Golden Globes Preview: Will Win/Should Win

Clockwise from top left: The Shape of Water, Lady Bird, Dunkirk, The Post, Darkest Hour, I, Tonya
Donald Tr*mp tweeted that he plans to announce "THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR" [his caps] on Monday, but I don’t think he got the memo that the Golden Globes are actually Sunday night. Yes, it’s been a year since Meryl Streep famously slammed the First Idiot at Hollywood’s second biggest award show and there could be round two of Meryl vs. Trump. It’s really fun, and odd, to see a voting body as openly corrupt as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association become a beacon for free speech and sanity, but in an award season where anything goes and presumably anybody could win, Sunday’s Golden Globes are a must see. 

It’s still very early in the race to feel confident about any of the nominees, although The Florida Project’s Willem Dafoe might be the only contender I’m comfortable calling a sure thing. At this point, only the critics’ groups have weighed in and those prizes can’t really be taken as anything other than advocacy points with key groups (ex: New York or LA) being reliable barometers. Sure, Laurie Metcalf won Best Supporting Actress from both Phoenix film critics’ groups, but how much does that actually mean? The critics’ groups are so early, so similar, and so numerous that they basically equal white noise.

There are always films and contenders that struggle to hold their frontrunner statuses despite being critical darlings. The echo chamber needs its first test beyond a bunch of critics sitting in a room debating winners and optics. Let’s hope something pulls a surprise like Aaron Taylor-Johnson did last year, if only so we stop taking award season so seriously.

Here’s a preview of who could win and should win at the Globes.

Best Film – Drama

This one could really go any of four ways. I might count out Call Me By Your Name since it missed director and screenplay, while the other nominees dominated the field. The Shape of Water, The Post, and Three Billboards all nabbed nominations in every category in which they were a contender. (One could argue for an additional supporting nomination here or there, however.) While Dunkirk missed nominations for screenplay and supporting actor (Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy are fair contenders), it’s the kind of film that plays well with the Globes with its big screen escapism and wide appeal. The Post is prototypically “Globey” with its A-list cast, director, and timely subject matter, but the Globes are also one of the few groups that didn’t go for Spotlight two years ago. It’s curious to see if they go for its showier successor. The Shape of Water checks all the boxes with its artful escapism and award-calibre performances, and the Globes might agree since it leads the overall nomination tally. I think Shape is the winner with Dunkirk as the potential spoiler.

Will win: The Shape of Water
I’d vote for: The Post
Should have been there: Wonderstruck, but I can’t disagree with this group of nominees.

Best Film – “Comedy” or Musical

The nominees: The Disaster Artist; Get Out; The Greatest Showman; I, Tonya; Lady Bird

Get Out honestly isn’t a comedy and doesn’t do itself any favours by being framed as such despite holding up as a great film. Reviews for The Greatest Showman are generally bad across the board, while the nomination for The Disaster Artist probably indicates a strong show of support for James Franco. I’m personally rooting for I, Tonya since it’s a darkly funny, bold, and challenging flick with great performances, but I think Greta Gerwig’s whimsically sweet Lady Bird will prevail here since, like The Shape of Water, it leads the field.

Will win: Lady Bird
I’d vote for: I, Tonya

Best Actress – Drama

The nominees: Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game; Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water; Frances McDormand, Three Billboards; Meryl Streep, The Post; Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World

It would really shake things up if Williams or Chastain pulled a surprise win, but I think this showdown between frontrunners Frances McDormand and Sally Hawkins will indicate who the Oscar frontrunner might be. I think it could go either way, but if they love Billboards, they must really love McDormand’s performance.  Naturally, I’m rooting for Meryl.

Will win: Frances McDormand
I’d vote for: Meryl Streep  
Should have been there: Salma Hayek, Beatriz at Dinner (but I don’t know why they campaigned this film as a drama)

Best Actor – Drama

The nominees: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name; Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread; Tom Hanks, The Post; Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour; Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

This season is a two-way race for Best Actor. It’s Oldman versus Chalamet, and both performances are worthy of the gold. They’re just so different in style, however, so it’s really a question of taste. Oldman’s performance generally conforms to the broader strokes the HFPA favours, while his veteran status might help swing a win. Daniel Day-Lewis is the wild card for his reportedly final performance, while Hanks and Washington are there for the food and, more likely, booze.

Will win: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour?
I’d vote for: Oldman
Should have been there: Bryan Cranston, Last Flag Flying (yes, I know they campaigned it as a “comedy”)

Best Actress – “Comedy” or Musical

The nominees: Judi Dench, Victoria & Abdul; Helen Mirren, The Leisure Seeker; Margot Robbie, I, Tonya; Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird; Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes

Margot Robbie should clobber the competition like a renegade assailant on a rival skater. She simply has the most challenging, complex, and surprising performance of the year. I really think she could pull an upset here and change the tide on the Best Actress race--and, let's face it, the trashy Globes are the "Tonya" to classy Oscar's "Nancy."

