“Green Book” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the best motion picture Golden Globes in January. Can you remember which movie won for comedy/musical and which took the drama prize?
It’s tricky, isn’t it? And arbitrary. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” in case your memory’s sketchy, was classified as a drama … so it would naturally follow that this year, “Rocketman,” the Elton John biopic that was far more serious-minded than the Queen movie, would also be a drama. Nope. It’s competing for the comedy/musical Globe.
Anyway, all this to say: I don’t make the rules. I just smile, shake my head and remember that it’s just the Golden Globes. Pour yourself a glass of champagne and read my predictions for this year’s nominations.
MOTION PICTURE DRAMA
“Ford v Ferrari”
On the cusp: “The Two Popes,” “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” “Joker,” “Bombshell”
Last year, “Black Panther” became the first Marvel movie to earn a nomination in this category. “Joker,” a DC Comics adaptation, could make it two in a row for genre fans, particularly if Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. voters have an eye on the potential TV ratings bump that a healthy “Joker” presence might deliver.
LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA
Renée Zellweger, “Judy”
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
On the cusp: Alfre Woodard, “Clemency”; Lupita Nyong’o, “Us”; Helen Mirren, “The Good Liar”
Mirren, starring opposite Ian McKellen in the cat-and-mouse thriller “The Good Liar,” would be a surprising choice. But the HFPA loves her, handing the English actress a whopping 15 nominations for her career. Put it this way: The group feted her two years ago for “The Leisure Seeker.” You say you don’t recall that movie? Exactly.
LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
Robert De Niro, “The Irishman”
Christian Bale, “Ford v Ferrari”
Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
On the cusp: Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”
I’m going to keep this list short, because I think these are the only six actors who could earn a nomination. Phoenix, De Niro and Driver are locks. Banderas actually has as many Globes nominations as Bale, and with “Pain and Glory,” he delivers a career-best performance. That probably leaves Pryce as the odd man out, though there are plenty of HFPA members who enjoyed the chemistry between Pryce and Anthony Hopkins in “Two Popes” and are inclined to reward it.
MOTION PICTURE MUSICAL/COMEDY
“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
“Dolemite Is My Name”
On the cusp: “Hustlers,” “Booksmart,” “Cats,” “Uncut Gems,” “The Farewell”
In the good old days, “Cats” would be a shoo-in, even if the final movie ends up being as horrific as the trailer portends. The HFPA nominated “The Phantom of the Opera” here. And “Burlesque.” “Evita” won! Members have long had a song in their hearts and a lavish array of gifts in their back pockets. Sadly, those days seem to be gone. The HFPA has acquired the sheen of respectability. Mr. Mistoffelees might just be left at home this year, forced to hate-watch the show while feigning indifference, per the nature of his species.
LEAD ACTRESS COMEDY/MUSICAL
Awkwafina, “The Farewell”
Beanie Feldstein, “Booksmart”
Kaitlyn Dever, “Booksmart”
Constance Wu, “Hustlers”
Emma Thompson, “Late Night”
On the cusp: Ana de Armas, “Knives Out”; Jillian Bell, “Brittany Runs a Marathon”; Francesca Hayward, “Cats”; Charlize Theron, “Long Shot”
Remember “Booksmart,” Olivia Wilde’s funny and truthful coming-of-age comedy featuring terrific turns from Dever and Feldstein? Not nearly enough people saw it in theaters, but it feels like one of those movies that’s going to be discovered and embraced for many years to come. Even though HFPA members’ comic sensibilities tend to be more LQTM than LOL, I’m guessing they’ll reward “Booksmart” here.
