future winner.
BEST ACTRESS- MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Nominees: Emily Blunt — Mary Poppins Returns, Olivia Colman — The Favourite, Elsie Fisher — Eighth Grade, Charlize Theron — Tully, Constance Wu — Crazy Rich Asians
Hey, what about me? Dare I say, I think the Musical/Comedy Best Actress category has better nominees than the dramatic one. That’s a rare thing to say when most years the comedy side is filled with pity cases and fluff extra bodies that can’t hang with the drama picks. All five of these ladies rock.
Who should win? I don’t care how old she is or that lame excuse leveled on younger actresses that they will have more chances later in their career for a signature award win. Elsie Fisher earned the hearts and minds she stole from her courageous performance in Eighth Grade. She deserves this win and deserves even more to make the final Oscar field of five next month.
Who will win? The Favourite remains the internationally minded film of pedigree. Lead selection Olivia Colman has won more Best Actress awards against the drama nominees and anyone else in this comedy field. I’d love to see a curveball, but expect Colman.
BEST ACTOR- MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Nominees: Christian Bale — Vice, Lin-Manuel Miranda — Mary Poppins Returns, Viggo Mortensen — Green Book, Robert Redford — The Old Man & the Gun, John C. Reilly — Stan & Ollie
Hey, what about me? Here is where the fluff shows up that I was talking about in the previous category. On most award shows, half of this field wouldn’t have a chance at a five-person limited field even though the names and performances here are sound. This is the extra area where no one notable is really missing.
Who should win? I would be all for sending Robert Redford out with one last trophy before he rides off into the sunset. If The Old Man & the Gun is indeed his retirement film, give this bouquet of appreciation to one of the screen’s most idolized greats.
Who will win? Vice is the most nominated film with six nominations. There is a strong chance it loses all six of them to other films and people. This is the one place that I think they throw a bone its way. Christian Bale is too damn good in Vice to deny, diving into the salacious skin of Dick Cheney. He’s a perennial awards favorite who has never one for a lead part. It’s time.
BEST ACTRESS- DRAMA
Nominees: Glenn Close — The Wife, Lady Gaga — A Star Is Born, Nicole Kidman — Destroyer, Melissa McCarthy — Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Rosamund Pike — A Private War
Hey, what about me? See, here we go. If you said “who” and “huh” on this field of five not named Gaga and A Star is Born, you weren’t alone. The comedy field is better and Emma Stone should be up here competing with the leads. Even with big names like McCarthy and Kidman next to a respected veteran like Close, their films are all humongously under-seen to the point of near obscurity. That’s a shame because they put forth very good work. Better picks with less obscurity could have been Roma lead Yalitza Aparicio or If Beale Street Could Talk’s newcomer KiKi Layne.
Who should win? My personal pick here would be Rosamund Pike for A Private War. She modulated her glamour and willowy charisma to play a level of toughness and resolve as the late war journalist Marie Colvin that puts the other five women to shame here.
Who will win? The Golden Globe Awards is a Hollywood hob-nobbing soiree. It’s about the beautiful people and the popularity contest by the time you get up to this level of top category. This will be Lady Gaga’s A Star is Born moment to shine brightest and steal all spotlights, which she can do with the best of any talented performer. Expect a speech of passion and surprising humility that gets replayed for years to come.
BEST ACTOR- DRAMA
Nominees: Bradley Cooper — A Star Is Born, Willem Dafoe — At Eternity’s Gate, Lucas Hedges — Boy Erased, Rami Malek — Bohemian Rhapsody, John David Washington — BlacKkKlansman
Hey, what about me? The snub of all snubs is Ethan Hawke for First Reformed. Once again, as I said before, these American indies simply don’t get much international play. Unless they make a few festival bows at the hot spots like Venice, Berlin, Toronto, or Cannes, they have an uphill battle at getting noticed. No actor has won more Best Actor prizes this awards season that Hawke. He’s going to win the Oscar and make the Globes look silly.
Who should win? Even though he’s in the least/worst film of the nominees and placed in drama when it probably belongs more in comedy/musical, Rami Malek acted his tail off to become Freddie Mercury. He made the most of the watered down material and put on a show-stopping level of literal and figurative stage presence.
Who will win? The real rocker will lose to a fictional one. Just like his co-star Lady Gaga, the Hollywood draw will carry Bradley Cooper to a win for A Star is Born. Including his three nominations across all fields this year, Cooper has earned five Golden Globe nominations without a win. This is the signature place and moment to win that elusive first (more will come).
Nominees: Bradley Cooper — A Star Is Born, Alfonso Cuarón — Roma, Peter Farrelly — Green Book, Spike Lee — BlacKkKlansman, Adam McKay — Vice
Hey, what about me? A year after #MeToo, it sure would have been nice to see female respect and representation. Directors like Debra Granik (Leave No Trace) and Lynne Ramsey (You Were Never Really Here) would have been excellent choices. However, as has been the pervasive theme, American indies are virtually invisible to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Who should win? It would be a measure of huge respect for not just a career but for the creative voice he stands for if Spike Lee could surprise everyone and win for BlacKkKlansman. As polarizing as he and his films have been, their importance is undeniable. It would be nice to see that be rewarded for once and not just in honorary fashion.
Who will win? Because I’m slotting Bradley Cooper to win for Best Actor in an Ethan Hawke-less field, I don’t think he pulls the double win with the directing prize here (yet he’ll still be holding two Globes before the night is out). It is quite possible he could, but my money is one Alfonso Cuaron for Roma. This becomes a bit of a bonus and consolation prize for Roma not doubling its place as a full dramatic Best Picture nominee and not just a foreign film winner.
BEST PICTURE- MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Nominees: Crazy Rich Asians, The Favourite, Green Book, Mary Poppins Returns, Vice
Hey, what about me? If we’re going for true comedy and lightness, then Paddington 2 should have been here. Its adorable self could take the place of any of the five nominees, even the eventual winner, and it would class up the category with panache.
Who should win and will win? On my scorecard, this is hardest category of the night to predict. By my calculations, there are three big contenders in The Favourite, Green Book, and Vice. All three of them have won Best Picture awards this season. If you had a three-sided coin to flip, have at it. I’m going to take a scratch-off lottery ticket chance on Vice. Green Book has faded and The Favourite has won enough and didn’t get included in the director race. I think this is a makeup award for Adam McKay’s The Big Short losing to the silly inclusion of The Martian three years ago.
BEST PICTURE- DRAMA
Nominees: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, If Beale Street Could Talk, A Star Is Born
Hey, what about me? The missing big name is clearly Roma and the black sheep that has no business being there is Bohemian Rhapsody. How that mess keeps getting top play I’ll never see or understand. Again, this omission is why I see Cuaron nabbing Best Director.
Who should win? If Beale Street Can Talk is my current #1 in the clubhouse as the best film I’ve seen from 2018. It’s poetry flourishing the best love story of the year. It’s a hard message film of topical tangential history at the same time. Nothing else present has that level of flow.
Who will win? With Roma not competing here, the door is open for A Star is Born to be the crowd-pleasing winner. Though Roma is cleaning up the regional critics awards and The Favourite gets perceived clout by amassing most of its nominations in the artistic categories, I see Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut as the most moderate possible Best Drama/Picture pick this season. It’s a pick the public has already embraced and A Star is Born carries enough critical/industry respect (thanks to the well-liked Cooper) to not make the auteurs and cinephiles plug their noses at its mention or its winning vote.
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