Golden Globes: who will win, and who should

Posted by · 7:14 am · January 16th, 2011

My predictions for tonight’s Golden Globe awards have been in black-and-white over at Gold Derby since the nominations were announced, but I thought I’d make them clear on these pages — along with a note or two on my personal favorites in each category.

The Globes may get a lot of flak from journos and pundits, but even if they’ve failed to steer the Academy’s eventual Best Picture selection for five of the past six years, they can hold more sway than most people like to credit them with — particularly in races with no clear frontrunner yet. (Case in point: Rachel Weisz’s widely unexpected win at the 2005 Globes, which certainly set the narrative for the rest of season.)

Bottom line, however: they’re a fun evening, and should be taken as such. I may or may not be Twittering on the evening’s developments — though it seems only right to have a few drinks in solidarity with the stars, so that plan may fall away. Meanwhile, check out my picks after the jump, Kris’s here… and those of many far wiser pundits over at Gold Derby.

Best Picture (Drama)
Will and should win: “The Fighter”

A crazy prediction, sure, but I made it back in December and I want the bragging rights if lightning strikes. “The King’s Speech” versus “The Social Network” is a tough call with this crowd, but in a voting group as small as the HFPA, Option C sometimes emerges victorious when voters are evenly divided over two leading contenders: remember when “Scent of a Woman” pulled off that unlikely victory over “Unforgiven” and “Howards End?” As for my personal pick, as on my Top 10 list, the boxer just has it over the ballerina.

Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
Will and should win: “The Kids Are All Right”

The HFPA voters have taken enough of a beating over the nominees in this category; they’re certainly not going to invite another by denying the one critically approved title in the race its due. That said, how delicious would it be to see “Burlesque” (whose nomination you know I’ll gladly defend) infuriate the pundits here?

Best Director
Will win: David Fincher, “The Social Network”
Should win: Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan”

Even if their hearts lead them elsewhere in the top race, they’ll feel comfortable rewarding the season’s top dog here: in a category that pits one relative rookie against a generation of one-time iconoclasts, Fincher holds the position of the most established, and therefore overdue, name on the list. For my own pick, I all but flipped a coin between Aronofsky and David O. Russell, but the former’s risky melding of high and low art just shaded it.

Best Actor (Drama)
Will win: Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
Should win: Ryan Gosling, “Blue Valentine”

Last year’s trial awards run for “A Single Man” couldn’t have set up Firth’s 2010 campaign any more neatly: he’ll continue his cruise to the Oscar here, charming the pants off everyone with another sweetly self-deprecating speech, to such an extent that one almost feel churlish pointing out that last year’s performance was the more deserving one. Of course, if voters are actually looking at the performances, Gosling wins this by a country mile — but they aren’t, and it was ever thus.

Best Actress (Drama)
Will win: Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Should win: Nicole Kidman, “Rabbit Hole”

That Portman already has a Globe on her mantelpiece, for a previous career high, will not impede her clear run to victory here, particularly with her chief Oscar opponent over in the comedy race. With four such startling performances in the running — sorry, Halle — I’d personally be content with any of them winning, but Kidman narrowly earns my vote for taking such a courageously prickly approach to material that could invite cheap sympathy.

Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
Will and should win: Paul Giamatti, “Barney’s Version”

Most are predicting a Johnny Depp victory, but I’m thinking (or perhaps just hoping) that HFPA members feel suitably cowed by the mass criticism of his double-dip to look elsewhere — and even if they don’t, perhaps their affections will be fatally split between the two performances. They can save face by picking Giamatti, whom most would agree is the only actor pulling his weight in this category, even if his vehicle stalled.

Best Actress (Comedy or Musical)
Will win: Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”
Should win: Emma Stone, “Easy A”

Funny that Bening, not an actress one would identify first and foremost as a comedienne, will easily nab her second career win in this category, while the dramatic prize continues to elude her. I’d ask why Julianne Moore isn’t more of a threat to her chances — but I’ve been asking that same question for nearly a year, and I still don’t know the answer. Emma Stone sits this one out despite giving the performance of the year, but her day will come.

