The 74th annual Golden Globe Awards are set for Sunday, Jan. 8. Last year brought a list of film winners that kept the Oscar race exciting, from “The Martian” walking away with the comedy motion picture prize to “Steve Jobs” landing a pair of unexpected honors. How will the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. shake things up this year? Academy members will have ballots in hand, and will no doubt be watching with the rest of us.
Here are my picks in the film races. Tune in to see how right (or wrong) I was Sunday night.
Motion Picture – Drama
Most are betting on “Moonlight” here, and indeed, the film is well-liked within the group. But it may be in their minds more than their hearts. “Manchester by the Sea” is lurking, too. But I’m going out on a limb and calling it for “Hacksaw Ridge,” which is very strong with HFPA members and could make it a momentous night for Lionsgate. (More on why in a moment…)
Prediction: “Hacksaw Ridge”
Actor – Drama
Just like in the Oscar race, this feels like it’s between Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”) and Denzel Washington (“Fences”). I’d be tempted to lean away from Affleck, who has dominated the circuit thoroughly, but Washington was just honored by the HFPA with the Cecil B. DeMille Award last year.
Prediction: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Actress – Drama
Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”) and Natalie Portman (“Jackie”) are gridlocked on the regional critics circuit, having won far and away the most prizes so far. Huppert’s film has a shot in the foreign language category, while this is the only place to honor “Jackie.” I’m tempted to go in a different direction, though, with “Arrival” star Amy Adams. She’s a darling with the group (seven nominations and two wins) and it’s just the kind of “surprise” that makes sense at the Golden Globes.
Prediction: Amy Adams, “Arrival”
Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Regarding that note about a momentous night for Lionsgate, the studio’s “La La Land” is probably the biggest lock of the night. Due respect to the other nominees in the category, but it’s not even a contest. Could the company pull off what Fox did last year (and Paramount in 2006): winning both best picture prizes?
Prediction: “La La Land”
Actor – Musical or Comedy
It almost seems too easy to pick “La La Land’s” Ryan Gosling here. Hugh Grant in “Florence Foster Jenkins” wouldn’t be a crazy bet, giving him some added fuel for his supporting Oscar prospects. And there’s Ryan Reynolds in “Deadpool,” Fox’s irreverent comic book adaptation that has come on strong as a fun player this awards season. Grant is quite a charmer and they like him a lot. I’ll go against the grain and pick him.
Prediction: Hugh Grant, “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Actress – Musical or Comedy
Just like in the best picture field, this is a no-brainer. Emma Stone can go ahead and put the finishing touches on her speech.
Prediction: Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) has been nearly as dominant as Casey Affleck on the critics’ circuit so far. This feels like a proper place to award his movie, whether it wins best picture or not. But if there’s a spoiler in our midst, it might just be “Hell or High Water’s” Jeff Bridges.
Prediction: Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
I feel pretty confident sticking with Viola Davis, whose “Fences” performance really blows away the competition this year. But I wouldn’t put it past the HFPA to go in an unexpected direction here, like Nicole Kidman in “Lion.”
Prediction: Viola Davis, “Fences”
They like to spread the wealth but nevertheless, this feels like a race between the helmers of the two films I’m picking for best picture honors: Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”) and Mel Gibson (“Hacksaw Ridge”). I’ll go with Chazelle, who is likely to repeat at the Oscars.
Prediction: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
I’m not convinced the HFPA is as in love with “Manchester by the Sea” as other groups have been. A swerve feels like it’s in the cards here, like maybe “Hell or High Water.” Or might the passionate “Nocturnal Animals” contingent usher Tom Ford through? Really, any of the nominees could take it. How’s that for an analysis?
Prediction: “Hell or High Water”
This would be a good place to recognize “Hidden Figures” and get some star wattage out of Pharrell Williams gracing the stage. And if the group wanted to be really slick, they could award Johann Johannsson here, whose “Arrival” score was deemed ineligible by the Academy. Then again, if there’s a musical in the mix (“La La Land”), it seems like you might as well place the chip. But will Harvey Weinstein’s slate really be shut out? Now I’ve gone and named nearly all the nominees.
There’s a real opportunity to get a superstar like Justin Timberlake (“Can’t Stop the Feeling”) or Stevie Wonder (“Faith”) up there, or Lin Manuel-Miranda (“How Far I’ll Go”) for that matter. I’ll just go with the obvious.
Prediction: “City of Stars” from “La La Land”
Motion Picture – Foreign Language
It’s possible the group lines up with the many organizations that have awarded “Toni Erdmann,” but they love “Elle” and Huppert is a spoiler in the drama actress category for the film to boot.
Motion Picture – Animated
Common wisdom has “Zootopia” winning here, but there’s a bit of a vote siphoner in the mix with Disney’s other entry, “Moana.” Meanwhile, “Kubo and the Two Strings” has been no slouch at all on the circuit. I’ll bet on that.
Prediction: “Kubo and the Two Strings”