Predicting the 75th Golden Globes

Two nominations for a fairly impressive directorial debut in one of the biggest years ever for directorial debuts. But will it win either?

Predicting this year’s Globes is tricky. On the one hand, they love to help a narrative along. On the other hand, this year has several competing narratives. On the other other hand, thanks to some key omissions (namely in Director and Screenplay), they’re making it very difficult to predict which narrative, if any, they’re going to advance. So take these predictions with a grain of salt, and not just because I’m a dude on his couch who won’t even see the ceremony live because he doesn’t have cable.

Best Picture – Drama:

  • Call Me by Your Name
  • Dunkirk
  • The Post
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Call Me by Your Name didn’t get a Director nod, and no film has won this award without a director nod since 1992, so I’d take it off.

Dunkirk…doesn’t feel like a “Globes” choice. Too technical.

The Post might happen, but that feels more message-y than they tend to go.

The Shape of Water is quite possible. They nominated the hell out of it. And it’s very likable, which is definitely a plus with them.

Three Billboards might happen as well. They also nominated the hell out of it. I’m probably letting my own mixed feelings about the film cloud my judgment, but I feel like it’s the second likeliest pick for them. (It also doesn’t really belong in Drama, but whatever.)

Will Win: The Shape of Water

Might Win: Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Picture – Musical/Comedy:

  • The Disaster Artist
  • Get Out
  • The Greatest Showman
  • I, Tonya
  • Lady Bird

The Disaster Artist might win in a weak year, but this year the competition’s too strong. Won’t happen.

Get Out has to be considered one of the front-runners here. The lack of a Screenplay nod hurts it, and it’s possible the controversy over classifying it as a Comedy will too (though I think it fits reasonably well), but at worst I’d say it’s second-likeliest to win.

The Greatest Showman isn’t The Big Sick, Baby Driver, Battle of the Sexes, or any other eligible film that got higher than 55% on Rotten Tomatoes. (It’s not winning.) (UPDATE: I saw it. Holy shit. No.)

I, Tonya has to be considered a definite threat. It’s been building up a pretty considerable head of steam in recent weeks, and while I’m not sure how much that directly impacts the Globe voters, it does suggest people really like it. The only problem is, it’s up against two very heavy hitters. But if those two split votes, it could be a surprise winner.

Lady Bird feels like the winner here. It’s well-liked, has the most nominations of any film in this category, and has been a force all season. It’s not timely in the way Get Out is, but I don’t know if that really matters so much here. It’s the one to beat.

Will Win: Lady Bird

Could Win: Get Out

Best Director:

  • Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water
  • Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
  • Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World
  • Steven Spielberg, The Post

Del Toro is a super-nice guy who did a damn good job with his beloved film. He’s definitely a major contender here.

McDonagh does a solid job, but that film is more about the writing than the directing. I expect he’ll win Screenplay and sit this one out. (If he wins, though, this season might get interesting.)

Nolan is a renowned director who did a damn good job with his highly-praised film. I might give him the edge over Del Toro because the direction is more overtly impressive, but it’ll be close.

Scott is here mostly because he pulled off the Spacey-Plummer swap. (It’s a solid job of direction, but let’s be honest, that’s why he’s here.) He won’t win.

Spielberg is Spielberg. You can’t rule him out, certainly, but I feel like giving him this would be such a vanilla choice that they just wouldn’t do it. Not with what Del Toro and Nolan brought to the table.

Will Win: *flips coin* Guillermo Del Toro

Could Win: Christopher Nolan

Best Actor – Drama:

  • Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
  • Tom Hanks, The Post
  • Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
  • Denzel Washington, Roman Q. Israel, Esq.

Chalamet has won heavily so far and is in a beloved film. He’s not the out-and-out favorite, but he’s in a really good position right now.

Day-Lewis is always a threat, especially if this is his last role, but I feel like he’d be a tie-breaker more than anything in this category.

Hanks is Hanks, but I feel like he’d only win if they went all-in on that film.

Oldman, on paper, should rise up and win this, paving the way for him to win the BAFTA and the Oscar. But Chalamet’s success so far, and the relative lack of awards success for his film outside of his performance, have me wondering.

Washington is in a film that landed with a thud, even if he got good press for it (and a SAG nomination). I’d say he’s fourth or fifth, depending on how much they’d want to make up for his Fences loss.

