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Golden Globes Film Predictions 2017: Why ‘La La Land’ Will Win Nearly Every Award

"La La Land," "Manchester by the Sea," "Moonlight" and "Fences" should take home awards. But the Golden Globes aren't always predictable.

La La Land

“La La Land”


Predicting the Golden Globes is never easy. Winners are chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press, an idiosyncratic group of 90 entertainment editors and writers who report on the film and television business for their outlets in 55 countries. Their choices come after being wined and dined by publicists, sent on studio junkets, and hanging out with stars at parties — so much so, that many HFPA members consider themselves personal friends, because they’ve covered them for so long.

READ MORE: Golden Globes TV Predictions 2017: Bold Picks in Every Category

It’s a perspective that leads to choices different from other critical groups. The relatively senior HFPA’s taste runs the gamut from sophisticated (“Jackie”) to mainstream (“Hacksaw Ridge”). But they also like celebrities to come to their Golden Globes Awards show in January (Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Viola Davis, and Denzel Washington come to mind) — and the result is an awards show that’s by far the most fun night of the year in Hollywood. So that’s another factor.

However, that’s also why the Golden Globes Awards at the Beverly Hilton this Sunday will add momentum to certain Oscar races (just as Oscar voters are pondering their ballots, which are due January 13), without being at all predictive. The Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 29 also increase velocity, but they’re usually more prognostic than the Globes: SAG voters tend to be a tad more mainstream than the Academy, and they come from inside the film community.

Best Film, Drama


“Hacksaw Ridge
“Hell or High Water”
Manchester By The Sea


Will Win: “Manchester By The Sea”
Could Win: “Moonlight”
Should Win: “Manchester By The Sea”

With “La La Land” competing for Best Comedy/Musical, gripping family dramas “Manchester By the Sea” and “Moonlight,” set in Massachusetts and Miami, Florida respectively, are duking it out in the drama categories. Each will win and lose a few. The HFPA tastes trend more mainstream than most critics’ groups, and for that reason I’ll bet on veteran Kenneth Lonergan over rising star Barry Jenkins on this one.

Best Film, Comedy/Musical

“La La Land”


“20th Century Women”
“Florence Foster Jenkins”
“La La Land”
“Sing Street”


Will Win: “La La Land”
Could Win: “La La Land”
Should Win: “La La Land”

There’s no way this doesn’t take home the Globe. Nothing comes close.

Natalie Portman & Pablo Larrain

Natalie Portman and Director Pablo Larrain on the set of “Jackie”

Photo by William Gray. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Best Drama Actress


Amy Adams “Arrival”
Jessica Chastain “Miss Sloane”
Isabelle Huppert “Elle”
Ruth Negga “Loving”
Natalie Portman “Jackie”


Will Win: Natalie Portman
Could Win: Amy Adams
Should Win:  Isabelle Huppert

While Portman won Dramatic Actress at the Critics Choice Awards against her rival Emma Stone for her portrayal of grieving Jacqueline Kennedy, here Portman will win the Golden Globe handily with Stone set to win the Comedy/Musical category. But don’t count out Amy Adams, who carried “Arrival” in a rich movie-star turn. She’s also popular with the HFPA; she won two Globes in the Musical/Comedy category (“Big Eyes,” “American Hustle”) out of eight career nominations. And these foreign correspondents may feel strongly that French star Huppert is long overdue.

“Manchester by the Sea”

Roadside Attractions/Amazon Studios

Best 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
Could Win: Denzel Washington
Should Win: Joel Edgerton

Charismatic Washington goes big with ex-baseball player garbageman Troy Maxson in August Wilson’s “Fences.” And the HFPA love their movie stars. But Affleck is on a winning streak for his tortured Boston janitor, who carries a deep wound that will never be healed. Likely to be overlooked is Edgerton’s soulful portrayal of real-life Richard Loving, a Virginia working man who also carries his pain within, in a powerful, quiet performance.

Best Comedy/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
Could Win: Meryl Streep
Should Win: Annette Bening

Emma Stone sings and dances backward in high heels, and makes love to Ryan Gosling. In many ways both Annette Bening and Meryl Streep have richer — and funnier — roles, but reinvented musical “La La Land” is taking all the air in the room.

