Something you always have to keep in mind when the nominations for the Golden Globes roll in: The voting body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), is about the size of an NFL team’s roster. Still, there’s no doubt that the influence they hold on the awards season (and the Oscar race at large) is legit, especially considering how fast they are out of the gate and how many folks tune in to the nationally televised awards show/boozefest.
With that in mind, here are our early predictions for what films, television shows and actors will be Golden come Sunday, Jan. 6. — By Kevin Polowy and Ethan Alter
Best Picture, Drama
Marvel’s Black Panther made a nice bit of history by becoming the first superhero movie ever nominated in the Globes’ top race, and, despite mixed reviews from critics, the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody beat out films like Widows and First Man. Still, the heavy frontrunner here has to be Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s remix of A Star Is Born, which, like Rhapsody, opted to compete in the dramatic category instead of the Musical/Comedy field. Note that one of Star’s likely Oscar rivals, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, is ineligible in the English language-only race and instead will compete in (and win) Best Foreign Film.
Insta-prediction: A Star Is Born
Best Picture, Musical or Comedy
Even with A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody rocking Drama nods, “the other” Best Picture race is crazy competitive this year, featuring a trio of crowd pleasers (Crazy Rich Asians, Green Book, Mary Poppins Returns) and a pair of sharply acerbic satires (The Favourite, Vice). Pundits remain bullish on Green Book despite the endless think pieces being cranked out about its “wokeness” (or lack thereof), but Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic has to be the early favorite considering it surprisingly led all nominations with six.
An ultracompetitive race shut out Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite) and Damien Chazelle (First Man) in favor of first-time director nominees Bradley Cooper, Peter Farrelly and Adam McKay, but the category’s only previous winner, Alfonso Cuarón (who won in 2014 for Gravity) has to have the early leg up for his masterful autobiographical drama, Roma.
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Peter Farrelly, Green Book
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Adam McKay, Vice
Insta-prediction: Alfonso Cuarón
Best Actress, Drama
Unlike the Oscars, where she’s 0-6, Glenn Close has won at the Golden Globes. Twice, in fact (both in television, for Damages and The Lion in Winter), which lessens the chance of a “career recognition” honor she could win from the academy for her latest stellar work in The Wife. That likely makes this a battle between Melissa McCarthy for her career-best dramatic turn as scam artist Lee Israel and pop icon turned Hollywood lead Lady Gaga. We’re betting the HFPA sees stars in their eyes.
Insta-prediction: Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Best Actor, Drama
The HFPA looks like it might be shedding its rep for boosting A-listers with the snubs of Ryan Gosling (First Man) and Hugh Jackman (The Front Runner) in favor of surprising up-and-comers like Lucas Hedges (Boy Erased) and John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman). Regardless, this is still an A-lister’s race to lose, with the statue likely going to the thrice-nominated actor Cooper (who also earned a fourth nod for producing American Sniper) for his rugged and revelatory turn as a country rocker in A Star Is Born.
Insta-prediction: Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Best Actress, Musical or Comedy
One of the upshots of the Golden Globes’ division of dramas and comedies is it gives beloved films like Eighth Grade, Tully and Crazy Rich Asians — all likely also-rans come Oscars — some time to shine. That’s not to say breakout Elsie Fisher, Charlize Theron or Constance Wu have a great shot at winning. Emily Blunt poses a major threat for her more biting take on Mary Poppins, but this one likely goes to the favo(u)rite from The Favourite.
Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns
Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Charlize Theron, Tully
Constance Wu, Crazy Rich Asians
Insta-prediction: Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Best Actor, Musical or Comedy
This one could be really interesting (for awards nerds like us). While Bradley Cooper is the likely Oscar frontrunner, there’s a ton of support out there for both Christian Bale (Vice) and Viggo Mortensen (Green Book), so whichever pound-packing thespian wins here will get a nice boost in their Oscar showdown vs. Coops. Our money is (just barely) on Bale winning the popular vote for his damning portrayal of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
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
Insta-prediction: Christian Bale, Vice
Best Supporting Actress
This might be the first major film race in which all nominees stand a legit chance of prevailing. Dueling Favourite cousins Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz will likely cancel each other, and First Man was generally overlooked by the HFPA, which doesn’t bode well for Claire Foy’s chances. That could leave a runoff between Amy Adams (as Lynne Cheney in Vice) and Regina King (as Sharon Rivers in Beale Street), both superb, but whose devotion as mothers could not be portrayed any differently. King has the early edge.
Amy Adams, Vice
Claire Foy, First Man
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Insta-prediction: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Best Supporting Actor
The biggest shock of the day came in this category, in which Sam Elliott was frozen out for his heartbreaking portrayal of Bobby, devoted brother of Bradley Cooper’s Jackson Maine, in A Star Is Born. That clears the way for Mahershala Ali (who was nominated two years ago for Moonlight, but didn’t win), Timothée Chalamet (who was nominated last year for Call Me by Your Name, but didn’t win) and Sam Rockwell (who was nominated last year for Three Billboards, and won). Richard E. Grant, meanwhile, is your dark horse.
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Timothée Chalamet, Beautiful Boy
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice
Insta-prediction: Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Best Animated Film
No major surprises here, as it’s a pair of Disney Animation behemoths (Incredibles 2, Ralph Breaks the Internet) going up against the buzzy and stylized Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse and a pair of artier entries (Isle of Dogs, Mirai). Look for this one to come down to Incredibles vs. Isle of Dogs.
