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Everything You Need to Know about the 76th Annual Golden Globes

What are the Golden Globes?

The Golden Globe Awards is an annual awards ceremony that honors the year’s best in film and television. There are 25 categories (14 for film and 11 for television). The voting body is the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a collection of 93 journalists and photographers who cover the U.S. entertainment industry for foreign publications.

Do the Golden Globes matter in awards season?

As I have discussed in a previous article, the answer to this is that they shouldn’t matter but they do anyway. The fact that they are not voted on by film industry insiders, film critics, or film fans make them a very curious awards show. Nevertheless, they hold weight for four key reasons. First, they have been around a very long time (since 1943). Second, they are the first major ceremony of awards season. Third, they are fairly predictive of the Oscars. In the last 20 years, 11 Best Pictures, 11 Best Directors, 13 Best Actors, and a whopping 18 Best Actresses picked up a Globe en route to their Oscar. Fourth, they throw a great party. They have a history of well-selected hosts, the pace is usually significantly snappier than the Oscars, and with an overwhelming number of acting categories spanning film and television, the broadcast is brimming with A-listers.

This year’s Golden Globes hosts Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg at September’s Emmy ceremony (Copyright: ATAS/NBC)

Are the Golden Globes worth watching?

Due to their fun atmosphere and sea of (often intoxicated) A-listers, the Golden Globes are usually the most entertaining of the awards shows. Off the top of my head I can think of a dozen exceedingly memorable moments from recent years, including Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s hosting gig, Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig’s hilarious presentation of Best Actress, and fiery, headline grabbing speeches by the likes of Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey. And unlike the Oscars, whose attempts to find a host has become nothing short of a dumpster fire, they generally have inspired and successful picks. This year is likely to be no different with the duo of Saturday Night Live and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg and Killing Eve and Grey’s Anatomy star Sandra Oh. They are a bizarre pairing in many ways, but one I anticipate to work. They are both a bit off-kilter, but they are quick witted, committed, and charismatic stars.

Who is likely to win at the Golden Globes?

Over the years, the film categories at the Globes have become easier to predict due to the fact that they have become increasingly committed to becoming a predictor of the Oscars. In contrast, the television categories remain erratic and unpredictable, with the only reliable trends being that they love things that are brand new and involve A-listers. I have broken down my predictions for all 25 categories below. (Note: As I have yet to finish seeing all of the major film contenders, I have refrained from stating who I think should win.)


Copyright: Warner Bros.

Best Motion Picture — Drama. This is a pretty competitive race even though the Globes splits its top category up by genre and the year’s most critically acclaimed drama (Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma) is ineligible here due to Globes rules that limit foreign language film to its own category. Despite its buffo box office and strong showing during award season, the tepid reviews received by Bryan Singer’s Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody will likely prevent it from being a big player in this category. Conversely, despite its rave reviews, Berry Jenkins’ James Baldwin adaptation If Beale Street Could Talk will be held back by the fact that it is little seen and has underperformed during award season. Ryan Coogler’s superhero film Black Panther is the highest grossing film of the year in the U.S. and has done well during award season, but nevertheless lacks nominations in the acting, directing, and writing categories. Spike Lee’s electrifying race drama BlacKkKlansman has a real shot at the top award after it held on strong through award season despite its early release date. But given the HFPA’s love of big stars and musicals, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s blockbuster remake of A Star is Born is the clear frontrunner. Will Win: A Star is Born Possible Spoiler: BlacKkKlansman

Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama

Despite being an HFPA’s deep love of Nicole Kidman (she has won 5 trophies from 13 prior nominations) Destroyer was too divisive and little-seen to be a real player here. The same goes for Rosamund Pike for her acclaimed work in A Private War. Melissa McCarthy’s acclaimed against type turn in Can You Ever Forgive Me? is just the type of thing the HFPA would normally go for, but the lack of nominations for the film overall indicate moderate support. Glenn Close has long been considered an Oscar front-runner for her turn in the intimate marital drama The Wife. However, a big part of her frontrunner status there is the fact that she is one of the biggest losers in Oscar history (6 nominations and no wins). This is not the case at the Globes where she has gone 2-for-13. This clears the way for Lady Gaga, whose film debut was far more acclaimed than her television debut on American Horror Story, which the Globes also feted with a Best Actress trophy. Will Win: Lady Gaga Possible Spoiler: Glenn Close

Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama

Willem Dafoe’s turn as Vincent Van Gogh in At Eternity’s Gate and Lucas Hedges’ performance as a gay teen forced to undergo conversion therapy are worthy nominees, but their films have barely made a blip in awards season or at the box office. John David Washington ticks a lot of HFPA’s boxes: he is a hot newcomer in a well-liked film (BlacKkKlansman) who is also Hollywood royalty (his dad is Denzel). In another year he could win, but this year he has to face two heavyweights. The first is Rami Malek, whose turn as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody astounded even those that loathed the film. The second is Bradley Cooper, who has the edge simply for his simultaneous roles as director and co-writer of A Star is Born. Will Win: Bradley Cooper Possible Spoiler: Rami Malek

Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy

Copyright: Fox Searchlight

This is the rare category where a strong case could be made for each of the five nominees. Crazy Rich Asians was a critically acclaimed, culturally significant box office smash. Mary Poppins Returns is the well-reviewed revisitation of a beloved property that is currently raking in solid box office. Dick Cheney biopic/satire Vice lead the Golden Globe nominations with 6. Green Book is the type of gentle race drama that historically has been adored by the likes of the HFPA and the Academy and has been a strong player throughout awards season. And the brutal costume drama satire The Favourite is unanimously praised and is likely to be the biggest player of these 5 films at the Oscars. I think it holds the lead narrowly, with Green Book and Vice nipping at its heels. Will Win: The Favourite Possible Spoilers: Green Book and Vice

Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy

Copyright: Disney

This is an exceedingly strong category in terms of quality. Constance Wu was excellent in Crazy Rich Asians and has many admirers for her TV role on Fresh Off the Boat, but it just isn’t an award-worthy performance (co-star Michelle Yeoh on the other hand has been robbed this season). Charlize Theron’s nomination for Tully is an inspired choice (she did a brilliant job with a very complicated character), but the nomination for this long-gone film is a reward in and of itself. Teen newcomer Elsie Fisher’s performance in the acclaimed indie Eighth Grade would be a worthy winner, but her film seems to be flying below most people’s radar. My bet is that this race is neck-and-neck between Olivia Colman’s much-heralded turn as the unstable Queen Anne in The Favourite and Emily Blunt’s tour-de-force performance as the titular nanny in Mary Poppins Returns, which won over even those who think the property should not have been revisited. Given the HFPA’s love of star power and musicals, I give Blunt the ever-so-slight edge. Will Win: Emily Blunt Possible Spoiler: Olivia Colman

Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy

Copyright: Annapurna Pictures

Robert Redford already has two competitive Globes and a Lifetime Achievement Award, giving the HFPA a solid excuse not to bother rewarding him for The Old Man & The Gun. John C. Reilly is a highly respected and well-liked actor, but the Laurel & Hardy biopic for which he is nominated (Stan& Ollie) has failed to make a splash in the awards race. Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda’s reviews for Mary Poppins Returns were considerably more muted in their enthusiasm than those for his co-star Emily Blunt. In another year, Viggo Mortensen would be an easy pick for Green Book as he is a highly respected actor in a well-liked movie that has lost each of his 3 prior Globe nominations. However, he has to face the behemoth that is Christian Bale’s performance as Dick Cheney. The HFPA clearly adored the film and his physical transformation for the role is the type of thing that these voters tend to eat up. Will Win: Christian Bale Possible Spoiler: Viggo Mortensen

