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Golden Globes Predictions: Who Will Win (and Who Should)

As the film awards season hurtles toward its final phase, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s 71st annual Golden Globes event is poised to mark the first televised awards show of the year. It’s a chance for the year’s various Oscar contenders, from “Black Panther” to “Green Book” to “Vice,” to make an impact in front of a global audience just as film Academy voters receive their nomination ballots.

On the television side, the HFPA has long prided itself on celebrating the shiny and new — from first-time nominees and freshman titles, to content on emerging platforms. But the roughly 100 journalist members of the organization have also proved to be enchanted by big names as well. This year the ballot features an equal combination of all such things.

Here, Variety breaks down the odds-on favorites for the film and television races ahead of the Jan. 6 Golden Globe awards.

FILM

MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Will win: “A Star Is Born”
Should win: “A Star Is Born”
Don’t count out: “Bohemian Rhapsody”

“BlacKkKlansman” is a longshot possibility but this race could actually come down to two films that, in previous years, would likely have competed as “musicals.” We’re expecting “A Star Is Born” to take it down in the end, solidifying its Oscar frontrunner status.

MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Will win: “Green Book”
Should win: “Vice”
Don’t count out: “The Favourite”

“Vice” was clearly beloved with a field-leading six nominations, but the HFPA is certainly aware of its wildly mixed critical reception as well. That leaves “The Favourite,” which is likely to have a good night, and “Green Book,” which settled in well with voters. Flip a coin between the two period pieces.

DRAMA ACTOR
Will win: Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”)
Should win: Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
Don’t count out: Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)

It might be a contradiction to pick Rami Malek after noting voters’ sensitivity to how films have been received, but the story of “Bohemian Rhapsody” has been its popularity in the face of criticism. And its star has come through unscathed regardless. Bradley Cooper is formidable, but we’ll bet on the biopic in both lead actor categories (see below).

DRAMA ACTRESS
Will win: Lady Gaga (“A Star Is Born”)
Should win: Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Don’t count out: Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)

The HFPA’s love affair with major stars is well-documented, and voters have their pick of a few in this category. Lady Gaga already received one Globe for her work in television’s “American Horror Story.” She feels like an easy bet to add a second to the mantle for her film debut as well.

COMEDY ACTOR
Will win: Christian Bale (“Vice”)
Should win: Christian Bale (“Vice”)
Don’t count out: Viggo Mortensen (“Green Book”)

The most obvious place to award “Vice” would be here, for Christian Bale’s undeniable work as Dick Cheney. “Green Book” passion will carry Viggo Mortensen to quite a few votes, but like with Malek in drama, voters are more likely to drift toward the transformative biopic player.

COMEDY ACTRESS
Will win: Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”)
Should win: Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”)
Don’t count out: Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins Returns”)

If song-and-dance hit “Mary Poppins Returns” shows up anywhere it could be here or in the original score category. But for her raucous turn in a romp the HFPA adored, expect Olivia Colman to nab this crucial prize on the way to the Oscars.

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Will win: Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”)
Should win: Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Don’t count out: Timothée Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”)

Voters could spring for Richard E. Grant, who is leaving everyone else in the dust on the critics’ awards circuit for his scene-stealing work in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” But again, “Green Book” is an HFPA favorite and likely to pick up multiple honors.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Will win: Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”)
Should win: Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
Don’t count out: Amy Adams (“Vice”)

We’ll go out on a limb for Rachel Weisz, nominated alongside co-star Emma Stone for “The Favourite.” The safer bet could be Regina King, who is cleaning up with the various regional critics organizations, but the HFPA rarely follows the script.

DIRECTOR
Will win: Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”)
Should win: Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”)
Don’t count out: Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”)

Spike Lee really seems like a spoiler possibility here but Alfonso Cuarón has dominated the narrative in this category all year, and that seems unlikely to change at the Golden Globe Awards.

SCREENPLAY
Will win: “The Favourite”
Should win: “The Favourite”
Don’t count out: “Green Book”

Again, perhaps flip a coin between “The Favourite” and “Green Book” here. HFPA voters tend to spread the love, so it’s possible whatever misses for best picture finds consolation here.

