The Golden Globe Awards, which will air on Sunday at 7 p.m. on NBC, will be unique in the 78 years of Hollywood Foreign Press Association history.
While I can predict who I think should win, who knows exactly what will happen at the hybrid awards show that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host the event on two coastlines.
Starting from the top, the best motion picture drama “Nomadlands” is to be lost. While “The Father” (opening March 12 in the Houston area) is usually the kind of contender the HFPA leans towards, the lack of a nomination for the film is an indication that it did not appeal to everyone. “Nomadland” enchants almost every viewer and has won countless previous awards.
With the Globes being the first major televised awards show of the season, this is where some films will gain or maintain momentum and others will lose it. Netflix’s racist courtroom drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7” appears to be in second place, while “Promising Young Woman” and “Mank” are the controversial third choice.
The second most important award of the night is given to the best director. With three record breaking women in this category, the undisputed front runner Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”) is another sure bet. It’s true that the globes love Aaron Sorkin (“The Chicago 7 Trial”) and David Fincher (“Mank”), but Zhao’s popularity for her work on “Nomadland” has nearly dwarfed the recognition for the film itself .
In a normal year, the award for Best Musical or Comedy will have at least one nominee, who will likely later be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture. This year the five competitors reflect a real “scraping of the barrel bottom”. The likely winner, “Hamilton”, isn’t even a movie – it’s a recorded play.
The winner here doesn’t usually matter to the entire prize race, and while “Palm Springs” is the most creative of the five, ironically, it’s the sequel to “Borat” (another entry I’d say isn’t a real movie is), this is the only real competition to “Hamilton”.
Best Actress in a Cinema Musical or Comedy will likely go to Maria Bakalova to see Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm, the obscure, head-scratching critic’s favorite. Still, I think if the globes decide to take a higher position here, they could give Rosamund Pike that accolade for her diabolical twist on “I Care a Lot,” which hit Netflix last weekend and got everyone talking. Michelle Pfeiffer is also out of the question, the Globes prefer megastars and comeback kids.
Best actor in a film musical or comedy is again between “Borat” and “Hamilton”. So here the optics could influence the winner. Sacha Baron Cohen is also 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 the best actor for “Hamilton” (again not a film, just a video play). If anyone other than Baron Cohen wins the supporting actor, they will likely win the best actor for “Borat”. It is doubtful that he will win both of them.
Best Actress in Film Drama is probably the most anticipated award of the evening because it’s everyone’s game. In my opinion, Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) is the most impressive performance, but the film didn’t do well among critics. Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) starred in the top film, but the fact that she recently won for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” in 2018 may hurt her chances.
Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) is, like Kirby, a newcomer. Their film debuted late and hasn’t been able to build up much momentum, but the Globes pride themselves on sparking momentum. Viola Davis takes second place for her larger than life performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”.
The likely winner, however, is Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”). Not only is your film nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, the recent widespread controversy over a certain derogatory film critic and the fandom surrounding the film have driven her to the liveliest performance in the group.
The best actor in a drama movie might as well have just two nominees. It’s Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Butt”) or Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”). I think it’s Boseman to lose here, and so every award in that category this year will go up to an Oscar.
Best Supporting Actress is a rematch between Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”) and Olivia Colman (“The Father”), whom Close defeated with a real shock at the Oscars two years ago. However, that year’s Globes honored both women who competed in separate categories (meaning that unlike the Oscars, the Globes don’t have an IOU for Close). “The Father” is the acclaimed film, but a win for Close in the more transformative role in the critically planned Hillbilly Elegy (I loved it, by the way) would get the most publicity. I predict Close.
The best supporting actor will be Baron Cohen for “The Trial of the Chicago 7”. The best foreign film will be “Minari”. The best script is a real problem, but I’m going with The Trial of the Chicago 7. The best result could go to “Mank” just to win something. The same goes for Best Original Song. “One Night in Miami” could win just so they don’t send it home empty-handed.
Dustin Chase is a film critic and associate editor for Texas Art & Film, based in Galveston. visit texasartfilm.com.