Golden Globes 2020 Predictions: What Movies and TV Shows Might Nab Nominations?

Golden Globes nominations predictions
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Awards season kicks into higher gear on Monday, as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announces nominations for its 2020 Golden Globe Awards, which cover the 2019 calendar year. Noms will give certain films momentum heading into the Oscar race, while it’s the first opportunity for many TV series to earn awards acclaim before competing for an Emmy in the fall.

As usual, the HFPA members pride themselves on spotlighting fresh faces and making a few surprise choices, and on the TV side, recognizing buzzy programs first. In TV, with several staple series retiring and other recent nominees ineligible (having taken the year off), there’s room for quite a few newbies and some surprises. The return of “The Crown” is expected to earn plenty of attention, while Apple TV Plus is in the hunt for its first awards recognition, with “The Morning Show.” And then there are the Amazon Prime Video juggernauts “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Fleabag,” both of which cleaned up at the Emmys in September.

On the film side, the Globes’ split between drama and musical/comedy enables the show to spread the wealth. Netflix is gunning for glory with entries such as “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story” and “Dolemite Is My Name,” while “Joker” could add some box office mojo to the drama competition. And then there’s “Cats.”

Nominees for the 77th annual Golden Globes will be announced on Dec. 9. Predicting the Golden Globes nominations is a bit of a crap shoot, given the small HFPA membership and its penchant for surprise. But here is what Variety thinks may be in the running.


“The Irishman”
“Little Women”
“Marriage Story”
Nice Surprise: “Just Mercy”; “Us”

If “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” wasn’t competing in the comedy/musical category, I’m afraid the category would have films all directed by straight white cis men. But with “Once Upon” out of the equation, “Little Women,” directed and written by Greta Gerwig, has a much better shot of making the ballot. Besides, many HFPA members are apparently quite fond of the latest adaptation of the classic novel.


“Dolemite Is My Name”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Nice Surprise: “Knives Out”; “Hustlers”

The HFPA has finally seen “Cats,” and I hear it’s a hit with the membership. The HFPA loves a musical. The last three years have included at least one true musical nominee — “La La Land” in 2017 followed by “The Greatest Showman” and then last year’s “Mary Poppins” sequel — so the HFPA may want to scratch that itch with not only “Rocketman,” but also “Cats.” If “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is on the list, you’d presume that “Parasite” should be there, too. However, the dark comedy thriller is only eligible in the foreign language category.


Renée Zellweger, “Judy”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”
Alfre Woodard, “Clemency”
Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
Nice surprise: Lupita Nyong’o, “Us”

Somewhere over the rainbow, there’s a pot full of gold statuettes waiting for Zellweger. However, Theron has been working the campaign trail in a big way so the HFPA could end up rewarding her for portrayal of Megyn Kelly. If the “Marriage Story” train comes in for Scarlett Johansson, we could see Erivo fall off.


Robert De Niro, “The Irishman”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
Nice surprise: Adam Sandler, “Uncut Gems”; Robert Pattinson, “The Lighthouse”

The top five picks above have been the leading contenders since they all starting playing the festival circuit. However, Sandler could throw a wrench in it all. With “Uncut Gems” competing in the drama category — despite A24’s putting it forward for comedy/musical — Sandler is an unexpected dark horse who could find his way in.


Awkwafina, “The Farewell”
Beanie Feldstein, “Booksmart”
Ana de Armas, “Knives Out”
Emma Thompson, “Late Night”
Francesca Hayward, “Cats”
Nice surprise: Kaitlyn Dever, “Booksmart,”; “Mindy Kaling, “Late Night”; Constance Wu, “Hustlers”

Awkwafina picked up the Gotham Award for her work in Lulu Wang’s semi-autobiographical indie, but didn’t even snag an Indie Spirit nom. With the Globes’ drama and comedy/musical split, she should be a shoo-in for a Globes nom. The HFPA is said to be swooning over “Booksmart” so Feldstein could be another one of this year’s Globes newbies.


Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Eddie Murphy, “Dolemite Is My Name”
Daniel Craig, “Knives Out”
Taron Egerton, “Rocketman”
Roman Griffin Davis, “Jojo Rabbit”

Murphy is the one true comedian of the bunch so he has to be included, right? DiCaprio is a sure bet, but can he snag the prize for a film that seems more drama than comedy? Davis could be this season’s pre-teen contender. And “Cats” could shake things up by earning James Corden, Jason Derulo or Idris Elba a spot in the category.


Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”
Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
Zhao Shuzhen, “The Farewell”
Nice Surprise: Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”; Thomasin McKenzie, “Jojo Rabbit”

Lopez is the shining star of this awards season. Dern is a Globes favorite — she has four wins out of seven noms. Bates is right behind her with three wins, also out of seven noms. Robbie is getting all sorts of buzz for her work, while Shuzhen is one of the big feel-good stories of the year. She’s a Chinese television star who makes her debut in an American film at age 76.


Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
Willem Dafoe, “The Lighthouse”
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
Nice surprise: Archie Yates, “Jojo Rabbit”; Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”; James Corden, Jason Derulo or Idris Elba, “Cats”

There isn’t much to say here, except that every pick deserves to be here. Sure, there’s a case to be made that Pitt, Pacino, Hopkins and Dafoe belong in the lead, but someone’s gotta be supporting. If anyone could upset this cart, it may be Jamie Bell, who isn’t getting enough attention for his work in “Rocketman.” And then there’s Jamie Foxx. He could slide in there for “Just Mercy.”


Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
Greta Gerwig, “Little Women”
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite”
Sam Mendes, “1917”
Nice surprise: Lulu Wang, “The Farewell”

You’d think the HFPA would divide the director category into separate drama and musical/comedy categories, but here we are. “Little Women” is said to be popular among HFPA members so like the best picture-drama ballot, Gerwig could be the one to break up the all-boys club.


“Frozen 2”
“Toy Story 4”
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
“I Lost My Body”
“Missing Link”
Nice Surprise: “Klaus,” “Abominable”

It would be shocking if “Frozen 2,” “Toy Story 4” and “How to Train Your Dragon” don’t make the cut, with “Frozen,” “Toy Story 3” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2” all previous winners. “I Lost My Body” could give the category its one foreign-language entry, unless “Weathering With You” from Japan gets a nod, too.


“Jojo Rabbit”
“The Irishman”
“Marriage Story”
“Little Women”
Nice surprise: “The Two Popes”

It’s going to be interesting to see just how the HFPA handles all the strong Netflix contenders. It seems like “Marriage Story,” “The Irishman” and “The Two Popes” could have at least one nomination in every category. But the group does like to make sure all the studios are well represented at the Globes, so Gerwig’s adapted screenplay for “Little Women” could once again mix things up. She was nominated two years ago for “Ladybird,” so perhaps the HFPA will want her back for more. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” could also slide in.


“The Farewell”
“Pain and Glory”
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”
“Corpus Christi”
Nice Surprise: “Atlantics,” “Les Misérables”

“The Farewell,” “Parasite” and “Pain and Glory” are the sure bets here, with the remaining two slots more of toss-up. “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” took home the screenplay prize at Cannes and the cinematography honors from the National Board of Review. “Les Misérables’s” jury prize win at Cannes could help it land a Globes nomination.


“1917,” Thomas Newman
“Joker,” Hildur Guonadottir
“Marriage Story,” Randy Newman
“Little Women,” Alexandre Desplat
“Jojo Rabbit,” Michael Giacchino

This year could well see previous nominees return and a new face. Thomas Newman is almost guaranteed to score his fourth nomination with his wartime score for “1917.” Expect a face-off with brother Randy, who composed the score for “Marriage Story.” Guonadottir’s creepy cello sound for “Joker” would see the Emmy winner (“Chernobyl”) score her first nomination at the Globes. People had loved the score long before they admitted to loving the movie. Desplat is likely to return for his classical/modern blend contribution to “Little Women.” Since “Star Wars” didn’t screen for the HFPA in time, maestro John Williams misses that fifth slot. In his place, Giacchino’s “Jojo Rabbit” will probably sneak in. Will Guonadottir be the new woman on the block? Or will the HFPA love Robbie Robertson’s score for “The Irishman” favoring the sound of acoustic guitars over Giacchino’s march motif for “Jojo Rabbit?” (Jazz Tangcay)


