the gold rush

Who Should (and Will) Win at the Golden Globes This Weekend?

The Irishman or Marriage Story? Succession or … Succession? Photo: Vulture, HBO and Netflix

Our knives are out, our men are Irish, and our jewels are Richard. In other words, it’s time for the Golden Globes, awards season’s tipsy uncle: What they have to say doesn’t always make a lot of sense, but it still carries plenty of weight anyway. (Never forget how pundits like us made fun of the Globes’ “bonkers” choices of Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody last year — only for the Academy to follow suit.) How will things go down Sunday night? In advance of the big weekend, Vulture’s awards experts Nate Jones and Jen Chaney run down their predictions for the Globes’ film and TV categories, respectively.


Will the HFPA reflect the international makeup of the membership by spotlighting Bong Joon Ho? Photo: Courtesy of NEON + CJ Entertainment

Best Motion Picture — Drama

The Irishman
Marriage Story
The Two Popes

At the moment, The Irishman, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Parasite feel like our leading Best Picture contenders, and as luck would have it, they’re all competing separately at the Globes. The Drama category seems the likeliest venue for an upset, as The Irishman will face tough competition from its Netflix stablemates Marriage Story, which earned the most Globe nominations this year, and The Two Popes, which the HFPA went for in a major way. However, though the Globes sometimes like to go their own way further down ballot, in the top categories they prefer to bestow their approval on the Oscar front-runners. That’s good news for those digitally de-aged gangsters.

Should win: Marriage Story
Will win: The Irishman

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama

Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

The Best Actor race has been a nightmare this year, and you could make a credible Oscars lineup just out of the Globes’ Drama five. While Driver and Banderas have each been getting love from early voters and critics’ groups, Phoenix is the presumptive Oscars pick, and in a category whose picks have mirrored the Academy’s the past seven years, that matters.

Should win: Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Will win: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renée Zellweger, Judy

Three-time Golden Globe winner Renée Zellweger has been sailing through this season with an air of inevitability that I don’t think even the HFPA is cruel enough to burst.

Should win: Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Will win: Renée Zellweger, Judy

Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy

Dolemite Is My Name
Jojo Rabbit
Knives Out
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

There are remarkably few duds in the Globes’ Musical/Comedy categories this year, and I would be overjoyed if a pure comedy like Dolemite or Knives Out got a moment to shine. Ultimately, though, this will come down to the movies with the strongest Oscars bona fides, and on that front you’ve gotta give Once Upon a Time and its five Globe noms the edge over Jojo Rabbit.

Should win: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Will win: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

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

Daniel Craig, Knives Out
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Taron Egerton, Rocketman
Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit
Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

With a lineup that matches the feature category to a tee, this category is poised to be a contest between the three showiest contenders: DiCaprio, Egerton, and Murphy. While DiCaprio is a three-time Globe winner, and Egerton has campaigned harder than anyone this season — and would fit the Globes’ penchant for handing awards to hunky young Brits, besides — if the choice comes down to which of them voters would rather see at the podium, that’s Murphy.

Should win: Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name
Will win: Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

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

Awkwafina, The Farewell
Cate Blanchett, Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Ana de Armas, Knives Out
Beanie Feldstein, Booksmart
Emma Thompson, Late Night

Welcome to the most delightfully off-kilter category of the entire night. In a world in which Where’d You Go Bernadette is nominated truly anything can happen, but in lieu of simply throwing up our hands in bewilderment, we may find it fruitful to narrow it down to the women repping films that got nominated for Picture: Awkwafina and de Armas. Though the latter has the ingenue appeal that the HFPA adores, this trophy often goes to the role with the most emotional heft, and that’s [Stephen Malkmus voice] Nora from Queens.

Should win: Awkwafina, The Farewell
Will win: Awkwafina, The Farewell

Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Hanks is receiving the Globes’ Cecil B. DeMille Award Sunday night, which seems reward enough. I don’t think the Globes will be able to resist the temptation to hand this trophy to Pitt, a glamorous movie star in a role that lets him show off every ounce of his movie-star charisma (and every inch of that movie-star torso).

Should win: Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Will win: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Annette Bening, The Report
Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Margot Robbie, Bombshell

I’m torn. Dern is the ostensible front-runner, and feels like a handy way to ensure that Marriage Story doesn’t go home empty-handed, but Lopez feels like such a Globes pick, doesn’t she? Ultimately, I think the HFPA’s desire to crown the eventual Oscars winner will tip the scale in favor of Dern.

