‘Tis the season — award season, that is. Tonight, the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards will air on NBC, and it’s one of the most important awards show for both TV and film, second only to the Emmy Awards and the Oscars.
This year more then ever the winners promise to be both satisfying and surprising, because the deck is stacked all the way around.
This less rehearsed award show will have one of the most informal atmospheres of the entire season, one where artists may either celebrate or end up drowning their sorrows. Much like this year’s host Ricky Gervais, the Golden Globes are sometimes controversial, always entertaining and bound to surprise with wildcard winners, as opposed to the other more predictable award shows. In fact, what happens tonight will most likely set the tone for what we can expect in the next few weeks.
As any decent prognosticators know, it’s always beneficial to notice patterns in the categories, such as how many times a certain film is nominated, and these patterns often pave the road to the Oscars. However, the Globes have also been a haven for the redheaded stepchildren of Hollywood, the actors who aren’t typically ‘Oscar-worthy.’ The Globes are more open to up-and-comers and the HFPA readily acknowledges equally talented yet less acknowledged actors like — pulling this out of thin air — Leonardo DiCaprio, who has won three Globes and become one of the few to receive multiple awards in the same categories. Another slight oddity of the show is its propensity to award newer actresses and older, more established actors.
When it comes to TV, it get’s a little trickier. The Globes are usually the first to spot new talent and reward it, a failure of the Emmys — Modern Family anyone? And sentiment often plays a part in both film and show decisions, with shows like Breaking Bad sweeping the competition in 2014 because of its end the previous year. But with so many tremendous shows in 2015, our golden age of TV might make for a frustrating and unfulfilling award season.
So without further ado, we give you our predictions for what promises to be an intriguing (and at times questionable) list of nominees and winners.
Best Motion Picture – Drama
Nominees: Carol; Mad Max: Fury Road; The Revenant; Room; Spotlight
Rival: Mad Max: Fury Road
This category is usually the most predictable, but with the different tastes of these voters, the dystopian chaos of Mad Max: Fury Road may appeal to the HFPA. But in all fairness, Spotlight, the well-crafted story about investigative journalists, has been racking up wins so far. Even if it does win though, it’s not necessarily a shoo-in for the Oscars, lest any one forgets the tug-of-war between Boyhood and Birdman last year. However, The Revenant could always snatch it as well — the voters do love Leo.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Nominees: Bryan Cranston (Trumbo); Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant); Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs); Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl); Will Smith (Concussion)
Prediction: Leonardo DiCaprio
Rival: Bryan Cranston
This category is deceptively easy, after all, Smith is not a real competitor here and Redmayne won the Globe last year (and everything else in every award show imaginable). But all we have to do is look at Jennifer Lawrence’s success and suddenly Redmayne looks good for it. His performance, however, might not have been as lauded as his competitors, and even Fassbender, who has been one of the only things awarded in his film, does not stand up to DiCaprio and Cranston. Although everyone believes this could be Leo’s year to finally win an Oscar, Cranston is a considerably talented actor who may swoop in and snatch glory from his hands.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Carol); Brie Larson (Room); Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn); Rooney Mara (Carol); Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
Prediction: Brie Larson
Rival: Saoirse Ronan
Any other year Blanchett would win hands down, but the deck is stacked against her with the kind of young and fresh actresses the HFPA likes. All of them could be called up-and-comers, and Mara and Vikander are getting a bump up from other award show placements as supporting actresses. But this could be to their detriment, splitting the votes and leaving it to Larson and Ronan. Both are quiet fan favorites, and many are rooting for Ronan who has more international flare. But Larson has long deserved to be nominated and acknowledged by her peers, especially after her work in the little-seen Short Term 12.
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Nominees: The Big Short; Joy; The Martian; Spy; Trainwreck
Prediction: The Big Short
Rival: The Martian
Let’s face it — this category is an apology. It’s a bone thrown at films that couldn’t crack into the ultra serious Academy ballot, and the ones that usually end up winning are often smarter than they are funny. Think more The Grand Budapest Hotel, less American Hustle. While The Big Short isn’t necessarily a prestigious film dryer than a dust bowl, it’s not the lighthearted sci-fi that is The Martian, or a true comedy like Spy and Trainwreck. But it’s the wit and the boisterous attitude that nabs this award for the film about the housing market crash.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Nominees: Christian Bale (The Big Short); Steve Carell (The Big Short); Matt Damon (The Martian); Al Pacino (Danny Collins); Mark Ruffalo (Infinitely Polar Bear)
Prediction: Matt Damon
Rival: Steve Carell
Pacino and Ruffalo were both in smaller films that hardly anyone saw, so it seems unlikely that either of them is in the running. Which leaves it between Damon and the two big stars from that depressing movie about men who bet against the American economy. We’re torn on this one because although Carell was brilliant, and we applaud him for selecting meaty roles, Damon has never won a Globe. So we’re fine if his likeable performance wins him the award — we’re thinking someone else is going to nab the little gold man next month.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Nominees: Jennifer Lawrence (Joy); Melissa McCarthy (Spy); Amy Schumer (Trainwreck); Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van); Lily Tomlin (Grandma)
Prediction: Amy Schumer
Rival: Jennifer Lawrence
Just looking at this on the surface, it would seem two nominees are just there to fill in a couple of spots and one nominee who was in a hilarious movie won’t get the award because, well, that’s just how these award shows go. That leaves Schumer and Lawrence, the new it-girl and the older but still relevant it-girl. Frankly, Lawrence shouldn’t get the award off her merits as a comedic actress, since Joy was so much more than just a comedy, although the ‘classiness’ might actually be what seals the deal with the HFPA. We have to give this one to Schumer, who seems the most likely to keep riding the wave of popularity she’s on.
