Note: This feature was originally published back in December 2015.
On Sunday night, the 2016 Golden Globe Awards will air, and it’ll be time yet again to gather around and watch as the brightest stars of TV and film get roaring drunk in each other’s company, all while that strange shadow organization known as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association distributes statues to the most famous people they can get to show up.
(Again, how else do you explain that Best Picture nom for The Tourist a few years back?)
Most importantly, the Globes are the gateway to the televised awards season, all leading up to the Oscars. So, in the first of what will likely be a number of prediction pieces, your friendly neighborhood film staff at Consequence of Sound has put together our predictions for who we think will take home a Globe this year, and who we think is the most deserving among those nominated. We’ll even toss out a few snubs that we found particularly glaring.
Feel free to use the following as a handy primer when you’re picking your own ballots while drinking in a living room somewhere, the way we most likely will be as well. You can even share your own picks below.
Best Animated Feature Film
What should win: Anomalisa
What will win: Inside Out
What was snubbed: World of Tomorrow
Any year where Pixar puts out two films — in this case, one great, one merely really good — is a good year for animation. Even The Peanuts Movie and Shaun the Sheep are critically acclaimed, so there are no true duds in this crop of nominees. That being said, the race is patently between Charlie Kaufman’s somber, revelatory Anomalisa and Pete Docter’s complex, exciting Inside Out – the former more appealing to the adult film snob set, the latter offering accessibility along with its great big beating heart. I’d be equally happy with either film winning; while Kaufman’s beautiful stop-motion film delves deep into the bittersweet mindset of middle age, Inside Out compellingly lays out the psychology of adolescence in a much sneakier and more subversive way. That being said, Kaufman’s impressive achievements in stop-motion animation (and its comparative novelty) will likely win it the award.
Best Foreign Film
The Brand New Testament
Son of Saul
What should win: Son of Saul
What will win: Son of Saul
What was snubbed: A thousand other movies.
The buzz surrounding László Nemes’ Hungarian feature, Son of Saul, is loud and unavoidable, with one reviewer going so far as to say it’s “the most important Holocaust movie ever made.” Way to set the standards high, reviewer. While the other nominees have won acclaim at high-profile festivals in Cannes and Berlin, there were a number of foreign-language films that deserved just as much attention. Romania’s The Treasure, Germany’s Phoenix, Brazil’s The Second Mother, and Ukraine’s The Tribe are but four snubs — or maybe the field was just too strong this year. Hell, The Second Mother’s Regina Casé should have received a nom for Best Actress but that’s for another category. Read up on these movies before the big ceremony. Not the Globes, the Oscars.
Best Original Score
Who should win: Carter Burwell
Who will win: Bryce Dessner, Ryuichi Sakamoto & Alva Noto
Carter Burwell’s a very well-liked and respected composer that’s been in the business for years. He’s scored every Coen film, worked on small and big budget features, and with Carol, he’s getting the attention he deserves for his vintage, somber, echo-y score. It’s award-worthy by gum.
But these are the Globes. Their awarding for scores seldom lines up with the Oscars. Remember when Alex Ebert won for All is Lost? Me neither, but that score didn’t make it to the Oscars. The point being, all bets are off, so we’ll say The Revenant will win because it’s percussive, moody throbbing commands attention more easily.
Although, Junkie XL’s score for Fury Road totally could have fit that bill, but like whatever. Same for Disasterpeace’s inventively glitch-laden music for It Follows. And where did Michael Giacchino’s sparkly, spunky music for Inside Out go? I’m not bitter…
Best Original Song – Motion Picture
Ellie Goulding, “Love Me Like You Do” (Fifty Shades of Grey)
Brian Wilson, “One Kind of Love” (Love & Mercy)
Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth, “See You Again” (Furious 7)
David Lang, Simple Sound #3 (Youth)
Sam Smith, “Writing’s On The Wall” (Spectre)
Who should win: David Lang
Who will win: Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth
Who was snubbed: The Weeknd, Fifty Shades of Grey and Lady Gaga, The Hunting Ground
It’s strange that, when it comes to the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, that an Ellie Goulding song most wouldn’t immediately associate with the film got the nod over a Weeknd track that can’t help but invoke memories of disappointingly chaste humping. But that’s neither here nor there. In terms of which song “should” win, it’s hard to argue against David Lang’s work in Youth, given that it has something no other nominee can boast: a genuine thematic importance to the larger film in which it’s featured. Having said that, it’s hard to argue against Furious 7’s elegy to Paul Walker, even though it inches us ever closer to a world in which Academy Award-winner Wiz Khalifa is a thing. It was one of 2015’s biggest radio hits, so it’s hard to see the Globes going any other way.
