Since the lead acting categories are divided up at the Golden Globes, it’s probable that both Natalie Portman for Jackie and Emma Stone for La La Land will win in their respective fields. It is somewhat reminiscent of when Jessica Chastain was up for Zero Dark Thirty and Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook. Emma Stone has going for her the momentum of La La Land heading into the Globes. Will it win Best Musical/Comedy? Most certainly. What else will it win? Screenplay? Director? Actor in Comedy/Musical? Song? It’s theoretically possible that the Globes will give La La Land a big win on Sunday, with three or four statues heading out of the night.
But Best Actress is still a tough nut to crack. The Screen Actors Guild will have Portman and Stone facing off. There can only be one winner. Neither film has an ensemble nomination – actually, no Best Actress nominee has a corresponding ensemble nomination. The SAG Awards will likely test the strength of La La Land. It really has to win Best Actress there to ride the wave of momentum it will have coming out of Sunday night. The SAG Awards are held at the end of the month, on the 29th.
Both actresses are expected to win on Sunday, but if there is a spoiler, it could be:
Amy Adams for Arrival in Best Actress, Drama
Annette Bening for 20th Century Women (or Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins), Best Actress Musical/Comedy
Surprises do happen at Golden Globes, but I probably would not predict either of these wins to upset with anyone else. At the beginning of the year, it looked like a showdown between two actresses reminiscent of 1998 when Cate Blanchett launched onto the scene with Elizabeth, opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love. One actress had the more difficult role playing an historical figure and the other was in a film that would ultimately upset Saving Private Ryan. Stone and Paltrow both play actors, and there is a bittersweet love story at the center. Blanchett’s Elizabeth was by far the more critically acclaimed. It’s a similar situation but no one really knows the outcome. And we’re certainly not going to find that out on Sunday.
2016 has seen, in addition to an unprecedented array of films about the black American experience – Fences, Moonlight, Hidden Figures, O.J.: Made in America, 13th, I Am Not Your Negro – it has also seen a wide variety of women-driven films and great roles for women overall, with Jackie, La La Land, Arrival, 2oth Century Women, Loving, etc. It’s been quite a year.