“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”
“Spirit,” “The Lion King”
“Into the Unknown,” “Frozen 2”
“Stand Up,” “Harriet”
“Beautiful Ghosts,” “Cats”
Nice surprise: “A Human Touch,” “5B”

Want Taylor Swift and Beyoncé at the Globes, here’s where to do it — with their songs “Beautiful Ghosts” and “Spirit,” respectively. Elton John has been nominated four times, with one win in 1995 for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from the original “The Lion King,” so we expect the superstar to be back, especially since “Rocketman” is said to be a big hit with the HFPA. “Let It Go” didn’t earn a win for Kristen Anderson Lopez and Robert Lopez in 2014, so there’s a stronger than strong chance they’ll be back with “Into the Unknown.”


“The Crown”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Morning Show”
Nice surprise: “Watchmen”

The heavy campaigning by stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon should pay off for Apple TV Plus, which is likely to get its inaugural Globes series nomination for “The Morning Show.” “The Crown,” which won in 2017 (for the 2016 calendar year), is back and is a shoo-in, while the final season of “Game of Thrones” is eligible — although the critical malaise over the HBO juggernaut’s farewell could hurt it with nominations. (Nonetheless, “Thrones” has been nominated for best drama five times. Although it has never won the top prize, clearly HFPA voters are fans.) “Pose” could very well be the only repeat nominee from last year, as last year’s winner, “The Americans,” is no longer eligible; nor is “Bodyguard” or “Homecoming.” The second season of “Killing Eve,” starring last year’s Globes co-host Sandra Oh, is bubbling under, as is HBO’s “Watchmen,” which has become a phenomenon over the past month (but the HFPA never recognized executive producer Damon Lindelof’s previous series “The Leftovers”). Another HBO series, “Succession,” was such appointment TV this year that Globes voters will likely find it irresistible to nominate the buzzy drama about a dysfunctional media family dynasty.


“The Kominsky Method”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“Schitt’s Creek”
Nice surprise: “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”

Once again, timing is everything, and the buzz surrounding the final season of “Schitt’s Creek” could help land the show a nomination, alongside some more familiar entries. “The Kominsky Method” (although there wasn’t as much heat for Season 2) won last year and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won in 2018 (for the 2017 calendar year), so they might be secure. Also returning for a likely repeat nom is HBO’s “Barry.” Meanwhile, Emmy darling “Fleabag” should land a nom, even though the HFPA finds itself in the rare situation of having to play catch-up to the Television Academy. That could leave several other contenders (and previous nominees) just missing the cut, including the signing-off “Veep,” and “The Good Place,” which was nominated last year. Newcomers such as Netflix’s “Russian Doll,” “Dead to Me” and “The Politician” are still in the mix, but may have peaked too soon for Globes voters. A longshot that could also be in the mix is Showtime’s “On Becoming a God in Central Florida,” based on the draw of star Kirsten Dunst.


“The Act”
“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie”
“When They See Us”
Nice surprise: “Years and Years”

Through a fluke of timing, “Escape at Dannemora” (nominated last year) and “The Act,” both major Patricia Arquette vehicles, aren’t competing for nominations here the way they were at the Emmys. Arquette fans may help put that in the mix, along with Emmy favorite “Chernobyl” and the critically acclaimed “When They See Us.” There’s no “American Crime Story” this year, but voters will likely gravitate to another FX triumph, “Fosse/Verdon.” Then there’s the Netflix feature sequel to “Breaking Bad,” the film “El Camino.” Globes voters nominated “Breaking Bad” for best drama twice; will that love extend to longform? Other contenders in the mix include Netflix’s “Unbelievable” and “Black Mirror,” Showtime’s “The Loudest Voice,” and HBO’s “Catherine the Great” and “Years and Years,” which couldn’t be more timely.