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Claire Foy has been previously honored by the HFPA for her work as Queen Elizabeth II on Netflix’s The Crown and received raves for her performance as Neil Armstrong’s long-suffering wife in First Man. But the film’s extreme underperformance during awards season indicates a lack of the necessary enthusiasm to carry her to a win. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are previous Globe winners who give audacious, against type turns as scheming women vying for Queen Anne’s attention in The Favourite. Unfortunately, their performances are overshadowed by the Queen herself (Olivia Colman) and they very well may cancel each other out. Regina King was the presumed frontrunner for everything until she missed out on a SAG nomination and her film (If Beale Street Could Talk) started to underperform in awards season. Nevertheless, the HFPA very well still may award her very deserving turn as a profoundly strong and empathic mother. However, I think this category belongs to Amy Adams for her turn as Lynne Cheney in Vice. The HFPA clearly loves the film and she has 2 prior wins from 7 nominations. Will Win: Amy Adams Possible Spoiler: Regina King

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Timothee Chalamet’s turn in Beautiful Boy was praised, but the film itself was met with a very tepid response. The fact that Sam Rockwell is fresh off a win in this very category (for Three Billboard Outside of Ebbing, Missouri) decreases the odds that the HFPA will seek to award him for his impersonation of George W. Bush. Adam Driver is a gifted character actor who does great work in BlacKkKlansman but there seems to be a lack of buzz around his performance. Richard E. Grant is campaigning hard, is exceedingly likable, and gives the type of lively and colorful performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me? that the HFPA tends to reward. However, his film was snubbed in several major categories indicating a tepid response from HFPA members. Furthermore, he faces Mahershala Ali who the Globes failed to fete for Moonlight (he went on to win the Oscar) and is a in a film the HFPA loved (Green Book). It’s his to lose. Will Win: Mahershala Ali Possible Spoiler: Richard E. Grant

Best Director — Motion Picture

Peter Farrelly (Green Book) and Adam McKay (Vice) and their films have significant detractors, making them unlikely to triumph here. Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) has a real shot given the fact that he has never won (he has two nominations for the 1989 classic Do the Right Thing), but he is facing two powerhouses. The first is Alfonso Cuaron, whose Roma is the most acclaimed film of the year. The second is Bradley Cooper whose passionate remake of A Star is Born was rapturously received. Oh and he’s also a gigantic star who has never won a Globe (Cuaron won this category previously for 2013’s Gravity). Will Win: Bradley Cooper Possible Spoiler: Alfonso Cuaron

Best Screenplay — Motion Picture

This is a tough one. Adam McKay’s Vice and Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallenlonga, and Brian Currie’s Green Book have a shot, but I think they will fail to win here for the same reason McKay and Farrelly will lose in the Director race. Barry Jenkins adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel If Beale Street Could Talk is a thing of real beauty and the Globes missed an opportunity to fete him for writing or directing Moonlight (which went on to win the Best Picture Oscar), but the film has been a surprisingly minor player in awards season. Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma is a beautiful story of class and coming of age, but the film is generally viewed as more of a visual masterpiece than as a brilliant work of plot or dialogue. That leaves Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara’s dark, clever, and utterly scandalous The Favourite, a screenplay that is universally admired. Will Win: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara Possible Spoiler: Alfonso Cuaron

Best Original Score — Motion Picture

Marc Shaiman is the biggest name here and his film (Mary Poppins Returns) is the one where music is the most central, so it’s his to lose. His biggest competition comes from Marco Beltrami whose A Quiet Place was a masterpiece of sound. Ludwig Gorannson (Black Panther), Alexandre Desplat (Isle of Dogs), and Justin Hurwitz (First Man) are worthy nominees but just don’t seem likely to garner the requisite support. Will Win: Marc Shaiman Possible Spoiler: Marco Beltrami

Best Original Song — Motion Picture

Hands down, this will go to “Shallow” from A Star is Born. It’s the biggest hit written by the biggest star (Lady Gaga). However, that’s not to say the others lack star power. The other nominees include two music legends Dolly Parton (“Girl in the Movies” from Dumplin’) and Annie Lennox (“Requiem for a Private War” from A Private War) and red-hot up-and-comers Kendrick Lamar and SZA (“All the Stars” from Black Panther) and Troye Sivan (“Revelation” from Boy Erased). Will Win: “Shallow” Possible Spoiler: “All the Stars”

