Golden Globes Preview/Predictions: Will Frontrunners Prevail?

Here come the Globes! I’m looking forward to the silly, boozy, unpredictable Globes this weekend just to see if the Hollywood Foreign Press Association—that group of eighty-odd writers that hold the most influence in film and television—throws any curveballs. This back-loaded year has kept the critical awards somewhat skewed, so the Globes might be the first legitimately reliable forecast of the field from a group that’s seen all the contenders in this largely unpredictable season. Will frontrunners prevail or will some unexpected winners shake up the season? I think the former will happen.


Best Picture – Drama

Boyhood is easily the frontunner for the Best Picture Oscar, but if there’s one film among these nominees that doesn’t feel like a “Globes movie,” it’s this twelve-year-in-the-making indie. Only three of the Best Drama winners have gone on to win Best Picture at the Oscars this decade, so it’s no biggie if Boyhood loses here. Selma, as the only other nominee with a corresponding Best Director nomination, is the most likely spoiler, especially since it’s the movie of the moment. Globes also like things nice and British (re: wins for Atonement and The Hours), so The Imitation Game is definitely in the hunt, too. Any of them could win, really. (We’ll take about Best Picture more when it comes to Best Actor.)

Will win: Boyhood?
I’d vote for: Selma
Shoulda been there: Wild, A Most Violent Year, Gone Girl


Best Picture – Comedy/Musical

My head says Birdman but my gut says The Grand Budapest Hotel. Birdman, with seven nominations (every category in which it is a contender), leads the nominations overall, so that makes it the frontrunner, but The Grand Budapest Hotel fits the bill of a comedy more conventionally than Birdman does, and that counts for something. (And it’s coming on remarkably strong this season despite a March release.) Birdman and Budapest both need a win here to gain momentum before Thursday’s Oscar nominations announcement, and one of them will certainly come out happy since the other three contenders are being lapped this season. I haven’t yet had a chance to see Pride (will try to catch it tomorrow), but it and crowd-pleaser St. Vincent have been non-factors this season, while Into the Woods could pull an unlikely upset given the Globes’ history for favouring musicals. But, then again, the boozy Globe voters also picked The Hangover over Nine!

Will win: Birdman
I’d vote for: Birdman
Should been there: The F Word aka What If; Begin Again

Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

Best Actor – Drama

The nominees: Steve Carell’s fake nose, Foxcatcher; Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game; Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler; David Oyelowo, Selma; Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything.

I think Best Actor is the race to watch to see which film has a chance of upsetting Boyhood. If David Oyelowo, Benedict Cumberbatch, or Eddie Redmayne fail to win here, then their respective films probably don’t have the votes to oust Boyhood. I think the Best Picture nomination for The Theory of Everything, however, really shows how much people are taken with the film, and Redmayne’s astonishing performance as Stephen Hawking probably pulled the film into the race, so he’s probably likeliest to win without spoiling the Boyhood train. Jake Gyllenhaal, on the other hand, is the only nominee who doesn’t appear in a Best Picture nominee, and with the categories being a 4/5 match otherwise, he probably isn’t winning here for his intense and unconventional performance. But all my logic goes out the window, though, since I’d actually vote for Gyllenhaal here and Selma in the Best Picture race if I had a ballot! So, I guess the real question is this: where do the Boyhood votes fall?

Will win: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
I’d vote for: Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Shoulda been there: Oscar Isaac, A Most Violent Year

Julianne Moore in Still Alice

Best Actress – Drama

The nominees: Jennifer Aniston, Cake; Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything; Julianne Moore, Still Alice; Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl ; Reese Witherspoon, Wild.

Moore’s been the Best Actress frontunner since TIFF and Aniston’s name popped up at the same festival, but she barely seemed like a contender until the week of the nominations. Is Cake for real? (PS: enter here to win tickets to see Cake across Canada!) Or is Moore getting her due? Cake’s hard to assess since Aniston’s campaign concentrated its efforts on major players like the Globes, but a campaign only takes one so far and the response to the film itself is becoming mixed, although Aniston's perfomance is living up to expectations.  All these performances have devout champions, and both Reese Witherspoon and, especially, Rosamund Pike have the goods to win. The only real kicker is that Julianne Moore is also a nominee in the Comedy and her competition isn't nearly as strong there as it is here, so voters could opt to reward her highly GIF-able performance in Maps to the Stars instead. (Or give her both!) I’ll stick with Moore, though, since her heartbreaking performance in Still Alice has sustained a greater level of praise since the festival circuit.

Will win: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
I’d vote for: Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Shoulda been there: Anne Dorval, Mommy

Michael Keaton in Birdman

Best Actor – Comedy

The nominees: Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel; Michael Keaton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance); Bill Murray, St. Vincent; Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice; Christoph Waltz, Big Eyes.