Best Performance by a Supporting Actress
Who should win: Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Who will win: Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
Who was snubbed: Mya Taylor, Tangerine
A lot of old warhorses here with a relative newbie. While I didn’t care as much about Ex Machina as roughly the rest of the world, Vikander was stunning. In my review I wrote, “Labeling an actor’s performance as robotic is usually an insult, but as Ava, Vikander is a revelation. Much like the alien in Under the Skin, the humanoid in Ex Machina is clearly uncomfortable in her body, though she wants to be human.” You don’t believe Ava is a robot played by a human — you’re convinced she’s a robot. Winslet has been nominated for nearly a dozen Globes, winning three. She’ll likely take home a fourth for a wonky-accent performance in Steve Jobs (she was fine, the movie was good).
A nomination for Mya Taylor’s performance as Alexandra in Tangerine would have been equal-parts eye-opening and deserved. Taylor plays the only character in the film who still dreams of a better tomorrow, no matter how impossible that may be to attain (lonely barroom performance is the film’s standout scene). Actors playing trans characters have won before and women playing men have been nominated before. So when will be the right time come to nominate a trans actor for playing a trans role?
Best Performance by a Supporting Actor
Who should win: Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Who will win: Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Who was snubbed: Benicio Del Toro, Sicario
Could this category be any tougher? Jesus Christ. Every nomination here is more than deserved, though the toughest race is between Idris Elba, Michael Shannon, and Sylvester Stallone. All three turned in some of their strongest performances to date, overwhelming the screen every time they popped up. Shannon’s fuck-all swagger brought a nihilistic edge to his ruthless real estate broker Rick Carver, grilling his co-stars with a determination that would leave Gordon Gekko whimpering in the corner. Though, the same could be said of Elba’s vicious warlord, who gut each scene with his vitriolic presence. Surprisingly, it’s Rocky who’s the softie of the bunch. Stallone’s seventh go-around as the Italian Stallion left grown hulking men in tears.
But what the hell? Did the Hollywood Foreign Press simply miss their Sicario screening? There’s not a single nomination for Denis Villeneuve’s taut crime thriller, which is depressing on a number of levels, namely how every facet of the film was firing on all cylinders and yet all of it was seemingly left in the dust and ignored by the GGs. Villenueve, Roger Deakins, Emily Blunt, and Benicio Del Toro should have been shoe-ins! Blunt and Del Toro, especially. The latter veteran must have really connected with the source material because, goddamn, he hasn’t been that alive in over a decade. Not since Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, come to think about it. Well, here’s hoping the Academy Awards got their screener. Very disappointing.
Best Performance by an Actress (Comedy or Musical)
Who should win: Lily Tomlin
Who will win: Jennifer Lawrence
Who was snubbed: Greta Gerwig, Mistress America
It’s tough to make a cut-and-dry pick here, simply because a.) Joy isn’t getting as rapturous a reception as was expected by many leading up to its Christmas release and b.) it’d only be fitting that the Year of Amy Schumer end with her taking home a Globe for her breakout leading turn in Trainwreck. But it’s hard to bet against House Lawrence these days at any award show, especially one as star-powered as the Globes, and it doesn’t hurt that Joy is built as a through-and-through showcase for the actress. All of that said, we’ll throw in our lot with a darker horse. Lily Tomlin’s work in Grandma is as arresting a performance as film has seen this year, and in less than 80 minutes the venerable performer builds a woman whose autumn years have diminished none of her wit or fire or vitality. That said, expect to see Lawrence begin another awards run here.
