Here’s Who Will Win at the Golden Globes

11 minute read

The 74th annual Golden Globes will air live on Jan. 8 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Though the Hollywood Foreign Press Association always has a surprise (or a few) up its sleeves, here are the nominees we’re betting on to take home golden statues Sunday night.

Best Picture, Drama

David Bornfriend

Hacksaw Ridge | Hell or High Water | Lion | Manchester by the Sea| Moonlight

Barry Jenkins’ coming-of-age tale in three parts—lead character Chiron is played by three different actors at three different ages—is one of the most original pieces of storytelling to emerge in 2016. Though it faces stiff competition from Manchester by the Sea, expect it to continue its winning streak Sunday night.

Review: Moonlight, One of the Best Films at TIFF 2016, Is Also One of the Most Delicate

Best Picture, Comedy or Musical

La La Land
Dale Robinette—AP

20th Century Women | Deadpool | Florence Foster Jenkins | La La Land | Sing Street

Though Deadpool would be the irreverent choice and 20th Century Women is eminently deserving, the HFPA is unlikely to resist the melancholy charm of this modern Technicolor musical, which also happens to be about its favorite subject: Hollywood.

Review: Do You Hate Musicals? The Dazzling La La Land Could Change That

Best Actress, Drama

Stephanie Branchu—20th Century Fox

Isabelle Huppert, Elle | Natalie Portman, Jackie | Ruth Negga, Loving | Amy Adams, Arrival | Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane

This is easily one of the most competitive categories: Isabelle Huppert has collected a nice stash of awards so far for Elle, Ruth Negga’s performance in Loving is arguably the most overlooked of the bunch, and with two Globes and four additional nominations, Amy Adams is a darling of the HFPA. But Natalie Portman has the edge for her multilayered performance of the former first lady in Pablo Larraín’s unconventional biographical drama.

Review: Jackie Places the First Lady Under a Microscope

Best Actor, Drama

Casey Affleck
Roadside Attractions

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
 | Joel Edgerton, Loving | Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
 | Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
 | Denzel Washington, Fences

What began as a tight race between Casey Affleck and Denzel Washington now has Affleck edging out Washington. Seemingly unhampered by the resurfacing of allegations of sexual misconduct from his past, he’s racked up award after award for his performance as a taciturn janitor who becomes his nephew’s guardian. Washington was just last year honored with the Cecil B. DeMille award, which the HFPA may consider a sufficient demonstration of love for the moment.

Review: Casey Affleck is the Anchor and Soul of Manchester by the Sea

Best Actress, Comedy or Musical

Emma Stone
Summit Entertainment

Annette Bening, 20th Century Women | Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply | Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen | Emma Stone, La La Land | Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Competition’s going to be fierce when the Oscars roll around and the ten women nominated for leading actress at the Globes are winnowed down to a tight group of five. But Emma Stone’s glowing performance as an aspiring actress makes her a favorite here, not to mention that she also sings and dances, which the Globes have a tendency to reward (see: Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line, Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose, Renée Zellweger for Chicago, Nicole Kidman for Moulin Rouge! and so on).

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Best Actor, Comedy or Musical


Colin Farrell, The Lobster | Ryan Gosling, La La Land | Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins | Jonah Hill, War Dogs | Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool

The frontrunners here are the Ryans: Gosling as the obvious choice (particularly because he’s never won) and Reynolds as the surprise move. But the HFPA is known to diverge from even the surprises you might expect, and Colin Farrell’s excellent performance in Yorgos Lanthimos’ absurdist love story is as worthy of bling as the rest of them.

Review: When Love Is the Law of the Land, Singletons Revolt in The Lobster

Best Director

Damien Chazelle
Nicholas Hunt—Getty Images

Damien Chazelle, La La Land | Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals | Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge | Barry Jenkins, Moonlight | Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

La La Land is a feast for the eyes, a delightfully choreographed tribute to Hollywood that manages to honor the old and usher in something new all at once. The movie’s overall awards season campaign seems to have enough momentum to carry Damien Chazelle to a win—not just this Sunday, but come the last Sunday in February.

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis
Paramount Pictures

Viola Davis, Fences | Naomie Harris, Moonlight | Nicole Kidman, Lion | Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures | Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

The road to Viola Davis’ potential Globes and Oscars wins began with the decision to campaign her in what was assumed to be a less stacked supporting actress category, as compared to the leading actress category—though it’s hard to argue that this group isn’t stacked with talent. But this is Davis’ fifth nomination, for the reprisal of a role that earned her a Tony, and heading into Sunday night, it’s hers to lose.

