Sunday, January 10, 2016

2015 Golden Globe Predictions

I have been dying for the past few days with a cold, so my enjoyment of anything other than binge-watching television and finding ways to justify yet another nap has gone by the wayside, and I'm realizing that I haven't even so much as thought about the Golden Globe predictions, and am daunted by the fact that I have a slew of Oscar prediction articles that need to get out prior to Thursday, so in a quest to rectify at least one of those situations, I'm going to look through the Golden Globe nominations fresh, right now, and see where I land?  Would you like to join me?  The comments are there for the perusing!

Best Motion Picture-Drama

Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

The Lowdown: Here's where we're going to see if Spotlight has this season so wrapped in the bag it's causing the rest of the race to be bizarrely sporadic, or whether even the winners are questionable (it's worth noting that Spotlight missed at the Eddie Awards earlier this week, which is the first major harbinger of Best Picture that it skipped out upon).  The Globes occasionally throw a curveball into this race and I could see Carol or even Mad Max actually, randomly, taking this but at this point there's no reason to assume that Spotlight won't be down with the Best Picture.

Best Actor in a Drama

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Will Smith, Concussion

The Lowdown: Unlike pretty much every other film-acting category (my apologies in advance, but I won't be predicting the TV nominations as the Globes are wonderfully, headache-inducingly bizarre in how they pick those each year) this is an easy win.  I've been saying since about March that this was Leo's year and this awards season has given me no reason to believe otherwise.  This starts his road to Oscar.

Best Actress in a Drama

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

The Lowdown: If it weren't for category confusion, I think this is a lineup that easily could have dominated throughout the season, and we'd all be the better for it since Mara and Vikander are leading roles and having them in supporting is going to downplay that they're both assets to their movie.  However, this is a true test of their ability to win pretty much everything, and I don't think they'll quite be able to do it (if they were completely in lead or supporting I think the campaign would have been easier).  Brie Larson, despite being the least famous of these five actors, is going to take the trophy and start what could be her own path to an Oscar.  I'm genuinely curious to see how Larson, who comes across so naturally onscreen, will do with an awards speech.

Best Motion Picture-Comedy/Musical

The Big Short
The Martian

The Lowdown: We're leaning a bit harder on comedy this year as no major musical was an option for a nomination this year.  Though a few weeks ago I would have said this had to be The Martian, The Big Short has slowly emerged as Spotlight's most sincere challenger for the Best Picture trophy, and as a result I don't think that Ridley Scott's picture can take a turn.  It's a pity in a year that has three female-led pictures in this race that we can't see one of them at least make a play for the trophy, but sexism is alive and well and it's hard for female-led films to get any sort of traction.

Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical

Christian Bale, The Big Short
Steve Carell, The Big Short
Matt Damon, The Martian
Al Pacino, Danny Collins
Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear

The Lowdown: Anyone else wondering if Steve Carell could randomly end up with back-to-back Oscar nominations for The Big Short?  I think if it weren't so confusing over what category he'd be in (could he be lead when Bale is clearly supporting?) I think he'd be a solid dark horse contender.  However, they're likely canceling each other out, which is happening here as neither of them will be able to ride the film's Best Picture coattails to a win over Matt Damon, who will win his first acting Golden Globe after five losses.

Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Melissa McCarthy, Spy
Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van
Lily Tomlin, Grandma

The Lowdown: This is a weird category if you look at what experts are predicting.  After all, Jennifer Lawrence is a huge movie star who is making a serious play for an Oscar nomination, Smith and Tomlin are legends who are trying to use the category confusion to score another shot with Oscar, and Melissa McCarthy is finally nominated for HFPA after already being rewarded by Emmy and Oscar and the American Box Office in general.  However, everyone's going with admittedly one of the year's biggest stars Amy Schumer, whose movie stardom kind of just happened in Trainwreck, and it makes sense, particularly when you consider that Lawrence (her biggest competition) has both A) won two trophies here in recent years and B) has used the press to make this a battle between herself and buddy Schumer, promising that if either wins it'll be a water-cooler speech.  As a result, I think that Schumer takes it in a weird Nurse Betty situation, as she won't win an Oscar nomination and instead will beat someone who does in Lawrence.

Best Supporting Actor

Paul Dano, Love and Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

The Lowdown: I'm aware that Rylance may have a better shot at the Oscar at this point, considering he's made it in everywhere, and a win by him wouldn't surprise me at all (nor, quite frankly, would rising star Idris Elba who has done very well in precursors and could become a random emerging character actor who grabs an Oscar before becoming a household name).  However Sylvester Stallone winning a Golden Globe nearly forty years after he scored his first two (and only) nominations for Rocky seems like too perfect of a story.  I don't even know if Stallone will be able to be nominated for Creed with AMPAS (the film has fallen on hard times), but this feels like a standing ovation that could happen, and I suspect it will tonight.

