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Golden Globe predictions 2017

🕐 11 min read

Who will win at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night? Who should? Who could surprise everyone? Here are our predictions in the major categories:

Best picture, drama

“Hacksaw Ridge”

“Hell or High Water”


“Manchester by the Sea”


Will win: “Manchester By the Sea”

This year’s drama contenders are dominated by movies about sad, conflicted men, but Kenneth Lonergan’s stood out. The writer-director behind “You Can Count on Me” has a way of infusing poignant situations with disarming humor, and he really excelled with his movie about a man wracked by tragedy who returns home after the death of his brother.

Should win: “Moonlight”

Barry Jenkins’s three-part story about a Miami native coming of age while coming to terms with his sexuality is a gorgeous jewel of a movie that feels both lyrical and firmly rooted in reality. Achingly moving from start to finish, it’s the only movie that can rival “Manchester’s” power to transform a viewer into a blubbering mess.

Dark horse: “Hacksaw Ridge”

Mel Gibson’s redemption is complete, even if his latest directorial effort — about a conscientious objector who served in the Army without a weapon during World War II — has nearly no chance of besting “Manchester” or “Moonlight.”

Best film, comedy or musical

“20th Century Women”


“Florence Foster Jenkins”

“La La Land”

“Sing Street”

Will win: “La La Land”

It’s not often that the Golden Globes category for musical and comedy movies is actually dominated by musicals and comedies, rather than mildly funny dramas, but this year is different. The clear favorite is “La La Land,” Damien Chazelle’s lovingly constructed homage to the musicals of yore that somehow manages to also feel totally modern.

Should win: “La La Land”

You only need to see the eye-popping opening number — a song-and-dance routine set on a Los Angeles highway filmed to look like one long take — to know why.

Dark horse: “Florence Foster Jenkins”

The movie about a socialite who dreams of becoming a singer has a lot going for it, not the least of which is perennial awards favorite Meryl Streep.

Best film drama actress

Amy Adams, “Arrival”

Jessica Chastain, “Miss Sloane”

Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”

Ruth Negga, “Loving”

Natalie Portman, “Jackie”

Will win: Natalie Portman, “Jackie”

Portman will likely pick up her third Golden Globe for her spot-on portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy during the days after her husband’s assassination.

Should win: Natalie Portman, “Jackie”

The role necessitated some acting acrobatics and is one of the most impressive performances of Portman’s already illustrious career. As Kennedy, she’s unhinged one moment, popping pills and downing vodka, and utterly in control the next, orchestrating the late president’s extravagant funeral and cementing his storied legacy.

Dark horse: Amy Adams, “Arrival”

Adams’ role as a shy, self-contained linguist trying to communicate with extraterrestrials is the opposite of Portman’s, though it’s no less riveting.

Best film drama actor

Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”

Joel Edgerton, “Loving”

Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”

Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”

Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Will win: Casey Affleck, “Manchester By the Sea”

Nothing appears to be slowing Affleck’s momentum coming into awards season, not even the resurfacing of an old sexual harassment complaint that was settled out of court. Affleck has won a best actor nod for his performance as a brooding, broken man, from just about every critics association, and he’s up for a Screen Actors Guild award, too.

Should win: Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Washington probably says more words in the first two minutes of “Fences” than Affleck does in the entirety of “Manchester.” Where “Manchester” is quiet and restrained, “Fences” is loud and theatrical, but it works, and Washington is the engine the powers the film’s substantial emotional build-up.

Dark horse: Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”

The former Spider-Man had a big year between “Hacksaw” and starring in Martin Scorsese’s “Silence,” but it’s Mel Gibson’s war movie that’s getting him more accolades. The Brit even nails the soft Southern accent of the real-life hero, an Army medic who saved countless soldiers on the battlefield.

Best film comedy or musical actress

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”

Will win: Emma Stone, “La La Land”

Stone’s comedic timing is well-documented, given that she got her start with movies like “Superbad” and “Easy A,” and she showed off those talents in “La La Land.” But she also proved what a serious actress she is when the story took a turn for the bittersweet.

Should win: Emma Stone, “La La Land” Stone had to sing, tap dance and waltz in “La La Land,” not to mention act, and she nailed all of it.

