Yes, it’s that time of year again. A time in Hollywood where the worlds of movies and television become one, thanks to the incredible magic of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Whether the HFPA’s 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards are really a bellwether for the more prestigious Academy Awards honestly depends on the year. This season? Not so much, but it’s an excellent opportunity for stars from the big, small, and even smaller screens to celebrate each other’s work, drink, and be merry.
(Well, at least until a little over two weeks from now when they do it all over again at the SAG Awards.)
As in past years, the battle for best picture has come down to the power and influence of two men: uber producer Scott Rudin and longtime awards maestro Harvey Weinstein. With True Grit bizarrely left in the cold having received zero nominations, Rudin is pushing his critics’ wonder The Social Network. On the other side of the battlefield, Weinstein is firmly behind this year’s audience favorite, The King’s Speech. Occasional collaborators (“never say never” with these two), but usual competitors, the New York-based movie men are two of the fiercest awards season campaigners around. And when there are only 80 or so voters for the Globes to influence as opposed to approximately 6,000 for the Oscars? Well, we’d suggest getting out of the way of their crosshairs.
The TV categories are always incredibly difficult for even the most seasoned television experts to pick. That’s mostly because a majority of the HFPA voters cover the movies and not TV, but since they can all vote for the winners, it leads to some interesting and sometimes perplexing picks. In theory, acclaimed shows such as Modern Family and Mad Men should dominate the winner’s circle. This Sunday evening, however, that might not be the case.
With that in mind, check out this pundit’s predictions for the 68th Annual Golden Globes.
Best Picture – Drama
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Winner: The Social Network
Upset Contenders: The King’s Speech
Lowdown: If you speak to some HFPA watchers they will tell you that Network is going to win. If you speak to other HFPA watchers they will tell you that Speech will win because Harvey Weinstein knows how to schmooze them better than anyone else in town. It’s close for sure, but when it comes down to it, more than anything, the HFPA do not like to be embarrassed. And considering almost all the other critic’s groups in the country have picked Network for best picture, they should do the same.
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Alice in Wonderland
The Kids are All Right
Winner: The Kids Are All Right
Upset Contenders: Alice in Wonderland
Lowdown: A pretty dreadful list of contenders with Kids being the only worthy awards picture in the bunch. However, word is the HFPA love Alice in Wonderland, and there is a very slim chance they go with Disney’s $1 billion hit.
Best Actor – Drama
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter
Winner: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
Upset Contenders: Jesse Eisenberg, Social Network; James Franco, 127 Hours
Lowdown: If you’re an HFPA member and voting Network for picture, you have to make sure to reward King’s Speech and this is where the organization tries to make everyone happy. The very deserving Firth is pretty much a lock here, but if the Network love is legit, Eisenberg could sneak in — or their longtime admiration for Franco could find him an unexpected winner, as well.
Best Actress – Drama
Halle Berry, Frankie and Alice
Nicole Kidman, The Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
Winner: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Upset Contenders: None
Lowdown: This is pretty much set in stone. The HFPA adore Kidman, but did not like Rabbit Hole. That pretty much seals the deal for Portman.
Best Actor – Musical or Comedy
Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland
Johnny Depp, The Tourist
Paul Giamatti, Barney’s Version
Jake Gyllenhaal, Love and Other Drugs
Kevin Spacey, Casino Jack
Winner: Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland
Upset Contenders: Paul Giamatti, Barney’s Version; Kevin Spacey, Casino Jack
Lowdown: Another miserable category this year, but it does allow the HFPA to reward Johnny Depp one more time (he’s got nine nominations and only one win so far). If for some reason Depp doesn’t win, it will be because there was more support for Giamatti or Spacey than expected. Like, a lot more.
Best Actress – Musical or Comedy
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs
Angelina Jolie, The Tourist
Emma Stone, Easy A
Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right
Winner: Annette Bening, The Kids Are Alright
Upset Contenders: Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right; Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs
Lowdown: Pretty much Bening’s to lose. Anne Hathaway is the biggest competition, but the members were not big fans of Love and Other Drugs (as evidenced by the dramedy not making the Best Picture – Musical or Comedy category).
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Mila Kunis, Black Swan
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
Winner: Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Upset Contenders: Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
Lowdown: Awarding the Globe to Leo allows the HFPA to reward The Fighter, which they are big fans of. Weaver would be the only nominee who could really surprise here.
Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Fighter
Michael Douglas, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
Winner: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Upset Contenders: Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
Lowdown: As much as they’d like to sympathetically bring cancer survivor Douglas to the stage (which would make for great TV, by the way), it’s going to be hard for them to ignore Bale. Again, they don’t like to be embarrassed. Eighty people can form one pretty insecure group.
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
David Fincher, The Social Network
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan, Inception
David O. Russell, The Fighter
Winner: David Fincher, The Social Network
Upset Contenders: Christopher Nolan, Inception
Lowdown: Fincher will win, but if there is a prevailing feeling monster hit Inception needs more recognition, Nolan could sneak in.
Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, 127 Hours
Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids are All Right
Christopher Nolan, Inception
David Sieber, The King’s Speech
Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Winner: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Upset Contenders: Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, 127 Hours
Lowdown: Pretty much a slam-dunk for the former West Wing creator, but the HFPA also loved 127 Hours and Boyle in particular. This may be the only category where they can recognize the picture.
Best Animated Feature
How to Train Your Dragon
Toy Story 3
Winner: Toy Story 3
Upset Contenders: Um, no.
Lowdown: Just book it. Although we wouldn’t want to be anywhere near the Disney/Pixar table if DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon wins instead.
