Golden Globes 2020 Film Predictions: Our Best Picks in Every Category

"Joker" or "Ford v Ferrari"? Room for Brad Pitt and Willem Dafoe? Never forget: The Globes are always idiosyncratic and full of surprises.
Renee Zellweger in "Judy"
Roadside Attractions

The idiosyncratic 90 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are not the august New York Film Critics Circle or the indie-minded Spirit Awards. The HFPA leans mainstream with their Golden Globes nominations, loves to bring their favorite celebrities onto the Beverly Hilton stage, and provide extra slots to play with in the Comedy or Musical categories.

That offers wriggle room for the distributors, who can seek drama consideration for films like “Marriage Story” and “Judy” while leaving room in the comedy/musical categories for “Rocketman,” “Cats,” “Hustlers” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” (As for the definitions, your mileage may vary.)

Last year, Queen bio-musical “Bohemian Rhapsody” took home Globes for Best Motion Picture Drama and Drama Actor (which repeated at the Oscars), while “Green Book” won three Globes (Motion Picture Comedy, Supporting Actor and Screenplay) on the way to a Best Picture Oscar win. And Olivia Colman followed her Comedy Globe win for “The Favourite” with the Best Actress Oscar.

The 77th Annual Golden Globe nominees will be announced Monday, December 9 at 8 a.m. ET. Check out our film predictions below and do come back Monday for our post-nominations analysis.

Best Motion Picture – Drama

“Irishman” (Netflix)
“Marriage Story” (Netflix)
“1917” (Universal)
“Little Women” (Sony)
“Joker” (Warner Bros.)

Spoiler: “Ford v Ferrari” (Fox)

The HFPA members admire Martin Scorsese and do not share the resistance to Netflix felt by some Academy voters. Au contraire, never have the HFPA been more wined and dined than they have by deep-pocketed Netflix, who showered them with swag, from “The Irishman” red wine to “Marriage Story” bed throws to “The Two Popes” red slippers. Unlike many Academy voters who streamed “The Irishman” at home, the foreign press did watch “The Irishman” all the way through on the big screen. And they won’t be able to resist the narrative of partner-auteurs Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”) and Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”) vying against each other for their top prize. While “Joker” is popular with this group, it will most likely reward Joaquin Phoenix for elevating that movie. Overlooked by awards groups thus far, “Ford v Ferrari” is a star-driven commercial movie that could use a boost from Globes nominations.

“Once Upon A Time in Hollywood”Sony

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony)
“Jojo Rabbit” (Fox Searchlight)
“Rocketman” (Paramount)
“Knives Out” (Lionsgate)
“Dolemite Is My Name” (Netflix)

Spoiler: “Hustlers” (STX)

Without support from critics, Fox Searchlight could use a win for Taika Waititi’s Hitler comedy “Jojo Rabbit” to build momentum as it flags at the box office, but Quentin Tarantino is a popular figure with a hugely entertaining movie, which could win in other categories as well. “Cats” was screened at the last minute as a work in progress, and might wind up with some music nominations.

Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro
Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De NiroEric Charbonneau/Shutterstock

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”)
Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”)
Robert De Niro (“The Irishman”)
Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”)
Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”)

Spoiler: Christian Bale (“Ford v Ferrari”)

With “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” in the comedy category, that opens a slot for “The Two Popes” star Jonathan Pryce (nominated once on the TV side, for “Barbarians at the Gate”), or possibly, late-breaking entry “Richard Jewell,” with breakout actor Paul Walter Hauser. Never underestimate Christian Bale, who is heartbreaking as racing driver and father Ken Miles in “Ford v Ferrari,” but doesn’t work the room as much as his competitors, and won the Comedy Globe last year for “Vice.”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

Rene Zellweger (“Judy”)
Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”)
Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”)
Saiorse Ronan (“Little Women”)

Spoiler: Alfre Woodard (“Clemency”)

Renée Zellweger is miles ahead of the competition in this race; it’s hers to lose. She’s been nominated six times and won three. The HFPA likes to go with movie stars, though, so expect old favorites Scarlett Johansson (four noms, no wins), Charlize Theron (five noms, one win for “Monster”), and Saiorse Ronan (three noms and one win for last year’s “Lady Bird”) to return along with either British breakout Erivo or returning Alfre Woodard; “Harriet” was more widely seen than “Clemency.”

DOLEMITE IS MY NAME!, 2019, DOL_Unit_00770.dng
“Dolemite Is My Name”François Duhamel/NETFLIX

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

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

Spoiler: Shia LaBeouf (“The Peanut Butter Falcon”)

This is where the Eddie Murphy comeback narrative could come into play. He’s been nominated five times and won the Globe for musical “Dreamgirls” 13 years ago, but will the HFPA be able to resist their beloved Leonardo DiCaprio? Taron Egerton is this year’s Rami Malek shapeshifter, channeling Elton John and, like Bradley Cooper last year, did his own singing. If the child actor gets in, that’s a sign of strength for “Jojo Rabbit.” As for LaBeouf, it would be his first nomination, and the HFPA also loves his redemptive work as writer-actor in “Honey Boy.”

