The Golden Globes are Sunday night, and after months of campaigning, analysis, and poring over those puzzling nominations, we can get down to the business at hand: laughing with Tina and Amy, laughing at the drunken celebrities, and generally ignoring the awards, which we all know are bought and sold anyway. BUT JUST IN CASE you’ve got an office pool going somewhere, or a keen interest in this kinda-but-not-really Oscar predictor, here are our picks and predictions for Hollywood’s booziest night:
Best Motion Picture, Drama 12 Years a Slave Captain Phillips Gravity Philomena Rush
PICK: 12 Years a Slave, since it was, y’know, the year’s best drama and all. PREDICTION: 12 Years a Slave has been the presumptive winner of all the awards, pretty much all fall (grandstanding contrarians notwithstanding), and while there’s a chance that the organization will choose close-second Gravity, we’re predicting they’ll go with the favorite.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama Chiwetel Ejiofor,12 Years a Slave Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club Robert Redford, All Is Lost
PICK: Ejiofor’s sturdy, powerful performance is the year’s most haunting (and haunted), though I still can’t stop thinking about Hanks, particularly in those remarkable closing scenes. PREDICTION: What’s interesting about this race is that there’s no clear frontrunner — not because none of them are good enough, but because all of them are good enough. The predictions I’ve read have been all over the map; some say Ejiofor, while others think McConaughey’s physical transformation, his personal charm, and the under-the-radar momentum of Dallas Buyers Club will win the day. But I think they’re gonna go with Redford. It’s a terrific performance, but more importantly, he’s a Hollywood legend, and they love rewarding that.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine Sandra Bullock, Gravity Judi Dench, Philomena Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks Kate Winslet, Labor Day
PICK: Blanchett’s performance in Blue Jasmine is capital-A Acting — which is appropriate for the character. It’s a great piece of work, but I found myself more affected by Bullock’s introverted, understated performance in Gravity. PREDICTION: Blanchett’s performance in Blue Jasmine is capital-A Acting — which is why she’ll win.
Best Director – Motion Picture Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave Alexander Payne, Nebraska David O. Russell, American Hustle
PICK: Cuarón’s work is dazzling, groundbreaking, and awe-inspiring — fusing technological wonder with genuine emotion, in an act of plate-spinning that recalls those vaudevillians on the old Ed Sullivan Show. PREDICTION: A consensus seems to be emerging that (both here and at the Oscars) 12 Years will win Best Picture and Gravity will win Best Director, as a consolation prize. That seems the safe bet (if an unfortunate short-shrifting of McQueen’s considerable achievement), unless there’s some kind of 12 Years sweep.
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy American Hustle Her Inside Llewyn Davis Nebraska The Wolf of Wall Street
PICK: All great movies — all but Hustle were in my top ten, actually. Wolf is probably the best of the bunch, a searing satire and thrilling slab of visceral cinema that gave us more to chew on than most dramas. PREDICTION: As we’ve discussed, this is easily the most befuddling batch of Golden Globe nominations, since basically none of these movies would really be classified, by any reasonable person, as a comedy. (And if Inside Llewyn Davis is a musical, it’s much more of a drama.) The Wolf of Wall Street comes closest, but don’t expect that controversial picture to win on purity. No, they’ll probably go with American Hustle, a well-reviewed film with its share of detractors — but those who love it, really love it.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy Amy Adams, American Hustle Julie Delpy, Before Midnight Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
PICK: Though the trio of Delpy, Gerwig, and Louis-Dreyfus are remarkable in three films that haven’t (and won’t) get proper awards recognition due to their relegation to the comedy ghetto, Adams is just too electrifying to ignore… PREDICTION: … and I expect the Globe voters will agree.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy Christian Bale, American Hustle Bruce Dern, Nebraska Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis Joaquin Phoenix, Her
PICK: Every single one of these performances is stellar, and I’m tempted to say DiCaprio, since he’s on such a hot streak of interesting and magnetic performances (even in pap like Luhrmann’s Gatsby). But Dern’s modestly brilliant performance only gets richer on repeat viewings. PREDICTION: Vanity Fair wisely posits that Dern will win, “since he’s the one actor in this category destined for an Oscar nod.” That logic makes sense to me — unless the trophy for Redford fulfills their need to reward a living legend, and the star-gazing HFPA decides to go with DiCaprio instead. OR dark horse Oscar Isaac ends up being the spoiler. Good God, who knows how this one’ll turn out? But Dern seems like the safe bet.
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave Julia Roberts, August: Osage County June Squibb, Nebraska
PICK: It’s June Squibb’s world; we’re all just the cemetery gravestones she’s talking shit at. PREDICTION: Newcomer Lupita Nyong’o’s hearbreaking turn as Patsey seems the odds-on favorite here, but don’t count out the considerable love for Jennifer Lawrence.
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Bradley Cooper, American Hustle Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club Daniel Bruhl, Rush Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
PICK: Leto, borderline unrecognizable and astonishingly good as the conscience of Dallas Buyers Club. PREDICTION: Leto’s win, here and at the Oscars, is the closest thing to a lock you’ll see this awards season.
