Golden Globes this Weekend: Who Will Win/Should Win?

Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) in La La Land.
  Photo by  Dale Robinette / an Entertainment One release.
Is it Globe time already? A look at the will wins and should wins of this weekend’s big show before Oscar ballots go back to the Academy.

Best Film – Comedy or Musical

The nominees: 20th Century Women, Deadpool, Florence Foster Jenkins, La La Land, Sing Street

La La Land winning here is as sure a thing as one may find. It’s an overwhelmingly heavy favourite that sweeps people off their feet and the level of technical/artistic complexity above the other nominees is significant. Nothing’s even close, despite four nominations for Paramount’s delightful Florence Foster Jenkins and surprise superhero flick Deadpool offering some mainstream contenders. 20th Century Women is an excellent and observant dramedy, but it hasn’t had much luck this season despite the squeak of Bening buzz at its premiere, while the well-deserved nomination for Sing Street ensures that Globes voters grabbed their ballots, followed their hearts, and drove it like they stole it.

Will win: La La Land
I’d vote for: La La Land

Best Film – Drama

The nominees: Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

This batch is actually quite significant for the industry given that the major studios—Paramount, Warner Bros., Universal, Fox, and Sony—were all shut out from this category in favour of the indies. It’s proof that the better movies are generally getting smaller as studios continue with the tent pole extravaganzas over of mid-budget dramas that appeal to adults. Independents are doing all the heavy lifting and, in many cases, reaping the benefits. Either Manchester by the Sea or Moonlight will triumph here. They both need a win to catch up on La La Land. Manchester is the more conventional awards fodder and is sure to nab a few Globes, but Moonlight is the critical darling. Hell or High Water, in my books, deserves the prize for its intense and fascinating deconstruction of the western within the contemporary breakdown of the American dream. Lion is an underdog, while Mel Gibson’s repugnantly violent yet weirdly religious Hacksaw Ridge is just a loony nomination.

Will win: Manchester by the Sea
I’d vote for: Hell or High Water
Shoulda been there: Jackie, Arrival, Nocturnal Animals

Best Director

The nominees: Damien Chazelle, La La Land; Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals; Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge; Barry Jenkins, Moonlight; Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

The big showdown between the dramatists and the glee club! Will La La Land’s Damien Chazelle help the film lead take a huge score at the Globes? (With six possible wins, La La Land could be the biggest Golden Globe winner in some time.) Barry Jenkins is a major contender here given how strongly the distinct vision of Moonlight sweetens the pot in terms of awarding a black director on the heels of #OscarsSoWhite. (The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is an international body, though, so anyone who calls the Golden Globes racist at your party should kindly be shown the door.) But this blog hopes that the boozy, boozy nocturnal animals at the Globes love Tom Ford’s movie enough to bestow upon him Best Director—or, that they at least weren’t too mad about having to return some of his perfume.

Will win: Damien Chazelle
I’d vote for: Tom Ford
Shoulda been there: Pablo Larraín, Jackie; Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Best Actor – Drama

The nominees: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea; Joel Edgerton, Loving; Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge; Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic; Denzel Washington, Fences

I’ll never get the hype over Affleck’s performance, since he’s almost subdued to the point of boredom, but he’s the frontrunner by all counts. Washington’s the potential spoiler here given the volume of his performance, although the relatively weaker showing for Fences compared to Manchester by the Sea gives Affleck an edge. Four of these actors will likely join Ryan Gosling in the Oscar race, so an upset would be very exciting.

Will win: Casey Affleck
I’d vote for: Joel Edgerton

Best Actress – Drama

The nominees: Amy Adams, Arrival; Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane; Isabelle Huppert, Elle; Ruth Negga, Loving; Natalie Portman, Jackie

Portman, Portman, Portman! Natalie will and should steamroll the competition even though this category offers one of the strongest Best Actress line-ups in years. However, if Huppert’s going to gain any traction from a mainstream voting body, it could be the Globes given that the relatively small size of the membership means that this controversial film and performance doesn’t need to conform to mainstream tastes. The nomination itself is both remarkable and overdue.

Will win: Natalie Portman
I’d vote for: Portman

Best Actor – ‘Comedy’ or Musical

The nominees: Colin Farrell, The Lobster; Ryan Gosling, La La Land; Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins; Jonah Hill, War Dogs; Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool

How exciting is it that this race is a battle between two Canadian Ryans? Gosling is pure charisma and soulful passion as the aspiring jazz pianist of La La Land, while Reynolds’ uproarious performance works on every level even if he spends most of the movie behind the mask. It’s impressive to see Reynolds land this nomination, but the other Ryan has it in the bag.

Will win: Ryan Gosling
I’d vote for: Gosling
Shoulda been there: Peter Simonischek, Toni Erdmann; Josh Brolin, Hail, Caesar!