ANIMATED FILM
Will win: “Incredibles 2”
Should win: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Don’t count out: “Isle of Dogs”

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” has come on incredibly strong at the end of the year. Is the HFPA hip enough to spring for it alongside most critics groups, or will the draw of a Disney hit be too strong? Voters tend to be creatures of habit here.

FOREIGN FILM
Will win: “Roma”
Should win: “Roma”
Don’t count out: “Girl”

What is there to really say? One film has been the one to beat among foreign film contenders all year long, and that’s “Roma.”

SCORE
Will win: “First Man”
Should win: “First Man”
Don’t count out: “Mary Poppins Returns”

“First Man” seemed to fade in the season until the Broadcast Film Critics Assn., breathed some life into its sails with 10 nominations. With only two bids from the HFPA, there are few places for voters to honor it. A stunning score from two-time Golden Globe winner Justin Hurwitz makes the most sense.

SONG
Will win: “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born”
Should win: “All the Stars” from “Black Panther”
Don’t count out: “Requiem for a Private War” from “A Private War”

This would make it two prizes on the night for Lady Gaga, and it’s probably guaranteed.

TELEVISION

DRAMA SERIES
Will win: “Homecoming” (Amazon)
Should win: “Killing Eve” (BBC America)
Don’t count out: “Bodyguard” (Netflix)

A streaming series has won this category for the last two consecutive years, and while it has never been one from Amazon, this third year seems likely to be the charm. Not only does the HFPA love to celebrate a freshman series here (being the first to do so, to boot), but the added weight of star power from Julia Roberts and surprise strength from newer-comer Stephan James has pushed “Homecoming” into the spotlight. It made a splash that is hard to ignore, although “Killing Eve,” from Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and “Bodyguard,” starring Richard Madden are both critical darlings that caught the audience by surprise and caused quite a stir when they launched — and well beyond.

COMEDY SERIES
Will win: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)
Should win: “Barry” (HBO)
Don’t count out: “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix)

HBO’s dark comedy “Barry” is doing quiet, though equally emotionally complex work, thrusting “Saturday Night Live” player Bill Hader into a much-deserved spotlight. But as aspirational as its theme of a hitman who struggles to give up the trade he is good at while also struggling to get good at a new one (acting) may be, it is also a dark one. That is why although repeat winners are not common at the Globes, it appears the trend will be bucked with Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino’s fast-talking period piece. The second season saw an increase in use of the ensemble, as well as time and location-specific details as it widened the world to include Paris and the Catskills. It undoubtedly enchanted voters with its sweeping choreography, as well. But “The Kominsky Method” is a dark horse in the race, due in great part to the voting members’ love of the powerhouse team behind it.

LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE
Will win: “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX)
Should win: “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX)
Don’t count out: “A Very English Scandal” (Amazon)

Ryan Murphy’s true crime anthology series is back in the running for the second time, and after taking the trophy for its “The People v. O.J. Simpson” installment in 2017, it is poised to see another win. The Emmy wins and star turn for Darren Criss certainly helped boost its profile — as did more recent headlines from Criss who said this would be his last gay role. Murphy may have mastered the format, but Amazon’s three-part limited series based on former Parliament leader Jeremy Thorpe’s real-life sex scandal left the audience wanting more and may prove to be tough competition, too.

DRAMA ACTOR
Will win: Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”)
Should win: Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”)
Don’t count out: Billy Porter (“Pose”)

The Tony Award winning Billy Porter is hardly a newcomer, but he is a fresh face on TV. That alone is enough to make the HFPA sit up and take notice. But what makes him deserving of the trophy is the nuanced, heartstring-tugging performance he turned in as a ballroom emcee who loses his lover to AIDS and learns he, too, has tested positive for HIV. While voters often love to honor someone first (and with “Pose’s” June premiere date, this was the first awards show for which it and Porter was eligible), the “Jon Hamm effect” that undoubtedly aided in Rhys’ Emmy win in September is likely to be in play here, too. Rhys is seeing his second but final nomination for his thoughtful portrayal of a Soviet spy and family man, and the nostalgia of knowing this was the last time his name would be on the ballot for the FX period piece is hard to ignore.

