BACKGROUND (Prediction List is Below – Scroll Down)
Let me start off and say that I hate predicting the Golden Globe winners! The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is made up of 90 members from 55 countries, and they determine all the nominees and winners. They have a very international perspective on films but are not thespians themselves. This makes predicting very difficult because they don’t take this as seriously as the Oscar voters do.
But let’s be honest, even the Oscar voters have become quite convoluted in recent years with their voting, but at least there is some attempt to award the best performance from a best-in-industry standard.
But the biggest difference between the Oscars and Golden Globes is that the Globes tend to award winners that are hot and fresh in the now, while many times Oscar voters give awards to make up for past great performances or because they think someone deserves it for a lifetime of work, ala Martin Scorsese.
The Golden Globes are the big party awards ceremony unofficially kicking off two months of the most self-aggrandizing awards season for any industry in the world. And of course, it’s always wrapped up usually in a shameless blanket of identity politics and unapologetic liberalism that just oozes from award winner acceptance speeches to the host themselves.
Many conservatives hate Hollywood just for that and usually won’t watch the Globes or the Oscars because of this, but as someone who believes the arts can be transformative and help us grow and learn about the human experience, there are always a few “Easter Eggs” every year that make following this worth it. I believe we should try to award and promote nominees who embody the spirit of American Exceptionalism in its many forms.
With that, let the predictions begin! Overall, this is La La Land’s year. If you’ve not seen it yet, you’re easily missing the best film of the year and one of the most original in many years. It’s a beautiful homage to the movie musical, very much in the vein that The Artist was an ode to the silent movie. It should be noted that Silence wasn’t released before the nominations went out for the Globes.
Moonlight is the other movie that’s been in the mix for best picture about the coming of age of two black gay men, as well as Manchester by the Sea – one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, and have no idea what all the hullabaloo is about for this film. This is closest thing to visual masochism you will ever see – stay away! But this is the year of escapism and La La Land fits the bill.
In regards to TV, this is always so hard to predict with the Globes. Yes, the Globes are one of the unique ceremonies where it gives awards not just to films, but TV shows as well, which I think makes it more fun to watch. But its confounding as the winners the HFPA select are not usually the typical Emmy winner (not that it’s easy to predict the Emmy’s many times), but they are obsessed with celebrity and the what is in the now – not necessarily what deserves to win based on best performance.
My ballot always goes to hell during the TV part of the ceremony, but I’ve decided to split up my predictions in three categories: Should Win, Might Win, and Will Win. Cut me some slack here as I have to jump into the mind of a liberal Hollywood foreign press figure – someone diametrically opposite of me in my worldview J Enjoy the predictions, and fill out a ballot too, and let’s compare after!
BEST PICTURE (DRAMA)
Should Win: Hell or High Water or Hacksaw Ridge
Spoiler: Manchester by the Sea
Will Win: Moonlight
One of the interesting parts of the Golden Globes is that it splits up the Best Picture category into two – Drama and Comedy/Musical. This is nice because it allows other movies to shine that may not necessarily get love from the Oscars, but it also makes it tough as a predictor for future award ceremonies as no other ceremony does this split.
Having said that, Moonlight, is by the far the one to beat. The story of the coming-of age gay black boys to adulthood yarn, is filled with great acting and has become the main challenger to La La Land for the Oscars. With the #OscarsSoWhite controversy last year, there may be much sympathy for a non-leading white actor movie to win. Again, weird to think like this, but this is how an identity politics person (and many times HFPA and Oscar voters) looks at the world. But on its merit, Moonlight should win.
Let me also say that I would not be surprised if Hell or High Water or Hacksaw Ridge wins this. I know I’m all over the place here, but their is obvious love for these movies as the HFPA gave them a lot of love in their nominations. If there is a big surprise here tonight with the major awards, it will be this one (or Best Actor – Drama). I’ll be biting my nails all night about this one.
BEST PICTURE (COMEDY/MUSICAL)
Should Win: La La Land
Will Win: La La Land
This is the year of La La Land. In the Comedy/Musical category, how could the musical lose? But on its own merit, this is one of those special movies that really makes you miss the old-fashioned movie-musical, but it gives it a modern twist that will captivate audiences. In the year of escapism after 2016, many Hollywood-voting types will want to reward a movie like this. The music is addictive and the director Damien Chazelle, auteur director of the sleeper hit Whiplash two years ago, deserves major props for hopefully revitalizing the movie-musical.
Should Win: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Might Win: Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) or Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
Will Win: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Damien Chazelle is only 31 years old and has already proven himself to be one of the industry’s greatest rising talents, merging jazz with surrealism, and helping to bring back the movie-musical in an industry that has almost forgotten them. Depending on the love of Moonlight though, Barry Jenkins could sneak in for the win. And I know this sounds crazy, but don’t count out Mel Gibson! His year of redemption has come full circle and for the HFPA to nominate him means they really loved his movie. Everyone loves a comeback!