Should win: Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Will win: Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Best Director — Motion Picture

Bong Joon Ho, Parasite
Sam Mendes, 1917
Todd Phillips, Joker
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Our three front-runners meet at last, in a face-off that should have big implications for the Oscars race. Does the HFPA hand it to its longtime fave, Scorsese, who previously won for Gangs of New York, The Departed, and [double-checks the edit history of the Wikipedia page “Golden Globe Award for Best Director”] Hugo? Give it to Tarantino, who has somehow never won before? Reflect the international makeup of the membership by spotlighting Bong? Or shake up the race entirely by rewarding Mendes or, God forbid, Phillips? Tempting scenarios all. In the end I have to go with the win that would send the strongest message — that this is the year of Parasite. Bong it is!

Should win: Bong Joon Ho, Parasite
Will win: Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

Best Screenplay

Marriage Story
The Two Popes
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
The Irishman

Many pundits feel this would be a natural place to reward Marriage Story, and I can’t entirely disagree. But try as I might, I am also struck by the notion that the Globes won’t let their favorite papal buddy dramedy go home without any gold. Another reason to have faith in The Two Popes? Rewarding the talky Vatican two-hander in Screenplay would be a divine choice for voters who’ve twice given this award to the work of Aaron Sorkin.

Should win: Marriage Story
Will win: The Two Popes

Best Original Song

“Beautiful Ghosts,” Cats
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” Rocketman
“Into the Unknown,” Frozen II
“Spirit,” The Lion King
“Stand Up,” Harriet

Kind of a weird year for this category, as buzzy entries from Beyoncé and Taylor Swift underwhelmed. “Into the Unknown” may have some makeup-award heat, as the Globes snubbed “Let It Go” in this category back in 2014, a move that infuriated 5-year-old Oscars pundits everywhere. (Meanwhile, in a move that infuriated me, that same year they also snubbed “Please Mr. Kennedy” from Inside Llewyn Davis.) I’ll go with the catchiest contender, Elton John’s new Rocketman song.

Should win: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” Rocketman
Will win: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” Rocketman

Best Score for a Motion Picture

Little Women
Marriage Story
Motherless Brooklyn

Hello, Newmans. Cousins Randy and Thomas Newman will face off here for their scores for Marriage Story and 1917, respectively. In a tense night in the family group chat, I think 1917, the most score-heavy of the nominees, takes it for Thomas.

Should win: Marriage Story
Will win: 1917

Best Motion Picture — Animated

Frozen II
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Missing Link
Toy Story 4
The Lion King

Pixar films rarely lose this category at the Globes, and absent an Into the Spider-Verse–style sensation, I don’t think that trend will abate this year.

Should win: Missing Link, the only nominated film that’s not a remake or sequel
Will win: Toy Story 4

Best Motion Picture, Foreign-Language

The Farewell
Les Misérables
Pain and Glory
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

The hubbub around the Globes failing to nominate any female directors had the unfortunate side effect of overshadowing the two fantastic films directed by women that did get nominated here, The Farewell and Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Both are destined to lose to Parasite, but you can’t get too upset because, again, it’s Parasite.

Should win: Parasite
Will win: Parasite


No offense to the other contenders, but the Foreign Press will look out of touch if it gives a certain statue to anything other than Fleabag. Photo: Steve Schofield/Amazon

Best Television Series — Drama

Big Little Lies
The Crown
Killing Eve
The Morning Show

Globe voters are usually attracted to what’s newest and shiniest. The TV drama category last year, where HFPA voters honored The Americans in its final season, proved an exception to that rule. I think this year will be different.

The Crown has won in this category before, and could do so again. But I think the trophy is going to go to Succession for its strong second season, which also happened to be one of the buzziest programs of the past year. The only other scenario I can imagine playing out is one where an even newer series, The Morning Show, wins out. It does have some factors that often work to Globe advantage, most notably a cast stacked with major stars. But I’m sticking with the Logan family.

Should win: Succession
Will win: Succession

Best Television Series — Comedy

The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The Politician

No offense to the other contenders, but the Foreign Press will look out of touch if it gives this to anything other than Fleabag, whose second season was, as previously established, perfect.

Should win: Fleabag
Will win: Fleabag

Best Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

The Loudest Voice

I just need to take this moment to say: What is The Loudest Voice even doing here?

Okay, glad I got that out of my system.

This category comes down to Chernobyl and Unbelievable, both of which were exceptional. It’s really hard to choose between the two and I suspect the votes will be very close. But I’m betting Chernobyl ekes out a win; its largely British cast and its sobering exploration of an international crisis should give it an edge with an international group of voters.