Best Motion Picture — Animated

Mirai and Isle of Dogs are likely too offbeat for the HFPA. In the battle of the blockbusters, Incredibles 2 has the slight edge over Ralph Breaks the Internet by virtue of the Pixar name. It could very well win, but something tells me the critically adored Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse peaked at just the right moment. Will Win: Spider-Man Possible Spoiler: Incredibles 2

Best Motion Picture — Foreign Language

It will be utterly shocking if Roma doesn’t win here, especially given that Cold War, the second most acclaimed foreign film of the year is oddly missing from this lineup. If there is a possible spoiler it is Shoplifters. It is definitely not Girl, which has an active campaign against it from many activists who think it’s portrayal of transgender issues is dangerous. Capernaum and Never Look Away won’t factor into this race much. Will Win: Roma Possible Spoiler: Shoplifters


Best Television Series — Drama

Copyright: FX

The HFPA loves anointing the hottest new shows. That combined with the fact that they have never nominated the dearly departed The Americans for a single award prior to this year, makes me think it is out (deserving as it may be). As for the four freshman, they all have a shot. Bodyguard and Killing Eve garnered terrific buzz (and are particularly friendly to foreigners). Homecoming boasts major star power (Julia Roberts, Sissy Spacek, Bobby Cannavale, and Stephen James). But something tells me they will opt for Pose, Ryan Murphy’s celebration of diversity and the arts. Will Win: Pose Possible Spoiler: Homecoming

Best Actress in a Television Series — Drama

Copyright: Amazon

Caitriona Balfe could definitely emerge as the winner in this race one year, but I don’t think this is the year. The decrease in love for The Handmaid’s Tale combined with the HFPA’s tendency to reject anything more than a year old all but counts Elisabeth Moss out. Keri Russell work on The Americans has gone under-rewarded for years, but she faces two heavyweights. Although it’s hard to imagine them giving up the opportunity to reward a star as big as Julia Roberts (particularly for such an unexpected turn), will the HFPA pass up a chance to give the top award to the ceremony’s well deserving co-host Sandra Oh? I doubt it. Will Win: Sandra Oh Possible Spoiler: Julia Roberts

Best Actor in a Television Series — Drama

Jason Bateman’s show lacks the unanimous acclaim and support in other categories to levy him to a win here. Stephan James is a star on the rise (and is the star of the nominated film If Beale Street Could Talk), but Homecoming was more about Julia. Matthew Rhys picked up the Emmy for the final season of The Americans and the HFPA could follow suit. But I imagine it will go to either Richard Madden, who has residual love from Game of Thrones and won more admirers for his work on Bodyguard, or Billy Porter, the flashy and charismatic star of Pose. Will Win: Billy Porter Possible Spoiler: Richard Madden

Best Television Series — Musical Comedy

Copyright: Amazon

Kidding is the least buzzed about in this lineup, but Jim Carrey’s star power is undeniable. The Good Place is beloved but it’s been years since a network series won the top award. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel could repeat for its acclaimed second season, but we all know the HFPA gets bored of things after a year (unless its Sarah Jessica Parker’s performance in Sex and the City). This makes me think that the race is between HBO’s Barry and Netflix’s The Kominsky Method. The former has more acclaim, but the latter has Chuck Lorre behind the camera and Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin in front of it. Will Win: The Kominsky Method Possible Spoilers: Barry and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Best Actress in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy

Here’s the rarest of Globe television categories — one where none of the nominees are eligible for the first time. I expect Rachel Brosnahan to repeat for her star-making turn on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but each of the other four contenders have something working in their favor. Allison Brie has been doing standout work for years in a number of shows but has yet to win a major award. Ditto for Kristen Bell who is also a beloved social media personality. Candice Bergen returns to the fray for the revival of Murphy Brown after 11 previous nominations and 2 previous wins. Bergen is clearly beloved by HFPA but there’s another sitcom veteran appearing in a revival who has never won. Debra Messing has lost at the Globes on each of her 8(!) prior nominations (6 for Will & Grace, 2 for The Starter Wife) so if anyone is going to upset Brosnahan, my bet is on her. Will Win: Rachel Brosnahan Possible Spoiler: Debra Messing