Review: Reverent Fences Works So Hard…It Stops Working

Best Supporting Actor

David Bornfriend—A24

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight | Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water | Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins | Dev Patel, Lion | Aaron Taylor Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

Moonlight‘s entire ensemble delivers memorable performances, but Mahershala Ali stands out for his portrayal of a drug dealer-slash-father figure who obliterates nearly every stereotype one might associate with the role. His performance is tenderness incarnate and 2016 was a breakout year for him, so unless Jeff Bridges manages to sneak in, the HFPA is likely to recognize his rising star.

Best Animated Film


Kubo and the Two Strings | Moana | My Life as a Zucchini | Sing | Zootopia

Zootopia was not just the most relevant animated movie last year—taking on racial profiling, discrimination, tokenism and biological determinism, among other subjects—it’s also constantly entertaining and never pedantic. Though the stop-motion Kubo and the Two Strings would be an interesting outside pick, the HFPA has only given this award out for a decade, and Disney/Pixar have snagged eight of the ten awards.

Review: Zootopia Gives the Old Teachable Moment a Jolt of Life

Best Foreign Language Film

Toni Erdmann
Sony Pictures Classics

Divines | Elle | Neruda | The Salesman | Toni Erdmann

Aside from being a delightful, refreshing take on the father-daughter bond, Maren Ade’s German comedy is the leader of the pack when it comes to the Oscars, and the HFPA has anointed the foreign film that would go on to win the Academy Award five out of the last six years. In a close race with Elle, which did not make the Academy’s shortlist for foreign films, Erdmann has the edge.

Review: Radiant German Comedy Toni Erdmann Puts a New Spin on Parent-Child Relationships

Best Screenplay

Manchester by the Sea
Michael Kovac—Getty Images

Damien Chazelle, La La Land | Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals | Barry Jenkins, Moonlight | Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea | Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water

Kenneth Lonergan is one of the best scribes of dialogue working today. The natural ease with which his characters communicate—even when they’re communicating the most difficult things to talk about, or refusing to communicate altogether—is what makes Manchester by the Sea so devastating and, if only in fleeting moments, hopeful.

Best Original Song


‘Can’t Stop the Feeling,’ Trolls | ‘City of Stars,’ La La Land | ‘Faith,’ Sing | ‘Gold,’ Gold | ‘How Far I’ll Go,’ Moana

La La Land may have a leg up on all things musical, but 2016 was also the year of Lin-Manuel Miranda (see: Pulitzers, Tonys, Grammys, Billboard charts), and of the songs he wrote for Disney’s first animated film set in the South Pacific (including many co-written with Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina), “How Far I’ll Go” is the kind of feel-good self-empowerment anthem that’s kept Disney lyrics in the mouths of babes for decades.

Feature: Why Disney Decided to Make Moana the Ultimate Anti-Princess

Best Original Score

La La Land
Summit Entertainment

Moonlight | La La Land | Arrival | Lion | Hidden Figures

Considering that it’s a musical—and it’s been years and years since we’ve seen one in this category (don’t make ‘em like they used to, or at all, really)—La La Land is likely to add this trophy to its pile Sunday night.

Best Television Series, Drama

The Crown
Alex Bailey—Netflix

The Crown | Game of Thrones | Stranger Things | This Is Us | Westworld

Thanks to its royal subjects and reported $100 million budget, The Crown has prestige written all over it, and the HFPA loves a good prestige show—especially a European one.

Review: Netflix’s The Crown Makes the Most of an Unknowable Queen

Best Television Series, Comedy

Quantrell D. Colbert—FX

Atlanta | Black-ish | Mozart in the Jungle | Transparent | Veep

The Globes tend to reward less traditional newcomers in this category like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Mozart in the Jungle over long-standing Emmy-winners like Veep. Critical darling Atlanta fits the bill with its sardonic approach to issues of race, money and gender and detours into magical realism.

Profile: Atlanta’s Donald Glover Doesn’t Care What You Think Anymore

Best Actress, Television Drama

Stranger Things
Curtis Baker—Netflix

Caitriona Balfe, Outlander | Claire Foy, The Crown | Keri Russell, The Americans | Winona Ryder, Stranger Things | Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld

Everyone loves a comeback kid. Winona Ryder was perfectly cast in this nostalgic 80s throwback, and her story and star power are too much for the HFPA to resist.

