Predictions for the 71st Golden Globe Awards

GoldenGlobes

For weeks now, critics groups across the country have been doling out their top 10s and Best of’s for 2013, mostly in the form of tweets and press releases. This Sunday, however, awards season officially kicks into high gear with the first televised celebration in the run up to Oscar Night (March 2nd). Though the Golden Globes and the HFPA have dealt with accusations of star-pandering, they remain a significant step in the lead up to Hollywood’s biggest night of self congratulation (and periodically sincere artistic recognition). The Globes’ significance may have waned in recent years thanks to the rising importance of the guild awards (The Social Network won the Globe, yet lost the guilds and Oscar to The King’s Speech), but they still play an interesting role in the fun/infuriating mess that is Awards Season. And hey, at least the Globes have Tina and Amy to guide us through the overblown silliness of it all. Below are my guesses and personal preferences from the roster of nominees, in both the film and TV categories.

For a refresher on the nominees, click HERE.

FILM

Best Picture – Drama
Will and Should Win: 12 Years a Slave
Alternate: Gravity
Should have been nominated: Short Term 12

I feel fairly sure about Steve McQueen’s film taking the trophy here, but also hope that I’m proven wrong. Over the past dozen years or so, the Globes’ winner for Best Drama has often gone on to lose the Best Picture Oscar. ‘Slave’ could prove to be an exception, however, and the HFPA could always go for Gravity (they’ve gone for VFX-heavy dramas before). The other three nominees have no legitimate heat behind them for the win, so either Gravity or Slave is about to start a march toward Oscar gold…or receive a kiss of death.

Best Picture – Musical or Comedy
Will Win: American Hustle
Should Win: Inside Llewyn Davis, Her
Should have been nominated: Before Midnight, Enough Said

Put simply, American Hustle has all of the right ingredients to steal awards thunder from a dramatic heavyweight like 12 Years a Slave. David O. Russell’s last film, Silver Linings Playbook, was clearly second in line in this same category last year (it lost to Les Miserables, likely by a slim margin). The film is also nominated for directing, writing, and four different acting awards. Clearly, the HFPA loves the film, and they’ll likely use the Globes to crown the film as the more enjoyable Best Picture frontrunner.

Best Actor – Drama
Will Win: Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
Should Win: Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Should have been nominated: Hugh Jackman – Prisoners

While there’s certainly room for acting legend Robert Redford to sneak in and win, the race will likely come down to two bigger performances. Ejiofor has plenty of good momentum (reviews, critics’ prizes), but he’s likely to be undone by one thing: star power. McConaughey is a star whose career was in the gutter until only two years ago. His career renaissance will probably be too much for the HFPA to ignore, given how much they love their stars.

Best Actress – Drama
Will and Should Win: Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Alternate: Sandra Bullock – Gravity
Should have been nominated: Brie Larson – Short Term 12, Adele Exarchopoulos – Blue is the Warmest Color

Blanchett’s movie may have come out in the summer, but she’s only been picking up momentum since the critics’ prizes started rolling in. To date, she has the most wins of any Best Actress hopeful, and for good reason. It’s a big, theatrical performance that shows that, even after that time spent mostly on the stage, Blanchett can still effortlessly command the screen in a leading role. Sandra Bullock and Judi Dench each have chances, but given the overwhelmingly love for Blanchett’s work, it seems unlikely the Globes will dare to be different in this category. Emma Thompson’s nomination is also her reward (she remains a strong fourth place contender), while Kate Winslet is here because the Globes wanted another star to fill a seat, even if it’s for a movie that no one is talking about.

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy
Will Win: Bruce Dern – Nebraska
Should Win: Any of the other four
Should have been nominated: Ethan Hawke – Before Midnight, Simon Pegg – The World’s End

The Globes have a chance to reward two Hollywood legends on Sunday, and it’ll be easier for them to find room to do so for Mr. Dern. Despite four vastly superior performances as his competition, they’re by performers who likely have several decades left of work to give. Rewarding this largely passive performance gives the HFPA a chance to honor a dark horse Best Actor candidate, without having to stiff a performance with either a career narrative (McConaughey) or powerhouse film (Ejiofor) behind him.

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy
Will Win: Amy Adams – American Hustle
Should Win: Julie Delpy – Before Midnight, Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Enough Said, or Greta Gerwig – Frances Ha
Should have been nominated: Lake Bell – In a World…

Of the four leading actor categories, this is the one with the least clear front runner. Compared to her three nominated co-stars, Adams’ American Hustle performance doesn’t seem quite as attention-grabbing. That said, likely second place contender Meryl Streep seems to be there to fill the roster with a big name, without the backing required to go all the way to a win (by this point, even the Globes have likely tired of giving Streep trophies). That leaves room for an upset from the three excellent performances behind Adams and Streep. Any would be welcome winners, but Louis-Dreyfus seems best positioned to sneak in and steal this out from under the front runners. A Globe win would be the perfect welcoming present for an actress who hasn’t appeared on the big screen in over a decade.

Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
Should Win: Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave
Should have been nominated: Keith Stanfield – Short Term 12, James Gandolfini – Enough Said, Jake Gyllenhaal – Prisoners

Leto is the clear frontrunner for the Oscar at this point, and the HFPA likely won’t be adventurous with their votes. The role stands out and has the sympathetic tragedy to it that tends to win voters over. Michael Fassbender has a shot, but the performance seems to show up everywhere as a second place favorite who few actually want to reward. Bradley Cooper has an outside shot as well, while Barkhad Abdi and Daniel Bruhl will have to settle for being deserving nominees without a chance in hell.

Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Should Win: Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave, Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
Should have been nominated: Scarlett Johansson – Her, Octavia Spencer – Fruitvale Station

Like Best Actress (M/C), this category is also filled with uncertainty. Jennifer Lawrence’s star power and it-girl status will play well with the Globes, and it’s a scene stealing role in a big, loud movie. That said, there’s always room for Nyong’o’s devastating performance to win (she’s collected quite a few critics’ awards). Julia Roberts also has a chance, given that her performance is big enough to be considered lead, which could put her ahead of her competition, all of whom have traditionally “supporting” roles in terms of screen time and development.

Best Director
Will Win: Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
Should Win: McQueen, Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
Should have been nominated: Too many to list

Many Oscar pundits are predicting a split between Best Picture (12 Years) and Best Director (Gravity) for the Oscars. There’s certainly a chance with Oscar, but the Globes tend to keep their Best Director winner aligned with their Best Picture winner (typically in Drama). Still, Cuaron remains a viable option, as does David O. Russell if the voters really decide to get behind American Hustle.

Best Screenplay
Will Win: American Hustle
Should Win: Her
Should have been nominated: Inside Llewyn Davis

The characters in American Hustle don’t just shout unintelligble noises. They shout words. Lots and lots of words. That’s the sort of writing that will likely play well with the HFPA, though they could always go the serious route (12 Years) or the charming and original route (Her). Yet given that the night seems to be shaping up well for American Hustle, there’s a very strong chance they’ll make sure to honor it here, especially since there are two heavyweights in front of the same film in the Director category.

Best Original Song
Will and Should Win: “Let it Go” – Frozen
Alternate: “Ordinary Love” – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Should have been nominated: “So You Know What It’s Like” – Short Term 12, “Moon Song” – Her

Bono and company still pose a threat, but it’s hard to seem them winning up against a mega-successful Disney musical and its show-stopping big number. A win for “Please Mr. Kennedy,” however implausible, would make for a wonderful surprise. If only.

Best Original Score
Will and Should Win: Gravity
Alternate: 12 Years a Slave
Should have been nominated: Stoker, The Counselor, Man of Steel

To its credit, the HFPA often nominates some scores that otherwise barely receive any recognition. This year, however, the best bet belongs to a very likely Oscar nominee. Price’s work for Gravity is big and in your face, and more than makes up for outer space’s actual absence of sound.

Best Animated Film
Will and Should Win: Frozen

Next…

Best Foreign Language Film
Will and Should Win: Blue is the Warmest Color
Alternate: The Great Beauty, The Hunt
Should have been nominated: In the House

Blue was a true headline grabber, as well as a critical favorite. Yet it was a released a week too late in its home country, so France submitted Renoir for the Oscars instead. The Globes won’t pass up the chance to reward the year’s most talked about foreign import, especially considering that it took the top prize at Cannes (as did last year’s winner, Amour).