Best Supporting Actor
Will and should win: Christian Bale, “The Fighter”

Seems like this should be set in stone, but I wonder. How much do they like “The King’s Speech?” Some continue to predict a Michael Douglas sympathy win, which seems less likely to me — and would be something of an awkward moment after last week’s good news. Still, while his thorny industry rep was initially mooted as an obstacle in some quarters, Bale has been on good, even charming, behavior all season long — I don’t see how he doesn’t take this.

Best Supporting Actress
Will win: Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
Should win: Jacki Weaver, “Animal Kingdom”

This continues to be the most volatile of the major contests, even without the presence of Hailee Steinfeld. I’m going with Leo as the season’s default frontrunner, but I’m not certain in this case — Globe voters didn’t even nominate the character actress two years ago for “Frozen River,” and may once more gravitate towards bigger names. For once, it easy to make a case for any of the five nominees winning — and with the exception of Helena Bonham-Carter, the same goes for my “should win” pick.

Best Screenplay
Will win: Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network”
Should win: Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, “The Kids Are All Right”

Sorkin. End of. Like the New York Film Critics’ Circle, however, I’d personally favor Cholodenko and Blumberg’s tricky but generous tangle of character conflicts over Sorkin’s impressive verbal acrobatics.

Best Foreign Language Film
Will win: “Biutiful”
Should win (of three seen): “I Am Love”

I’m guessing the star power of Bardem, the name appeal of Iñárritu, and the film’s own heavy-handed “this is serious” portentousness will edge the win, though I’m starting to sense Susanne Bier’s “In a Better World,” which I still haven’t seen, as a spoiler — both here, and for the Oscar.

Best Animated Feature
Will win: “Toy Story 3”
Should win: “The Illusionist”

Hey, did you know I really like “The Illusionist?”

Best Original Score
Will win: Hans Zimmer, “Inception”
Should win: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “The Social Network”

In my experience, this is by far the least predictable category at the Globes — with previous winners including such invisible titles as “A Walk in the Clouds, “The Legend of 1900” and “The Painted Veil,” it’s always a mistake to bank on name power here. Throw a dart at the board, frankly — and pray it doesn’t land on “Alice in Wonderland.”

Best Original Song
Will and should win: “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” from “Burlesque”

Not exactly a vintage slate of nominees, this, so I’m counting on voters using this category to indirectly reward Cher for making “Burlesque” as much fun as it is — after all, the studio flew them all out to Vegas for her show and they didn’t even have the courtesy to nominate her. Payback time.

Who are you betting on? Share your thoughts in the comments.

→ 31 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

31 responses so far

  • 1 1-16-2011 at 7:32 am

    benito delicias said...

    Im actually predicting their typical fame whore actions and going with Gyllenhaal instead of the other three in comedy.

    It seems more urgent to them than Giamatti or even Spacey a two time Oscar winner without a Globe.

    All three movies were flops but Gyllenhaal has the biggest one and the bigger status and the best option against Depp who they might want to avoid for the same reasons you cite when predicting Kids against the others.

    Just last year they went for fame and not performance. Damon should’ve won.

  • 2 1-16-2011 at 7:40 am

    m1 said...

    I think Amy Adams will win. She’s hot.

  • 3 1-16-2011 at 7:56 am

    al said...

    The Kids Are All Right fucking sucks. There’s no way it should get Best Screenplay over TSN.

  • 4 1-16-2011 at 8:03 am

    Estefan said...

    I think Tangled has a stronger chance in best song than Burlesque does. It helps that it’s the more acclaimed film and the song appears during a very pivotal moment.

  • 5 1-16-2011 at 8:16 am

    Chase Kahn said...

    I love you, Guy – but I just don’t see how Lisa Cholodenko’s script is better than Aaron Sorkin’s, and I’m not just swooned by all of the screwball dialogue. It’s pretty ingeniously structured and his Zuckerberg is a wonderful creation.

  • 6 1-16-2011 at 8:24 am

    Andrej said...