Best Foreign Language Film
I Am Love
In a Better World
Winner: I Am Love
Upset Contenders: The Concert
Lowdown: Tougher call than in previous years, but critical acclaim and Tilda Swinton’s amazing performance should bring I Am Love the statue. However, the Weinstein’s The Concert could be a possible upset player here too.
Best Original Song
“Bound to You,” Burlesque
“Coming Home,” Country Song
“I See the Light,” Tangled
“There’s a Place For Us,” Dawn Treader
“You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” Burlesque
Winner: “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” Burlesque
Upset Contenders: I See the Light, Tangled
Lowdown: “You Haven’t” songwriter Diane Warren was repped by longtime publicist Ronni Chasen, who was murdered last month in an attack that left most of Hollywood in severe shock. Add in the Cher factor, and only “I See the Light” could upset the Burlesque ballad.
Best Original Score
Alexandre Desplat, The King’s Speech
Danny Elfman, Alice in Wonderland
AR Rahman, 127 Hours
Hans Zimmer, Inception
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network
Winner: Hans Zimmer, Inception
Upset Contenders: Alexandre Desplat, The King’s Speech
Lowdown: One of the few places they can reward Inception. It’s also quite deserving and Zimmer was also a client of Chasen’s (it sounds callous, but sometimes it’s just how these things work out).
Best TV Series – Drama
The Good Wife
The Walking Dead
Winner: Boardwalk Empire
Upset Contenders: Mad Men
Lowdown: The HFPA love Martin Scorsese. The HFPA love HBO. As good as Mad Men was last season, the new kid on the Boardwalk should take home the gold Sunday night.
Best Actor in a TV Series – Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Winner: Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Upset Contenders: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Lowdown: Rule #1 when predicting HFPA TV voting: If there’s a movie star in the field it’s a good bet they’re gonna win. Why? Well, most of the membership don’t cover television, but just film. So, when they get a chance to vote for all the categories they tend to go with what they know. That usually leads to some classy, if not surprising picks. In this case, Buscemi over previous winners Jon Hamm and Michael C. Hall.
Best Actress in a TV Series – Drama
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Piper Perabo, Covert Affairs
Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Winner: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Upset Contenders: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Lowdown: In an even less competitive category than last year, Margulies wins again.
Best TV Series – Comedy
The Big Bang Theory
The Big C
Upset Contenders: Modern Family, 30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory
Lowdown: It’s close between Glee and Modern Family, but we just think the HFPA can’t get enough of those singing and dancing teenagers.
Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy
Toni Collette, The United States of Tara
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C
Lea Michele, Glee
Winner: Laura Linney, The Big C
Upset Contenders: Toni Collette, The United States of Tara or Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Lowdown: If you follow the HFPA’s unspoken movie star rule then Linney or Collette should win. We think being the new kid on the Showtime block gives Linney the edge.
Best Actor in a TV Series – Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
Thomas Jane, Hung
Matthew Morrison, Glee
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Winner: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Upset Contenders: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Lowdown: Are the HFPA really going to honor Baldwin for this role for the fourth time in five years? It makes more sense that Parsons breaks through and duplicates his Emmy win.
Best Supporting Actor – Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Scott Caan, Hawaii Five-0
Chris Colfer, Glee
Chris Noth, The Good Wife
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
David Strathairn, Temple Grandin
Winner: Chris Colfer, Glee
Upset Contenders: Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family; David Strathairn, Temple Grandin
Lowdown: Here’s the thing, somebody’s got to be the first group to recognize Colfer. We say the HFPA are that group. Just a hunch.
Best Supporting Actress – Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Hope Davis, The Special Relationship
Jane Lynch, Glee
Kelly MacDonald, Boardwalk Empire
Julia Stiles, Dexter
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Winner: Kelly MacDonald, Boardwalk Empire
Upset Contenders: Sofia Vergara, Modern Family; Jane Lynch, Glee
Lowdown: We’re taking the Boardwalk train and going with Kelly MacDonald. It’s a hunch, but we’d also not be surprised if Lynch repeated her Emmy win here.
Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
Pillars of the Earth
You Don’t Know Jack
Winner: The Pacific
Upset Contenders: Carlos; You Don’t Know Jack
Lowdown: Let’s be clear, the HFPA may love Carlos and it’s a credit to the organization’s overall taste that it made the cut, but they do not want to embarrass Pacific producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. It’s that simple.
Best Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for TV
Hayley Atwell, Pillars of the Earth
Claire Danes, Temple Grandin
Judi Dench, Return to Cranford
Romola Garai, Emma
Jennifer Love Hewitt, The Client List
Winner: Claire Danes, Temple Grandin
Upset Contenders: Um, no.
Lowdown: Just book it (and she’s winning the SAG Award for this one too).
Best Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for TV
Idris Elba, Luther
Ian McShane, Pillars of the Earth
Al Pacino, You Don’t Know Jack
Dennis Quaid, The Special Relationship
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
Winner: Al Pacino, You Don’t Know Jack
Upset Contenders: Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
Lowdown: Former Cecil B. DeMille and 14-time nominee and two-time winner Pacino should repeat his Emmy Award win here. However, there is a slight chance Ramirez upsets so the HFPA can claim they were one of the few orgs to actually recognize Carlos in some way.
Gregory Ellwood is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of HitFix.com. After almost a decade or working for Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, he left the dark side to become a journalist. In the years since, he got sucked into the Oscar beat and has written for MSN, The Los Angeles Times and Variety. Follow Ellwood’s Awards Campaign blog here on HitFix.