The 90-strong Hollywood Foreign Press Association is always an idiosyncratic group. They do not follow the same course as the tony New York Film Critics Circle, say, or the Indie Spirits. They lean a little more mainstream with their Golden Globes nominations, and of course they have their own Comedy or Musical categories to play with.
That offers more slots for the studios, who are asking for “A Star Is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” to be placed in the drama category, leaving room to breathe for musical sequels “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” and “Mary Poppins Returns,” as well as comedies “The Favourite” and “Green Book.”
The 76th Annual Golden Globe nominees will be announced on Thursday, December 6 at 8 a.m. ET. Check out our film predictions below and do come back Thursday for our post-nominations analysis.
Best Motion Picture – Drama
“A Star Is Born”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
Spoiler: “Bohemian Rhapsody”
The HFPA adores director-star Bradley Cooper and his reimagining of a familiar Hollywood saga of two gigantic talents who fall in love, one on the way up, the other on the way down. This global smash ($362 million worldwide) will rack up nominations and will be hard to beat.
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Crazy Rich Asians”
Spoiler: “Eighth Grade”
It’s nasty royal court intrigue vs. heart-tugging period ‘60s road trip as “The Favourite” and “Green Book” go head to head.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”)
Ethan Hawke (“First Reformed”)
Ryan Gosling (“First Man”)
Willem Dafoe (“Eternity’s Gate”)
Spoiler: Clint Eastwood (“The Mule”)
With “Green Book” in the comedy category, that opens a slot for “At Eternity’s Gate” star Willem Dafoe, or possibly, late-breaking entry “The Mule,” with director Clint Eastwood in his last starring role.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Lady Gaga (“A Star Is Born”)
Glenn Close (“The Wife”)
Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Viola Davis (“Widows”)
Yalitza Aparicio (“Roma”)
Spoiler: Nicole Kidman (“Destroyer”)
Lady Gaga is miles ahead of the competition in this race; it’s hers to lose. The HFPA likes to go with movie stars, though, so besides old favorites Glenn Close, Melissa McCarthy, and Viola Davis, they could easily stick in Nicole Kidman and/or Natalie Portman to jazz up the Golden Globes show. This puts “Roma” discovery Yalitza Aparicio at a disadvantage.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale (“Vice”)
Viggo Mortensen (“Green Book”)
Robert Redford (“The Old Man & the Gun”)
Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
Ryan Reynolds (“Deadpool 2”)
Spoiler: John C. Reilly (“Stan & Ollie”)
Christian Bale is this year’s Gary Oldman shapeshifter — only he gets extra points for actually gaining 40 pounds. Bale is competing with another popular star who gained 40 pounds, Viggo Mortensen. And John C. Reilly could sneak in as well, for his extraordinary channelling of rotund comedian Oliver Hardy.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”)
Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
Kathryn Hahn (“Private Life”)
Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”)
Constance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”)
Spoiler: Charlize Theron (“Tully”)
With Gaga over on the dramatic side, Globe-winner Olivia Colman (“The Night Manager”) should take this one handily, but fellow Brit Emily Blunt could win over the group with her singing and dancing. Again, movie star Charlize Theron could add glam to the Globes ceremony, so don’t count her out.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”)
Sam Elliott (“A Star Is Born”)
Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”)
Hugh Grant (“Paddington 2”)
Spoiler: Michael B. Jordan (“Black Panther”)
“Moonlight” Globe-nominee Ali could win this time, or they could go with veteran Sam Elliott’s moving role as Jackson Maine’s brother in “A Star Is Born.” Elliott has been nominated twice on the TV side but never won. Will they go for two British Grants? They are both deserving.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
Amy Adams (“Vice”)
Emma Stone (“The Favourite”)
Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”)
Claire Foy (“First Man”)
Spoiler: Nicole Kidman (“Boy Erased”)
Regina King is building up winning momentum for her touching mother in “If Beale Street Could Talk.” But Amy Adams, a seven-time nominee and two-time Globe winner (“American Hustle,” “Big Eyes”) is coming on strong as Lynne Cheney in “Vice.” Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz should both land slots for their dueling courtiers in “The Favourite.”
Best Director – Motion Picture Nominees
Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”)
Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Favourite”)
Peter Farrelly (“Green Book”)
Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”)
Spoiler: Damien Chazelle (“First Man”)
Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron will likely follow his buddy Guillermo del Toro into the winner’s circle, but as a movie star Cooper is a strong contender, too.
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara (“The Favourite”)
Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters (“A Star is Born”)
Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie (“Green Book”)
Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”)
Spoiler: Paul Schrader (“First Reformed”)
If anyone can snatch away a victory from “The Favourite,” it’s surging “A Star Is Born.”
Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Alexandre Desplat (“Isle of Dogs”)
Terence Blanchard (“BlacKkKlansman”)
Nicholas Brittel (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
Justin Hurwitz (“First Man”)
Hans Zimmer (“Widows”)
Spoiler: Ludwig Göransson (“Black Panther”)
Again, the HFPA knows and loves French composer Desplat, but could respond to Blanchard’s stunning score.
Best Original Song – Motion Picture Nominees
“Shallow” (“A Star Is Born”)
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
“All the Stars” (“Black Panther”)
“Requiem For A Private War” (“A Private War”)
“Here Comes the Change” (“On the Basis of Sex”)
Spoiler: “Ashes” — “Deadpool 2”
“Shallow” has this one in the bag, as it will at the Oscars. But the HFPA could lean into “Mary Poppins Returns.”
Best Animated Feature Film Nominees
“Isle of Dogs”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Spoiler: “The Grinch”
Brad Bird should take home the win, but “Spider-Verse” is coming up fast on the outside.
Best Foreign-Language Film Nominees
This could be the duel of the black-and-white films, between “Roma” and “Cold War.”
The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards will air live across the country on NBC on Sunday, January 6, 2019 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET from the Beverly Hilton Hotel.