Best Picture, Drama
Carol | Mad Max: Fury Road | The Revenant | Room | Spotlight
Though the splashier choice would be Mad Max: Fury Road, Spotlight has the near unanimous backing of critics and audiences alike for its assured, no-frills filmmaking and its brilliant ensemble performance.
Best Picture, Comedy or Musical
The Big Short | Joy | The Martian | Spy | Trainwreck
Though it’s really only half comedy—the reality of unemployment and foreclosures looms close behind Ryan Gosling’s cocky Wall Street bravado—Adam McKay’s financial crisis flick is fresh, energetic and, like our prediction for Best Drama, in possession of a stellar ensemble cast.
Best Actress, Drama
Cate Blanchett, Carol | Brie Larson, Room | Rooney Mara, Carol | Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn | Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
This is a stacked category, but Larson’s turn as a kidnapped mother who creates a world for her son in a 10-by-10-ft. shed is a harrowing breakthrough performance, and a Globe would cement her as one to watch in the years to come.
Read More: Brie Larson Finds a Room of Her Own
Best Actor, Drama
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo | Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant | Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs | Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl | Will Smith, Concussion
This race is a close one—2015 winner Eddie Redmayne delivered the kind of performance in The Danish Girl that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association might be tempted to single out—but what use is eating bison liver if it doesn’t at least yield a Golden Globe?
Best Actress, Comedy or Musical
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy | Melissa McCarthy, Spy | Amy Schumer, Trainwreck | Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van | Lily Tomlin, Grandma
Choosing Tomlin over three of comedy’s current leading ladies may not be a popular choice, but it’s much deserved for the actress—who, it’s worth mentioning, has never won a Golden Globe—as her turn as a tough-on-the-outside, marshmallow-on-the-inside matriarch was masterful in bringing out all the feels.
Read More: New Tricks for Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda
Best Actor, Comedy or Musical
Christian Bale, The Big Short | Steve Carell, The Big Short | Matt Damon, The Martian | Al Pacino, Danny Collins | Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear
Perform a textual analysis of reviews of Damon’s performance as a botanist stuck on Mars, and the words charismatic and exuberant are likely to be the top hits. In the company of two nominees who represent a larger ensemble cast (Carell and Bale) and two whose films were softer blips on the radar (Ruffalo and Pacino), Damon stands a good chance of taking home his second Globe, and his first for acting.
Todd Haynes, Carol | Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant | Tom McCarthy, Spotlight | George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road | Ridley Scott, The Martian
Assuming Mad Max: Fury Road doesn’t take home the night’s big prize, recognizing Miller is a fitting way for the HFPA to honor the major mark the movie made on cinema in 2015, from its feminist bent to its unusual approach to exploring trauma.
Best Supporting Actress
Jane Fonda, Youth | Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight | Helen Mirren, Trumbo | Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina | Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
Vikander crept into 2015 virtually anonymous and waltzed out a bright new star—she’s the only actress to nab two nominations this year—and recognizing her arrestingly human turn as an android in Ex Machina also allows the HFPA to acknowledge her fierce performance in The Danish Girl.
Best Supporting Actor
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy | Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation | Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies | Michael Shannon, 99 Homes | Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Though there’s still room for a last-minute knockout by Stallone, Shannon’s shady real estate broker in 2015’s other housing crisis film is both chilling and emotionally complex, not to mention much lauded by critics.
Best Animated Film
Anomalisa | The Good Dinosaur | Inside Out | The Peanuts Movie | Shaun the Sheep Movie
Pixar’s examination of the inner workings of a child hurtling headlong toward adolescence was an instant classic, equally beloved by children and adults, and is likely to nab the award barring an unexpected preference for the bleaker, more adult fare of Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa.
Best Foreign Language Film
The Brand New Testament | The Club | The Fencer | Mustang| Son of Saul
Hungarian director László Nemes’ portrait of a man during the Holocaust has generated ample buzz since debuting at Cannes—lapping up honors left and right on its way to likely wins at the Globes and perhaps the Oscars, with perhaps only France’s Mustang standing a chance of edging it out.