Review: Stranger Things is Nostalgia That Works

Best Actor, Television Drama

THE AMERICANS -- "Dinner for Seven" Episode 411 (Airs, Wednesday, May 25, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings. CR: Eric Liebowitz/FX
FX Networks

Rami Malek, Mr. Robot | Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul | Matthew Rhys, The Americans | Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan | Billy Bob Thornton, Goliath

Despite being a critical favorite, The Americans has been overlooked year after year at awards shows, as have the two stars, Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell. With the Cold War drama ending in 2018, the HFPA may finally feel compelled to reward one of the show’s two spies.

Review: The Americans Wraps Up a Superlative Season

Best Actress, Television Comedy

Issa Rae
Anne Marie Fox—HBO

Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend | Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep | Sarah Jessica Parker, Divorce | Issa Rae, Insecure | Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin

The HFPA tends to recognize promising, new talent in this category, including Gina Rodriguez of Jane the Virgin and Rachel Bloom of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. This year, Issa Rae, who writes and stars in Insecure, will win the prize—if she can beat out Globe favorite Sarah Jessica Parker.

Best Actor, Television Comedy

ABC's "Black-ish" - Season Three
ANTHONY ANDERSONRichard Cartwright—ABC via Getty Images

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish | Gael García Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle | Donald Glover, Atlanta | Nick Nolte, Graves | Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

The beloved comedy Black-ish and its star Anthony Anderson may finally get their due after the show aired its version of a “very special episode” on Black Lives Mater last year. (Anderson’s co-star Tracee Ellis Ross is again robbed in her category.)

Review: A Family Seeks Its True Colors in Black-ish

Best Limited Series

THE PEOPLE v. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY “The “Verdict” Episode 110 (Airs Tuesday, April 5, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: (l-r) Cuba Gooding, Jr. as O.J. Simpson, Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran. CR: Prashant Gupta/FX
FX Networks

American Crime | The Dresser | The Night Manager | The Night Of | The People v. O.J. Simpson

The O.J. Simpson case is the perfect platform for searing social commentary—on racism, sexism, the media, fame and the flaws of our criminal justice system—and this show will be rewarded for capturing those complexities without shying away from their contemporary implications.

Best Actress, Limited Series

THE PEOPLE v. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" Episode 106 (Airs Tuesday, March 8, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: (l-r) Sarah Paulson a Marcia Clark, Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FX
FX Networks

Riley Keough, The Girlfriend Experience | Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson | Charlotte Rampling, London Spy | Kerry Washington, Confirmation | Felicity Huffman, American Crime

Sarah Paulson keeps racking up awards for this performance, and with good reason: She found compassion and heroism in Marcia Clark, a person many had ridiculed.

Best Actor, Limited Series

THE PEOPLE v. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY "Manna From Heaven" Episode 109 (Airs Tuesday, March 29, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran. CR: Byron Cohen /FX
FX Networks

Riz Ahmed, The Night Of | Bryan Cranston, All the Way | Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager | John Turturro, The Night Of | Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson

Courtney B. Vance won the Emmy in this category and as the standout performance in this mini-series, he seems a shoe-in unless John Turturro (and his beleaguered feet from The Night Of) gives him a run for his money.


Best Supporting Actress, Television Series

John P. Johnson—HBO

Olivia Colman, The Night Manager | Lena Headey, Game of Thrones | Chrissy Metz, This Is Us | Mandy Moore, This Is Us | Thandie Newton, Westworld

Thandie Newton was one of the standout stars of Westworld, and her win in this category could represent the passing of the torch at HBO as Game of Thrones approaches its finale seasons.

Best Supporting Actor, Television Series

THE PEOPLE v. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY "From the Ashes of Tragedy" Episode 101 (Airs Tuesday, February 2, 10:00 pm/ep) -- - Pictured: (l-r) David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, John Travolta as Robert Shapiro. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FX
FX Networks

Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson | Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager | John Lithgow, The Crown | Christian Slater, Mr. Robot | John Travolta, The People v. O.J. Simpson

John Travolta’s stiffest competition is his O.J. co-star, Sterling K. Brown. But the HFPA loves movie stars (maybe even more than their actual accomplishments), and Travolta’s star power will put him over the edge and give him his third Golden Globe.


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