Kevin Bacon, “City on a Hill”
Brian Cox, “Succession”
Tobias Menzies, “The Crown”
Billy Porter, “Pose”
Jeremy Strong, “Succession”
Nice surprise: Penn Badgley, “You”

Previous winner Richard Madden (“Bodyguard”) is ineligible, as are all but one of last year’s nominees. That gives a leg up to “Pose” star Porter, and opens the door for perhaps two “Succession” stars: Cox and Strong. “City on a Hill” wasn’t widely seen, but don’t count out the familiarity factor with Bacon; and the power of “The Crown” should extend to Menzies, who plays Prince Philip. But without many returnees, the category could be wide open, to the likes of Kit Harington (although “Game of Thrones” stars haven’t had much luck at the Globes), and former nominees Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”) and Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”). Also in the hunt are Jason Momoa of Apple’s “See,” and Badgley from Netflix’s buzzy “You.”


Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
Olivia Colman, “The Crown”
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”
Nice surprise: Regina King, “Watchmen”

Reese Witherspoon’s dueling roles on “Big Little Lies” and “The Morning Show” might knock her out of nominations, but her co-stars Kidman and Aniston are likely to be there — and boasting the star power that the Globes loves. Last year’s winner, “Killing Eve” star Oh, should have enough goodwill from HFPA members to land another nomination, but she’ll likely be up against her co-star Comer, who won the Emmy in September. Meanwhile, Globes voters love “The Crown” and Queen Elizabeth II: Previous star Claire Foy was nominated for the show’s first two seasons and won once; Colman, who took over the role for Season 3, has previously won Globes twice: One in 2019 for “The Favourite,” and in 2017 for “The Night Manager.” She’s a lock for a nomination. Others in the hunt: “Watchmen” star King, “Euphoria’s” Zendaya and another previous winner, Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”).


Ted Danson, “The Good Place”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
Bill Hader, “Barry”
Eugene Levy, ” Schitt’s Creek”
Ben Platt, “The Politician”
Nice surprise: Don Cheadle, “Black Monday”

Last year’s winner, “The Kominsky Method” star Douglas, is likely to be back, as should previous nominee Hader (“Barry”). The rest of last year’s nominees aren’t eligible, opening the door for other choices — including a long-overdue “The Good Place” nomination for Danson, who last earned a Globes nod in 2008 for “Damages.” Should HFPA voters be enamored of “Schitt’s Creek” as much as critics are, Levy could earn a nod. Also in the hunt is “The Politician” star Platt, perhaps that Netflix series’ best shot at a nomination. Beyond that, “Black Monday’s” Cheadle and “Living With Yourself” star Paul Rudd might earn mentions, as could “Black-ish’s” Anthony Anderson. Then there’s the case of returning host and “After Life” star Ricky Gervais: Will his Globes gig help the chances for a comedy actor nod?


Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Kirsten Dunst, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Natasha Lyonne, “Russian Doll”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”
Nice surprise: Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”

Brosnahan has won the Golden Globe for musical or comedy actress for the past two years, and she’d be a shoo-in for another — except for the fact that the force of nature Waller-Bridge is standing in her way. The “Fleabag” phenomenon was a big winner at the Emmys, and although Globe voters don’t always like playing second, they may have to in this case. HFPA voters here like TV legends, which is why Louis-Dreyfus may return after a two-year gap (although, after six nominations, she has only won once: in 1994, for “Seinfeld”). “Russian Doll’s” Lyonne and “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” star Dunst have heat, but Kristen Bell (“The Good Place”), Christina Applegate (“Dead to Me”) and Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”) could also squeak in.