    It’s in posts like this where I say to myself “wow, they really didn’t nominate True Grit for anything”.

    But on topic… Sorkin’s welded to the screenplay Globe, but I think Nolan could be a spoiler. I don’t think Inception will get Drama, though, especially right after Avatar. Two different movies in two different years, but picking the popular sci-fi flick two times in a row sounds farfetched.

    But if it happens… it’d be cool, I have to admit ☺

  • 7 1-16-2011 at 8:30 am

    Ali E. said...

    I really don’t see anyone else than Gyllenhaal winning Comedy Actor.

  • 8 1-16-2011 at 8:50 am

    The Dude said...

    I’m seeing a Social Network sweep in the top categories…picture (drama), director, screenplay. If there’s going to be an upset, I’m thinking Black Swan will spoil the TSN party, but I highly doubt it.

    I’m VERY interested to see who takes the award for score…this, to me, seems to be one of the few races that is still up in the air and I’m curious to see how the Globes go.

  • 9 1-16-2011 at 9:03 am

    geha714 said...

    My prediction: The Social Network will get best director, best screenplay and best score. Bale, Firth, Benning and Portman will win in their categories. Best picture drama is open and Kids are All right is very likely to take Comedy/Musical, but an upset here is possible. Supporting actress is also open, but is edging to Leo. Actor in comedy is the great unknown, but I see eihter Giamatti or Spacey.

  • 10 1-16-2011 at 9:15 am

    The Great Dane said...

    Does anyone know where there’s a live web stream of the Globes?

    Links that work, anyone?

  • 11 1-16-2011 at 9:20 am

    JJ1 said...

    I also see Gyllenhaal winning; also because I feel like both Depps could cancel out, and Spacey/Giamatti could cancel out. I can’t explain that, but I feel it.

  • 12 1-16-2011 at 9:47 am

    tdr said...

    I hope when members voted for Best Drama Actor they looked at the nominees and said “Fuck it!”. And give the award to Bardem.

  • 13 1-16-2011 at 9:48 am

    tdr said...

    Other than that I think they’ll go with the herd. The TV awards might actually be more interesting.

  • 14 1-16-2011 at 9:58 am

    Marshall said...

    I say Kunis for Supporting Actress. Gut feeling that they’ll overlook the no-names and with Amy Adams hurt by vote-splitting, she can take it.

    I still refuse to believe anyone could honestly say to themselves that Helena Bonham Carter gave an award-winning performance.

  • 15 1-16-2011 at 10:37 am

    Dominik said...

    I expect the wealth to be spread between “Social Network” and “The King´s Speech”, which are (oh, lucky coincidence!) my favourite ones this year.
    If “The Fighter”(too much white trash to bear) steals it, I have to get seriously drunk to benumb the horror…

  • 16 1-16-2011 at 10:50 am

    Paul Outlaw said...

    Guy, I also predicted The Fighter for Best Drama back in December and I’m sticking to that pick. So get ready to share those bragging rights.

  • 17 1-16-2011 at 10:54 am

    Justin said...

    I hope Depp doesn’t win. Both of his performances are not award worthy. I’m hoping Giamatti surprises.

  • 18 1-16-2011 at 11:26 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    While Annette Bening gave my favorite performance by a female lead last year (so far…haven’t seen Rabbit Hole or Blue Valentine yet), I actually find myself agreeing with you that Emma Stone should win the Golden Globe since her performance was more genuinely comedic.

    I’d really like to see The Social Network lose this one, not because it doesn’t deserve it or anything, but I would love to see a film like The Fighter – or even ambitious films that I personally disliked like Inception and Black Swan – get *something* this year and keep up the Golden Globes’ newfound reputation as Oscar contrarians.

  • 19 1-16-2011 at 11:32 am

    Emily Estep said...

    Breaking Bad should win Best TV Drama…oh wait…

  • 20 1-16-2011 at 11:36 am

    tdr said...

    At least Bryan Cranston’s there, he should win. It’s embarassing that after three consecutive Emmy wins this is the first time he’s nominated.