Will Win: Gary Oldman

Might Win: Timothée Chalamet

Best Actress – Drama:

  • Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
  • Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
  • Frances McDormand, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Meryl Streep, The Post
  • Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World

This might be the single toughest category to predict.

Chastain is in an odd position. She didn’t get on at the SAG awards, but her film has been picking up steam, with WGA and PGA nods to its credit. Not that the guilds and the Globes overlap too much, but it’s worth noting. And they did like the film enough to nominate it for Screenplay as well, so while I’d probably not put her higher than second…I would not be all that shocked if she won.

Hawkins is in a beloved film, giving a touching performance without speaking a word. That said, it’s a performance which doesn’t necessarily feel like a slam-dunk winner, especially in a year this competitive. It’s hard to explain, but…I can understand why she might not win. (Hell, even would vote for at least one of the other nominees over her.) I wouldn’t rule her out, but I feel like her best chance is if the film sweeps.

McDormand definitely gives a hell of a performance. The character’s sheer determination is palpable, and while it’s not my favorite performance here, it’s a forceful (and layered) enough turn that I could easily see her winning this. And if she wins, the film itself might follow suit.

Streep is always in the mix, and the film being so acclaimed certainly doesn’t hurt. That said…I doubt she wins this. She could, mind you, if the film touches off a sweep, but as with Hanks, I feel like that’s the only scenario where she’s likely to take it.

Williams is easily the happy-to-be-here nominee. I’m happy for her, and the performance itself is pretty solid, but compared to Chastain, Hawkins, and McDormand (and, frankly, Streep), she doesn’t stand a chance. Too bad.

Will Win: Frances McDormand

Might Win: Sally Hawkins/Jessica Chastain

Best Actor – Musical/Comedy:

  • Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes
  • Ansel Elgort, Baby Driver
  • James Franco, The Disaster Artist
  • Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman
  • Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Carell does have a SAG nod (in Supporting) to his name, which is nice, but there are at least two people here I think have a better chance of taking it, especially given his film’s underperformance.

Elgort…I still don’t really know why he’s here. At least nominate the film itself for Musical/Comedy Picture. He’s fine and all, but as I said before, he’s not the part of the film you remember. No chance.

Franco feels like the frontrunner. He’s playing an iconic figure of modern cinema, does a good job (I have my reservations, but…another time), and is in a film they liked. He also has a SAG nod and numerous other nominations to his name. My guess is they can’t and won’t resist. But there’s another nominee who comes pretty damn close…

Jackman…I didn’t really see that much there. A lot of that was more because of the film’s shortcomings, and he did well when he had a chance to shine, but there simply weren’t enough of those chances. (Put it another way: this isn’t a patch on his work in Les Mis.) I really doubt he’d win, but the film managed three nominations, which counts for something. Still, I’d say he’s the third-likeliest at best.

Kaluuya I’ve been meaning to re-evaluate for months. He also has a SAG nod, and he’s in one of the year’s most acclaimed films. It’s a good performance – a very nuanced one – but it’s also not really a comedic one. (I do think you can argue the film is a dark comedy, but even then, he’s the straight man.) So I’d say he comes in a very close second in the end.

Will Win: James Franco

Could Win: Daniel Kaluuya

Best Actress – Musical/Comedy:

  • Judi Dench, Victoria & Abdul
  • Helen Mirren, The Leisure Seeker
  • Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
  • Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
  • Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes

Dench has a SAG nod, yes, but the film did iffy business and got fairly muted reviews. Even if it weren’t for the competition, I couldn’t see them going for her.

Mirren is in a poorly-reviewed film that hasn’t even officially opened here. Which is another way of saying “no fucking way.”

Robbie has to be considered one of the frontrunners here. I haven’t seen the performance yet (I hope to in the very near future), but she’s been winning big and the film’s been gaining steam. It’s almost a coin-toss between here and her biggest competitor, and neither winning would shock me.

Ronan is in one of the most acclaimed films, not just of the year, but technically speaking of recent memory. It’s a funny, likable, relatable performance, and she’s a star on the unequivocal rise. I feel like it’s hers to lose, unless Robbie is just too force-of-nature to ignore.

Stone looked like a front-runner on paper at one time, but the reception accorded her film (not bad, just not great) and her erratic performance this season have, in my view, pretty much scuppered her chances. If Robbie and Ronan split votes she could benefit, but that’s not something I’d put money on.