Lulu Wang and AwkwafinaAnne Thompson

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

Awkwafina (“The Farewell”)
Ana de Armas (“Knives Out”)
Beanie Feldstein (“Booksmart”)
Emma Thompson (“Late Night”)
Constance Wu (“Hustlers”)

Spoiler:  Kaitlyn Dever (“Booksmart”)

This is comedienne Awkwafina’s opportunity to shine for indie hit “The Farewell.” Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever are competing for slots for “Booksmart.” And “Crazy Rich Asians” nominee Constance Wu could return for popular “Hustlers.”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

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

Spoiler: Willem Dafoe (“The Lighthouse”)

This is Brad Pitt’s to lose after five nominations and one win in 1996 for “12 Monkeys.” Al Pacino (17 noms, 4 wins across TV and film) and two-time film nominee Joe Pesci should both make it (as they will at the Oscars), along with seven-timer Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict in Netflix’s “The Two Popes.” The Globes voters are more welcoming of Tom Hanks (nine nominations and four wins) than the Academy actors branch, who have not given him a slot since “Castaway” in 2000 (also, the last time he won a Globe). Hanks should squeak in for playing Mr. Rogers; if he doesn’t, he may not make it across the Oscar threshold.

Jennifer LopezCFDA Fashion Awards, Arrivals, Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA - 03 Jun 2019
Jennifer LopezStephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”)
Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”)
Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”)
Florence Pugh (“Little Women”)
Zhao Shuzhen  (“The Farewell”)

Spoiler: Scarlett Johansson (“Jojo Rabbit”)

This is a duel between frontrunner Laura Dern (who also stars in “Little Women”) and Jennifer Lopez, who hasn’t been nominated by the HFPA since “Selena” in 1998. Again, if Johansson lands a slot, it’s a sign of how much the group likes “Jojo Rabbit.”

Best Director – Motion Picture Nominees

Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”)
Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Sam Mendes (“1917”)
Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”)

Spoilers: Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”) or Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”)

I’m betting this group of foreign scribes will not be able to resist giving their award to Korean director and foreign-language contender Bong Joon Ho. In recent years the HFPA has awarded Best Director to three Mexican directors, the three amigos A.G. Inarritu, Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron.

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a  Time in Hollywood”)
Steve Zaillian (“The Irishman”)
Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”)
Anthony McCarten (“The Two Popes”)

Spoiler: Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”)

This is the battle of the auteurs among writer-directors Baumbach, Tarantino, and Waititi. Advantage: Baumbach, but this one is hard to call. His partner Gerwig could join the party if her movie is popular enough, but it’s an adaptation of a familiar title.

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Hildur Guðnadóttir (“Joker”)
Randy Newman (“Marriage Story”)
Thomas Newman (“1917”)
Alexandre Desplat (“Little Women”)
Alan Silvestri (“Avengers: Endgame”)

Spoiler: John Williams (“Stars Wars: Rise of Skywalker”)

It’s the battle of the cousin Newmans, but Hildur Guðnadóttir had such an impact on “Joker” and Joaquin Phoenix’s performance that she should take the win.

Best Original Song – Motion Picture Nominees

“Into the Unknown” (Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, “Frozen II”)
“Spirit” (Beyoncé, “The Lion King”)
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” (Elton John, “Rocketman”)
“Glasgow” (Mary Steenburgen, “Wild Rose“)
“Beautiful Ghosts” (Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber, “Cats”)

Spoiler:  “For You My Love” (A.R. Rahman, Shellee & Rianjali, “Blinded by the Light”)

“Into the Unknown” has this one in the bag, as it will at the Oscars.

“I Lost My Body”Netflix

Best Animated Feature Film Nominees

“I Lost My Body”
“Toy Story 4”
“Frozen II”
“How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World”
“Missing Link”

Spoiler: “Klaus”

Netflix could build on strong word of mouth for the French animated feature “I Lost My Body” to beat out the usual sequel suspects from DreamWorks (“Hidden World”), Disney (“Frozen II”) and Pixar (“Toy Story 2”). Laika’s “Missing Link” is also gaining traction.


Best Foreign-Language Film Nominees

“Parasite” (Bong Joon Ho, Korea)
“Atlantics” (Mati Diop, Senegal)
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (Celina Sciamma, France)
“Les Misérables” (Ladj Ly, France)
“Pain and Glory“ (Pedro Almodovar, Spain)

Spoiler: “Out Stealing Horses” (Hans Petter Moland, Norway)

Despite two strong French entries and Pedro Almodovar at his best, nothing can beat surging “Parasite.”

The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards will air live across the country on NBC on Sunday, January 5, 2019 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET from the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

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