Best Actor in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy

The ever-controversial Sacha Baron Cohen was previously feted for Borat, but something tells me the various controversies surrounding Who is America? prevent him from winning here. Jim Carrey is a mega-star and Kidding got a surprise nomination in the comedy series category, but there just isn’t much buzz in the industry for him right now. Donald Glover, on the other hand, has deafening buzz, but his show has already been feted and surprisingly missed out on a Best Comedy Series nomination this year. That leaves Bill Hader, who picked up an Emmy for his work on Barry last fall, and Michael Douglas, whose work on The Kominsky Method won raves. It could go to either of them, but I give the slight edge to the legendary Oscar winner. Will Win: Michael Douglas Possible Spoiler: Bill Hader

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Copyright: HBO

With the exception of The Alienist, every nominee here has a legitimate shot. A Very English Scandal is a universally appreciated work that seems likely to appeal to the HFPA. Escape at Dannemora peaked at just the right time, with its finale airing last week. The Assassination of Gianni Versace won big at the Emmys and is widely respected. It could very well win, but something tells me the HFPA’s love of HBO (who has won the category 12 of the last 17 years) and Amy Adams will propel Sharp Objects to a win. Will Win: Sharp Objects Possible Spoiler: The Assassination of Gianni Versace

Best Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Connie Britton is out due to a lack of buzz for Dirty John. Patricia Arquette won raves but hers doesn’t strike me as a winning performance. Laura Dern’s performance in The Tale was masterful, but if she couldn’t win the Emmy in September it seems unlikely she will triumph here. Regina King (who defeated Dern at the Emmys) could win a consolation prize if they opt to give Amy Adams the Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Globe over her, but I honestly think they will have no problem giving Amy Adams two trophies in one night. Will Win: Amy Adams Possible Spoiler: Regina King

Best Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Daniel Bruhl is a long-shot as his show has low buzz and he has yet to breakout in a major way. Antonio Banderas and Hugh Grant certainly have star power but their performances lack the buzz of Benedict Cumberbatch and Darren Criss. It’s foolish to ever count out the exceedingly well-liked Cumberbatch but Criss’s performance was one of the best of the year across any genre or medium. Will Win: Darren Criss Possible Spoiler: Benedict Cumberbatch

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television

All 5 have a shot here. Yvonne Strahovski and Thandie Newton were brilliant in the second seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld, respectively, but it seems unlikely that they will be able to overcome the overall lackluster reception of those seasons. Penelope Cruz is the type of global superstar that the Globes loves to honor, but she has won before and her failure to win the Emmy in September does not bode well. That leaves two polar opposite performances out front: Patricia Clarkson as the well-liked character actress who digs deep as Amy Adams’ mother in Sharp Objects and Alex Borstein as Midge’s wise-cracking, gender nonconforming manager on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. My bet is on the latter. Will Win: Alex Borstein Possible Spoiler: Patricia Clarkson

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television

Ben Whishaw and Kieran Culkin gave acclaimed turns, but seem to bel lacking buzz. Edgar Ramirez was superb but his loss at the Emmys for the same role doesn’t bode well. That leaves us with two well-liked industry veterans starring in the first season of acclaimed new comedy series. Much buzz has been made about the fact that Henry Winkler hasn’t won a Globe since 1978 (for Happy Days), but what about the fact that Alan Arkin hasn’t won one since 1966 (for starring in The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming)? I still give the slight edge to Winkler based on buzz. Will Win: Henry Winkler Possible Spoiler: Alan Arkin

I will be blogging all throughout awards season, so follow me on Medium and/or Twitter if you want to stay up to date on how things progress!

Check out my articles about the following Golden Globe nominated shows and films:


Black Panther

First Man

The Handmaid’s Tale

Murphy Brown

Will & Grace

A Star is Born



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