The Golden Globe Awards airing at 7 p.m. Sunday on NBC will be unlike any other in the 78 years of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s history.
While I can predict who I think should win, who knows for sure what will happen at the hybrid award ceremony that will have Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on two coasts hosting the event.
Starting at the top, Best Motion Picture-Drama is “Nomadland’s” to lose. While “The Father” (opening in the Houston area on March 12) is typically the kind of contender the HFPA leans toward, but the film’s lack of a director nomination is a clue that it didn’t appeal to everyone. “Nomadland” casts a spell on nearly every viewer and has won countless precursor prizes.
Since the Globes are the first big televised award show of the season, this is where some films will gain or sustain momentum and others will lose it. Netflix’s racial courtroom drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7” appears to be in second place, while “Promising Young Woman” and “Mank” are the arguable third choices.
The second most important award of the night will be for Best Director. With a record-breaking three women in this category, the undeniable frontrunner, Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”), is another sure bet. It’s true the Globes love Aaron Sorkin (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”) and David Fincher (“Mank”), but Zhao’s popularity for her work on “Nomadland” has almost eclipsed the acclaim for the film itself.
In a normal year, the award for Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy will at minimum have one nominee that’s likely to go on to become an Oscar Best Picture nominee. This year the five contenders reflect a real “scraping the bottom of the barrel.” The likely winner, “Hamilton,” isn’t even a motion picture — it’s a recorded stage play.
The winner here typically isn’t significant to the overall awards race and while “Palm Springs” is the most creative of the five, it’s ironically the “Borat” sequel (another entry I would argue isn’t a real movie), that’s the only real competition to “Hamilton.”
Best Actress in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy will likely go to Maria Bakalova for “Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm,” the obscure, head-scratching critic’s favorite. Nevertheless, I think if the Globes decide to take higher ground here, they could throw this award to Rosamund Pike for her diabolical turn in “I Care a Lot,” which hit Netflix this past weekend and has everyone talking. Michelle Pfeiffer isn’t totally out of the question either, the Globes do favor mega-stars and comeback kids.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy is again between “Borat” and “Hamilton.” So here is where optics could influence the winner. Sacha Baron Cohen also is nominated for best actor in a supporting role for “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” If he wins there, Lin-Manuel Miranda will likely win Best Actor for “Hamilton” (again, not a movie, just a video recorded stage play). If anyone other than Baron Cohen wins supporting actor, he’ll likely win Best Actor for “Borat.” It’s doubtful he’ll win both.
Best Actress in Motion Picture-Drama is probably the most anticipated award of the evening because it’s anyone’s game. In my opinion, Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) gives the most impressive performance, but the film hasn’t fared well among critics. Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) is in the frontrunning film, but the fact that she has won so recently for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” in 2018, may hurt her chances.
Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”), like Kirby, is a newcomer. Her film debuted late and failed to build much momentum, but the Globes pride themselves on igniting momentum. Viola Davis is in second place for her bigger-than-life performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
The likely winner, however, is Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”). Not only is her film nominated for best picture, director and screenplay, the recent widely covered controversy over a certain disparaging film critic and the fandom around the film has propelled her to the most buzzed-about performance in the group.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama might as well only have two nominees. It’s Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) or Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”). I think it’s Boseman’s to lose here and so will be every award in this category this year all the way to the Oscar.
Best Supporting Actress is a rematch between Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”) and Olivia Colman (“The Father”), who famously beat Close at the Oscars two years ago in a true shocker. The Globes that year, however, awarded both women who were competing in separate categories (meaning that, unlike the Oscars, the Globes don’t have an IOU for Close). “The Father” is the more lauded film, but a win here for Close in the more transformative role, in the critically panned Hillbilly Elegy (I loved it, by the way), would cause the most publicity. I’m predicting Close.
The Best Supporting Actor will be Baron Cohen for “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” The Best Foreign Film will be “Minari.” Best Screenplay is a real toss-up, but I’m going with “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” Best Score might go to “Mank,” just so it wins something. The same goes for Best Original Song. “One Night in Miami” might win just so they don’t send it home empty-handed.
Dustin Chase is a film critic and associate editor with Texas Art & Film, which is based in Galveston. Visit texasartfilm.com.