BEST ACTOR (DRAMA)
Should Win: Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
Might Win: Denzel Washington (Fences)
Will Win: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
I hated Manchester by the Sea. It was the closest thing to visual masochism I’ve ever seen. Affleck’s performance is stoic for the most part, and while it’s a big jump for him based on previous roles he’s done, I’m not sure that should take away from the amazing performance by Denzel Washington in Fences or Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge (or Silence!). Since the HFPA gave Denzel the lifetime achievement award just last year, I think by default Affleck will win this, but I am really hoping for an Andrew Garfield surprise!
BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA)
Should Win: Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Might Win: Isabelle Huppert (Elle) or Amy Adams (Arrival)
Will Win: Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Natalie Portman and Amy Adams are both previous winners of the Globe and both did well in their parts, but Amy Adams’ Arrival already seems distant and somewhat overrated. Portman really drives the entire film of Jackie and probably edges out Adams because of this. Isabelle Huppert is the star of Elle, which should win Best Foreign Film, and with this voting crowd, the non-American star could pull this out.
BEST ACTOR (COMEDY)
Should Win: Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Might Win: Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Will Win: Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins)
This is honestly one of the toughest categories. I loved La La Land, but thought Emma Stone’s acting, singing, and dancing were the better of the two actors in the film. Having said that, Gosling did it all too and certainly deserves recognition for this role that helped make this the film it was.
But the Globes voters throw in a monkey-wrench from time to time and someone like Ryan Reynolds could win this. Don’t call me crazy just yet – he was nominated and has been campaigning hard for it, and giving it to him is something the Globe voters love to do to shake things up. And his performance of Deadpool was hilarious! Hugh Grant has made a comeback this year as a serious adult performer, showing that he really does have the acting chops to get beyond some of his Bridget Jones-type roles. They may want to tip their hats to the Brit actor, but this is something more that the Oscars would do. Having said that, the HFPA is a Brit-friendly crowd and Grant might edge this out over Gosling. If the love is really strong for La La Land, it could sweep this too, but I think it has to lose somewhere.
BEST ACTRESS (COMEDY)
Should Win: Emma Stone (La La Land)
Might Win: Annette Benning (20th Century Women)
Will Win: Emma Stone (La La Land)
This is Emma Stone’s breakout year! Ever since we saw Crazy, Stupid, Love and Birdman, we knew there was something special about her. This is her year, this was her movie, and this is well deserved. If there is a spoiler here, it’s Annette Benning with her performance in 20th Century Women. But really, no one saw that film or even knows about it.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Should Win: Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
Might Win: Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
Will Win: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
This is another tough one for me as I loved Hell or High Water, and Jeff Bridges’ character stands out in a very similar way that Tommy Lee Jones’ character stood out in No Country for Old Men. This neo-Western really struck a nerve about the forgotten rural American, left-behind from globalization and the so-called economic recovery. It certainly was the sleeper hit of the year. But the stand out performance from Moonlight is Mahershala Ali, who is also well deserving of recognition not just for this role, but for his role in House of Cards.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Should Win: Viola Davis (Fences)
Might Win: Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
Will Win: Viola Davis (Fences)
Viola Davis – she and Denzel make the movie Fences possible. Octavia Spencer does a great job but not many people have seen Hidden Figures yet. Davis for the win.
Should Win: Hell or High Water
Might Win: Manchester by the Sea
Will Win: Hell or High Water
Call me crazy but I think there is something to the Golden Globes going out on a limb to surprisingly nominate not only Hell or High Water for Best Screenplay, but also for Jeff Bridges for Best Supporting Actor. The HFPA really liked this movie! I think it has to win somewhere and if Jeff Bridges does not win Best Supporting Actor, this is the place to give it to them. Hell or High Water was a unique movie and the sleeper hit of the year – something the Globes could surprise everyone with. I know everyone thinks Manchester by the Sea is going to get this, but I don’t feel the love here at the Globes for it as its getting in other awards ceremonies.
BEST ANIMATED MOVIE
Should Win: Kubo and the Two Strings
Might Win: Moana
Will Win: Zootopia
Zootopia is the easy pick, and I understand that. Kubo and the Two Strings is the gutsier choice, and has more of an international flare, which the Globes like, but it’s hard to get past how much Zootopia permeated moviegoers around the world, and its made a ton of money. Moana is getting huge raves as well, but they were both produced by Disney. Disney will campaign more for Zootopia than Moana, so I give it to Zootopia.