Best Supporting Actress

Jane Fonda, Youth
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

The Lowdown: If Winslet, Leigh, or even Mirren want to win this trophy at the Oscars, this is the time that they have to strike.  While we don't know if either Alicia Vikander (in The Danish Girl) or Rooney Mara will end up in lead or supporting, being an option to potentially sweep the season or at least be consistently seen as a threat amongst the "non-category fraud" nominees is critical.  I personally think this is a race between Leigh, who has a showy if in my opinion wildly overrated performance in The Hateful Eight, and Vikander, who may, like Kate Winslet in 2008, be able to win with whichever film she ends up being nominated for.  Considering the vote-splitting with lead and the fact that Harvey is backing Leigh, I'm going to go with JJL, but wouldn't be shocked if Vikander stepped into the race.

Best Director

 Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, The Revenant
Todd Haynes, Spotlight
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott, The Martian

The Lowdown: In recent years the Oscars have sort of copied the Globes in terms of going with a different Best Picture/Director combination, and so I suspect that if Spotlight is winning the top trophy that may happen again, as it's hard to imagine Tom McCarthy trying to top both Ridley Scott and George Miller, neither of whom have won the Best Director trophy before (it's worth noting that Miller has an Oscar, bizarrely, for Best Animated Feature though he doesn't have the Globe, while Scott has never won either).  Part of me thinks that Scott will end up victorious at least here, and we'll see how The Martian fares the rest of awards season to see if he can replicate at the Oscars.

Best Screenplay

The Big Short
The Hateful Eight
Steve Jobs

The Lowdown: Considering his celebrity, it's never entirely smart to discount Tarantino as a Globe winner, but considering the film's reviews and his comments in the past year I suspect that even HFPA will want to skip giving him a trophy.  That leaves Spotlight battling against The Big Short, which could serve as the first real proxy for the Oscar Best Picture trophy.  My hunch is that Spotlight takes this, but a win by The Big Short could be a sign of things to come.

Best Animated Feature

The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep

The Lowdown: It's questionable for Oscar whether A) this will be five-wide or not or B) whether their propensity for foreign-language films will render something like The Peanuts Movie or The Good Dinosaur (in my opinion the two most vulnerable pictures) without a citation.  The nominations are really the thing here because Inside Out has this trophy so locked up here and at the Dolby in a few weeks that it's not worth discussing.

Best Foreign Language Film

The Brand New Testament
The Club
The Fencer
Son of Saul

The Lowdown: It's worth noting that in terms of Oscar, due to eligibility rules, The Club isn't qualified for AMPAS as it isn't on the finalist list; 80% being eligible is actually relatively high this late in the game, quite frankly, and it'll be curious if this, one of the few areas where foreign films can get a boost, will help films like The Fencer and The Brand New Testament in particular since they're much less well-known than Mustang and Son of Saul, both of which are the top contenders here, the latter of which seems to have the upper-hand tonight.

Best Score

The Danish Girl
The Hateful Eight
The Revenant
Steve Jobs

The Lowdown: This will be an interesting litmus test, as The Revenant is not eligible for the Oscars and Steve Jobs isn't the sort of film or composer that usually gets cited for AMPAS, so I suspect the remaining three (whom I think will go on to the Kodak) will have fresher competition to face in a few weeks.  Still, part of me wonders if this may be one of those situations where a composer has too much stature to lose.  Ennio Morricone is by far the best (actually the only good thing) about The Hateful Eight and despite writing nearly 400 film scores, he has never won a competitive Oscar (he's won an Honorary, as well as two Golden Globes).  Carter Burwell's Carol may have a better shot at Oscar if that film does particularly well with AMPAS but for tonight I think Morricone will have the advantage.

Best Original Song

"Love Me Like You Do," Fifty Shades of Grey
"One Kind of Love," Love and Mercy
"See You Again," Furious 7
"Simple Song #3," Youth
"Writing's on the Wall," Spectre

The Lowdown: With Gaga not here, Furious 7 should have free-reign over winning, except of course that the star-loving HFPA may want to skip out on Wiz Khalifa and go with someone a bit more of their generation in Brian Wilson.  Wilson may not even show up, but it's a small enough awards body that they'll likely know that in advance whether or not he can make it and that will affect the winner (it's worth noting that the HFPA gives zero craps about whether or not this category lines up with the Oscar winner, and it almost never does).  With Oscar, I think that Gaga is going to take this, but right now I honestly think it'll be Brian Wilson.  There will be a lot of pressure on Khalifa, who will probably be up for both, to give a good speech here if he wins to see if that can match up with the emotional gut punch of an Oscar night tribute to Paul Walker.

And there we have it-the Golden Globe predictions.  What are your thoughts?  Where did I go off the rails, and where do you think I was right on the money?  Who are you cheering for?  Who do you want over in television?  Are you dreading as much as I am that Ricky Gervais will be hosting?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

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