However, Saoirse Ronan has the edge for her beautifully natural and down to earth performance in Lady Bird. She also has a weird overdue sense to her body of work given that she's marking her ten-year nominee anniversary for her breakthrough work in Atonement. If Ronan loses, switch your Best Film vote to Get Out.

Will win: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
I’d vote for: Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Should have been there: I would have loved for Sandra Oh to be here for Catfight.

Best Actor – “Comedy” or Musical

The nominees: Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes; Ansel Elgort, Baby Driver; James Franco, The Disaster Artist; Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman; Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

James Franco for the win? As Tommy Wiseau? That is hilarious and will inevitably be a highlight of the boozy, boozy Globes.

Will win: James Franco, The Disaster Artist
I’d vote for: Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes
Should have been there: Ben Stiller, Brad’s Status

Best Supporting Actress

The nominees: Mary J. Blige, Mudbound; Hong Chau, Downsizing; Allison Janney, I, Tonya; Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird; Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

I really like Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water and think that Hong Chau's hilarious and gutsy performance is the only reason to see Downsizing, but I don't think either will take this prize. (And I honestly have no idea why everyone’s singling out Mary J. Blige in a film filled with stronger performances.) This race is probably the toughest call of the night with Laurie Metcalf and Allison Janney dividing critics and audiences into two passionate teams. (In the OFCS vote, Metcalf beat Janney by a single vote.) While Metcalf is the early critical favourite, I think this could be a case where the buzz from the festival circuit outweighs the noise of the critics’ award. I, Tonya exploded at TIFF and found itself in the Oscar race in large part due to Janney’s scene-stealing performance. Award season is often all about stamina and Janney, a veteran character actress who has amassed six Globe nominations and yet no wins while elevating an impressive roster of films and TV shows, is simply long overdue. It’s also the best performance here by a mile.

Will win: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
I’d vote for: Janney
Should have been there: Rosamund Pike, Hostiles

Best Supporting Actor

The nominees: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project; Armie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name; Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water; Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World; Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards

Early favourite Willem Dafoe feels like the only consensus pick across the board, but Christopher Plummer is a wild card. He is exceptional in his eleventh-hour performance replacing Kevin Spacey in All the Money in the World and the story behind his strong performances offers the kind of nugget that could swing enough votes to woo a relatively small voting body. Support for the other three certainly bodes well for their nominated films.

Will win: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
I’d vote for: Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
Should have been there: Nahuel Perez Biscayart sadly isn't even discussed as a contender this season  for BPM, and I might have swapped Rockwell for his Billboards co-star Woody Harrelson.

Best Director

The nominees: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water; Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards; Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk; Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World; Steven Spielberg, The Post

Another wild card. Could Nolan pull an upset here, or will the Globes match their pick for Best Film with Best Director? They don’t usually split…

Will win: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
I’d vote for: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Should have been there: Todd Haynes, Wonderstruck

Best Screenplay

The nominees: Lady Bird, Molly’s Game, The Post, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards

The talky and funny Billboards has to be the favourite here.

Will win: Three Billboards
I’d vote for: The Post (or Billboards)
Should have been there: Call Me By Your Name

Best Foreign Language Film

The nominees: A Fantastic Woman (Chile), First They Killed My Father (Cambodia), In the Fade (Germany), Loveless (Russia), The Square (Sweden)

Who knows? Star pedigree might bode well for Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father. As the one nominee here that didn’t make the Oscar shortlist, it might be a nice consolation prize.

Will win: The Square?
I’d vote for: First They Killed My Father
Should have been there: Hochelaga, Racer and the Jailbird

Best Animated Film

The nominees: The Boss Baby, The Breadwinner, Coco, Despicable Me 3 (“champagne lunch”), The LEGO Batman Movie

Coco, because Disney/Pixar and popularity. I can't complain about their monopoly because I pick Meryl Streep every year.

Will win: Coco 
I’d vote for: The Breadwinner
Should have been there: Window Horses

Best Score

The nominees: Dunkirk, Phantom Thread, The Post, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards

Tough call between The Shape of Water and Dunkirk. This award could be an early indicator of Best Film!

Will win: The Shape of Water
I’d vote for: Dunkirk (but I really love the score for The Shape of Water)
Should have been there: Wonderstruck, Hostiles

Best Song

The nominees:Home” from Ferdinand, “Mighty River” from Mudbound, “Remember Me” from Coco, “The Star” from The Star, “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman

I don’t particularly like any of these songs, to be honest, but I assume that either the boring ballad “Remember Me” will ride the Coco wave or that The Greatest Showman has to win something out of its three nominations. The song is the best of the nominees and the only one that isn’t completely forgettable. Let's hope the Academy is less tone deaf.

Will win: “This is Me”
I’d vote for: “This is Me”
Should have been there: “Mystery of Love” from Call Me By Your Name

PS: all the TV awards for Big Little Lies, please!

What are your Globe picks?