BEST FOREIGN FILM
Might Win: Toni Erdmann
Will Win: Elle
I’ll be honest, I did not see either of these films. But these are the two most talked about films. The easy prediction is Elle, as many have at least heard of it and the great performance of its lead actress, Isabelle Huppert. If there was a surprise here, it would be for Toni Erdmann, which won Best Film at the European movie awards not too long ago; it might have the momentum to overtake Elle.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Should Win: La La Land
Will Win: La La Land
The musical will win this – end of story. One of the best movie musicals I’ve heard in a long time. I’m listening to it right now J You leave the theaters remembering City of Lights and the opening sequence song, Another Day in the Sun. If there was a spoiler here, it would be Arrival’s score, which was very well done, and would’ve probably won if La La Land wasn’t in the mix this year.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Should Win: City of Stars (La La Land)
Spoiler: Can’t Stop the Feeling (Justin Timberlake – Trolls)
Will Win: City of Stars (La La Land)
I hate this category as I just don’t understand how people in Hollywood ever vote on such a thing. It is so subjective and some of the dumbest stuff wins. Having said that, there are some really good songs this year. City of Stars Is certainly original and ties into the movie well. Justin Timberlake’s song of the summer, Can’t Stop the Feeling, is addictive, but is not as tantamount to the movie as City of Stars is to La La Land. Here’s wishing that the Globe voters consider the impact the song had on the movie itself instead of the star-obsessiveness they usually vote for. Steve Wonder also has a good song in this category too, but I’m going with the love for La La Land.
BEST TV SERIES (DRAMA)
Should Win: Game of Thrones or Westworld
Might Win: Stranger Things or The Crown
Will Win: Game of Thrones
This was one of the best Game of Thrones seasons ever, and no one who saw the Battle of the Bastards episode will ever forget it. But, this was also another continuous year of the Golden Age of television, and new entreats such as Stanger Things, Westworld, This Is Us, and The Crown were on the caliber of Hollywood’s golden age of film. I loved all these shows, and each for different reasons.
You’d think the HFPA would love GoT but they have never given it the Globe before – believe it or not! They don’t usually give an award for previous work, but they did give Jon Hamm the Globe for the first time in Mad Men’s last season, which was probably his least deserving season. They could do that here, but GoT on their own merit this past year deserves this.
Many of the prognosticators are saying Stranger Things will win, as they love the shiny and new, but I think Winona Ryder will be the beneficiary here of its success. It should be noted that Westworld was truly a transformational television show, and for the life of me, I have no idea why it’s not being honored more in its inaugural year, especially with Anthony Hopkins at the helm!
BEST TV SERIES (COMEDY)
Should Win: Veep
Spoiler: Mozart in the Jungle
Will Win: Atlanta
My heart is with Veep, but Atlanta is the breakthrough show of the year. Globes love the shiny and new. But from all I hear, Atlanta is a very good show. Lots of love for it out there. Should be noted that Mozart and the Jungle won this last year and no one had ever heard of this show before. Got nominated again this year, but one year is sometimes all you get with the “shiny and new” Globers.
BEST ACTOR (DRAMA)
Should Win: Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) or Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)
Might Win: Billy Bob Thornton (Goliath)
Will Win: Rami Malek (Mr. Robot)
To me, this is one of the hardest categories to choose. I think Mr. Robot Season 2 was some of the most transformative work happening in television and is redefining TV storytelling. It’s artful direction this year made it avant-garde and Sam Esmail, its writer/director, had the guts to make something different from anything else on television. Rami Malek as the lead actor carries this show and his performance stands out over the rest.
I should note that Bob Odenkirk is doing amazing work as Saul Goodman in Better Call Saul and hope he gets the true recognition he deserves for the Breaking Bad prequel. Most of the prognosticators are picking Billy Bob Thorton though for Goliath. In all honesty, I never even heard of the new Amazon show before I saw the nominations list. He may’ve had a stand out performance, but I’m going with what I know here. Malek deserves it, especially as he should’ve gotten this last year (John Hamm beat him for Mad Men’s final season – the first time they gave the Globe to him for portraying Don Draper believe it or not!).
BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA)
Should Win: Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld)
Might Win: Claire Foy (The Crown)
Will Win: Winona Ryder (Stranger Things)
I’ll be honest, I think Winona Ryder’s part was one of the weakest in Stranger Things. She annoyed me. But the Globes, like the Oscars, love a good comeback, and this is it. Last year, they gave the globe to Christian Slater for his comeback, and I think they’ll do so for the so-called “Winonassaince” – I didn’t make this up.
I personally think Evan Rachel Wood deserves this as she and Thandie Newton were the stand out female performances in Westworld, and she is someone who has the guts to take on more artsy roles. She was great too in House of Cards. The real challenger to Ryder though is Claire Foy who portrays Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown. The Crown has an international cast and is easy fodder for the Globe voter, and she’s good in it. She could easily win this in future years, but that hasn’t stopped the Globe voters from giving it to first-year parts. If someone comes in the for the steal, it’s Claire Foy.