Insta-prediction: Isle of Dogs
Best Television Series, Drama
Unlike the Emmys, which tend to nominate the same shows every year, Globe voters clearly sampled a larger variety of television in 2018. FX’s recently concluded spy serial, The Americans, is the only veteran show among the drama nominees, which is otherwise made up of freshman season wonders like Amazon’s supremely buzzy (and bingeworthy) Homecoming and BBC America’s bloody enjoyable Killing Eve. The nicest surprise nominee may be Pose, Ryan Murphy’s on-point recreation of ’80s-era New York City.
Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Keeping with the “out with the old, in with the new” theme, there’s only one repeat contender among the HFPA’s Musical or Comedy lineup: last year’s champion, Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The other four are first-timers, including NBC’s beloved The Good Place (currently in the middle of its third season), HBO’s cult hit Barry and the star-powered Kidding and The Kominsky Method on Showtime and Netflix respectively. We’d never doubt Mrs. Maisel, but that’s a formidable lineup of challengers eager to nab her crown.
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
It’s all crime all the time in this year’s batch of limited series nominees. With HFPA favorite Amy Adams at the helm, HBO’s small-town murder saga Sharp Objects looks to have the inside track. But don’t count out Showtime’s acclaimed ripped-from-the-headlines prison story, Escape at Dannemora, which finds director Ben Stiller redeeming himself for Zoolander 2 by taking a walk on the dramatic side.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Escape at Dannemora
A Very English Scandal
Insta-prediction: Escape at Dannemora
Best Actress in a Television Series, Drama
The fact that Keri Russell never won a major statue for The Americans is a crime worse than international espionage. Emmy voters already missed their chance to reward the actress’s meticulously crafted six-season performance, so this is the last chance for an awards body to correct that oversight. Sadly, the fact that her competition includes Julia Roberts and Sandra Oh (who, let’s not forget, is also hosting the Golden Globes) means that Russell will almost certainly be a spy left out in the cold once again.
Insta-prediction: Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Best Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Like the show, Mrs. Maisel herself, Rachel Brosnahan, is getting a shot at back-to-back Globe victories. If she succeeds, she’d be the first Musical or Comedy actress to accomplish that feat since Tina Fey way back in 2008. The scarcity of repeat winners makes the prospect of a Brosnahan acceptance speech difficult … but not impossible.
Insta-prediction: Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Actor in a Television Series, Drama
The surprising popularity of Netflix’s Bodyguard — which the streaming service imported from the BBC — coupled with anticipation for the final season of Game of Thrones makes Richard “Robb Stark” Madden an especially attractive winner. But Pose‘s Tony-winning leading man Billy Porter cuts an equally dashing figure and stands out as a splash of diversity among the nominated actors.
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Stephan James, Homecoming
Richard Madden, Bodyguard
Billy Porter, Pose
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Insta-prediction: Billy Porter, Pose
Best Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Bill Hader already has an Emmy on his shelf for Barry, and his chance to capture a Golden Globe appears strong as well. At the same time, the HFPA loves movie stars, even when they’re on the small screen. That gives either Jim Carrey or Michael Douglas a shot at taking out Hader’s titular hit man.
Insta-prediction: Bill Hader, Barry
Best Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
It’s an Amy Adams vs. Patricia Arquette showdown, with the Boyhood Oscar-winner holding a slight edge for her remarkable physical transformation into her Dannemora persona, Tilly Mitchell. On the other hand, we can’t help rooting for Regina King, who is a Supporting Actress frontrunner on the film side for If Beale Street Could Talk. A double dose of Regina would make Hollywood’s biggest party even better.
Amy Adams, Sharp Objects
Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannemora
Connie Britton, Dirty John
Laura Dern, The Tale
Regina King, Seven Seconds
Insta-prediction: Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannemora
Best Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Darren Criss is another Emmy-winner who seems poised to cruise to an easy Globes victory for his career-transforming turn in the second season of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story anthology series. Only Banderas appears to be a likely spoiler thanks to his physical transformation to play the older Pablo Picasso.
Antonio Banderas, Genius: Picasso
Daniel Brühl, The Alienist
Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Melrose
Hugh Grant, A Very English Scandal
Insta-prediction: Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Best Supporting Actress
Alex Borstein missed out on the Maisel lovefest at last year’s Globes, so it would be marvelous to hear her name read off on Jan. 6. But Patricia Clarkson is overdue for a statue, and it’s her wit and dark-hearted conviction that gives Sharp Objects its edge.
Alex Bornstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Patricia Clarkson, Sharp Objects
Penelope Cruz, The Assassination of Gianna Versace: American Crime Story
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale
Insta-prediction: Patricia Clarkson, Sharp Objects
Best Supporting Actor
Henry Winkler waited 40 years to deliver an Emmy speech, but he’s already had the chance to thank the HFPA, having won back-to-back Globes in 1977 and 1978. So we’re thinking the statue goes instead to his fellow industry veteran, Alan Arkin, who was last recognized by the HFPA in 1967. That’s a long time to think up a killer joke.
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Edgar Ramirez, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Ben Whishaw, A Very English Scandal
Henry Winkler, Barry
Insta-prediction: Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
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