It’s the same deal with Best Actor – Drama. Surely a win for Fiennes or Keaton foreshadows a win for The Grand Budapest Hotel or Birdman, right? Keaton’s ballsy performance is in it to win, and if he wins here than Birdman is laughing. Sentimental favourite Bill Murray is the dark horse: pundits say the HFPA loved St. Vincent! Oh, and Waltz should really be competing at the Razzies instead.

Will win: Michael Keaton, Birdman
I’d vote for: Keaton
Shoulda been there: Daniel Radcliffe, The F Word; Bill Hader, The Skeleton Twins

Amy Adams in Big Eyes

Best Actress – Comedy/Musical

The nominees: Amy Adams, Big Eyes; Emily Blunt, Into the Woods; Helen Mirren, The Hundred-Foot Journey; Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars; Quvenzhané Wallis, Annie.

Maps to the Stars deserves to be the film for which Julianne Moore wins at the Globes. Her insanely loony yet empathetic take on self-absorbed aging actress Havana Segrand deserves the prize, but Maps to the Stars is just too weird to win a major prize outside Cannes or Canada. I’ll be shocked if she wins and will toast the Globes if she does. More likely than Moore, though, are Emily Blunt and Amy Adams. Blunt feels like a safe choice given the decent showing for Into the Woods, but her role itself isn’t especially showy. On the other hand, Amy Adams is probably going to win back-to-back after American Hustle last year since her excellent performance in Big Eyes is the one take away from that film and the fact that Globes voters even nominated Christoph Waltz’s genuinely awful performance shows that they are really taken with Big Eyes.

Will win: Amy Adams, Big Eyes
I’d vote for: Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars
Shoulda been there: Jenny Slate, Obvious Child; Kristen Wiig, The Skeleton Twins

JK Simmons (right) in Whiplash

Best Supporting Actor

The nominees: Robert Duvall, The Judge; Ethan Hawke, Boyhood; Edward Norton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance); Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher; JK Simmons in Whiplash.

It’s been JK Simmons versus Edward Norton all season, and this race is no exception. A win for anyone else would be a shock, and Simmons’ larger-than-life performance probably has the edge over Norton’s more subtly complex turn.

Will win: JK Simmons, Whiplash
I’d vote for: Edward Norton, Birdman

Best Supporting Actress:

The nominees: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood; Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year; Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game; Emma Stone, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance); Meryl Streep, Into the Woods.

I’d love to see the Globes give Meryl Streep her ninth award or show some respect to Jessica Chastain since both their performances make their films especially memorable, but Patricia Arquette has the most consistency of the season and she’ll probably start the Boyhood train a-rollin’ on Sunday night. Major frontrunners have fallen starting with the Globes, though, like Amy Ryan did back for 2007’s Gone Baby Gone when she swept the critics’ prizes and then virtually stopped winning anything once the Globes happened. (Cate Blanchett beat her for I’m Not There while Tilda Swinton ultimately won the Oscar for Michael Clayton.) Arquette’s the heart of Boyhood, though, so she’ll undoubtedly win here even if Selma or The Imitation Game takes the top prize.

Will win: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
I’d vote for: Meryl, duh. (Sorry Jessica, I mean no disrespect!)
Shoulda been there: Laura Dern, Wild; Kristen Stewart, Still Alice.


Best Director:

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ava DuVernay, Selma
David Fincher, Gone Girl
Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Will win: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
I'd vote for:   Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Shoulda been there: Jean-Marc Vallee, Wild

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Screenplay:

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo
Boyhood – Richard Linklater
Gone Girl  - Gillian Flynn
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson 
The Imitation Game  – Graham Moore

Will win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
I'd vote for: Birdman
Shoulda been there: Wild, A Most Violent Year 


Best Foreign Language Film:

Force Majeure – Sweden
Gett - The Trial of Vivian Ansalem - Israel
Ida - Poland
Leviathan - Russia
Tangerines – Estonia

Will win: Ida
I'd vote for: Force Majeure
Shoulda been there: Mommy 

The Lego Movie

Best Animated Film:

Big Hero 6
Book of Life
The Boxtrolls
The Lego Movie

Will win: The Lego Movie
I'd vote for:   How to Train Your Dragon 2
Shoulda been there: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

The Imitation Game

Best Score:

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) - Antonio Sanchez
Gone Girl – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
The Imitation Game  – Alexandre Desplat
Interstellar – Hans Zimmer
The Theory of Everything - Johann Johannsson

Will Win: The Imitation Game
I'd vote for: Birdman 

Best Song:

"Opportunity," Annie
"Big Eyes," Big Eyes
"Mercy Is," Noah
"Glory," Selma

Will win: Tough call, but I'll say "Glory"
I'd vote for: Honestly? None. But 'Mercy Is,' if pressed.
Shoulda been there: "Lost Stars," Begin Again

How do you think the Globes will/should spin?