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All that glitters in Hollywood - Previewing the 2018 Golden Globes

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This year marks the 75th awarding of the Golden Globes, honoring the best in film and television as determined by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

It also marks the first time that I’ve attempted to predict them.

Despite having devoted considerable energies to Academy Awards previews over the past decade, I’d never undertaken to predict their earlier, often portentous peers. Sure, the Globes might not have the same gravitas as the Oscars, but they still warrant at least a little attention.

(Note: While the Golden Globes recognize television as well as film, my focus is on the cinematic side of things. So while I made picks in all categories, I only went in depth on the cinematic side of things.)

Let’s go to the Globes.


Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama:

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Tom Hanks, “The Post”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

You have to feel for Chalamet; the guy gave an acclaimed performance in one of the year’s most lauded dramas and he hasn’t a chance in hell of winning this award. You’ve got a couple of movie stars – Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington – who gave good performances that perhaps got a bit of a bump thanks to their respective fame. And then there’s Daniel Day-Lewis, who wins everything and whose turn here might well be his final performance. Ultimately, though, Gary Oldman is playing Winston Churchill, and despite a history of beef with the Globes, his performance is likely good enough to take down all comers.

Winner: Gary Oldman

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama:

Jessica Chastain, “Molly’s Game”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”
Michelle Williams, “All the Money in the World”

This one could be interesting. I don’t think there’s enough buzz for Chastain to garner the necessary attention to win. Williams is very good in “All the Money in the World,” but her performance almost certainly won’t find its way out of co-star Christopher Plummer’s shadow. We’re at the point where if Streep is in a movie, she gets nominated for stuff, but she’s pretty firmly in “an honor to be nominated” territory. Hawkins has a real shot – especially if the voters go full “The Shape of Water” on their ballots. But really, I don’t believe there was a more powerfully, painfully raw performance in any movie this year than the one given by McDormand in “Three Billboards.”

Winner: Frances McDormand

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:

Steve Carell, “Battle of the Sexes”
Ansel Elgort, “Baby Driver”
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
Hugh Jackman, “The Greatest Showman”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”

An interesting assortment here. It’ll be interesting to see what direction things take. I liked Kaluuya’s performance very much, but his individual work is largely lost in the overarching phenomenon that is “Get Out.” Jackman sang and danced his heart out, but while entertaining, his work as P.T. Barnum – through no fault of his own – felt a bit hollow. Carell was really good as Bobby Riggs. Ditto Elgort in “Baby Driver.” They fit beautifully into their respective films, but it’s probably not enough. Franco, on the other hand, gave a transformative performance, maybe the best one of his career. It’s weird and flamboyant and funny – just the sort of thing the Globes like to reward.

Winner: James Franco

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: 

Judi Dench, “Victoria & Abdul”
Helen Mirren, “The Leisure Seeker”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Emma Stone, “Battle of the Sexes”

I like the makeup of this category very much. Both Judi Dench and Helen Mirren are gifted performers and consummate professionals. Both did outstanding work in their respective films. And both are likely going to be largely afterthoughts. Stone was wonderful in “Battle of the Sexes,” but there just hasn’t been that much buzz around her candidacy. Robbie’s turn as Tonya Harding has been judged to be exceptional as well. It’s an odd coincidence that two athlete portrayals would get nods, but neither likely pulls it out. That’s because Saoirse Ronan gives a simply phenomenal performance as the titular Lady Bird, capturing the awkward teenager in all of us.

Winner: Saoirse Ronan

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture:

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Armie Hammer, “Call Me by Your Name”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

This one doesn’t really seem fair. There are some GREAT performances here. The always-excellent Richard Jenkins does it again in “The Shape of Water.” Armie Hammer’s work in “Call Me by Your Name” has been as lauded as that of his co-star Chalamet. In a lot of years, Sam Rockwell’s blundering cop from “Three Billboards” would be a favorite. There are plenty of folks out there who are big proponents of Willem Dafoe’s work here. I wouldn’t be shocked if he won. But the combination of performance quality and circumstances overcome make it awfully tough to pick against Plummer, who replaced the disgraced Kevin Spacey in an already-finished film and performed masterfully.

Winner: Christopher Plummer

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture:

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Hong Chau, “Downsizing”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

This is another hotly-contested category, packed with outstanding and disparate work. Mary J. Blige probably doesn’t have much of a shot; “Mudbound” wasn’t as widely seen as some of the other films here. Hong Chau is great in “Downsizing,” but it’s an understated great – it might be too quiet to garner attention. Janney is always great – she’s awesome in “I, Tonya.” Same thing with Octavia Spencer, who has become a mainstay of awards season. However, none of them captured the kind of emotional honesty that marked every second of screen time from Laurie Metcalf in “Lady Bird.” It’s the best performance in a great career – she deserves the win she’s going to get.

