The 71st annual Golden Globe Awards are this Sunday, which means dozens of your favorite and least favorite celebrities will be in the same place, at the same time, being the drunkest they have ever allowed themselves to be on camera in the last twelve months. And at least on the movie side of things, the winners can provide key momentum and predictiveness and other such imprecise and unverifiable terms when it comes to the Oscar race.
Somehow, despite zero overlap in the voting body and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association being openly disrespected in all corners of the industry, the Globes remain a major Oscar precursor. At least in the acting categories (the Best Picture and Best Director categories have fallen way off in recent years). In the past four years, no actor has won an Oscar without winning a Globe first, and in the last ten years, 34 of the 40 Oscar-winning performances have won corresponding Globes. Whether it's the tail wagging the dog or the other way around, it's a thing.
Half the fun of watching awards shows is in seeing if you know as much as you think you do about how these awards work. The lure of prediction is strong, and we here at The Wire are certainly not powerful enough to resist it. Here's our picks for the winners in all the film categories. We expect a cut if you win your pool.
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer, American Hustle
Two ways this could go. Either this becomes a referendum on the looming Oscar Best Picture battle between American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave, or else it'll go to Spike Jonze as the requisite "most famous person in the category" winner. Fun fact: Since 1992, no Best Screenplay winner has come from a movie without a corresponding Best Director nomination, save for Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in 1997 for Good Will Hunting, a fairly clear case of celebrity nullification. Which would mean that Her and Philomena are out of luck.
Predicted Winner: David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer, American Hustle
Best Original Score
Alex Ebert, All is Lost
Alex Heffes, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Steven Price, Gravity
John Williams, The Book Thief
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years a Slave
Probably between Zimmer and Price here. And while the Globes are usually far more beholden to the more famous people in their midst, they're often more willing than the Oscars to go out on a limb for composers. Given the degree of prominence Price's Gravity score enjoys—and since this is one of the few categories, outside of Best Director, where the HFPA can reward Gravity's technical prowess—I'll say Zimmer can settle for just the nomination.
Predicted Winner: Steven Price, Gravity
Best Original Song
"Altas," The Hunger Games
"Let it Go," Frozen
"Ordinary Love," Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
"Please Mr. Kennedy," Inside Llewyn Davis
"Sweeter than Fiction," One Chance
Since the HFPA in its underrated wisdom saw fit to omit Lana Del Rey's monotone ode to the Roaring Twenties from The Great Gatsby, there really isn't a whole ton of competition for "Let It Go," the increasingly ubiquitous Disney power ballad. Fun fact: No Disney or Pixar animated movie has prevailed in this category since 1999's infamous awards juggernaut for Phil Collins and Tarzan.
Predicted Winner: "Let It Go," Frozen
Best Animated Film
Despicable Me 2
This doesn't seem like much of a contest, does it?
Predicted winner: Frozen
Best Foreign Language Film
Blue Is the Warmest Color
The Great Beauty
The Wind Rises
Almost 100% of the time, the Globe in this category goes to the buzziest title (as opposed to the Oscars, which often goes for the safest choice). Which makes picking a winner here fairly academic.
Predicted Winner: Blue Is the Warmest Color
Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
The nominations for Abdi and Bruhl are great and should help them both in their push for Oscar nominations, but they make for terrible photo ops and thus have virtually no shot at a win. Bradley Cooper would probably stand a better chance if Dr. Aida Takla O'Reilly were still the president of the HFPA, but alas that was last year. All season, the competition for Supporting Actor has purportedly been between Fassbender and Leto, but that's not entirely true, as Fassbender has barely won anything, save for the Kansas City and Online Film Critics prizes (maybe that non-campaign worked a little too well). Meanwhile, Leto has been cleaning up. Expect that to continue.
Predicted Winner: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
June Squibb, Nebraska
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
It still seems kind of crazy that the HFPA declined to loop in Oprah's gigantic star power. Not that nominating Sally Hawkins instead isn't pretty great, because it is. Still, Sally is probably the only actress in the category with zero chance. Julia Roberts is a major HFPA fave, this being her eighth nomination, and she's won thrice. Nyong'o and Squibb aren't very famous names, it's true, but that isn't always a prerequisite. It's not like Octavia Spencer was burning up magazine covers when she won for The Help. The biggest drawback to Jennifer Lawrence possibly winning the Oscar for American Hustle is that she won just last year, and the Academy is sometimes stingy about doling out multiple trophies to the same person. That's why everybody gets caught up in whose "turn" in is. The Hollywood Foreign Press do not give a fuuuuuck about that. They have their favorites and they don't mind throwing all sorts of trophies at them. Maybe Jennifer can give Julia a quick tutorial on Katniss Everdeen from the stage.