DRAMA ACTRESS
Will win: Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”)
Should win: Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”)
Don’t count out: Julia Roberts (“Homecoming”)

Sandra Oh has seen her star rise not only because of her stellar work as the titular MI5 agent on BBC America’s thriller, but also because she is co-hosting the Globes. The fun “spontaneity” of seeing her have to walk back on-stage for an unscripted moment after weeks of rehearsal is likely to be top of voters’ minds. However, film star Roberts seeing her first series regular role on the small screen is something to keep an eye on, too.

COMEDY ACTOR
Will win: Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”)
Should win: Bill Hader (“Barry”)
Don’t count out: Jim Carrey (“Kidding”)

Previous Cecil B. DeMille winner Michael Douglas is a sentimental favorite for voters, which pushes him forward even without his fun and somewhat meta take on an acting teacher kvetching about aging. But Bill Hader’s thoughtful turn as a hitman who is trying to leave his old life behind and Jim Carrey’s melancholic take on a childlike man thrust into the cruelty of the world raised their profiles — and are equally worthwhile of accolades.

COMEDY ACTRESS
Will win: Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
Should win: Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
Don’t count out: Kristen Bell (“The Good Place”)

It just feels impossible to ignore Rachel Brosnahan’s charming stream of conscious standup on stage as the titular 1950s mother and comedian in Amazon’s comedy. Whether she’s navigating complications at work, at home, with a new romance or with a drunk audience who doesn’t think women are funny, she is raw and she is real, endearing her to any audience. But if anyone can dethrone Brosnahan, it may just be Kristen Bell, who is seeing her first-ever nomination at the Globes, which puts her on par with the fresh faces of the past, including Brosnahan just last year.

LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE ACTOR
Will win: Hugh Grant (“A Very English Scandal”)
Should win: Hugh Grant (“A Very English Scandal”)
Don’t count out: Darren Criss (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)

Hugh Grant took on real-life politician Jeremy Thorpe for his first small screen role and proved a maturity in doing so. Normally nominated for rom-coms on the film side of the ballot, spending more time (three episodes) with a more serious side of him made him a shoo-in for recognition once again. However, Criss’ own star turn as the infamous Andrew Cunanan earned him an Emmy and caused the audience to empathize, even if not fully sympathize, with a spree killer.

LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE ACTRESS
Will win: Patricia Arquette (“Escape at Dannemora”)
Should win: Patricia Arquette (“Escape at Dannemora”)
Don’t count out: Amy Adams (“Sharp Objects”)

In all honesty, this category does feel like a toss-up between Amy Adams and Patricia Arquette, both more than worthy for the deeply introspective work they did to bring their protagonists to life. Adams returned to the small screen in a story of self-harm and matriarchal trauma with HBO’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel, while Arquette dove into the mind of a prison worker who fell for, and aided in the escape of, two distinct inmates. But it is Arquette who had the fuller transformation, literally making herself physically unrecognizable in the role, and for that, she should have an edge.

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Will win: Henry Winkler (“Barry”)
Should win: Henry Winkler (“Barry”)
Don’t count out: Alan Arkin (“The Kominsky Method”)

Winkler won the Emmy in September, and in a rare instance of the HFPA following the Television Academy, is favored to take the Globes trophy, too. His high energy portrayal of a washed up actor turned acting teacher is just joyful, and the times — and dark themes of the show — need that more now than ever. But Globes’ once “most promising newcomer” Arkin is now a veteran actor whose gruffness is becoming more charming as the years go by, too.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Will win: Patricia Clarkson (“Sharp Objects”)
Should win: Yvonne Strahovski (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
Don’t count out: Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)

Hot off an Emmy win, Alex Borstein did have more to do in the second season of the Amazon comedy, but it is hard to compare causing the audience to feel and laugh with causing the audience to feel for those who inflict trauma. For that reason, Patricia Clarkson and Yvonne Strahovski are frontrunners. Clarkson brought to life the matriarch of Flynn’s novel with grace. The woman could have been just a one-note monster, especially when seen through the eyes of her daughter, but Clarkson ensured there were complicated layers to peel back not only with every episode but every scene. The flash of the project pushes her forward just a bit, even though Strahovski’s skilled nuance of shining a light on both her commander wife’s backstory and newfound present-day desire for something slightly better was more than commendable as well.

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