Dark horse: Annette Bening, “20th Century Women”

This is another unshowy performance, but in playing a hippie-ish single mom raising a son with the help of some boarders in her dilapidated house, Bening managed to convey so much heart, even as her inscrutable character always seemed just out of reach.

Best film comedy or musical actor

Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”

Hugh Grant, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Jonah Hill, “War Dogs”

Ryan Reynolds, “Deadpool”

Will win: Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”

Gosling was a real charmer in “La La Land,” despite the fact that his character was kind of a snobby curmudgeon. And all those things Stone had to do? Gosling had to do them, too — plus play the piano.

Should win: Colin Farrell, “The Lobster”

“The Lobster” was one of the most bizarre movies of the year, but it was also sneakily hilarious, and a lot of that had to do with the utterly deadpan delivery of the cast, including a never-better Farrell, who managed to make a dystopian future — where singletons who fail to pair up are transformed into animals — frighteningly believable.

Dark horse: Ryan Reynolds, “Deadpool”

“Deadpool” was one of the biggest surprise hits of the year, thanks in large part to Reynolds’ dry delivery of unprintable jokes. After floundering for a bit, he finally found the perfect role for his sarcastic wit.

Best film supporting actress

Viola Davis, “Fences”

Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”

Nicole Kidman, “Lion”

Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”

Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

Will win: Michelle Williams, “Manchester By the Sea”

Williams has a small but unforgettable part in “Manchester,” as the ex-wife of Affleck’s struggling main character. She transforms an unexpected run-in with her ex on the street into one of the most thrilling, heart-breaking scenes in a movie this year.

Should win: Viola Davis, “Fences”

No one cries on command like Davis. No one. And few can more readily get a viewer to sob along.

Dark horse: Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”

As the drug-addicted mother of the afflicted, bullied main character in the drama, Harris had to pull out all the stops. She was awful but sympathetic, a protective mama bear one moment and a bully the next.

Best film supporting actor

Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”

Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”

Simon Helberg, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Dev Patel, “Lion”

Aaron Taylor Johnson, “Nocturnal Animals”

Will win: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight” Ali plays a drug dealer who becomes a surrogate father to the movie’s protagonist, Chiron. Not only does he subvert expectations, but he forces the viewer to ask why they had any expectations to begin with.

Should win: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”

Ali has been acting for a long time, but he broke through in 2016 with memorable roles in “Moonlight,” and “Hidden Figures,” plus Netflix series “Luke Cage” and “House of Cards.” He showed a lot of range and is finally getting the parts and accolades he deserves.

Dark horse: Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”

The most memorable part of a stand-out sleeper hit was Bridges as the drawling Texas Ranger, who may seem tough — what with the way he casually dishes out racist comments to his long-suffering Native American partner — but isn’t nearly as resilient as he’d like people to believe.

Best film director

Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”

Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”

Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”

Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”

Tom Ford, “Nocturnal Animals”

Will win: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land” There were a lot of moving parts in “La La Land,” and Chazelle managed to make it all work, seamlessly threading a lot of disparate influences together for a special movie that might just reinvigorate an interest in an abandoned genre.

Should win: Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”

“La La Land” will worm its way into your ears, forcing you to sing along for days after seeing it. But “Moonlight” will do the same thing to your heart. That’s a testament not just to the story but really everything about the movie, from the music to the casting to the gorgeous cinematography.

Dark horse: Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”

Gibson’s redemption after making racist, misogynist, anti-Semitic comments once seemed implausible. But this is the year Donald Trump takes office. Stranger things are already happening.

Best TV series, drama

“Game of Thrones” (HBO)

“Stranger Things” (Netflix)

“The Crown” (Netflix)

“Westworld” (HBO)

“This Is Us” (NBC)

Will win: “Stranger Things”

“Have you watched ‘Stranger Things?'” was the question of the summer — and the spooky sci-fi series garnered so much praise that it’s difficult to see anything else taking the prize.

Should win: “Stranger Things” It was the wildly entertaining summer blockbuster that we didn’t get in theaters.