Predicted Winner: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Best Actor - 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
The last time all five nominees in this category were plausible Oscar contenders was basically never. That's a pretty fuzzy kind of statement so you can't really check it for accuracy, but it's pretty much true. John C. Reilly was just never a real threat for Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, and you damn well know it. The general toss-up state of the Best Actor race right now is rather exciting and makes this category truly unpredictable. Can you really count any of these five out? I guess it would be a surprise if Phoenix prevailed, and Bale really hasn't been the focal point of the American Hustle talk. Oscar Isaac is the least famous of the five, but people just love that performance, and rightly so. Obviously, the biggest star here is DiCaprio, and it would not be even a little surprising if he triumphs here. It's his ninth career Globe nomination, and he's "only" won once. Still, I think the temptation to get the feel-good career-capper story for Bruce Dern up on stage could be too much to pass up.
Predicted Winner: Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Best Actor - 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
Another fairly stacked category, though I think we can more safely rule out Elba and Hanks. McConaughey would make for a very buzzy winner and would probably thrust him right to the front of the line for the Oscar (and it'd certainly make Liza Minnelli happy). But I think the same impulses that will get Dern the statue will ultimately reward Redford as well. O.G. Great Gatsby reunion in the press room!
Predicted Winner: Robert Redford, All Is Lost
Best Actress - Comedy
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Honestly, can we not even discuss winners here? What a great group of five actresses and five fantastic performances. I'm really pleased with these nominees. Can't we just send them on a cruise with a couple video cameras and ask them to share their footage upon their return? It couldn't hurt to just ask, right? All right, fine. Neither Greta Gerwig, nor Julie Delpy, nor Julia Louis-Dreyfus is winning this award, so you can all stop hoping. "Meryl Streep is a Globes fave" is a LAUGHABLE understatement. Twenty-eight career nominations. Eight wins. You feel like betting against that? ...Uh, maybe? I'm trying not to let the fact that I thought Amy Adams was best in show in American Hustle color my judgment too much, but it really does seem like she has the momentum here, especially since August didn't get a Best Picture nomination.
Predicted Winner: Amy Adams, American Hustle
Best Actress - Drama
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
Kate Winslet, Labor Day
For the record, I don't think there is a chance in hell that Blanchett doesn't win the Oscar. None. She's probably the odds-on favorite to win here, too. But there are a couple different things at play. Blanchett has never won a lead-actress Oscar, which should be a big part of her Oscar campaign (lead actresses deserve lead awards). But she won the Globe for 1998's Elizabeth (in addition to a supporting win for I'm Not There), so there's no need for a corrective here. I'm not saying Sandra Bullock or Emma Thompson will win here. I'm saying here's where they stand the best chance. Especially if voters remember Thompson's delightful acceptance speech for writing Sense and Sensibility.
Predicted Winner: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
With 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle kept in separate categories for most of the night, here's the big one where, in choosing between McQueen and Russell, we find out once and for all whose film will take the reins as frontrunner for the Academy Awards' Best Picture, even though there is no logical reason and dwindling statistical support for the idea that the Globe winner in Best Director has any predictive value at all. Which will all be moot when the HFPA hilariously punts and gives the award to a third party altogether.
Predicted Winner: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Best Picture - Drama
12 Years a Slave
Once Cuarón wins in Best Director, the temptation will be to expect Gravity to follow up with a win here as well, thus damning Fox Searchlight and 12 Years a Slave to four days of bad press about how it's in a tailspin, until it recovers with a strong showing at the Oscar nominations next week. Last year was the first time in the last four that the Oscar winner matched up with this category anyway, so you almost don't want to win here. But I think, ultimately, things will settle, 12 Years a Slave will emerge the winner, and we'll head into the Oscar noms knowing just as little as we ever did.
Predicted Winner: 12 Years a Slave
Best Picture - Comedy
The Wolf of Wall Street
Inside Llewyn Davis
Look out for a sentimental insurgency from Nebraska, but otherwise, this looks like pretty clear sailing for American Hustle. And if (when? WHEN) these predictions pan out, that'll mean four awards on the night for David O. Russell's film, meaning headlines and momentum and a whole new run of press materials with a big number "4" and an image of the Golden Globe statue on them. And the awards race will be American Hustle's to lose. Again, until the Oscar nominations get announced. Should be fun.
Predicted Winner: American Hustle