Best Actress – ‘Comedy’ or Musical

The nominees: Annette Bening, 20th Century Women; Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply; Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen; Emma Stone, La La Land; Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Meryl Streep celebrates her whopping thirtieth Golden Globe nomination with Florence Foster Jenkins and she deserves to win her ninth Globe for Florence Foster Jenkins. As E! Online suggests, it stands to reason that at least a dozen HFPA members have voted for Streep in everything she’s done—admittedly, this blogger would have voted for her 22 times and that’s not counting the egregious omissions for Ricki and the Flash, A Prairie Home Companion, and Plenty. (The latter of which is not okay, since that lone nomination for Out of Africa does not suffice to represent her work from 1985.) With all this being said, though, Streep is for sure taking home her ninth Golden Globe this year—as the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award. However, the winner of the honorary award won’t topple the favourite, so Emma Stone gets a Globe for La La Land—a well-deserved win for a performance that could define her career. Annette Bening, finally, is the dark horse for her resilient performance in 20th Century Women.

Will win: Emma Stone
I’d vote for: Meryl Streep
Shoulda been there: Kate Beckinsale, Love & Friendship

Best Supporting Actor

The nominees: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight; Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water; Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins; Dev Patel, Lion; Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

It’s the race we’ve all been waiting for: Simon Helberg versus Aaron Taylor-Johnson! Just kidding. But, no, seriously, the two most-derided nominees of last month’s announcement are great performances in their own rights. They might not be stronger than some of the performances that aren’t here, like Taylor-Johnson’s Nocturnal Animals co-star Michael Shannon, but it’s refreshing to see the Globes vote outside of the echo chamber of critics’ prizes. Similarly, some might say the same of Jeff Bridges over Hell or High Water co-star Ben Foster, although Bridges gives the strongest performance in this category by a considerable margin in my books. However, the heavy favourite on that front is Mahershala Ali for his excellent performance in Moonlight and it’s a relief to see that a legitimate supporting performance is winning awards.

Will win: Mahershala Ali
I’d vote for: Jeff Bridges
Shoulda been there: Tom Wilkinson, Denial; Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress

The nominees: Viola Davis, Fences; Nicole Kidman, Lion; Naomi Harris, Moonlight; Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures; Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

It’s hard to deny the power of Viola Davis’s performance. She’s excellent in Fences playing the strong and long-suffering wife to Denzel Washington’s Willy Loman-like character. However, there’s a strong case to designate her performance as a lead. Her Rose is in most of the film even if the dynamic of the film positions Washington’s Maxson as the obvious protagonist of Fences over the subservient Rose. She will undoubtedly win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and be the third actress in a row to nab the prize with a leading role. (The decision to campaign Davis is unsurprising given that Paramount has Amy Adams in Arrival and Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins  fighting for lead nominations, but no legitimate contenders in the supporting category.)

 I’m always conflicted about the extent to which actors should suffer for the bougs calls that award strategists make. Admittedly, I begrudgingly voted for Davis on the final ballot of the OFCS awards because her work far and away eclipsed the performances of the other nominees, among which were Golden Globe contenders Naomie Harris, Michelle Williams, and Octavia Spencer—all of whom are excellent in comparatively brief roles. The same goes for the fifth nominee at the Globes, Nicole Kidman, who gives a devastating performance in just a few scenes. Does one vote for the best performance by an actress in a supporting role, or the best performance by an actress campaigned as a supporting role?

Will win: Viola Davis
I’d vote for: Nicole Kidman
Shoulda been there: Dakota Johnson, A Bigger Splash; Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky

Best Screenplay

The nominees: Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan; La La Land, Damien Chazelle; Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan; Moonlight, Barry Jenkins; Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford.

“Two time Golden Globe winner Tom Ford.”

Will win: Manchester by the Sea
I’d vote for: Nocturnal Animals
Shoulda been there: Jackie

Best Animated Film

The nominees: Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, Sing, Zootopia

Anything could win here. Kubo eclipses the competition in terms of skill, difficulty, and breathtaking artistry, but Moana and Zootopia and fun, if juvenile, efforts with feel-good messages of inclusivity that one must appreciate.

Will win: Moana
I’d vote for: Kubo
Shoulda been there: The Little Prince

Best Foreign Language Film

The nominees: Divines (France), Elle (France), Neruda (Chile), The Salesman (Iran/France), Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Toni Erdmann is the favourite this season, but Elle has serious fans. Both films are worthy contenders.

Will win: Toni Erdmann
I’d vote for: Toni Erdmann
Shoulda been there: Tanna (Australia), The Handmaiden (South Korea)

Best Score

The nominees: Arrival, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight

Well, La La Land is a musical, so…

Will win: La La Land
I’d vote for: Arrival
Shoulda been there: Jackie, Nocturnal Animals

Best Original Song

The nominees:Can’t Stop the Feeling,” the horrible depravity that is Trolls; City of Stars,” La La Land; “Faith,” Sing; “Gold,” Gold; “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

These nominees are pretty weak considering the field…

Will win: “City of Stars”
I’d vote for: “City of Stars”
Shoulda been there: The Ballad of Wiener-Dog,” Wiener-Dog; “Drive It Like You Stole It,” Sing Street; “Another Day of Sun,” La La Land

What are your Golden Globe picks and predictions?

And some updated Oscar predictions while we're at it!