Keep in mind that your Best Picture winner is very likely going to be among the nominees in the two Golden Globe categories of drama or musical/comedy. Most of the time the Oscar winner is drawn from the Drama deck. The only recent film that won Best Picture that wasn’t nominated in either GG category was 2005’s Crash. Otherwise, it’s a solid way to focus the field:
2018 – Green Book (won GG Comedy/Musical)
2017 – The Shape of Water (Three Billboards won GG Drama)
2016 – Moonlight (won drama)
2015 – Spotlight (Revenant won drama)
2014 – Birdman (Grand Budapest won Musical/Comedy)
2013 – 12 Years a Slave (won drama)
2012 – Argo (won drama)
2011 – The Artist (won Musical/Comedy)
2010 – The King’s Speech (Social Network won drama)
2009 – The Hurt Locker (Avatar won drama)
2008 – Slumdog Millionaire (won drama)
2007 – No Country for Old Men (Atonement won drama)
2006 – The Departed (Babel won drama)
2005 – Crash (no GG nomination) (Brokeback won drama)
As you can see, the matchup is sketchy. Getting that Golden Globes nomination matters more than winning it, even. Thus, I will suspect that if a movie misses on Monday, it doesn’t have a chance to win Best Picture. It has a Crash’s chance in Hell, to coin a phrase.
Right now, at least in this very early stage, the movies that seem most likely to run the gauntlet towards a win: The Irishman, 1917, Jojo Rabbit, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — I believe these have the best shot at it. Might that change? Sure, it definitely could, you never know, but that’s how it’s looking right now.
It sort of feels like this year will be or could be defined by the trajectory of Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig‘s films in the race. They are like two magnets that pull towards each other and that makes it seem likely that where one goes the other will follow. That’s what I expect to see at the Globes nominations on Monday morning, anyway, so that there will be a kind of thing about it, and a story, where the films themselves are secondary to the whole cute thing about the couple and their two movies hitting the race at the same time! Though both films are clearly beloved by bloggers and critics — and have hit the awards scene strongly, it should be noted. Whether they want this to be a story or not, it will be a story, and everything about it will rise to the surface. Nobody is really talking about it but it will be talked about.
Thus, in the drama category, you can probably expect to see both Marriage Story and Little Women, leaving three slots open. The Irishman should get one of those slots. That’s two for Netflix and one for Sony. That leaves just two slots open for Picture.
Probably those two slots will go to — if Gold Derby is right — 1917 and Joker. I could see it going that way for sure. I could also see Ford v Ferrari getting in, or The Two Popes – although that ‘s three for Netflix and will they? Can they? The Two Popes seem right in line with the type of film the Globes usually go for. Richard Jewell is really the one to watch for here, though either film could make it in from the WB.
Also, the Hollywood Foreign Press are kind of known for throwing wild cards into the race. And what could be the wild card this year? Maybe Bombshell? Just Mercy? Maybe A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood? Maybe Uncut Gems? All are possible. What I’m looking for, though, is the movie that might emerge from outside the internet bubble, the Bohemian Rhapsody if you will, that might rise up in the flurry. I do not know which movie that could be.
My predictions for Drama (these are not my preferences, mind you)
Ford v Ferrari
Alt: Richard Jewell or Joker (I see one of these getting in – I’m just not sure which)
For Musical/Comedy there are once again many choices. But let’s start right at the top – this should be a showdown between Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Jojo Rabbit. If Drama is down to 1917 vs. The Irishman, then these are the two strongest in Musical/Comedy. If any of these four don’t show up at the Globes it will be somewhat surprising.
That leaves three slots open. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that the Hollywood Foreign Press, at the very least, knows a good thing thing when they see it and picks Dolemite Is My Name for Comedy. I’m bracing myself for it being totally ignored. But nonetheless, I will still predict it to land here.
That leaves two slots open – what might they be?
Probably Knives Out will get in. It seems to be catching quite the last minute flurry of late, particularly with its anti-Trump message so that seems like a good bet. How is Hustlers even in this category? It is not a comedy. But that’s also possible, as is Rocketman and Booksmart and even Cats.