Dark horse: “The Crown”

Globes voters really love “The Crown” (they also nominated stars John Lithgow and Claire Foy) and the British historical epic is more recent than “Stranger Things.”

Best TV series, comedy

“Transparent” (Amazon)

“Atlanta” (FX)

“Veep” (HBO)

“Black-ish” (ABC)

“Mozart in the Jungle” (Amazon)

Will win: “Veep” It’s another season from Julia-Louis Dreyfus and the gang firing on all cylinders, even in a year in which it was very easy to get tired of politics.

Should win: “Atlanta”

In a year of 450-plus scripted shows, “Atlanta” cut through the conversation with its inventive take on two cousins in the Atlanta rap scene.

Dark horse: “Mozart in the Jungle”

This under-the-radar classical music dramedy won the trophy last year, and as a Globes favorite, could easily win again.

Best TV movie or limited series

“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX)

“The Night Manager” (AMC)

“The Night Of” (HBO)

“The Dresser” (Starz)

“American Crime” (ABC)

Will win: “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”

The universally-acclaimed miniseries about the trial of the century swept the Emmys and will continue to dominate.

Should win: “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”

There was no better miniseries on television this year, from the cast to the writing; plus, the events from 20 years ago are still very much relevant.

Dark horse: The only nominee that could possibly disrupt this race is HBO’s “The Night Of,” also a stellar series about the tangled web of the criminal justice system.

Best actor in a TV series, drama

Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot” (USA)

Matthew Rhys, “The Americans” (FX)

Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul” (AMC)

Billy Bob Thornton, “Goliath” (Amazon)

Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan” (Showtime)

Will win: Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot” Fans may have tired of the convoluted hacker drama, but the USA show still has a lot of goodwill in its second season.

Should win: Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”

Malek is the undisputed star of the show (sorry, Christian Slater).

Dark horse: Billy Bob Thornton, “Goliath”

Thornton is the highlight of the Amazon legal drama, and veteran actors do very well here.

Best actress in a TV series, drama

Winona Ryder, “Stranger Things” (Netflix)

Claire Foy, “The Crown” (Netflix)

Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld” (HBO)

Caitriona Balfe, “Outlander” (Starz)

Keri Russell, “The Americans” (FX)

Will win: Claire Foy, “The Crown” Foy plays Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix show, just the kind of juicy role the Globes love to reward — and critics love her, too.

Should win: Keri Russell, “The Americans”

It’s not like FX needs more wins, but voters have ignored this drama (and Russell’s outstanding lead character) for far too long.

Dark horse: Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld”

Wood’s role has received a ton of attention, even if the HBO drama itself is divisive.

Best actor in a TV series, comedy

Donald Glover, “Atlanta” (FX)

Gael Garcia Bernal, “Mozart in the Jungle” (Amazon)

Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish” (ABC)

Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent” (Amazon)

Nick Nolte, “Graves” (Epix)

Will win: Donald Glover, “Atlanta”

In the main role of one of the new cable hits of the year, Glover basically has this category locked up.

Should win: Donald Glover, “Atlanta”

Glover may have been known for NBC’s goofy “Community,” but this much-praised show takes him to the next level.

Dark horse: Nick Nolte, “Graves”

Never heard of “Graves”? Doesn’t matter — it’s just the kind of barely-watched show that the Globes voters would randomly put in the spotlight with a win for Nolte, who plays an ex-president looking back on his regrets.

Best actress in a TV series, comedy

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (HBO)

Issa Rae, “Insecure” (HBO)

Rachel Bloom, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (CW)

Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin” (CW)

Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish” (ABC)

Sarah Jessica Parker, “Divorce” (HBO)

Will win: Issa Rae, “Insecure”

This is traditionally a newcomers prize (Bloom and Rodriguez won in the last two years, respectively, for their freshman shows), so this is Rae’s to lose.

Should win: Rachel Bloom, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

This is a tough one — Rae is the voice of the show and deserves her (probable) trophy, although Bloom of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is also at the center of one of the most creative shows on TV.

Dark horse: Sarah Jessica Parker, “Divorce”

Parker won four times in this category for “Sex and the City,” and even though critics largely weren’t fans of the dark “Divorce,” Globes voters probably don’t care.

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