The Golden Globes are Sunday night, and after months of campaigning, analysis, and poring over those puzzling nominations, we can get down to the business at hand: laughing with Tina and Amy, laughing at the drunken celebrities, and generally ignoring the awards, which we all know are bought and sold anyway. BUT JUST IN CASE you’ve got an office pool going somewhere, or a keen interest in this kinda-but-not-really Oscar predictor, here are our picks and predictions for Hollywood’s booziest night:
Best Motion Picture, Drama
12 Years a Slave
PICK: 12 Years a Slave, since it was, y’know, the year’s best drama and all.
PREDICTION: 12 Years a Slave has been the presumptive winner of all the awards, pretty much all fall (grandstanding contrarians notwithstanding), and while there’s a chance that the organization will choose close-second Gravity, we’re predicting they’ll go with the favorite.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, 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
PICK: Ejiofor’s sturdy, powerful performance is the year’s most haunting (and haunted), though I still can’t stop thinking about Hanks, particularly in those remarkable closing scenes.
PREDICTION: What’s interesting about this race is that there’s no clear frontrunner — not because none of them are good enough, but because all of them are good enough. The predictions I’ve read have been all over the map; some say Ejiofor, while others think McConaughey’s physical transformation, his personal charm, and the under-the-radar momentum of Dallas Buyers Club will win the day. But I think they’re gonna go with Redford. It’s a terrific performance, but more importantly, he’s a Hollywood legend, and they love rewarding that.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
Kate Winslet, Labor Day
PICK: Blanchett’s performance in Blue Jasmine is capital-A Acting — which is appropriate for the character. It’s a great piece of work, but I found myself more affected by Bullock’s introverted, understated performance in Gravity.
PREDICTION: Blanchett’s performance in Blue Jasmine is capital-A Acting — which is why she’ll win.
Best Director – Motion Picture
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
PICK: Cuarón’s work is dazzling, groundbreaking, and awe-inspiring — fusing technological wonder with genuine emotion, in an act of plate-spinning that recalls those vaudevillians on the old Ed Sullivan Show.
PREDICTION: A consensus seems to be emerging that (both here and at the Oscars) 12 Years will win Best Picture and Gravity will win Best Director, as a consolation prize. That seems the safe bet (if an unfortunate short-shrifting of McQueen’s considerable achievement), unless there’s some kind of 12 Years sweep.
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Wolf of Wall Street
PICK: All great movies — all but Hustle were in my top ten, actually. Wolf is probably the best of the bunch, a searing satire and thrilling slab of visceral cinema that gave us more to chew on than most dramas.
PREDICTION: As we’ve discussed, this is easily the most befuddling batch of Golden Globe nominations, since basically none of these movies would really be classified, by any reasonable person, as a comedy. (And if Inside Llewyn Davis is a musical, it’s much more of a drama.) The Wolf of Wall Street comes closest, but don’t expect that controversial picture to win on purity. No, they’ll probably go with American Hustle, a well-reviewed film with its share of detractors — but those who love it, really love it.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
PICK: Though the trio of Delpy, Gerwig, and Louis-Dreyfus are remarkable in three films that haven’t (and won’t) get proper awards recognition due to their relegation to the comedy ghetto, Adams is just too electrifying to ignore…
PREDICTION: … and I expect the Globe voters will agree.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, 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
PICK: Every single one of these performances is stellar, and I’m tempted to say DiCaprio, since he’s on such a hot streak of interesting and magnetic performances (even in pap like Luhrmann’s Gatsby). But Dern’s modestly brilliant performance only gets richer on repeat viewings.
PREDICTION: Vanity Fair wisely posits that Dern will win, “since he’s the one actor in this category destined for an Oscar nod.” That logic makes sense to me — unless the trophy for Redford fulfills their need to reward a living legend, and the star-gazing HFPA decides to go with DiCaprio instead. OR dark horse Oscar Isaac ends up being the spoiler. Good God, who knows how this one’ll turn out? But Dern seems like the safe bet.
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska
PICK: It’s June Squibb’s world; we’re all just the cemetery gravestones she’s talking shit at.
PREDICTION: Newcomer Lupita Nyong’o’s hearbreaking turn as Patsey seems the odds-on favorite here, but don’t count out the considerable love for Jennifer Lawrence.
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
PICK: Leto, borderline unrecognizable and astonishingly good as the conscience of Dallas Buyers Club.
PREDICTION: Leto’s win, here and at the Oscars, is the closest thing to a lock you’ll see this awards season.
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan, Philomena
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer, American Hustle
PICK: Contrary to its splitting of drama and musical/comedy, which allows more nominees and winners than the Oscars, the Globes only have one screenplay category (as opposed to the Original and Adapted duo of the Oscars). So this is a particularly strong group; my favorite is Nebraska, whose folksy manner and comic premise allows writer Nelson to slyly smuggle in a poignant and affecting message about how we deal with those we love.
PREDICTION: Everyone seems to agree that this one will go to American Hustle — illogically, since all reports indicate that Russell threw away the screenplay at pretty much every turn. (Also, its messy plotting and structure are far from Hustle’s best qualities.)
And on to the teevee….