Emma Donoghue, Room | Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, Spotlight | Charles Randolph & Adam McKay, The Big Short | Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs | Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight
McCarthy and Singer’s collaboration on Spotlight’s screenplay involved a hefty amount of rewriting even on set, and their dogged perfectionism shows in the finished product—which has also earned honors from the National Society of Film Critics, the Gotham Awards and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Best Original Song
“Love Me Like You Do,” Fifty Shades of Grey | “One Kind of Love,” Love & Mercy | “See You Again,” Furious 7 | “Simple Song #3,” Youth | “Writing’s on the Wall,” Spectre
Sam Smith’s sonically swanky, dramatic—in a word, Bond-ish—theme song for the most recent 007 movie is a more solid bet than some of the poppier choices in this field, unless the HFPA decides to get even classier with the classical opus from Youth, “Simple Song #3,” sung by soprano Sumi Jo.
Best Original Score
Carter Burwell, Carol | Alexander Desplat, The Danish Girl | Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight | Daniel Pemberton, Steve Jobs | Ryuchi Sakamoto, The Revanant
Carol is a beautiful movie, not just visually but sonically, and Burwell, who has scored nearly every Coen Brothers film ever made, is an instrumental part of delivering the emotional drama that courses through the love story.
Best Television Series, Drama
Empire (Fox) | Game of Thrones (HBO) | Mr. Robot (USA) | Narcos (Netflix) | Outlander (Starz)
The Golden Globes loves to surprise viewers by awarding new shows (like last year’s The Affair and Brooklyn Nine-Nine in 2014). While Empire may have been the breakout drama of 2015, Mr. Robot should steal the win as the prestige show to watch going forward.
Best Television Series, Comedy
Casual (Hulu) | Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon) | Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) | Silicon Valley (HBO) | Transparent (Amazon) | Veep (HBO)
Veep has never won a Golden Globe for best comedy. Coming off an Emmys win, this will be its year to beat out reigning champ Transparent for the Golden Globe, in part as a nod to the brilliance of creator Armando Iannucci, who won’t return next season.
Best Actress, Television 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
Taraji P. Henson and Viola Davis face off in the best actress category again. Davis deservedly won the Emmy, and now it’s Henson’s time to shine for her now-iconic Cookie character.
Best Actor, Television Drama
Jon Hamm, Mad Men | Rami Malek, Mr. Robot | Wagner Moura, Narcos | Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul | Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Jon Hamm already won the Emmy he so deserved. The Golden Globes have a long history of rewarding newcomers (last year’s Gina Rodriguez in Jane the Virgin, for instance) and Rami Malek deserves an award for his complex portrayal of a coder who may just be losing his mind.
Best Actress, Television 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
Rachel Bloom’s delightfully erratic performance on Crazy Ex-Grilfriend and last year’s winner Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) are both strong contenders. They could only be beat by the Commander-in-Chief.
Best Actor, Television Comedy
Aziz Ansari, Master of None | Gael García Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle | Rob Lowe, The Grinder | Patrick Stewart, Blunt Talk | Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Master of None was a tour de force, but Aziz Ansari deserves more credit for his work as a creator on the highly conceptual show than he does as an actor. When it comes to compelling performances, Tambor out-acts everyone in the category.
Best Television Limited Series
American Crime (ABC) | American Horror Story: Hotel (FX) | Fargo (FX) | Flesh and Bone (Starz) | Wolf Hall (PBS)
Fargo surprised many by upsetting True Detective in this category last year. And you betcha it’ll win again this year: the second season was even better than the first.
Best Actress, Limited Series
Kirsten Dunst, Fargo | Lady Gaga, American Horror Story: Hotel | Sarah Hay, Flesh and Bone | Felicity Huffman, American Crime | Queen Latifah, Bessie
Kirsten Dunst’s comeback has begun. She stands to beat odds-on favorite Lady Gaga with one of the most compelling performances of the year as the underestimated Peggy.
Best Actor, Limited Series
Idris Elba, Luther | Oscar Isaac, Show Me a Hero | David Oyelowo, Nightingale | Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall | Patrick Wilson, Fargo
This category is really a toss-up, but Elba will edge out his competition because his return as Luther was so eagerly anticipated by fans. Plus, a win would be a nod to his incredible performance in the Netflix movie Beasts of No Nation, which got snubbed by the Globes.
Read More: Idris Elba Lands First Male ‘Maxim’ Cover
Best Supporting Actress, Television Series
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black | Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey | Regina King, American Crime | Judith Light, Transparent | Maura Tierney, The Affair
Aduba is an awards show darling and will take the statue, though repeat-winner Joanne Froggatt and Emmy-winner Regina King will both put a good fight.
Best Supporting Actor, Television Series
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife | Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall | Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline | Tobias Menzies, Outlander | Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
Mendelson earned critical raves for his turn as the black sheep brother in Bloodline, and he’ll get the recognition the Emmys wouldn’t give him at the Globes.