Best Comedy/Musical Actor


Colin Farrell “The Lobster”
Hugh Grant “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Ryan Gosling “La La Land”
Jonah Hill “War Dogs”
Ryan Reynolds “Deadpool”

Will Win: Ryan Gosling
Could Win: Ryan Gosling
Should Win: Ryan Gosling

Again: Gosling learned to sing, dance, and play jazz piano. These other character performances can’t compete with this dazzling movie star at the height of his allure.


Best 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
Could Win: Jeff Bridges
Should Win:  Mahershala Ali

Because this was a breakout year for Mahershala Ali, who stars in Netflix series “House of Cards” and “Luke Cage” as well as Fox’s “Hidden Figures,” there’s a sense of inevitability about winning awards for this moving pivotal role in “Moonlight,” as the drug dealer who nurtures a bullied young boy.


Best Supporting Actress


Viola Davis “Fences”
Naomie Harris “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman “Lion”
Octavia Spencer “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams “Manchester By the Sea”

Will Win: Viola Davis
Could Win: Michelle Williams
Should Win: Viola Davis

Straddling theater, film, and television, Davis feels like a force of nature, impossible to withstand. Before she switched categories, Williams was leading the pack, but now feels a distant second, partly because Davis, a six-time nominee, has such a showy dramatic role. But Globe-winner Williams (“My Week with Marilyn”) made a huge impact with her New England wife and mother in fewer scenes, in two timeframes.



Damien Chazelle “La La Land”
Tom Ford “Nocturnal Animals”
Mel Gibson “Hacksaw Ridge”
Barry Jenkins “Moonlight”
Kenneth Lonergan “Manchester By the Sea”

Will Win: Damien Chazelle
Could Win: Kenneth Lonergan
Should Win: Kenneth Lonergan

Lonergan will likely win screenplay, so director logically goes to Chazelle, who revived the Hollywood musical and then some. “La La Land” has a sweeping, ambitious feel. A perfectly realized gem of a New England tragedy, “Manchester” feels smaller.

Barry Jenkins Moonlight

Barry Jenkins, director of “Moonlight”

Daniel Bergeron

Best Screenplay


Damien Chazelle “La La Land”
Tom Ford “Nocturnal Animals”
Barry Jenkins “Moonlight”
Kenneth Lonergan “Manchester bY the Sea”
Taylor Sheridan “Hell or High Water”

Will Win: Kenneth Lonergan
Could Win: Barry Jenkins
Should Win: Kenneth Lonergan

Lonergan, making a major comeback after “Margaret,” feels like the elder statesman in this race against rising stars Damien Chazelle and Barry Jenkins. With Chazelle winning so many other prizes, this could go to Jenkins.


Best Animated Film


“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“My Life as a Zucchini”

Will Win: “Zootopia”
Could Win: “Moana”
Should Win: “Zootopia”

With the freedom Disney accords its animation directors, Byron Howard and Rich Moore ran with a strong diversity narrative that only became more resonant over the five years it took to reach the audiences who embraced the film worldwide. Their only competition comes from slightly less popular “Moana,” which boasts soaring songs from “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.



Best Foreign Language Film


“The Salesman”
“Toni Erdmann”

Will Win: “Toni Erdmann”
Could Win: “Elle”
Should Win: “Toni Erdmann”

Maren Ade’s three-hour father-daughter comedy is deliciously unpredictable and satisfying, but the HFPA could also reward Dutch director Paul Verhoeven and French Best Actress contender Isabelle Huppert for “Elle.”

“Toni Erdmann”

Best Score


“La La Land”
“Hidden Figures”

Will Win: “La La Land”
Could Win: “La La Land”
Should Win: “La La Land”

Nothing you can say can take the Globe away from Chazelle’s college chum Justin Hurwitz for this hummable score.


Best Song


“Can’t Stop the Feeling” “Trolls”
“City of Stars” “La La Land”
“Faith” “Sing”
“Gold” “Gold”
“How Far I’ll Go” “Moana”

Will Win: “City of Stars”
Could Win: “How Far I’ll Go”
Should Win: “How Far I’ll Go”

In the usual Globe universe, pop star Justin Timberlake would easily win for his “Trolls” song. This year, gifted musical songwriter Miranda is in the mix — but “La La Land” should continue its sweep of the Golden Globes.

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