Winner: Laurie Metcalf

Best Director – Motion Picture:

Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
Ridley Scott, “All the Money in the World”
Steven Spielberg, “The Post”

This is a hell of a group. You’ve got a Hollywood legend like Steven Spielberg capturing the story of a very particular moment in American history. There’s Martin McDonagh, offering up his combination of character complexity and pitch-black humor to great effect. Christopher Nolan is only the greatest current blockbuster auteur, lending his own sensibility to the war movie genre. Ridley Scott pulled off the greatest directorial trick in recent memory, essentially recasting a major role in a film that was already done and making it work almost perfectly. And yet, it’s hard to imagine this award going to anyone other than del Toro, a dark fabulist whose skills and interests have lined up perfectly in “The Shape of Water.”

Winner: Guillermo del Toro

Best Picture – Drama:

“Call Me by Your Name”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

The early word is that “The Shape of Water” might clean up – it’s the leading nominee with seven nods and has a good chance of picking up most of those. It’s no surprise; the HFPA is long overdue in celebrating the work of Guillermo del Toro. “Three Billboards” has a specificity of place that probably hurts it here, while “Call Me by Your Name” doesn’t move the needle enough. By many accounts, “The Post” is worthier on paper than in practice, but don’t count out Spielberg. It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” take the win – blockbuster history has had some success at the Globes in the past. Still, I think “The Shape of Water” winds up with the trophy.

Winner: “The Shape of Water”

Best Picture – Comedy or Musical: 

“The Disaster Artist”
“Get Out”
“The Greatest Showman”
“I, Tonya”
“Lady Bird”

This category feels like it could be an awfully close-fought one this year. All five films have something to offer. That said, I think “The Greatest Showman” is here because it’s really the only big-ticket musical offering; it’s not all that great a film. “The Disaster Artist” is going to get some love, but I don’t think it has quite enough going for it to win here. “I, Tonya” has a dark horse vibe about it – it could make some noise. “Get Out” feels miscategorized here; it’s clearly designated thusly because the Globes wanted to recognize it but there was no room in Drama. And so, I think it goes to “Lady Bird,” which was a low-key masterful bit of comedic filmmaking.

Winner: “Lady Bird”


And here are my picks – sans commentary – for the rest of the evening’s awards.

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture:

Guillermo Del Toro, Vanessa Taylor, “The Shape of Water”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Liz Hannah, Josh Singer, “The Post”
Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Aaron Sorkin, “Molly’s Game”

Winner: Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”

Best Animated Film:

“The Boss Baby”
“The Breadwinner”
“Loving Vincent”

Winner: “Coco”

Best Original Score – Motion Picture:
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
“The Shape of Water”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”

Winner: “The Shape of Water”

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Home,” Ferdinand
“Mighty River,” Mudbound
“Remember Me,” Coco
“The Star,” The Star
“This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman

Winner: “Remember Me”

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
“A Fantastic Woman”
“First They Killed My Father”
“In the Fade”
“The Square”

Winner: “The Square”


Best Television Series – Drama:
“The Crown”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Stranger Things”
“This is Us”

Winner: “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Best Television Series – Comedy:
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“Master of None”
“Will & Grace”

Winner: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama:
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Sterling K. Brown, “This is Us”
Freddie Highmore, “The Good Doctor”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”

Winner: Sterling K. Brown

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama:
Caitriona Balfe, “Outlander”
Claire Foy, “The Crown”
Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Deuce”
Katherine Langford, “13 Reasons Why”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Winner: Elisabeth Moss

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy:
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
Kevin Bacon, “I Love Dick”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Eric McCormack, “Will and Grace”

Winner: Aziz Ansari

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy:
Pamela Adlon, “Better Things”
Alison Brie, “Glow”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Issa Rae, “Insecure”
Frankie Shaw, “SMILF”

Winner: Rachel Brosnahan

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:
“Big Little Lies”
“Feud: Bette and Joan”
“The Sinner”
“Top of the Lake: China Girl”

Winner: “Big Little Lies”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:
Robert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”
Jude Law, “The Young Pope”
Kyle MacLachlan, “Twin Peaks”
Ewan McGregor, “Fargo”
Geoffrey Rush, “Genius”

Winner: Robert De Niro

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:
Jessica Biel, “The Sinner”
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”

Winner: Nicole Kidman

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Alfred Molina, “Feud”
Christian Slater, “Mr. Robot”
Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”
David Thewlis, “Fargo”

Winner: David Harbour

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”
Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Chrissy Metz, “This is Us”
Michelle Pfeiffer, “The Wizard of Lies”
Shailene Woodley, “Big Little Lies”

Winner: Laura Dern


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