LEAD ACTOR COMEDY/MUSICAL
Eddie Murphy, “Dolemite Is My Name”
Taron Egerton, “Rocketman”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
Adam Sandler, “Uncut Gems”
Daniel Craig, “Knives Out”
On the cusp: Roman Griffin Davis, “Jojo Rabbit”; Himesh Patel, “Yesterday”; Shia LaBeouf, “The Peanut Butter Falcon”; Will Smith, “Aladdin”
Murphy won the last time he was nominated, taking the supporting category for “Dreamgirls.” That victory was supposed to propel him to his first Oscar, but he lost to Alan Arkin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) and pretty much spent the next 12 years wandering from one bad movie to another. The likable “Dolemite” represents his comeback, and he’ll probably leave this year’s Globes with another trophy.
“Game of Thrones”
“Big Little Lies”
“The Morning Show”
On the cusp: “Killing Eve,” “Pose,” “Watchmen,” “Euphoria,” “The Handmaid’s Tale”
When it comes to TV, this group has the attention span of an Irish setter in a crowded dog park. First-year programs had won this category for four straight years until “The Americans” prevailed in January — on its first nomination — for its departing season. It makes absolutely no sense, which is a phrase you should just put on repeat when it comes to the HFPA and television. I mean, there’s a good chance “Game of Thrones” will be cast aside for another HBO drama like “Euphoria” or “Watchmen.” Out with the old; in with the shiny new toy!
LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Olivia Colman, “The Crown”
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”
Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
On the cusp: Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”; Regina King, “Watchmen”; Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies” (and/or “The Morning Show”); Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Sarah Snook, “Succession”
There’s an embarrassment of riches here, meaning that Oh, last year’s winner, might not even be invited — which isn’t that rare, as the HFPA churns, churns, churns its TV categories. However the race shakes out, Colman will be a heavy favorite to win a year after she prevailed on the film side for her lead turn in “The Favourite.” Who’s up for another alcohol-fueled acceptance speech
LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Billy Porter, “Pose”
Brian Cox, “Succession”
Tobias Menzies, “The Crown”
Jeremy Strong, “Succession”
Kevin Bacon, “City on a Hill”
On the cusp: Jonathan Groff, “Mindhunter”; Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”; Forest Whitaker, “Godfather of Harlem”; Kit Harington, “Game of Thrones”
The HFPA pretty much ignored “Succession” last year, giving the HBO series just one nomination for supporting actor Kieran Culkin. The show’s second season really put it in the cultural conversation though, and Globes voters — always eager to beat the Television Academy to the punch — will likely embrace it in a big way this year. Strong and Cox will be among the beneficiaries.
“On Becoming a God in Central Florida”
On the cusp: “The Kominsky Method,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Schitt’s Creek,” “Veep,” “The Good Place”
“Glee” is the last show to win this Globe in consecutive years (2009-10), meaning that “Kominsky,” the reigning champ, shouldn’t feel too comfortable. Look for voters to again fall hard for new programs (“Central Florida,” “The Politician”) at the expense of long-running series, though the HFPA never liked “Veep” that much in the first place.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION COMEDY
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”
Kirsten Dunst, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”
Natasha Lyonne, “Russian Doll”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Hailee Steinfeld, “Dickinson”
On the cusp: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”; Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”; Kristen Bell, “The Good Place”; Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
No Louis-Dreyfus for the last season of “Veep”? Sentiment could prevail, but the HFPA did not nominate her in her previous year of eligibility and has never given her this Globe. (Her only win came 25 years ago for “Seinfeld.”) Unless the group has a dramatic change of heart — as it did last year with “The Americans” — Louis-Dreyfus can probably skip this party.
LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION COMEDY
Ben Platt, “The Politician”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
Bill Hader, “Barry”
Ricky Gervais, “After Life”
Paul Rudd, “Living with Yourself”
On the cusp: Ted Danson, “The Good Place”; Eugene Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”; Don Cheadle, “Black Monday”; Danny McBride, “The Righteous Gemstones”
Douglas won last year, and he and Hader will be the only holdovers. Gervais agreed to host the Golden Globes again this year, meaning the HFPA likes him enough to probably give him a seventh nomination too. If he made it in for “Derek,” it’s not a stretch he could earn a nod for the indulgent “After Life.”
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