TV

Best Drama Series
Will and Should Win: Breaking Bad
Alternate: House of Cards, The Good Wife
Should have been nominated: Broadchurch, Orange is the New Black, Orphan Black, The Americans

A farewell award to one of the great TV dramas to come out of the current small screen Golden Age. House of Cards still has a chance (that shiny new show smell), as does The Good Wife, which is firmly back on viewers’ radar with its phenomenal fifth season.

Best Musical or Comedy Series
Will Win: Modern Family
Should Win: Girls (though is it really a comedy?)
Should have been nominated: Enlightened (also a questionable “comedy”), Veep

This one’s a tough call. Girls’ second season certainly generated more controversy and provided some uncomfortable moments, but will that be enough to push the HFPA to go with a safer pick like Modern Family? My gut says ‘yes,’ but just barely.

Best Miniseries or TV Movie
Will Win: Behind the Candelabra
Should Win: Top of the Lake
Should have been nominated: Black Mirror

Without Candelabra, American Horror Story would be a shoo-in. But Steven Soderbergh’s Liberace biopic, released theatrically in certain countries, has enough star power and great reviews to push it straight to the top (it’s also been rumored to be Soderbergh’s swan song, while AHS will be back next year).

Best Actor – Drama
Will and Should Win: Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad
Alternate: Kevin Spacey – House of Cards
Should have been nominated: Jon Hamm – Mad Men

Spacey has a strong chance, but the Globes will likely spend a lot of the night bidding goodbye to Breaking Bad.

Best Actress – Drama
Will Win: Kerry Washington – Scandal
Should Win: Tatiana Maslany – Orphan Black
Should have been nominated: Olivia Colman – Broadchurch, Keri Russell – The Americans

With no Claire Danes in the running, picking a winner here is quite difficult. I’ve gone with Kerry Washington, considering that she’s on an insanely popular and addictive show, and gets to really command the small screen. That said, Robin Wright could win to make up for Best Actor not going to Mr. Spacey. Julianna Margulies has a chance considering the renewed love for The Good Wife. Meanwhile, Tatiana Maslany’s brilliant work is lucky to have been nominated. That said, there’s plenty of room for an upset.

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy
Will Win: Don Cheadle – House of Lies
Should Win: Jason Bateman – Arrested Development
Should have been nominated: Adam Scott – Parks and Recreation, H. Jon Benjamin – Archer/Bob’s Burgers

There’s no heavy favorite here, so expect the HFPA to repeat themselves and give the Globe to Cheadle. Easily the year’s least exciting line up.

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy
Will and Should Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
Alternate: Lena Dunham – Girls
Should have been nominated: Laura Dern – Enlightened, Tina Fey – 30Rock

Double nominee Julia Louis-Dreyfus most likely won’t go home empty handed, and she has a much better shot here than in her other category.

Best Actor – Miniseries or TV Movie
Will and Should Win: Michael Douglas – Behind the Candelabra
Alternate: Matt Damon – Behind the Candelabra
Should have been nominated: Daniel Rigby – Black Mirror

Even those who weren’t fond of Behind the Candelabra found room to praise Douglas’ work. He and co-star Damon are far ahead of the rest of the pack for the win (especially Douglas).

Best Actress – Miniseries or TV Movie
Will Win: Jessica Lange – American Horror Story
Should Win: Elisabeth Moss – Top of the Lake
Should have been nominated: Rebecca Hall – Parade’s End

American Horror Story is wild and over the top, and it provides ample room for its stars to absolutely tear into their larger than life roles. Lange’s work here is no exception, and the HFPA will have difficulty going with any of the other options.

Best Supporting Actor – TV Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie
Will Win: Aaron Paul – Breaking Bad
Should Win: Aaron Paul, Corey Stoll – House of Cards
Should have been nominated: Peter Mullan – Top of the Lake, Charles Dance – Game of Thrones, Alex Karpovsky – Girls

At least one of the Breaking Bad boys is going home with a trophy, and Paul’s category is less stacked with major players. Another worthy win for the Breaking Bad farewell tour.

Best Supporting Actress – TV Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie
Will and Should Win: Monica Potter – Parenthood
Alternate: Sofia Vergara – Modern Family
Should have been nominated: Anna Gunn – Breaking Bad, Sarah Paulson – American Horror Story

Another category without an obvious frontrunner. Potter benefits from having the most sympathetic role, given what her character has gone through in the last season or so of the show. Still, Vergara has yet to win an Emmy for Modern Family, and the Globes might try and rectify that perceived mistake.

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