Golden Globes 2020 Movie Predictions: Who Should Win — And Who Will Win?

Mara Reinstein
Jan 5 · 7 min read

The Golden Globe Awards movie nomination list didn’t arrive without controversy — yes, Greta Gerwig and/or Marielle Heller absolutely should have been nominated for Best Director for Little Women and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, respectively. Yet it’s still difficult to argue against any of the specific honorees in the big categories. There are no left-field choices, no nominees who got cited because of sheer star power a la Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in The Tourist all those years ago. (Did you forget? NEVER FORGET). Heck, the 88 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association even (pretty much) ignored the epic fail that is Cats. Though I maintain it’s not that bad but I digress . .

This wind-up is all to say that it’s as complicated as ever to read the Golden Globes tea leaves. But that’s not going to stop me from breaking down and predicting in all 14 movie categories ahead of the January 5 ceremony. Let’s do this! And let’s also forget that I called an A Star Is Born sweep last year!

Best Picture, Drama

1917

The Irishman

Joker

Marriage Story

The Two Popes

Will Win: 1917

Should Win: Marriage Story

I’m not 100 percent convinced The Irishman has this locked up — especially if members chose to watch the sprawling 209-minute mob epic from the comfort of a couch. The thrilling World War I drama 1917, meanwhile, is exceptionally well-crafted and has the built-in bonus of an overseas setting. But I’m still rooting for Marriage Story, which reaches an emotional crescendo without the help of any expensive special effects.

Best Picture, Comedy

Dolemite Is My Name

Jojo Rabbit

Knives Out

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Rocketman

Will Win: Jojo Rabbit

Should Win: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Oy, Jojo Rabbit. Though the whimsical Holocaust-set satire isn’t exactly a laugh riot (not even with Rebel Wilson doing her Rebel Wilson thing), it is a winsome crowd-pleaser that took the coveted Audience Award at the recent Toronto International Film Festival. That means no gold for Quentin Tarantino’s melancholic ode to California dreaming.

Best Director

Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

Sam Mendes, 1917

Todd Phillips, Joker

Martin Scorsese, The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Will win: Bong Joon Ho

Should win: Sam Mendes

This pick will make more sense if you’ve seen all five movies. Parasite is not only a hip choice, it’s a brilliant directorial marvel that captures the rocky divide between the haves and the have-nots. And yet it’s impossible to not be awe-struck by the one-shot masterpiece that is 1917. I still don’t know how Mendes pulled it off — and don’t want to know.

Best Actress, Drama

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Renee Zellweger, Judy

Will win: Renee Zellweger

Should win: Renee Zellweger

Welcome to the Renee-aissance! Renee Zellweger is a ruby red shoe-in to take this one thanks to her humanistic and deeply sympathetic portrayal of Judy Garland in her third act of life. The “Over the Rainbow” scene alone sealed it.

Best Actress, Comedy

Ana de Armas, Knives Out

Awkwafina, The Farewell

Cate Blanchett, Where’d You Go Bernadette

Beanie Feldstein, Booksmart

Emma Thompson, Late Night

Will win: Awkwafina

Should win: Awkwafina

In just a few years, Nora Lum from Queens has evolved from rapper to comedy scene-stealer to fine dramatic actress. She’s set to take the crown for her performance as a first-generation Chinese-American woman who struggles with love and loss while caring for her beloved grandma.

Best Actor, Drama

Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari

Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Will win: Joaquin Phoenix

Should win: Adam Driver

Put on a happy face: Joaquin Phoenix is a sure bet and riding high on a $1 billion grossing smash in which he physically transformed his body to play the mentally unstable titular character. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to re-watch Adam Driver pouring out his heart while singing “Being Alive” in the closing moments of Marriage Story.

Best Actor, Comedy

Daniel Craig, Knives Out

Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit

Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Taron Egerton, Rocketman

Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

Will win: Eddie Murphy

Should win: Taron Egerton

Jeez, these Best Actor fields are crowded. My gut says to go with Eddie Murphy, the 1980s comedy king currently in the midst of an epic comeback befitting his scrappy character in Dolemite. I can picture the standing ovation. Still, don’t discount Taron Egerton, who did it all as Elton John in Rocketman. One note: Rami Malek won last year for portraying Freddie Mercury despite lip-syncing. Egerton supplied his own vocals.

