The 74th annual Golden Globes are upon us and it seems that everyone and their mother is ready to predict the films, and the film professionals, that will walk away with the highly sought after Silver Screen awards – an event we at The Film Magazine will be covering on Twitter, the information about which you can find at @thefilmagazine. So, in the almost time-honoured tradition passing through the entire industry of film criticism, I’ve decided to offer my two cents on which categories will be won by which films/people at the ceremony hosted at the Beverly Hilton hotel on Sunday, January the 8th.
We’ll see just how close I get this Sunday…
Best Motion Picture – Drama: Moonlight
With 6 nominations overall, and the most of any of the ‘Best Drama’ movie nominees, it seems like 2017 truly is the year for Moonlight. The drama, telling the development of a gay black man from a deprived area in Miami, seems to be one of the favourites at other awards shows so far this season and that could be enough to sway some voters in this category. With ‘Manchester by the Sea’ breathing down its neck as perhaps the most likely of its contenders, and ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ appealing to the hard right of Globe voters, ‘Moonlight’ is not without competition, but I just can’t see them passing on the opportunity to award such a landmark film.
Contenders: Hacksaw Ridge; Manchester by the Sea
Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Drama: Natalie Portman (‘Jackie’)
This category is a two-horse race between the early front-runner for the award, Natalie Portman, and the late-comer to awards season, ‘Arrival’, and namely its star Amy Adams. With the Globes being a far more accepting place of so-called ‘mainstream’ or ‘genre’ films than the Academy is, Adams is the favourite in the minds of a lot of industry professionals, but it’s hard for me to pass on Portman as the winner simply because her performance was as a beloved public figure within a well constructed biopic, the likes of which is known as ‘awards fodder’ for a reason. By a whisker, Portman takes it.
Contenders: Amy Adams… the rest have been left in the dust.
Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Drama: Casey Affleck (‘Manchester By the Sea’)
The ‘Best Performance by an actor in a drama’ category is perhaps the strongest of any category at this year’s Golden Globes, with every member of the nominees list having a realistic chance of winning the Golden trophy. I’ve gone with Casey Affleck simply because he’s won a lot of other awards in the build-up to this ceremony, though it’s worth noting that Andrew Garfield could have arguably been nominated for both ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ and ‘Silence’ and may earn himself the Gold as a means of two-for-one recognition. If Garfield does win for ‘Ridge’, the war movie would become the front-runner for Best Picture – Drama.
Contenders: Everyone else… Edgerton, Garfield, Mortensen, Washington.
Best Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy: La La Land
I would bet my house on this. Owing to an overall weak category in terms of award nominated movies, ‘La La Land’ should blow away all competition on Sunday night. It was nice to see the creativity behind ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Sing Street’ be rewarded with nominations but they’re just making up the numbers in perhaps the most obvious category to predict on this year’s show.
Contenders: There aren’t any…
Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy: Emma Stone (‘La La Land’)
As with the category above, it seems like there can be no choice other than ‘La La Land’ and therefore Emma Stone. Annette Bening is perhaps the huge outsider, but considering any one of three leading women in ’20th Century Women’ could have been nominated for this award, it seems that the Globes were never truly sure on whom to select, the uncertainty of which could scupper Bening’s chances.
Contenders: Annette Bening… but only if Pigs fly.
Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy: Ryan Gosling (‘La La Land’)
Much like Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling is the front-runner for his category courtesy of his work on this year’s awards favourite ‘La La Land’. Colin Farrell was excellent in ‘The Lobster’ but his inclusion came as a pleasant surprise rather than an absolute certainty, which all but counting him out, and the work of Hugh Grant (‘Florence Foster Jenkins’), Jonah Hill (‘War Dogs’) and Ryan Reynolds (‘Deadpool’) simply doesn’t match up to that of Gosling, despite there being positives in each performance.
Best Motion Picture – Animated: Zootopia
It’s very rare that Disney are knocked off their perch of collecting every ‘best animated feature’ award on the planet, especially during years of critical success like has been the case in 2016. The logic here seems to point to either ‘Moana’ or ‘Zootopia’ but, given the much more positive response ‘Zootopia’ got out-of-the-gate, it seems the most likely option despite ‘My Life As A Zucchini’ winning the animation award at the European Film Awards and ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ offering an artistic alternative to mainstream western animation.
Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language: Toni Erdmann
Maren Ade’s German/Austrian comedy cleaned up at the European Film Awards and therefore seems the favourite to win at the Golden Globes given the very Euro-centric list of nominees. American awards shows do seem to gravitate towards French pictures in their ‘foreign language’ categories however, and this could tip the balance towards ‘Elle’, a movie that has had gained a lot of attention in the weeks building up to this event. This is a close one.
Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In Any Motion Picture: Viola Davis (‘Fences’)
This category is very strong, with each of the actress’s performances gaining a lot of critical attention and Oscar buzz since their respective movies were released. Naomie Harris has been on the frontline of such awards speculation as of late for her small but impactful role in ‘Moonlight’, and Michelle Williams has been strongly favoured at independent film award events, but the two front-runners seem to be Nicole Kidman for ‘Lion’ and Viola Davis for ‘Fences’, and I’m going with Davis simply because of a flick of a coin.
Contenders: Everyone… but mostly Nicole Kidman.
Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In Any Motion Picture: Jeff Bridges (‘Hell or High Water’)
My heart says Aaron Taylor-Johnson for ‘Nocturnal Animals’, but my head says Jeff Bridges for ‘Hell or High Water’, simply because of the gravitas of the latter’s performance within a relatively small movie. It’s interesting to note that Dev Patel has been squeezed in to this category despite obviously leading ‘Lion’, and this may work in his favour as it has done for others in the past, but Jeff Bridges remains the front-runner and a choice I’d still support given its quality and how much exposure it will lend to his small but noteworthy movie.
Contenders: Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Dev Patel.
Best Director – Motion Picture: Damien Chazelle (‘La La Land’)
‘La La Land’ is a visual masterpiece that pays homage to Hollywood itself, and despite how sensational Tom Ford’s work on ‘Nocturnal Animals’ truly was, there’s simply no way that Chazelle isn’t going home with the Globe on Sunday night. Wins for Mel Gibson (‘Hacksaw Ridge’), Barry Jenkins (‘Moonlight’) or Kenneth Lonergan (‘Manchester By the Sea’) could inch their respective movies into the lead in terms of the ‘Best Picture – Drama’ race, but it seems like this category is wrapped up.
Contenders: Tom Ford… though I’d like to see the final order of this top 5…
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture: Barry Jenkins (‘Moonlight’)
This is as close as it gets between Kenneth Lonergan for ‘Manchester By the Sea’ and Barry Jenkins for ‘Moonlight’, but given the lack of attention I’ve given the massively nominated ‘Moonlight’ so far in this article, I’m inching ‘Moonlight’ into the winner’s slot. Every screenplay in this category is excellent, but it would be a surprise to see any of the other nominees (Chazelle, Ford, Sheridan) win.
Contenders: Kenneth Lonergan
Best Original Score – Motion Picture: Justin Hurwitz (‘La La Land’)
When you score what will ultimately become an iconic musical, you land yourself in the spot of ‘front-runner’ for the ‘Best Original Score’ category at awards shows, and Justin Hurwitz has done just that with his work on ‘La La Land’. Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka’s work on ‘Lion’ seems the most likely of underdogs but don’t count on it.
Contenders: Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
Best Original Song – Motion Picture: “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from ‘Trolls’
Justin Timberlake’s chart-topping smash will go down as one of the pop songs that defined 2016, and with that comes a responsibility on the part of the Globes to honour that. Though popular consensus certainly isn’t what sways votes in any other categories at the Globes, there has been a historic precedence of successful pop songs winning out over lesser known musical numbers in the history of this award. Even so, look out for ‘La La Land’ to be a suitable alternative with its Hollwood love-letter of a song, “City of Stars”.
Contenders: “City of Stars from ‘La La Land’.