BEST ACTOR (COMEDY)
Should Win: Donald Glover (Atlanta)
Will Win: Donald Glover (Atlanta)
Donald Glover will win this. He fits the bill for everything a Globe voter loves – shiny and new, breakout performance, African-American lead actor, nuanced storytelling, and being the writer helps as well.
BEST ACTRESS (COMEDY)
Should Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (Veep)
Might Win: Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce) or Issa Rae (Insecure)
Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (Veep)
Ok, here is another category I hate. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss has never won for her Selina Kyle role in Veep ever! Dreyfuss is the modern Lucille Ball of television and has never been awarded for this smart and crowd-pleasing role – this could be the year. There’s a lot of love out there for Sarah Jessica Parker, and she could win, but there is not a lot of love for her new show Divorce. The real spoiler here is Issa Rae from HBO’s new Insecure show. The last two years, this award has gone to the “freshman” year actress, especially in obscure shows that no one really watches. Categories like this is why I hate the Globes. I gotta believe this is Dreyfuss’ year.
BEST TV LIMITED SERIES
Should Win: The People vs. OJ Simpson
Spoiler: The Night Of
Will Win: The People vs. OJ Simpson
Without a doubt, one of the best written, best-acted miniseries on television in history. The Marcia, Marcia, Marcia episode still haunts me. This should not even be a competition, but there is a lot of love for HBO’s The Night Of, but I just don’t see it having the same impact as the nuanced People vs. OJ.
BEST ACTOR (LIMITED SERIES)
Should Win: Courtney B. Vance (Johnnie Cochran – People vs. OJ)
Might Win: Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager) or John Turturro (The Night Of)
Will Win: Courtney B. Vance (Johnnie Cochran – People vs. OJ)
Easily one of the best performances on television ever. You really thought Vance was Johnnie Cochran! Can’t get more real than this. Tom Hiddleston is loved throughout the international acting community, but his show The Night Manager had mixed reviews. John Turturro is one of the most underrated actors of our time and is well deserving of recognition, but it’s not at the level of excellence as Vance’s.
BEST ACTRESS (LIMITED SERIES)
Should Win: Sarah Paulson
Will Win: Sarah Paulson (Marcia Clark – People vs. OJ)
Again, one of the most stunning performances in television history was Sarah Paulson’s Marcia Clark. No one did more to humanize this complicated figure who was brutalized by a torrent of media commenting on everything about how she raised her kids, to her haircuts, to her inability to bring a better case against OJ – she became the villain in a public trial that transformed this country. Paulson is good old-fashioned acting perfected. It would be a travesty if she lost.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (LIMITED SERIES)
Should Win: Sterling K. Brown (Christopher Darden – People vs. OJ)
Might Win: John Lithgow (Winston Churchill – The Crown)
Will Win: Sterling K. Brown (Christopher Darden – People vs. OJ)
I know I’m giving a lot of love to The People vs. OJ Simpson mini-series, but Sterling K. Brown is the other actor who was the equal to Sarah Paulson. These two made the prosecution human in a way we’ve not seen before. Brown has had a breakout year as his character from This Is Us should have been nominated as well this year, but I can’t see him losing with both these stellar performances from this past year.
If anyone were to snag this from Brown, it would be John Lithgow playing the role of Winston Churchill in The Crown. Everyone loves Lithgow (as do I) and he plays a larger than life character on a hit new TV show with an international cast. They have to award The Crown somewhere, and it might be here. I’m still giving the edge to Brown here as my heart is invested in this guy as he is an amazing actor – if you’ve seen either performance of his this year, you’d agree with me.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (LIMITED SERIES)
Should Win: Mandy Moore (This Is Us)
Might Win: Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
Will Win: Thandie Newton (Westworld)
This is one of the hardest categories of the year. Everyone pretty much deserves to win here. Lena Headey from Game of Thrones should have been nominated last year and won for her “Shame” scene in GoT. This year wasn’t as stand out as last year, but her performance in the last episode was just chilling, and reminded why we love and hate Cersei.
Having said that, my personal heartful choice this year would be for the breakout and surprising performance of Mandy Moore in This Is Us. After watching Chasing Liberty a long time ago, you knew that Mandy Moore had more to offer and she did not disappoint.
But I think the real momentum is with Thandie Newton. Her badass performance in Westworld really stuck out and was one of the driving forces of its success. Her transformation in becoming “conscious” really put the heart into the show. Her getting off the train in the last scene really was moving. The international crowd should love her and her performance as almost being equally badass to Lena Heady’s role in GoT. I give Newton the edge as she is the shiny and new star of 2016, and they have to give Westworld something for this transformative show. Anthony Hopkins not getting nominated was a crime.
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