Below are my personal predictions for the 2016 Golden Globes based upon careful study of individual film traction and personally viewing many of the nominated films.
Best Motion Picture – Drama
Will Win: Spotlight
Could Win: Carol
Should Win: Spotlight or Carol
Could Upset: The Revenant
Spotlight seems to have the momentum with it leading into Sunday’s Golden Globes. The film about the Boston Globe ‘Spotlight’ team uncovering abuses in the Catholic Church has had critics praising it for its attention to detail, sharp script writing, and its stellar cast. Its biggest competition is Carol, the story of a lesbian love affair in 1950s New York, which is a poignant and beautiful film. However, both could easily cancel each other out in favor of the denser The Revenant.
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Will Win: The Martian
Could Win: The Big Short
Should Win: The Big Short
Could Upset: Trainwreck
Technically speaking, The Martian is neither a comedy or a musical, yet somehow it managed to enter this category. In comparison to its competitors that actually fit within this category, The Martian seems to be the likely winner since it is the bigger, more grandiose film. If The Martian had been nominated in the more appropriate drama category, this would have been a guaranteed win for The Big Short with its witty script and expert acting, but they will likely fall short in competition with The Martian.
Best Performance for an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Could Win: Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs
Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Could Upset: Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
This seems to be Leonardo DiCaprio’s year with his transformative performance in The Revenant. Bluntly put, any win outside out DiCaprio would be a shocking upset.
Best Performance for an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Will Win: Brie Larson – Room
Could Win: Cate Blanchett – Carol
Should Win: Brie Larson – Room
Could Upset: Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
This category could go in many directions, but the safest bet is Brie Larson with her stunning and heartbreaking performance in Room. Cate Blanchett easily could win in this category as well with her subtle performance in Carol. However, both should watch out for Saoirse Ronan and her performance in Brooklyn which has gotten universal praise from critics.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Will Win: Matt Damon – The Martian
Could Win: Christian Bale – The Big Short
Should Win: Matt Damon – The Martian
Could Upset: Steve Carell – The Big Short
Regardless of whether this is the correct category for him to be nominated in or not, without Matt Damon The Martian wouldn’t have been a functional film. This category has Damon’s name all over it.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
Could Win: Amy Schumer – Trainwreck
Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
Could Upset: Lily Tomlin – Grandma
This is the catfight of the night between Hollywood icon Jennifer Lawrence and Hollywood’s current ‘it-girl’ Amy Schumer. This category could go either way, especially with Lawrence’s Joy getting mixed reviews from critics. However, Lawrence has gotten praise for her performance, which may sneak a win over Schumer, just barely.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Will Win: Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
Could Win: Sylvester Stallone – Creed
Should Win: Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
Could Upset: Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
Idris Elba seemingly had a lock in this category up until Sylvester Stallone began to get universal praise and precursor nominations for his reprisal performance as Rocky Balboa in Creed. However, the award should go to Mark Rylance who stole every scene in Bridge of Spies. This category could honestly go in any direction.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Will Win: Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina
Could Win: Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
Should Win: Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
Could Upset: Helen Mirren – Trumbo
Alicia Vikander seemingly has this award guaranteed for one sole reason: She is a double nominee this year, and that will help her chances with getting a win in this category, especially since her chances are slim in the Lead Actress in a Drama category. Her performance as a A.I. robot in Ex Machina has had fans and critics talking about her performance for months and that clearly has not died down going into Oscars season. However, she should watch out for Jennifer Jason Leigh, who is this year’s comeback performance in Quentin Tarantino’s latest film.
Best Director – Motion Picture
Will Win: Ridley Scott – The Martian
Could Win: Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
Should Win: Todd Haynes – Carol
Could Upset: Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revenant
The one thing most critics have claimed since the summer is that Ridley Scott will finally win his overdue Oscar for The Martian. However, it may not be as easy as one may think. Voters may appeal to Tom McCarthy’s close attention to detail in Spotlight or Todd Haynes’ beautiful direction in Carol. Of course, voters may try to rectify denying Alejandro González Iñárritu the Golden Globe he should have won last year for Birdman. Again, like many of the other categories, this category could go in any direction.
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Will Win: Spotlight
Could Win: Room
Should Win: Spotlight
Could Upset: The Hateful Eight
This category is already a guarantee for Spotlight. Anything other than Spotlight would be considered a tremendous upset.
Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Will Win: Carol
Could Win: The Hateful Eight
Should Win: Carol
Could Upset: The Revenant
Yet again, this is another close category that could go in a variety of different directions. Carol’s score was a stunning achievement of music that aided the narrative of the film and perfectly captured the sentiments expressed within its plot. However, Ennio Morricone’s score for The Hateful Eight is his first Western composition in 40 years, which is something voters will find hard to ignore.
Best Animated Film
Will Win: Inside Out
Could Win: Anomalisa
Should Win: Anomalisa
Could Upset: Anomalisa
Inside Out has been the heavy favorite and presumptive winner in this category for months and it will be hard for anything to stop it from its eventual win. However, Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa has completely revolutionized animation storytelling with its adult animated movie that is visually stunning and a truly remarkable film experience. If Anomalisa were to win, it would be a definitive upset in this category. Yet Inside Out is an endearing animated film that appeals to both children and adults, which is why it will likely win.
The Golden Globes air Sunday, January 10th at 8:00 EST.