My predictions are:
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Dolemite Is My Name
In the acting categories, you also tend to have a strong Globe match-up — which goes like this — for Best Actress:
2018 – Olivia Colman (won Musical/Comedy
2017 – Frances McDormand (won Drama)
2016 – Emma Stone (won Musical/Comedy)
2015 – Brie Larson (won Drama)
2014 – Julianne Moore (won Drama)
2013 – Cate Blanchett (won Drama)
2012 – Jennifer Lawrence (won Musical/Comedy)
2011 – Meryl Streep (won Drama)
2010 – Natalie Portman (won Drama)
2009 – Sandra Bullock (won Drama)
And on it goes…
My predictions for Best Actress, Drama
Renee Zellweger, Judy
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Lupita Nyong’o, Us
For Best Actor, it has gone similarly:
2018 – Rami Malek (won drama
2017 – Gary Oldman (won drama)
2016 – Casey Affleck (won drama)
2015 – Leonardo DiCaprio (won drama)
2014 – Eddie Redmayne (won drama)
2013 – Matthew McConaughey (won drama)
2012 – Daniel Day-Lewis (won drama)
2011 – Jean DuJardin (won Musical/Comedy)
2010 – Colin Firth (won drama)
2009 – Jeff Bridges (won drama)
So that is a pretty strong bet that the winner will come from drama, most likely, but not always. This is the toughest category. My predictions would be:
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems or Robert De Niro, The Irishman
Best Actor Musical/Comedy
Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Taron Egerton, Rocketman
Daniel Craig, Knives Out
Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit
Best Actress Musical/Comedy
Ana De Armas, Knives Out
Awkwafina, The Farewell
Beanie Feldstein, Booksmart
Emma Thompson, Late Night
Constance Wu, Hustlers (Hustlers is not a comedy)
Supporting Actress precursor at the Globes doesn’t have as strong a history as lead with the Oscars but it’s decent enough. At the very least you need a nomination, but Alicia Vikander ended up winning Supporting without being nominated in that category for that role. She ended up in lead that year for The Danish Girl. Otherwise, that is a key nomination and often a win.
Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Margot Robbie, Bombshell
Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Dolemite Is My Name
Best Supporting Actor has a solid Globes/Oscar track record , wherein you need at the very least a nomination in the category. Otherwise, it’s a clear path to win the Oscar if you win here.
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Tom Hanks, Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Wesley Snipes, Dolemite is My Name
Screenplay is key to winning the Oscar for Best Picture, even if winning screenplay at the Globes doesn’t match up as much as it does at the Oscars. That’s because they don’t HFPA don’t distinguish between Original and Adapted. Either way, if you believe a film is going to win Best Picture you have to predict it here, so that makes it fairly easy:
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Parasite or Marriage Story or Little Women
And then a fifth slot that could be Greta Gerwig’s or Noah Baumbach’s – or maybe they split that vote and both miss. It could be Parasite in there, depending. I think that fifth slot is a wild card. The people at Gold Derby have Marriage Story winning there — though they are in the tank for it at the moment. Maybe it does win — this could be Noah’s year, who knows. If you’re predicting Once Upon a Time to win Best Picture then you have to kind of predict it to win Screenplay. If you’re predicting Irishman to win you have to kind of predict it to win Screenplay. At least at the Oscars. It’s much more hit and miss at the Globes. Marriage Story could absolutely win here.
Best Director – Since 2009 there have only been about five directors total that were nominated in this category whose films didn’t go on to earn a Best Picture nomination. So it’s a big deal. And in that time, the GG winner in Best Director has won Oscar’s Best Director Oscar five times. And won Best Picture twice. Because of the preferential ballot, it’s easier to predict the Best Director winner by looking at the Globes than it is Best Picture, which has to be down to the PGA over the Globe. But you should stack this category with those films you think might win Best Picture because they are almost always in the category. Seriously, except for Crash. So I’ll do the same thing here.
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Sam Mendes, 1917
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit
Then a fifth slot, same as Screenplay, that could go to Marriage Story, Little Women, Uncut Gems, or any other film that seems strong in the Best Picture race.
And that’s as far as I’m going to go, though the one thing I will leave you with is this: The Golden Globes, for me, mark the moment when the hammer comes down. Before this point, hope springs eternal. For 20 years now I’ve come to dread this moment. I love a race where the doors are still open. I hate a race where those doors start slamming shut and the choices become solidified.
We will be posting a contest a little later. May the best films rise to the top.