  • 21 1-16-2011 at 11:46 am

    red_wine said...

    The night’s biggest joy might come out of the TV section. If either Carlos or Ramirez manage to score a win, I’ll give GG’s a free pass for 3 straight years. What a thrill it will be to see Assayas or Ramirez take the stage (or both, fingers crossed). Rarely does such immense talent grace the stage at the GGs.

  • 22 1-16-2011 at 11:51 am

    Mike said...

    I think that if The Fighter is going to start winning, it will be at PGA, not here. I think it will be The Social Network.

    Also, I think Kunis might win. They like to reward hot, new, destined to be big star actresses in the Supporting Actress category (ex. Natalie Portman, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts). I also think that Kidman could win. The HFPA loves her, and when she held a Q&A, something like 60 of the 90 members showed up.

  • 23 1-16-2011 at 12:42 pm

    john t. said...

    Guy, please, Emma Stone did not give ” the performance of the year” – that is definitely an exaggeration. But, again, you also praised ” Burlesque”.

    tdr, sorry, but, Jon Hamm deserves the win for “Mad Men” . Last year , Jon was explosive , and he had unbelievably rich material to work with. Easily, Hamm gave the most standout dramatic performance on t.v. for 2010.

    Mike, you are probably right about the undeserving Mila Kunis win. The HFPA group have the major hots for young & sexy female talent.

  • 24 1-16-2011 at 12:54 pm

    Simon Warrasch said...

    Will win:

    The King’s Speech
    The Kids Are All Right
    David Fincher
    Colin Firth
    Natalie Portman
    Paul Giamatti
    Annette Bening
    Christian Bale
    Helena Bonham Carter

    Should win:

    Alice in Wonderland
    Christopher Nolan
    James Franco
    Michelle Williams
    Paul Giamatti
    Emma Stone
    Christian Bale
    Jackie Weaver

  • 25 1-16-2011 at 1:02 pm

    Aaron said...

    I totally agree in regards to Mila Kunis. I could easily see her be the “surprise” of the night by taking the supporting actress Golden Globe like her current co-star Natalie Portman did a few years ago. If she doesn’t win I’m betting on Amy Adams to take it (I actually think she will win the Oscar)…I’m just not feeling Melissa Leo at the Globes, although I could be wrong…

    …Kidman winning would be a genuine SHOCK considering that Natalie Portman is the absolute clear frontrunner this season…but I guess I do agree that she is definitely Portman’s “competition” in that category…

    …and I totally agree with red wine regarding Carlos (one of my favorite films from last year). If that wins anything I will be ecstatic, and it would show some genuine taste from the HFPA. But I have doubts that Ramirez can beat Al Pacino in Lead Actor.

  • 26 1-16-2011 at 1:37 pm

    amanda said...

    After them awarding Downey jr. over Damon last year I have no doubt they will give it to Depp. Streep didn’t cancel herself out so I dont think Depp will either.

    I prefer Amy adams subtle performance over Leo’s over the top one, but whatever.

    And Williams gives the best female performance of the year, but I guess I should be happy they even saw and nominated her.

  • 27 1-16-2011 at 1:50 pm

    julian said...

    to state that the script for TKAAR are better than the script for TSN borders on the insane. End of story.
    But I agree on your analysis of In a Better World coming on strong…just you wait and see: it´s going to nail that Oscar!

  • 28 1-16-2011 at 2:54 pm

    JFK said...

    Emma Stone definitely deserves it, couldn’t agree more!

  • 29 1-16-2011 at 3:01 pm

    Alberto said...

    My final 2011 GG Predictions:
    JACKI WEAVER should win this!

  • 30 1-16-2011 at 3:05 pm

    trent said...

    “to state that the script for TKAAR are better than the script for TSN borders on the insane. End of story.”

    End of story? Glad you’re the final authority on this matter, “julian.” What an idiotic comment.

  • 31 1-16-2011 at 3:14 pm

    Al said...

    I’m not a huge fan of Aronofsky’s work as a whole, but I’d love to see him win tonight (and oscar night) for Black Swan.