Will Win: Saoirse Ronan

Could Win: Margot Robbie

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
  • Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name
  • Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
  • Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
  • Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Dafoe has been winning awards left and right. He’s a beloved actor in a likable role in a pretty well-liked film, and the category isn’t overly strong. Yes, the Globes made a left-field choice here last year, but this year my hunch is they stick to the narrative and give him his first Globe.

Hammer is in a well-liked film as well, and feels like a dark horse here…but it might hurt that he got on over Michael Stuhlbarg, whom some think was the more deserving choice. Also, there are at least two likelier winners than himself.

Jenkins is in a beloved film, and is quite good (though the more I think about it, the more I think I might actually give Michael Shannon the edge over him in my own rankings), but this year he feels like the universal nominee who doesn’t actually win much. It happens.

Plummer got on mostly for pulling the performance off at all. He’s really good in it, too (though I’d have nominated Romain Duris if I was going to nominate anyone from that film), but the film itself seems to have come and gone, and I’m convinced that, in this case, the nomination is the reward. Yeah, a “mad props” win could happen, but there’s a solid front-runner here and a strong second-place competitor.

Rockwell is great in an award-baitish (ish) role in a film the Globes clearly loved. Based solely on what I’ve seen, he’d be my vote. He could definitely take this, but I don’t know if he can overcome Dafoe’s momentum. It’ll be close.

Will Win: Willem Dafoe

Could Win: Sam Rockwell

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
  • Hong Chau, Downsizing
  • Allison Janney, I, Tonya
  • Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
  • Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Blige has been heavily nominated (she got SAG as well), but I’ve seen very little actual praise for her and a lot of “wait, why is she getting nominated for this?” If they’d been more bullish on the film, she might be in the conversation, but as it is, I think she’s another perennial nominee.

Chau is pretty widely regarded as the best thing about a massively disappointing film. But would she overcome the bad press around said film – or, for that matter, the controversy over her character? The SAG nod helps, but there are two front-runners in this category, and she isn’t one of them.

Janney has been hugely acclaimed and has won a decent amount. She’s one of the two front-runners – both sardonic mothers-of-the-protagonists. The fact that her character is (apparently) extremely unlikable, and the fact that her main competitor is in an even more beloved film, probably pulls her back just far enough to be the one. But she could definitely win.

Metcalf is a beloved actress, a beloved performance, and a beloved film. It’s a layered, sympathetic, funny performance, and I can’t see how she isn’t the one to beat. That’s all.

Spencer is very well-liked and the film’s success helps, but she feels to me like another perennial nominee who won’t ever win (and she might not even get in at the Oscars – she didn’t get SAG). So it goes.

Will Win: Laurie Metcalf

Could Win: Allison Janney

Best Screenplay:

  • Lady Bird
  • Molly’s Game
  • The Post
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Lady Bird is the beloved Greta Gerwig writing a beloved, semi-autobiographical script (which she successfully directed). If this isn’t the front-runner, it’s a very close second.

Molly’s Game is the beloved Aaron Sorkin writing a well-regarded script (which he solidly directed). He’s definitely in the mix, but I feel like he’s the third-place finisher this time around.

The Post is a classy film with (news) writing at its core. If it wins anything, it would probably be this, but I feel like that’s a fairly long shot. Not impossible, mind you, but not terribly likely.

The Shape of Water is a beloved film with a smart and thoughtful script, but it doesn’t feel like the kind of script the Globes would go for. I figure they’re more likely to award the direction and the film itself than the writing.

Three Billboards feels like the choice to me. It’s an acclaimed writer writing an acclaimed script for an acclaimed film, it’s full of snappy dialogue, and it deals with weighty themes with not a bit of dark, dark humor. I wouldn’t vote for it myself, but it feels like they will.

Will Win: Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Could Win: Lady Bird

Best Original Score:

  • Dunkirk
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Post
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Listening to bits of these scores as I type this up:

Dunkirk is a brilliant score in concert with the film. It amps up the tension continuously, and really gets across the feeling of how relentless the fight for survival on those beaches was. On its own, it might be a bit too harrowing and abstract for some tastes, but you have to imagine this is, if not the slam-dunk winner, way up there.

Phantom Thread: Jonny fucking Greenwood. Another film I still haven’t seen. I’d love if he won this just on pure principle (he’d better get an Oscar nomination), but I’m not sure he will. It sounds like a nice score, but…would they go for it? Did they like the film enough? I’m not sure. I had figured this to be one of the front-runners, but now I’m not sure.

