Fortunes have been won and lost betting on Golden Globes outcomes.
Pia Zadora, Golden Globe winner. Who knew?
That’s the way it is every year, largely because the voting is so unpredictable. With fewer than 100 members choosing the winners, a small flicker of change could affect the outcome.
There are, however, a few observations we need to make:
1. Embrace the unpredictable. If an actor seems like the least likely to win, he probably will win.
2. New talent gets love. While the Oscars don’t always reward first-timers, Globes voters do.
3. Foreign talent has an edge. (It’s the Hollywood FOREIGN Press Association, after all.)
4. Stars get nominations. Stars win.
5. No one can accurately predict winners in all categories.
With those ground rules in place, here are the front runners in the first big entertainment awards show of the year.
BEST DRAMA: “Nomadland” has the prestige factor. (Be sure to see the film this week – it’s a true winner.) If Globes voters want to take a risk, they'll choose “Promising Young Woman.”
BEST ACTOR/DRAMA: Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” It’s a great performance, a final salute. Possible spoiler: Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal.”
BEST ACTRESS/DRAMA: Frances McDormand, “Nomadland,” should win. But Carey Mulligan is gaining lots of strength for “Promising Young Woman.” She could be the night’s big a-ha winner.
BEST MUSICAL OR COMEDY: “Hamilton.” It can’t win Oscars (it’s not eligible) and it’s highly prestigious.
BEST ACTOR/MUSICAL, COMEDY: Sacha Baron Cohen, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” unless Lin-Manuel Miranda gets the “Hamilton” love.
BEST ACTRESS/MUSICAL, COMEDY: Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” She was the film’s real surprise – and a win here could translate into potential Oscar love.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night In Miami.” He’s one of the solid favorites in every film poll. Interestingly Jared Leto, “The Little Things,” is one of those left-field nominees who could win.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: This is a real roll of the dice. Amanda Seyfried, “Mank,” seems like the solid choice but there are so many stray nominees (Jodie Foster for “The Mauritanian,” for example), that anyone – even Helena Zengel – could win.
BEST DIRECTOR: Women outnumber men in this category – a first. Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland,” would be the smart choice. But Regina King, “One Night in Miami,” has a lot of love.
BEST SCREENPLAY: “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” This would be a way to honor Aaron Sorkin, who is likely to figure into other races.
BEST ANIMATED FILM: “Soul.”
BEST SCORE: “Soul.” A win would let Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor feel some love for “Mank,” which they also composed.
BEST SONG: “Speak Now,” “One Night in Miami” (which would give Odom a second trophy, or a substitute one if the voters don’t want him as Best Supporting Actor).
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “Minari.” The Globes folks wouldn’t consider it in other categories, so it has to win here.
BEST DRAMA: “The Crown” is pretty solid, particularly since it had a great year, British cred and strong performances. If there’s a spoiler, it’s “The Mandalorian.” Baby Yoda is hard to ignore.
BEST COMEDY: “Ted Lasso” would win in a different year. But this is the first – and last time – Globes voters have included “Schitt’s Creek.” It’s a toss-up.
BEST TV MOVIE/MINISERIES: “The Queen’s Gambit.”
BEST ACTOR/DRAMA: Remember, they like folks in new series who haven’t been honored before. That’s Matthew Rhys, “Perry Mason.”
BEST ACTRESS/DRAMA: Emma Corrin, “The Crown.” She was spectacular as Diana and won’t get to play the part in the next edition. Olivia Colman has already won, so they don’t need to give her a parting gift.
BEST ACTOR/COMEDY: It’s “Schitt’s” or “Ted” once again. It’s doubtful this group will play Emmy games, so go with Jason Sudeikis for “Ted Lasso.”
BEST ACTRESS/COMEDY: It’s the ingenues vs. the veteran. We’re picking Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek.”
BEST TV MOVIE/MINISERIES ACTOR: Hugh Grant, “The Undoing.”
BEST TV MOVIE/MINISERIES ACTRESS: The international choices are many. If someone like Cate Blanchett or Nicole Kidman hasn’t gotten enough love, then it’s one of theirs. But the one to beat is Anya Taylor-Joy for “The Queen’s Gambit.”
BEST TV SUPPORTING ACTOR: Daniel Levy could bring it home for “Schitt’s Creek” but traditional series usually don’t win here so look to one of the others to nudge him.
BEST TV SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Gillian Anderson, “The Crown.” She gave a great performance, checks several boxes and could prompt a “Crown” sweep.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host the Golden Globes Feb. 28 on NBC.