The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced the nominees for the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards, and as usual in these situations there are few surprises and doubtless plenty of disagreement. Sometimes the Golden Globes set a pattern for other award-giving bodies to follow, and sometime they don’t. Working on the principle that the HFPA like to reward the same kind of films as AMPAS, BAFTA, SAG, PGA and DGA, here are my reactions to the nominees and some tentative predictions on who might win.
BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
12 Years a Slave
This is a very solid bunch. I’ve only seen three of them, and Rush is a bit of a surprise because I don’t recall any awards buzz around it. I loved it though so it is a pleasant surprise. I missed Philomena so have no comment there, but I rate Gravity and Captain Phillips very highly. 12 Years a Slave is out in the UK in January, and looks suitably harrowing, so I look forward to it. On a hunch, I think it is likely to win.
Prediction: 12 Years a Slave
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
Kate Winslet, Labor Day
Awards buzz started around Cate Blanchett as soon as Blue Jasmine came out. She is one of the finest actresses working today and I would be very happy to see her pick up multiple awards. I haven’t seen Blue Jasmine so have no idea if she’s any good in it, but I may well check it out one day. Of the others, these are all really impressive performers who have a great history behind them, and indeed have all picked up awards previously – Winslet earned Golden Globes for both Actress and Supporting Actress a few years ago. I have only seen Bullock and Thompson and found them both superb, so I’d be happy for either of them to win. For now, Blanchett looks most likely.
Prediction: Cate Blanchett
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Tom Hanks, Saving Mr. Banks
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford, All Is Lost
An interesting bunch, of which I know little. The only one of these I’ve seen is Saving Mr. Banks, and I’m surprised that Hanks has been nominated for this role rather than Captain Phillips. McConaughey’s career continues to go from strength to strength, but it seems unlikely that he’ll rise this high at this stage. The same is true of Ejiofor and Elba – both are promising up-and-comers, but for their first nominations victory seems unlikely. Redford has picked up an award already for his performance, and is probably the strongest contender. He’s a Hollywood institution who has been largely overlooked by award-givers, and at his time in life it might well be his time.
Prediction: Robert Redford
BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Wolf Of Wall Street
A great range here, of which I have seen none! I am really looking forward to American Hustle, and after the limited success of Silver Linings Playbook last year, I can see David O. Russell getting more love this time around. However, there’s pretty stiff competition, especially as reports of The Wolf of Wall Street have been very positive. Scorsese has made a comedy? According to the HFPA, so it appears. The others are lower profile so I anticipate it will come down to Hustle and Wolf. For no particular reason, I predict American Hustle to be a winner, so there.
Prediction: American Hustle
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
A nice group of stalwarts here, including the seemingly ubiquitous Streep. Once again I haven’t seen any of them, but I would like American Hustle to be a big winner pick. That said, the completion of the Before trilogy might make Delpy a sentimental favourite, while one should never count out Meryl. Really hard to predict at this stage, but I’d like Adams to get an award, and it might just be her year.
Prediction: Amy Adams
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Joaquin Phoenix, Her
Bale and DiCaprio have potentially been heading for awards for a while, brushing against them here and there, including a previous Golden Globe for Bale for The Fighter. But the National Board of Review as well as the Cannes Film Festival awarded Best Actor to Bruce Dern who, like Redford, is at an age where this could be the last great performance he does. Sentimental favourites are often a good bet, so I predict Dern in this category.
Prediction: Bruce Dern
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Despicable Me 2
Tricky, as I have seen none of these and it’s hard to identify the criteria. Despicable Me 2 is one of 2013’s highest earners, but Frozen is an adaptation of a beloved fairy tale. Tentatively, I go with Frozen.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Blue is the Warmest Color
The Great Beauty
The Wind Rises
I have heard of one of these, because Blue is the Warmest Color has attracted controversy because of its focus on a lesbian relationship. Therefore I hope it wins, but I don’t think it will.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska
A nice range here, as three of the actresses named are familiar and more often in leading roles. Jennifer Lawrence is the cat’s pyjamas at the moment, and David O. Russell may have steered her to another award. But the relatively unknown Squibb and Nyong’o might prove to be a surprise so this one is wide open. If Lawrence wins, expect her to win more…
Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Brühl, Rush
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Big names jostle with unknowns here, Cooper, Fassbender and Leto being familiar while Brühl has been around for a while but Rush is his highest profile role. Barkhad Abdi, a complete unknown, delivers a powerhouse performance against one of the biggest stars in the world, matching Hanks for nuance and depth every step of the way. I would love for him to win, but I think after coming close last year, Cooper might be the one to beat in this category.
Prediction: Bradley Cooper
BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Directing, that most subtle yet all-encompassing talent. The role that is most frequently associated with being the film’s author, or auteur, charged with balancing and orchestrating the multitude of other components into a coherent and, hopefully, compelling, whole. All five of these nominees have delivered sterling work in the past and the two I have seen, Gravity and Captain Phillips, demonstrate once again the cinematic power that Cuaron and Greengrass can muster. Gravity is an extraordinary technical achievement, while Captain Phillips balances an intense personal drama with wider political issues. 12 Years a Slave has been emphasised as an important historical drama, and after Steve McQueen’s previous efforts being too controversial for awards consideration (Shame, anyone?), 12 Years a Slave is the right sort of “respectable” fare that awards-givers admire. Payne and O. Russell are awards darlings as well, but I think this is likely to go to McQueen.
Prediction: Steve McQueen
BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Jeff Pope, Steve Coogan, Philomena
John Ridley, 12 Years A Slave
Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell, American Hustle
If Alexander Payne were nominated in this category, I would predict him to win. But he isn’t so I pick Singer and Russell. I believe the HFPA would like to reward Russell, but not in the Director category McQueen may have him beaten (I say this not having seen either film!). Still, Screenplay is often a wild card, so it could be anybody’s game.
Prediction: Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
Alex Ebert, All Is Lost
Alex Heffes, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Steven Price, Gravity
John Williams, The Book Thief
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years a Slave
Another award for John Williams? Unlikely, I think. Something for Hans Zimmer would be fitting, I think, and, again, 12 Years a Slave could be a big winner.
Prediction: 12 Years a Slave
BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE
“Atlas,” The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Music by: Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion
Lyrics by: Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion
“Let It Go,” Frozen
Music by: Kristen Anderson Lopez, Robert Lopez
Lyrics by: Kristen Anderson Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Ordinary Love,” Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Music by: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen, Jr., Brian Burton
Lyrics by: Bono
“Please Mr Kennedy,” Inside Llewyn Davis
Music by: Ed Rush, George Cromarty, T Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Joel
Coen, Ethan Coen
Lyrics by: Ed Rush, George Cromarty, T Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Joel
Coen, Ethan Coen
“Sweeter Than Fiction,” One Chance
Music by: Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff
Lyrics by: Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff
People sometimes say they have literally no idea. I will not stoop to this level, for I have actually no idea, and will make a complete guess based upon the credentials of the composers.
Prediction: “Please Mr Kennedy,” Inside Llewyn Davis