Should win: Unbelievable
Will win: Chernobyl

Best Actor in a Television Series — Drama

Brian Cox, Succession
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Tobias Menzies, The Crown
Billy Porter, Pose

The conventional 2020 Golden Globes wisdom states that this will come down to either Brian Cox or Billy Porter, who won the Emmy in this category last fall. I also wouldn’t totally count out Kit Harington or Tobias Menzies — Malek seems least likely to win here — but if this is indeed a Cox versus Porter showdown, my instinct is telling me Porter will win because he’s having such a moment right now. Also, he’s one of the few people of color nominated in a conspicuously white field this year, and I’m guessing Globe voters won’t want to look less woke than Emmy voters.

Should win: Billy Porter
Will win: Billy Porter

Best Actress in a Television Series — Drama

Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show

Colman has been nominated for two Golden Globes prior to this year, one for her supporting work in The Night Manager and another for her star turn in The Favourite. She won them both. Clearly the HFPA likes her, which is why I can’t imagine that it won’t give her a third Globe for so skillfully taking over the role of Queen Elizabeth from Claire Foy, who also won a Globe for her portrayal of the royal. That being said, it would be fun to see Jennifer Aniston win for her powerhouse work in The Morning Show.

Should win: Jennifer Aniston
Will win: Olivia Colman

Best Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy

Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader, Barry
Ben Platt, The Politician
Paul Rudd, Living With Yourself
Ramy Youssef, Ramy

Douglas won this last year, and I’m not expecting a repeat. As a matter of fact, I’m wondering if the Globes might do something unexpected here and give the award to Platt, Rudd, or Youssef, all of whom are first-time nominees. Ramy, in particular, addresses the challenges of being true to your culture while also being an American, and it’s a real expression of Youssef’s voice. That may very well sway the Globe voters.

Personally, I think Hader’s performance in Barry is the strongest in this group. But the more I think about it, the more I imagine Youssef making an acceptance speech while a bunch of people on Twitter scramble to figure out what Ramy is. (The series really is good, by the way.)

Should win: Bill Hader
Will win: Ramy Youssef

Best Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kirsten Dunst, On Becoming a God in Central Florida
Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag

This is one of the hardest categories to call because it is packed with veteran actresses — Applegate, Dunst, Lyonne — who got to put their talents to spectacular new use in their respective series. Any one of them could credibly win. But to do so they have to get past Waller-Bridge. (Brosnahan has already won this twice, so I feel safe saying she won’t win again.) The thing is, I am not sure anyone can get past Waller-Bridge.

Should win: Can everyone win? No? Fine. I’ll say it’s a tie between Lyonne and Waller-Bridge.
Will win: Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television

Christopher Abbott, Catch-22
Sacha Baron Cohen, The Spy
Russell Crowe, The Loudest Voice
Jared Harris, Chernobyl
Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon

This seems like a battle between Harris and Rockwell. If there’s a lot of HFPA support for Chernobyl — and its four nominations, including one in three out of four acting categories, suggest there is — I suspect this will go to Harris.

Should win: Sam Rockwell
Will win: Jared Harris

Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television

Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable
Joey King, The Act
Helen Mirren, Catherine the Great
Merritt Wever, Unbelievable
Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon

The HFPA has nominated Mirren and Williams many, many times, but each of them has only won once. I suspect that trend will hold and that Globe voters will choose to honor one of the other nominated actresses, all of them first-timers. A win for Dever or King, who both gave excellent performances, would also serve as a way to recognize fresh talent. On the other hand, it’s wild that Wever, who is so, so good in Unbelievable, is just now getting a Globe nomination when she already has two Emmys on her shelf.

Should win: Merritt Wever
Will win: Merritt Wever

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television

Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Andrew Scott, Fleabag
Stellan Skarsgård, Chernobyl
Henry Winkler, Barry

Arkin, Culkin, and Winkler were all nominated last year and none of them won. I think they’re going to have a hard time winning again because of two words: Hot. Priest. Seriously, though: Fleabag season two might have been very good without Scott, but it wouldn’t have been as great as it is without his charming, bumbling, thoroughly humane portrayal of the Priest. Basically what I’m saying is that I expect members of the HFPA to [ahem] kneel before Andrew Scott.

Should win: Andrew Scott
Will win: Andrew Scott

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television

Patricia Arquette, The Act
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Toni Collette, Unbelievable
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
Emily Watson, Chernobyl

Let’s be clear: Meryl Streep was very good in Big Little Lies. You could give her an award for the crucifix scene alone and probably feel justified doing so. But there were other performances that went deeper and resonated more fully. Specifically, I think Carter’s work as Princess Margaret in The Crown and Collette’s tough detective in Unbelievable are the performances most likely to stand out. I honestly have no idea which way the voters will go, but I’m leaning toward Bonham Carter because this is her eighth Golden Globe nomination and she’s never won. She’s overdue.

Should win: Toni Collette
Will win: Helena Bonham Carter

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Who Should (and Will) Win at the Golden Globes This Weekend?