Best Supporting Actress

Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell

Annette Bening, The Report

Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers

Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Will win: Laura Dern

Should win: Jennifer Lopez

Laura Dern is poised to pull a Regina King and Allison Janney and sweep through the awards season all the way to the Oscars. That’s what happens when you play a high-priced L.A. divorce attorney who’s equal parts savage and sincere. She hustles; just like Lopez. Only J.Lo has the sentimental edge because she also does the splits while slithering on a pole.

Best Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes

Al Pacino, The Irishman

Joe Pesci, The Irishman

Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Will win: Brad Pitt

Should win: Brad Pitt

Can it be? Brad Pitt hasn’t won a Golden Globe since 1996, when he triumphed in 12 Monkeys, thanked the makers of Kaopectate and took then-girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow as his date. He’s poised to grace the stage again, this time for keeping it cool as an aging stuntman. It’s really a co-lead performance with DiCaprio, but we’ll let that slide.

Best Screenplay

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story

Bong Joo-Ho and Han Jin Won, Parasite

Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Steven Zaillian, The Irishman

Will win: Noah Baumbach

Should win: Noah Baumbach

This category combines both original and adapted works, so we’ll see an altered group of nominees for the Oscars. I’m giving the edge to Baumbach for crafting a heart-wrenching, dialogue-heavy story based on his own experience with ex Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Best Motion Picture, Animated

Frozen 2

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

The Lion King

Missing Link

Toy Story 4

Will win: Frozen 2

Should win: Toy Story 4

The Lion King for the win . . . in 1995! Though, come to think of it, most of these choices are also-rans. Frozen 2 gets the nod, if only because it’s the most recent release and a box-office behemoth. Special nod to the fantastic plastic in Toy Story 4 who embarked on yet another inspired adventure.

Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language

The Farewell

Les Miserables

Pain and Glory

Parasite

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Will win: Parasite

Should win: Parasite

In these unstable and divided times, it’s heartwarming to know that there is one universal certainty: Parasite — a searing and acclaimed social thriller from South Korean director Bong Joo Ho and no actor you’ve ever heard of (not yet, anyway) — is your Bingo free space/done deal/sure thing.

Best Original Score

Alexandre Desplat, Little Women

Hildur Gudnadottir, Joker

Randy Newman, Marriage Story

Thomas Newman, 1917

Daniel Pemberton, Motherless Brooklyn

Will win: 1917

Should win: 1917

Come Oscar time, prepare for loads of love for 1917 in the behind-the-scenes categories. Start with the pulse-pounding and operatic score, which admittedly threatens to overwhelm the story in parts but serves as the unique film’s editing through-line.

cats-review
cats-review

Best Original Song

“Beautiful Ghosts,” Cats

“I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” Rocketman

“Into the Unknown,” Frozen 2

“Spirit,” The Lion King

“Stand Up,” Harriet

Will win: “Into the Unknown”

Should win: “Beautiful Ghosts”

When in doubt, go with a catchy Frozen anthem. Is it better than “Beautiful Ghosts”? I guess. But you must admit that the idea of Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber winning for Cats would make for an unforgettable Memory.

The 77th annual Golden Globe Awards will air on NBC on Sunday, January 5 at 8 P.M.


Originally published at Mara Movies.

Mara Movies

Mara Reinstein, former film critic for Us Weekly and certified Top Critic on Rotten Tomatoes, is now reviewing movies and blogging and gossiping and covering festivals at MaraMovies.com. Don’t hate her for loving La La Land.

Mara Reinstein

Written by

Mara Reinstein is the film critic of Us Weekly. She is also a contributing writer for Parade, The Cut, Variety, Emmy and TV Guide. She lives in New York City.

Mara Movies

Mara Reinstein, former film critic for Us Weekly and certified Top Critic on Rotten Tomatoes, is now reviewing movies and blogging and gossiping and covering festivals at MaraMovies.com. Don’t hate her for loving La La Land.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade