This Sunday night Ricky Gervais brings his unique voice back behind the podium as the 73rd Golden Globes are announced. There’s always a bit of a reckless nature to the show and when the drinks are flowing at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, there’s sure to be moments that make Monday’s watercooler discussions fun. 2015 was a great year for film and television. And while what ends up winning isn’t always an example of what should have won, there’s plenty of meat for debate. Here are our predictions for this year’s winners and while the staff doesn’t exactly feel assured that these choices will win, we sure hope they do.
Motion Picture, Drama
Mad Max: Fury Road
Jorge Albor’s pick: Mad Max: Fury Road
In any other year, all of these films could lead the pack for Best Drama. They feature some of the year’s best performances and cover a wide array of important topics. That being said, Mad Max: Fury Road has to take home this award. The film is a masterpiece. George Miller, the director, is 70 years old and the last movie he helmed before Fury Road was Happy Feet 2. That’s a movie about dancing penguins! Even so, he created one of the most visually stunning and daring pictures of the past decade. Not only that, but it manages to exist firmly in the action genre while subverting numerous tropes. Mad Max: Fury Road isn’t just great, it’s inspiring.
Motion Picture, Comedy
The Big Short
Nick Nunziata’s pick: The Martian
The Big Short and Trainwreck are phenomenal movies and The Big Short has a fighting chance in this year’s Oscar race. But typically in the Golden Globes, commerce rules this category. The Martian is this year’s best mainstream film, balancing deft humor and some really intense action. While it’s hardly a comedy, it’s here that the film can have its just desserts. In actuality, it deserves some consideration for some other big awards.
Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Jorge Albor’s pick: Brie Larson
All the women in this category have given amazing performances this past year. Cate Blanchett glows, as usual, as the haute love interest to Rooney Mara’s pauper store clerk in Carol. Mara’s restrained performance holds up the core of the film as well, especially when she finally flexes her own agency in the film’s last moments. There is a wonderful subtlety to many of these performances, but none quite as moving as Brie Larson in Room. Save for maybe Alicia Vikander, Larson is the only movie star in-waiting on this list. She gave a stellar performance in 2013’s Short Term 12 and outshines it here in Room — with help from the incredible child actor they found in Jacob Tremblay. Larson evokes in Room sensations of shame and regret as fluidly as she does joy and love. Her performance absolutely deserves recognition.
Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Melissa McCarthy, Spy
Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van
Lily Tomlin, Grandma
Nick Nunziata’s pick: Jennifer Lawrence
It’s not easy to be the best at what you do and Jennifer Lawrence is the current best we have. Her versatility has only grown as she’s matured and it’s a testament to her skill that she elevates a weaker David O. Russell offering into something worthy of praise. She absolutely owns it in Joy.
Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Will Smith, Concussion
Nick Nunziata’s pick: Leonardo DiCaprio
Leo consistently does amazing work and is overshadowed by other performances. There’s always been that “he’ll get plenty of chances” mentality with voters even though in a perfect world the merits of each performance will stand tall enough to be rewarded. The Revenant is a brutal endurance test of a movie and though the overall product is something to be respected more than liked, Leo goes deeper than he ever has before in a grueling performance that carries the film in a way he never has before.
Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Steve Carell, The Big Short
Matt Damon, The Martian
Al Pacino, Danny Collins
Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear
Nick Nunziata’s pick: Matt Damon
It takes a special performer to carry a film that is so dependent on isolation and in holding the interest of an audience through tasks both mundane and life-threatening. Tom Hanks in Castaway. Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant. Matt Damon in The Martian. Damon’s voiceover and scenes speaking directly to camera make for the most fun and disarming moments in Ridley’s Scott’s film and an actor who continues to deliver is given a chance to use all of his tools here.
TV Series, Drama
Game of Thrones
Annette Cardwell’s pick: Game of Thrones
I haven’t even seen everything in this category, but no matter how good any of them are, I know they won’t be able to compete with the sweeping epic-ness of Game of Thrones. This season was brooding, dark, and presented the most amazing performances and visuals yet for an already groundbreaking series. From Daenerys‘ dragon ride to the White Walkers at the Battle of Hardhome to Cercei‘s walk of shame, there were too many captivating moments to name that make this the drama series to beat.
TV Series, Comedy
Mozart in the Jungle
Orange Is the New Black
Lesley Chen’s pick: Transparent
There’s no sophomore slump for last year’s Golden Globe winner, whose second season is just as critically acclaimed and even more ambitious than the first. Transparent has transcended beyond the typical family drama; the cast is stellar, the storylines are progressive, and the show is equal parts funny and touching.
Actress in a TV Series, Comedy
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
Lesley Chen’s pick: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
First the Oval Office, now a Globe. Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Veep — now President — is the perfect blend of comedy, charisma, and crass. Plus, her past — count them — four Emmy acceptance speeches have included a speech swap with Amy Poehler, a Body Man at her side (Tony Hale, in character), a kiss with Bryan Cranston, and a dig at Donald Trump. We expect nothing less at the Globes.
Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Eva Green, Penny Dreadful
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Annette Cardwell’s pick: Taraji P. Henson
Another incredible competition here. First off, I’m happy to see Outlander getting so much love, and particularly the actors. Caitriona Balfe is one of the reasons that kooky sounding series came off so wonderfully real. Eva Green is literally an actress I’ll tune in just to watch her be her. She’s so eerie and sinister on Penny Dreadful; it’s glorious to see. And then there’s Robin Wright as the ruthless Claire Underwood. But while I think Viola Davis may run away with this, I’m personally most rooting for Taraji Henson. Cookie from Empire is one of the most entertaining characters to come along on TV, period. Love her and root for her.
Actor in a TV Series, Drama
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Wagner Moura, Narcos
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Annette Cardwell’s pick: Jon Hamm
All of these performances are out of this world. Bob Odenkirk delivered a wonderfully understated but stellar performance in the Breaking Bad spinoff series. Wagner Moura basically made Narcos as great as it was. Liev Schrieber continues to deliver as the heated Ray Donovan. But this year belongs to Jon Hamm, who wrapped up the final season of Mad Men. His Don Draper will live on as one of the most iconic dramatic anti-heroes of TV history, and it’s only because he was outshone by another iconic actor (Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad) that he didn’t win more of these awards before. All Hamm, all the way.
Actor in a TV Series, Comedy
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Gael García Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle
Rob Lowe, The Grinder
Patrick Stewart, Blunt Talk
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Lesley Chen’s Pick: Jeffrey Tambor
Jeffrey Tambor won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his portrayal of a trans woman coming into her own, and he only continues to shine and evolve in this complex role. Even as other characters have come to the forefront this season, his Maura Pfefferman remains the heart of the show.
Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Jane Fonda, Youth
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
Troy Anderson’s pick: Helen Mirren
While Supporting Actress at the Globes isn’t normally a strong indicator of what’s coming at the Academy Awards, this year might be the exception. Jane Fonda leads the pack with a surprisingly strong turn in the underseen Youth. Jennifer Jason Leigh is a personal favorite to win for her turn as Daisy Domergue in The Hateful Eight. However, one must not overlook voters going for Helen Mirren in a very awards friendly turn in Trumbo. Alicia Vikander offered up an impressive portrayal of a robotic woman in Ex Machina, but the nomination is the victory here. Rounding out the category is Kate Winslet as the token Sorkin female in Steve Jobs. Insert a joke about the Hollywood Foreign Press being easily bought right here. I want Jennifer Jason Leigh to win, but I feel like Mirren is going to pick up the Globe.
Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Drew Dietsch’s pick: Sylvester Stallone
This looks to be Sylvester Stallone’s category to lose, but I wouldn’t call his victory a sure thing. While he’s got age and popularity on his side, his contenders are some real heavy hitters. Idris Elba is (appropriately) a beast in Beasts of No Nation, the dependably great Michael Shannon has been winning over a lot of people with his performance in 99 Homes, and Paul Dano brought a wealth of sympathy to his portrayal of Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy. The strongest opposition for Sly has to come from Mark Rylance’s nomination for his work in Bridge of Spies; it’s telling that Rylance got nominated for a supporting role when his co-star Tom Hanks didn’t get a nod for Best Actor. The odds are in Stallone’s favor (and so is my support) especially since a win at the Globes could propel him to another potential win at the Oscars, and that’s the kind of underdog story that made us fall in love with Stallone in the first place.
TV Movie or Miniseries
American Horror Story: Hotel
Flesh and Bone
Annette Cardwell’s pick: Fargo
Hard to believe that this category has become the home for some of the most compelling TV of the year, but here we are with so many killer shows to choose from. I think this one is also no contest: Fargo was just incredible. The first season was excellent, but the second was somehow even better. Tight scripting, great characters, stellar acting — all made for a fascinating, often-funny must-watch series.
Actress in a TV Movie or Limited Series
Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Queen Latifah, Bessie
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Sarah Hay, Flesh and Bone
Lady Gaga, American Horror Story: Hotel
Nick Nunziata’s pick: Kirsten Dunst
When the cast was announced for the second season of Noah Halwey’s must-see show it was hard not to speculate that Kirsten Dunst might be the weak link in the group. Much like Bokeem Woodbine, Dunst shattered our puny expectations and delivered a funny and evolving performance as a woman whose insecurities and manipulation led to an extraordinary amount of hardship for a lot of people. And we loved every minute of it.
Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series
Oscar Isaac, Show Me a Hero
Patrick Wilson, Fargo
Idris Elba, Luther
David Oyelowo, Nightingale
Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall
Annette Cardwell’s pick: Oscar Isaac
My, my, this is a phenomenal group. Much like this category being surprisingly rich, the best actor for this category is doubly rich. It’s actually kind of a crime that Show Me a Hero isn’t nominated overall, but I’m so glad Oscar Isaac is getting his due. While I beyond love Patrick Wilson in Fargo and also think Idris Elba as Luther kills it, Oscar’s Nick Wasicsko was inspiring. He totally has my vote.
Supporting Actor in a TV Series, Limited Series or TV Movie
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Tobias Menzies, Outlander
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
Nick Nunziata’s pick: Ben Mendelsohn
Ben Mendelsohn elevates everything he’s in and he’s been one of those sneaky character actors who’s been around longer than you think and in movies you forgot he was in. Having him on television is a gift and his work in Bloodline is staggering. It’s not a great show but it’s magnetic and compelling based almost solely on his work here and his authenticity onscreen is paralleled only by Oscar Isaac. It’s not a coincidence the Star Wars movies have embraced both of these guys.
Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Limited Series or TV Movie
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Regina King, American Crime
Judith Light, Transparent
Maura Tierney, The Affair
Nick Nunziata’s pick: Maura Tierney
One of the unsung actresses out there in one of the unsung shows out there, Tierney continues episode in and episode out to carry the show despite being surrounded by much more showy performances. She’ll never win this; it’s going to go to a more prestigious show. But this is a performer well beyond due for recognition.
Animated Feature Film
The Good Dinosaur
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Nick Nunziata’s pick: Anomalisa
There’s nothing even close to this film as an achievement in animation, but sadly so few have seen it that it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance. Like Fantastic Mr. Fox and A Town Called Panic!, Anomalisa challenges the norm and delivers intricate beauty and tells a normal story, but within a medium not known for straight drama. Amazing.
Todd Haynes, Carol
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott, The Martian
Nick Nunziata’s pick: George Miller
That old coot has tricks up his sleeve! George Miller not only directed Mad Max: Fury Road with a vigor and style that made just about every other event film look like child’s play. He did it in his ’70s and he did it with a moribund franchise. With a leading man who had less dialogue than some supporting characters. With mostly real stunts involving crazy amounts of action. And he told a great story. He doesn’t deserve the Golden Globe. He deserves the actual globe.
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs
Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight
Emma Donoghue, Room
Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short
Jorge Albor’s pick: Spotlight
Steve Jobs is an adaptation; Spotlight is an original screenplay. But the latter is more truthful to the events than the former. It’s also a more compelling story that feels like the best glorification of investigative journalism since All the President’s Men. McCarthy and Singer also focus on the investigative process itself, often slow and grueling work, but still manage to create some of the most forceful moments in film this past year. Yes, Tarantino’s Hateful Eight is full of classic stylish banter. Yes, Room is as gripping as you would expect. Even so, few scripts this year have handed sensitive subjects as thoughtfully as Spotlight.
“Love Me Like You Do” (50 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)
Nick Nunziata’s pick: “See You Again”
This is sort of a goofy category, but it’s hard to argue the pairing of song and image in Furious 7 when we’re given our last look at Paul Walker.
Foreign Language Film
The Brand New Testament (Belgium/France/Luxembourg)
The Club (Chile)
The Fencer (Finland/Germany/Estonia)
Son Of Saul (Hungary)
Nick Nunziata’s pick: Son of Saul
Nothing comes close to Son of Saul this year in terms of sheer power and emotional weight. It’s not easy to have a new spin on a story about the Holocaust, especially one that doesn’t mine the expected dramatic avenues to achieve its mission. Beautifully made and legitimately moving, it stands tall amidst this category.
Carter Burwell, Carol
Alexandre Desplat, The Danish Girl
Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
Daniel Pemberton, Steve Jobs
Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto, The Revenant
Travis Newton’s pick: Ennio Morricone
2015 was another good year for film music, and I think the nominations are solid. Hardly a year goes by when Alexandre Desplat doesn’t get a (well deserved) nomination. Carter Burwell’s score for Carol is just as beautiful and intimate as the film itself, and Pemberton’s orchestral/electronic mashup for Steve Jobs is good, but uneven. I would’ve loved to see a nomination for Disasterpeace’s score for It Follows, but I think it might’ve been a bit too bold and different for awards season. So this year, I think it’s between Morricone’s Hateful Eight or Sakamoto & Noto’s Revenant. Both scores are unconventional (and frankly brilliant), each inducing a sense of chilly dread in their own special ways. If I had to pick one, it’d go to Ennio Morricone. His mysterious and dark music for the film’s overture won me over before the credits even began.
We’ll find out this Sunday how our predictions fare when the Golden Globes air on NBC at 8:00 EST/5:00pm PST.