The Post is a solid score. I haven’t seen the film yet, but listening to it – Williams does do a good job here. (He always does, but I mean more in the sense that he isn’t just resting on his laurels.) I’m not sure it actually wins, but this category is kind of hard to predict; the Globes sometimes make weird choices when there isn’t a front-runner (remember when All is Lost won here?).

The Shape of Water has a charming score. Very quirky, though. If you like the film, it fits very well, but I could also see someone finding it a bit cutesy. I feel like they won’t actually go for it, but honestly…I have no idea. This category, I’m pretty much flying blind.

Three Billboards has a classical Western score, a fitting accompaniment to the showdown between Frances McDormand and pretty much everyone else that is the heart of the film. It’s a very low-key score – it’s a very Carter Burwell score – and I don’t think it’s an automatic winner, but if they really go for the film, and they could, this could reasonably win.

Will Win: Dunkirk

Could Win: Uh…fuck it, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Original Song:

  • “Home”, Ferdinand
  • “Mighty River”, Mudbound
  • “Remember Me”, Coco
  • “The Star”, The Star
  • “This is Me”, The Greatest Showman

Listening to these as I write. Not necessarily the whole thing. Enough.

“Home”: Ew. No. I can’t say there’s no way this will win, but there’s no way it should. Ew.

“Mighty River”: It’s okay. Has a sort of gospel-choir/hymnal quality. Blige’s singing makes it. Probably works better in the context of the film. Might win, but I’d give at least one song the edge over it.

“Remember Me”: How is this not the slam-dunk winner? Not only is it probably the best song (and the catchiest), the way it’s used across the film is just brilliant, to the point where the final reprises had me openly weeping. And I don’t cry easily at movies. Plus, it’s a Disney/Pixar song. This feels like the choice all around.


“This is Me”: I will say, this is the least shitty song in this film (I really don’t like Pasek & Paul). It’s not really that good – it’s overdone and really pretty generic – but Keala Settle sells it pretty damn well, and it’s at least catchy. Could be a rogue winner.

Will Win: “Remember Me”

Could Win: “Mighty River” (but watch out for “This is Me”)

Best Foreign Language Film:

  • A Fantastic Woman
  • First They Killed My Father
  • In the Fade
  • Loveless
  • The Square

A Fantastic Woman deals with LGBTQ issues (especially the issues trans people face) and has a breakout lead performance. Not quite the front-runner, but it feels like a dark horse here.

First They Killed My Father is Angelina Jolie directing a movie about Cambodia. It’s apparently solid, but giving this the award would feel weird; at one time it would’ve been a shoo-in, but now…eh.

In the Fade isn’t supposed to be that great of a film, with most of the acclaim going to Diane Kruger rather than the film itself. I don’t think it’s happening.

Loveless is Andrey Zvyagintsev, who won this category in 2014 and probably came quite close to winning the Oscar that year. This film doesn’t have as much buzz as Leviathan did, but he’s certainly in the mix.

The Square feels like the choice here. It’s not great (I at least found it a bit of a letdown after Force Majeure), but it’s the buzziest film here, and without a slam-dunk choice that I can see…I think it wins. But I don’t really know.

Will Win: The Square

Could Win: A Fantastic Woman (I should say Loveless, but I feel like voters will feel more passionately about this one)

Best Animated Film:

  • The Boss Baby
  • The Breadwinner
  • Coco
  • Ferdinand
  • Loving Vincent

The Boss Baby…would they? Just to have Baldwin accept the award? I don’t think so. But…maybe. (No, not really.)

The Breadwinner is one of the two hand-animated films here, and both of them feel like potential runners-up. This probably a bit less than the other, but the political content might help it. Still, there’s a pretty clear winner here…

Coco. Tell me this isn’t going to walk away with this. The only way it wouldn’t is if they made a conscious choice to go off the beaten path, but I wouldn’t bet on the Globes to do that. So there.

Ferdinand: Nah. I hear it’s cute, and John Cena’s voice work as Ferdinand is apparently delightful, but it’s an also-ran here. Sorry.

Loving Vincent is certainly worth looking out for. The sheer achievement of its creation is worth at least considering for a vote, even if the film itself doesn’t quite live up to it. I doubt it could overcome Coco, but if it does, I wouldn’t be as surprised as all that.

Will Win: Coco

Could Win: Loving Vincent

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