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Predicting the 2014 Golden Globes Winners

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This Sunday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will carve for itself a unique place in the 2013/2014 awards season. How do I know? Because it must. There still isn’t much consensus among this year’s major categories.

The critics groups like 12 Years a Slave and Her. American Hustle and Gravity have loads of support—some from critics, more from guilds. And of course, an extra wrinkle is thrown into the mix with the Globes having separate Drama and Comedy categories, so even though its awards will be statements, it’s likely we won’t know much more about the following Thursday’s Oscar nominations than we did before Sunday.

I’ll give it a go and predict this year’s Golden Globes winners. I’m less confident than usual (which is saying something), but I’m nonetheless quite excited for the show.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
12 Years a Slave (alt)
Captain Phillips
Gravity (winner)
Philomena
Rush

You’ll see as this progresses that I’m hedging my bets wherever possible. Gravity and 12 Years a Slave are the heaviest hitters in these Drama categories, and while the HFPA apparently loves it some Philomena, I find it hard to believe it takes home the show’s biggest award. Gravity gets the slightest edge from me because this is the group that went for Avatar over The Hurt Locker. The parallels between this season and 2009/2010 are obvious, and with that in mind, I’ll go with Gravity.

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
American Hustle (winner)
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
The Wolf of Wall Street (alt)

This one seems a tad more straightforward than Drama when it comes to what will win, but the field is deeper. I could see three titles realistically winning here (sorry, Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska), but I give the edge to David O. Russell’s movie because the nomination tally is overwhelming and it has some real momentum as a consensus title of sorts. The Wolf of Wall Street is intriguing, though. Not all members of the HFPA saw Scorsese’s film before nominations were due, so its low total of nods shouldn’t come into the equation too much. This was the first big group to go to bat for Django Unchained last year, so it’s not afraid of massive, somewhat controversial movies like these. I could see it happening.

Best Actor – Drama
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave (winner)
Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford, All Is Lost (alt)

Like I said, hedging my bet. I so wanted to choose a star in a category full of them, but if 12 Years is strong (or even if it isn’t and the body wants to show it love somehwere), this award is Ejiofor’s to lose.

Best Actress – Drama
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine (winner)
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena (alt)
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
Kate Winslet, Labor Day

This seems to be your only easy-to-predict category so far this season. I’ve resisted predicting Blanchett for the Oscar win because her performance is a really bitter pill, but she’s too damn good to ignore, and she hasn’t been ignored yet.

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska (alt)
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street (winner)
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Joaquin Phoenix, Her

The biggest star in the category who also gives a larger-than-life performance. Seems like a fairly easy choice, but Dern is pushing hard and Bale is great in the show’s most-nominated movie.

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy
Amy Adams, American Hustle (alt)
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County (winner)

Boy, Before Midnight was hilarious, wasn’t it? I’d love Gerwig to steal the award, but that’s not happening. It’s Meryl—though these Comedy categories can be awfully tricky sometimes. Remember Robert Downey Jr.?

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity (winner)
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave (alt)
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle

Even if 12 Years takes the top prize, I don’t see Cuaron losing this one. His achievement is undeniable.

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle (alt)
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club (winner)

I thought Best Supporting Actor was going to be a tough one to nail down leading into the Oscars, but its been all Leto so far this season. Don’t see anyone stopping his momentum here.

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle (winner)
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave (alt)
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

It’s going to be a fight to the finish between these two great actresses. I give the edge to Nyong’o here for no reason in particular. Could go either way.

Best Animated Feature Film
The Croods (alt)
Despicable Me 2
Frozen (winner)

Easiest choice of the night. Where are Monsters University and The Wind Rises?

Best Foreign Language Film
Blue Is the Warmest Color
The Great Beauty (winner)
The Hunt (alt)
The Past
The Wind Rises

A really tricky one. Blue is the most talked-about title in the bunch, but I suspect some won’t have even watched it. The Past could surprise, but its Oscar shortlist miss looms large. The Wind Rises doesn’t have an Animated nomination, so it can’t possibly take this one. I go with The Great Beauty because it seems to have some momentum, but The Hunt is right in the mix, as well.

Best Screenplay
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan, Philomena (winner)
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, American Hustle (alt)

I’m going off script a bit here, but I suspect the HFPA will want to reward Stephen Frears’s film somewhere. This seems like the easiest place to do so.

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Alex Ebert, All Is Lost
Alex Heffes, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Steven Price, Gravity (winner)
John Williams, The Book Thief
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years a Slave (alt)

Price’s work is more memorable. Not necessarily better, I didn’t think, but definitely more memorable.

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Atlas”, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
“Let It Go”, Frozen (winner)
“Ordinary Love”, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
“Please Mr. Kennedy”, Inside Llewyn Davis (alt)
“Sweeter Than Fiction”, One Chance

“Please Mr. Kennedy” isn’t actually an original song—at least according to the Academy’s definition of original song. So while I think Frozen has the Oscar sewn up, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Llewyn take the Globe home. That said, I’m still going with “Let It Go”.

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