Best Supporting Performance by an Actor in any Motion Picture
Nominees: Paul Dano (Love and Mercy); Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation); Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies); Michael Shannon (99 Homes); Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
Prediction: Mark Rylance
Rival: Sylvester Stallone
This may be one of the biggest coin tosses of the night. While people love a comeback, and Sly’s return as a retired Rocky Balboa is nothing short of a homecoming, Rylance has been gaining traction and winning awards for his nuanced performance. What it comes down to is the difference between Rylance’s stage background and Stallone’s history with film. Two varying approaches, but both equally effective.
Best Supporting Performance by an Actress in any Motion Picture
Nominees: Jane Fonda (Youth); Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight); Helen Mirren (Trumbo); Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina); Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
Prediction: Alicia Vikander
Rival: Jennifer Jason Leigh
The deck is certainly stacked in this category, and any one of these women could have won in a slow year. Mirren and Winslet are terrific in anything they do, but the real stars of this category are Fonda, Leigh and Vikander. While she is only in one scene in Youth, Fonda is absolutely perfect, and plenty of people have won with only one scene to show for it. But the real battle is between Leigh and Vikander, and either could win easily. Awards often go to Tarantino’s actors rather than his movies, and many sympathize with Leigh — and similarly with DiCaprio — because of the difficulty of her role. However, Vikander somehow makes a robot seem not only sexy but more warm and personal, a tough feat.
Best Director – Motion Picture
Nominees: Todd Haynes (Carol); Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant); Tom McCarthy (Spotlight); George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road); Ridley Scott (The Martian)
Prediction: Ridley Scott
Rival: George Miller
There’s certainly a lot of affection for Ińárritu after the success of Birdman, but the pull of Scott’s esteemed history might be too much for the HFPA. However, since the voters have been known to make bold choices, it’s perfectly reasonable that Miller could be taking home the award, since he’s newer and had so much success with his film.
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Nominees: Emma Donoghue (Room); Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer (Spotlight); Charles Randolph, Adam McKay (The Big Short); Aaron Sorkin (Steve Jobs); Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight)
Prediction: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Rival: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
Truthfully, while Spotlight has an excellent screenplay and would be well-deserving of this ward, the fact that Randolph and McKay could turn a boring and depressing storyline into a triumph of a film, one in which even the most despicable characters are likable, is unbeatable. The Big Short deserves the award just for being able to make the subject matter interesting.
Best Animated Feature Film
Nominees: Inside Out; The Good Dinosaur; The Peanuts Movie; Shaun the Sheep Movie; Anomalisa
Prediction: Inside Out
Not to say it was a poor year for animated films, but there’s just no competition in this category. For Inside Out, it’s going to be like 2014 all over again.
Best Foreign-Language Film
Nominees: The Brand New Testament; Mustang; The Fencer; Son of Saul; The Club
Prediction: Son of Saul
It’s always hard to gauge which foreign film has more appeal, but the story of a Jewish worker at Auschwitz in Son of Saul has an emotional pull that only Holocaust films have. The equally somber Mustang, about five orphaned sisters in Turkey, might edge it out, but Son of Saul is probably the only film in this category that people can say they have heard of before now.
Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Nominees: Carter Burwell (Carol); Alexandre Desplat (The Danish Girl); Ennio Morricone (The Hateful Eight); Daniel Pemberton (Steve Jobs); Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto (The Revenant)
Prediction: Ennio Morricone
Rival: Alexandre Desplat
Desplat is another one of those who might have won hands down in another year, but he faces stiff competition. His delicate and simplistic score fills The Danish Girl with an emotional and psychological depth that is lacking in the actual film, and Burwell’s score is similarly beautiful but more ambitious and grander, the winds and strings coalescing in perfect harmony. They are both eclipsed by Ennio’s score, which itself tells a story through the music so well that you don’t have to watch the movie.
Best Original Song – Motion Picture
Nominees: “Love Me Like You Do”; “See You Again”; “One Kind of Love”; “Simple Song #3”; “Writing’s on the Wall”
Prediction: “See You Again”
Rival: “One Kind of Love”
This one should be easy — if the voters went for sentiment. If they went for content and originality, then it’ll be “One Kind of Love.” A Bond theme would normally stir up some talk but Sam Smith’s whimpering ballad is no “Skyfall.” And we’re just a little disturbed that a repetitive song such as “Love Me Like You Do,” or anything remotely like it, would be nominated for a Golden Globe.
The 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards airs tonight on NBC at 7 p.m. Central.
Follow Sara Snoddy on Twitter at @Sara_Snoddy
To contact Lifestyles editor Tanner Dedmon email firstname.lastname@example.org.