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture Spike Jonze, Her Bob Nelson, Nebraska Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan, Philomena John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer, American Hustle
PICK: Contrary to its splitting of drama and musical/comedy, which allows more nominees and winners than the Oscars, the Globes only have one screenplay category (as opposed to the Original and Adapted duo of the Oscars). So this is a particularly strong group; my favorite is Nebraska, whose folksy manner and comic premise allows writer Nelson to slyly smuggle in a poignant and affecting message about how we deal with those we love. PREDICTION: Everyone seems to agree that this one will go to American Hustle — illogically, since all reports indicate that Russell threw away the screenplay at pretty much every turn. (Also, its messy plotting and structure are far from Hustle’s best qualities.)
And on to the teevee….
Best TV series, Drama Breaking Bad Downton Abbey The Good Wife House of Cards Masters of Sex
PICK: Ha ha ha ha like anything but Breaking Bad should win. PREDICTION: Ha ha ha ha like anything but Breaking Bad will win.
Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black Kerry Washington, Scandal Robin Wright, House of Cards
PICK: Tatiana Maslany — if, for no other reason, the sheer volume of what she does on that show. PREDICTION: Kerry Washington has become something of a phenom, and rightfully so, so she may win this one on sheer momentum. But I think the HFPA, whose TV voters like to make edgier picks than their Emmy counterparts, will go for Maslany.
Best Actor in a TV series, Drama Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan Michael Sheen, Masters of Sex Kevin Spacey, House of Cards James Spader, The Blacklist
PICK: Cranston, closing out one of television’s most remarkable arcs. PREDICTION: But he’s never won the Globe before, so they’ll probably give it to Spacey, a big movie star with international cred who you can always count on for a good acceptance speech.
Best TV Series, Comedy The Big Bang Theory Brooklyn Nine-Nine Girls Modern Family Parks and Recreation
PICK: Parks and Rec is easily the best of these shows, though its team’s latest, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, has hit the ground running in a way that even Parks couldn’t manage. PREDICTION: Girls won last year, and it seems safe to bet that it’ll take a comparatively weak field again. (At least the Globes don’t keep showering the mediocre Modern Family and cringe-worthy Big Bang Theory with trophies, like the Emmy folks. But even their nominations are gross, when infinitely better shows like Veep, Enlightened, and even New Girl were excluded.)
Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy Zooey Deschanel, New Girl Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie Lena Dunham, Girls Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
PICK: Veep flourished in its second year — as did Louis-Dreyfus, whose finely shaded performance only grows sharper, funnier, and slightly sadder with each passing episode. PREDICTION: There’s a lotta love in the organization for Louis-Dreyfus, who’s also nominated on the film side for Enough Said. And, again, never underestimate the power of an actor renowned for giving great acceptance speech.
Best Actor in a TV Series, Comedy Jason Bateman, Arrested Development Don Cheadle, House of Lies Michael J. Fox, The Michael J. Fox Show Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
PICK: An oddly underwhelming group, this one. Samberg is the funniest, but hasn’t really developed a character yet; Fox is great on an underwhelming show. My favorite is Bateman, whose always-crisp comic timing was coupled, in AD’s indifferently received fourth season, with an admirable willingness to take a turn towards the unlikable. But I realize that this, to put it mildly, is not a popular opinion. PREDICTION: Fox, whose comeback story is too good to pass up.
Best TV Miniseries or Movie American Horror Story: Coven Behind the Candelabra Dancing on the Edge Top of the Lake White Queen
PICK: Top of the Lake was a challenging and sharply executed riff on the police procedural, but not one that ever worked up much buzz, sadly. PREDICTION: The weird technicalities that place AHS in this category (yes, each season is a different story, but c’mon, that’s a series) could translate to a popularity victory. But Behind the Candelabara, with its name director and marquee stars, will presumably continue its winning streak.
Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie Jacqueline Bisset, Dancing on the Edge Janet McTeer, The White Queen Hayden Panettiere, Nashville Monica Potter, Parenthood Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
PICK: And here’s the weirdest thing about the Globes, this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink category where brief roles in one-offs and continuing characters in long-running shows of both comic and dramatic persuasion are thrown into the same bucket. So I dunno, Monica Potter? PREDICTION: I dunno, Janet McTeer?
Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie Josh Charles, The Good Wife Rob Lowe, Behind the Candelabra Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad Corey Stoll, House of Cards Jon Voight, Ray Donovan
PICK: A toss-up: Paul was as sturdy and powerful as ever on Breaking Bad’s last season, though Stoll’s tortured work on House of Cards remains, for me, that show’s finest element. PREDICTION: You’d think Paul would be the shoo-in, but this is the first time he’s ever even been nominated. (Toldja it was a weird category.) So an award this time around seems unlikely (if not improbable); let’s bet, instead, on the venerable Mr. Voight taking home the prize.
The Golden Globes air Sunday night at 8pm EST on NBC; we’ll have full coverage that night and Monday morning.