Mahershala Ali, “True Detective”
Russell Crowe, “The Loudest Voice”
Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”
Jharrel Jerome, “When They See Us”
Sam Rockwell, “Fosse/Verdon”
Nice surprise: Ian McShane, “Deadwood: The Movie”

“When They See Us” star Jerome won the Emmy for limited series/movie actor, and he’s the frontrunner for a nomination here, too. Sticking with the true-life theme, Crowe as Fox News boss Roger Ailes, in Showtime’s “The Loudest Voice,” could also land a nod, while “Chernobyl’s” Harris could score his first Golden Globes nom. Rockwell, nominated last year for “Vice” and the year before that for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (which he won), could make it a three-peat with FX’s “Fosse/Verdon.” Ali won the Globe last year in the supporting actor film category for “The Green Book,” and could return as the best bet for “True Detective” landing a nom. Others who could break through: “El Camino’s” Aaron Paul, who was nominated in 2014 for playing Jesse Pinkman on “Breaking Bad”; “The Spy” star Sacha Baron Cohen, nominated last year for “Who Is America?”; and McShane, who won a Globe in 2005 for playing Al Swearengen on “Deadwood.”


Kathryn Hahn, “Mrs. Fletcher”
Helen Mirren, “Catherine the Great”
Niecy Nash, “When They See Us”
Octavia Spencer, “Truth Be Told”
Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”
Nice surprise: India Eisley, “I Am The Night”

Although “Catherine the Great” hasn’t made many waves in the U.S., Mirren is Globes all-star, having been nominated eight times (winning in 2006 for “The Queen”). Ditto “Fosse/Verdon” star Williams, a previous winner for “My Week With Marilyn,” as well as nominee for “All the Money in the World,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Blue Valentine” and “Brokeback Mountain.” And “Truth Be Told” star Spencer has also done well with the HFPA, winning a Globe in 2012 for “The Help” and also scoring nods in recent years for “Hidden Figures” and “The Shape of Water.” Nash may finally land her first Globes nomination, following an Emmy nod for “When They See Us,” while Hahn could also pick up her first Globes nod, for “Mrs. Fletcher.” Others in the mix include “Unbelievable” stars Merritt Wever and Kaitlyn Dever, as well as “The Act” star Joey King and “What/If’s” Renee Zellweger.


Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
Andrew Scott, “Fleabag”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Stellan Skarsgard, “Chernobyl”
Henry Winkler, “Barry”
Nice surprise: Matthew Macfadyen, “Succession”

Can anyone beat the Hot Priest? “Fleabag’s” Scott was TV’s biggest on-screen phenomenon in 2019 until Baby Yoda came along, and that should guarantee Scott’s nomination this year. Last year’s winner in the supporting actor category, “A Very English Scandal’s” Ben Whishaw, isn’t eligible this time, but Culkin, the only “Succession” star nominated last year, should be back. Also potentially landing a second consecutive nomination: “Barry’s” Winkler, who last won a Globe in 1978, for “Happy Days.” Nominated this past year at the Emmys for “Chernobyl,” Skarsgard could join the Globes fray as well. And then there’s Globes favorite Shalhoub, who won in 2003 for “Monk,” and then was also nominated in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009. Shalhoub hasn’t yet been nominated at the Globes for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” even though he won the supporting comedy actor Emmy in 2019, and was nominated in 2018.


Patricia Arquette, “The Act”
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Olivia Colman, “Fleabag”
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”
Meryl Streep, “Big Little Lies”
Nice surprise: Jean Smart, “Watchmen”

If the HFPA members love “Fleabag” as much as everyone else does, Colman could be in for a double treat, landing a nom for that show in addition to “The Crown.” Arquette won an Emmy for “The Act,” and could be in contention here. Streep is a Cecil B. DeMille winner at the Globes, and has been nominated a whopping 31 times through the years (winning eight of those), so it’s pretty safe to say she’ll get another nod, this time for “Big Little Lies.” Dern previously won this category for “Big Little Lies,” so another nomination is also expected there. Carter has seven previous nominations from the Globes; “The Crown” should add another one. Of course, this being a catchall category for supporting performances, the net is wide, and there’s plenty of room for surprise.