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Predicting the Globes

January 6, 2019

Best Picture – Drama

(Photo by Neal Preston © 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

 

  • Black Panther

  • BlacKkKlansman

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

  • If Beale Street Could Talk

  • A Star is Born

Unless the HFPA does something completely unexpected, which is not hard to imagine, I see ‘A Star is Born’ as the heavy, heavy favorite. The direction, music, and individual performances were simply too good to overlook, and they all add up to my favorite film of the nominees. If there’s arguments to be made against it here, it’s that it’s a remake or possibly more musical than drama. But I don’t think it matters. If there’s an upset to be had here, it’s ‘BlackkKlansman.’ And if there’s a rampant drug problem with the HFPA voters, the pick is ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’

Best Picture – Musical or Comedy

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures, Participant, and DreamWorks © 2018 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS AND STORYTELLER DISTRIBUTION CO., LLC. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Crazy Rich Asians

  • The Favourite

  • Green Book

  • Mary Poppins Returns

  • Vice

 

With the exception of ‘Vice,’ I truly enjoyed every film in this category, and could make an argument as to why they should win. But in the end, I think we’ll see ‘Green Book’ take home the honor, setting up a two-film race to Oscar gold. While assuredly a comedy, the movie takes on some pretty meaty topics – race relations, socioeconomics, sexuality – and delivers them in a way that’s impactful, but not heavy-handed. Most importantly – it delivers entertainment value. If there’s an upset to be had, it’s ‘The Favourite,’ which with its period costumes and three outstanding individual performances, screams “awards season.” And in the bizarro world of rampant HFPA drug use (see above), the winner will be ‘Vice.’

Best Actress – Drama

(Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures © 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

  • Glenn Close, The Wife

  • Lady Gaga, A Star is Born

  • Nicole Kidman, Destroyer

  • Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

  • Rosamund Pike, A Private War

 

This, to me, is one of the most intriguing categories of the whole night. I think three or potentially four of the Best Actress Oscar nominees are listed here (Close, Gaga, McCarthy for sure, and possibly Kidman). My money is on Gaga for a few reasons: a) she’s outstanding in the role, b) it was a bit unexpected that she’d be that good, c) the film, which is one of the best of the year, leans heavily on its individual performances, so (at least in theory) you can reward the film, without acknowledging its individual parts. But I also wouldn’t take my eyes off of Close – she’s a well-respected veteran that’s never won a Globe for film (TV movie/miniseries and TV series wins), she’s outstanding in what’s an otherwise forgettable movie, and said film takes place outside of the U.S., which might appeal to HFPA voters.

Best Actor – Drama

Photo by Alex Bailey; TM & © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Not for sale or duplication.)

  • Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born

  • Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

  • Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased

  • Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

  • John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman

 

If it’s me, I’m voting for Cooper as the aging, troubled, and talented Jackson Maine. Cooper embodied the character, and grew into the role of a musician in the same way Ryan Gosling did for ‘La La Land.’ Unfortunately, physical transformation often trumps substance in these categories, so I’m leaning Malek for his portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Malek became Freddie, and for younger generations he’ll probably be the face they see when listening to Queen music going forward. He’s very deserving, but even his outstanding performance could only elevate the film to barely watchable status. In other words, if there’s a classic HFPA move to be made, this would be the place.

Best Actress – Comedy or Musical

(Photo by Atsushi Nishijima. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved)

  • Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns

  • Olivia Colman, The Favourite

  • Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade

  • Charlize Theron, Tully

  • Constance Wu, Crazy Rich Asians

 

This one comes down to two nominees – Colman and Blunt. Both were outstanding and magical in completely different ways. Colman brought the complex and powerful Queen Anne to life, portraying a woman who is both powerful and somehow frail, strong-willed yet vulnerable – a full and intricate character. On the other hand, Blunt delivers pure joy to the screen in taking over the Poppins mantle from Julie Andrews. It takes a lot to take over for an iconic character, but it takes even more to give it a fresh feel while remaining respectful of the cherished original. Regardless of who wins, I think both will compete Kidman for the final two Best Actress Oscar nominations.

Best Actor – Comedy or Musical

(Photo by Matt Kennedy / Annapurna Pictures 2018 © Annapurna Pictures, LLC. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Christian Bale, Vice

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Poppins Returns

  • Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

  • Robert Redford, The Old Man and the Gun

  • John C. Reilly, Stan and Ollie

 

It’s a copout, but basically everything I said about Rami Malek can be said of Christian Bale. He’s outstanding and completely consumes the role of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Where he differs from Malek, is that despite his Herculean efforts, ‘Vice’ is still virtually unwatchable. It’s actually scary to think how bad the movie would’ve been without him. That’s why if it were me, the award would go to Mortensen, who’s excellent in a great movie that features a powerful co-star (more on that below) that he goes tit-for-that with throughout. If a performance can’t elevate the work as a whole, how good can it possibly be?

Best Supporting Actress

(Photo by Tatum Mangus / Annapurna Pictures; ©2018 Annapurna Releasing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Amy Adams, Vice

  • Claire Foy, First Man

  • Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

  • Emma Stone, The Favourite

  • Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

 

Overall, I felt ‘Beale Street’ didn’t live up to the lofty expectations I set for it. The same can’t be said about King, however. While the focus has largely been on the story, and the director (Barry Jenkins), King stole every single scene she was in. Playing the mother of a pregnant, (initially) unwed, young woman whose boyfriend (later husband) is wrongfully imprisoned, King brings much needed power, grace, and poise to the film. Long a critical darling for her TV work, King is poised take home her first “major” film award. But she’s got some stout competition – at least in name value. Stone and Weisz both give strong performances, but could cancel each other out; Adams didn’t knock it out of the park as Lynne Cheney; and, honestly, I’ve almost forgotten everything about ‘First Man,’ including Foy’s performance.

Best Supporting Actor

(Photo Credit: Patti Perret/Universal Pictures, Participant, and DreamWorks © 2018 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS AND STORYTELLER DISTRIBUTION CO., LLC. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Mahershala Ali, Green Book

  • Timothy Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

  • Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

  • Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

  • Sam Rockwell, Vice

 

Let me start by saying that Sam Elliott not getting nominated for ‘A Star is Born’ is borderline criminal. Having said that, and despite my reverence for Mr. Elliott, if there’s a slam dunk winner on this ballot, it’s here. Ali is a past winner, who truly shows his range by playing the polar opposite of his ‘Moonlight’ character. He brings a human element to a character that, despite his undue challenges, is a bit of a Richard, and could easily come off as unsympathetic. Mr. Ali should have his acceptance speech ready.

Best Director

(Photo by John Phillips - 2018 Getty Images) 

  • Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born

  • Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

  • Peter Farrelly, Green Book

  • Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

  • Adam McKay, Vice

 

This is another one of those categories that seems like a foregone conclusion: Alfonso Cuaron is the heavy favorite for his semi-autobiographical “origin story.” While I haven't yet seen it – hopefully rectifying that Sunday afternoon – everyone I know who has is raving about his work, and the actual “experts” seem on board with his win. Next in line would be Cooper, and I truly wouldn't be surprised to see him win – or an 'A Star is Born' clean sweep of the evening. From all accounts, both are deserving, and will likely head into the Oscars neck in neck.

Best Film Screenplay

  • The Favourite

  • Green Book

  • If Beale Street Could Talk

  • Roma

  • Vice

 

'Green Book' is my favorite story of the lot, but 'The Favourite' is probably a bit more sophisticated and intricate in the number of interesting and unique characters it has, the period it's set in, and the smarmy wit/humor that's featured throughout. The sleeper here is 'Vice.' For some reason, the HFPA seems loves this film (6 nominations). It's going to win something, and perhaps its one-dimensional, highly-slanted screenplay of Dick Cheney's political career will be the one.

Best Animated Feature

(Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation © 2018 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Incredibles 2

  • Isle of Dogs

  • Mirai

  • Ralph Breaks the Internet

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

 

This, for me, is the toughest category to choose. I've seen three – Incredibles, Ralph, Spidey – and loved all of them; GKIDS, the minds behind 'Mirai,' does consistently wonderful work; and 'Isle of Dogs' appears to be the most unique of the bunch. The real question here is whether the innovation of 'Spider-Man' trump the cachet that Disney and/or Pixar carries. My hunch is that on this night, it does, and justifiably so.

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Capernaum

  • Girl

  • Never Look Away

  • Roma

  • Shoplifters

 

Since this is the only category where I haven't seen a single entry, I'm doing little more than guessing. But considering 'Roma' is likely heading for a Best Picture Oscar nomination, I think it's a pretty safe bet.

Best Score

  • Black Panther

  • First Man

  • Isle of Dogs

  • Mary Poppins Returns

  • A Quiet Place

 

Aside from the star power of Ryan Gosling, and (apparently) a strong supporting turn from Claire Foy, 'First Man' didn't have much going for it. However, one thing it did have is the musical talent of Justin Hurwitz ('La La Land,' 'Whiplash'). I'm going for the name recognition winning out.

Best Song

  • All the Stars, Black Panther

  • Girl in the Movies, Dumplin'

  • Requiem for a Private War, A Private War

  • Revelation, Boy Erased

  • Shallow, A Star is Born

 

You wanna talk about star power? Kendrick Lamar, Dolly Parton, Linda Perry, Lady Gaga, and Annie Lennox are among the songwriters nominated here. But barring something incredibly surprising happening, 'Shallow' is going to win.

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