Best Performance by an Actor (Comedy or Musical)
Who should win: Christian Bale, The Big Short
Who will win: Matt Damon, The Martian
Who was snubbed: Ryan Gosling, The Big Short or Bill Hader, Trainwreck
What a wildly odd set of nominees. Tabling the fact that Damon all but has this in the bag, despite the already-rote talking point that The Martian is a comedy in more or less the same way that the Indiana Jones films were comedies, this category is yet another reminder that while 2015 was a superb film year overall, the comedic offerings were hardly a major highlight. Ruffalo and Pacino are both nominated for little-seen, generally middling films, and it’s odd to see that Ryan Gosling’s unreliable omniscient narrator in The Big Short, probably the film’s comic highlight, was the only leading performance not tagged. Or, given the love forTrainwreck, why not Bill Hader’s assured, layered comic turn as a modern Mr. Right? But of the field on hand, it’s Bale’s turn as a socially withdrawn genius who saw the end coming years before it arrived that deserves to take home the Globe.
Best Performance by an Actress (Drama)
Who should win: Let’s just say Cate Blanchett.
Who will win: Come on, they’re all fantastic this year.
Who was snubbed: Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road; Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years; Emily Blunt, Sicario
Now here’s a category!
All five nominees for acting in drama were beyond superb. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara have become the Sophie’s Choice of awards season, they both gave so much to Carol. Brie Larson broke out with her intensely demanding and ultimately moving portrayal in Room. And Saiorse Ronan proved she wasn’t just that child actor from Atonement by handing in a lovely silent era performance in the heartfelt Brooklyn. Jeez, even Alicia Vikander walked away the heroine of Tom Hooper’s Oscar-bait for Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl.
Seriously, they can all win, and no one would be all that mad. Well, maybe Vikander because that would be a Weinstein muscle-win, but whatever, she’s great. Now, if only there was room for two more. Charlize Theron’s fiery feminist Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road seemed like a lock, but now looks like a dark horse. Charlotte Rampling, well, her work in 45 Years was a thing of beauty, and it’s a shame she couldn’t get over the hurdle on this one. And Emily Blunt, well, Roffman covered that already.
Best Performance by an Actor (Drama)
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Will Smith, Concussion
Who should win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Who will win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Who was snubbed: Johnny Depp, Black Mass
This should be a fairly easy win for Leonardo DiCaprio, who’s two for 10 when it comes to the Globes. That stat might not look too great, but it’s considerably better than his Oscar record, which stands at 0-4. Nevertheless, the competition in this category is spare, if not somewhat laughable. Well, except for “Big Threat” Eddie Redmayne, who’s still fresh in voters’ minds after last year’s sweeping win for The Theory of Everything and whose performance in The Danish Girl is paint-by-numbers awards fodder. But, DiCaprio’s royalty to voters and even those who walked out of The Revenant feeling empty would be quick to praise his work there as some of his best, if not his best yet. The rest? Not a chance.
It is strange that Johnny Depp was left off the list. Black Mass was a mess and a muddy puddle of a biopic, but his performance was arguably a career highlight. He lost himself to Whitey Bulger and although Depp was a tad too histrionic at times, he seemed destined for awards season. Maybe not the Oscars, but definitely the Globes, who loved him enough to nominate him for that vacation doc he did years ago, The Tourist. So, by considering this snub, whatever he did in that film, which was mostly riding boats and looking around, was more captivating than his turn as the murderous leader of the Winter Hill Gang. Okay, yeah, sure, we’ll buy that. ::Rodney eye roll::
Emma Donague, Room
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight
Adam McKay, The Big Short
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs
Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight
Who should win: Emma Donague, Room
Who will win: Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Who was snubbed: George Miller, Nick Lathouris, Brendan McCarthy, Mad Max: Fury Road
In a nomination list populated with a fair number of head-shaking selections, this year’s Best Screenplay category is one of the more reliable fields and there’s really no underserving upset in the bunch. Veteran screenwriting heavyweights Tarantino and Sorkin both have the potential to trade on both their reputations and their current solid offerings to take the trophy, but the attention and momentum surrounding Spotlight could sway the vote McCarthy’s equally deserving way.
It would be satisfying to see it go to Donague, though, whose adaptation of her own first-person narrative novel into an equally powerful film is nothing short of masterful. And it would have been just as satisfying to see it go to Miller and company. Their storyboards for Fury Road might not offer much in the way of dialogue or anything we traditionally celebrate or even consider in screenwriting, but they were an incredible achievement in storytelling.
Todd Haynes, Carol
Alejandro González Iñárritu,The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott, The Martian
Who should win: George Miller
Who will win: George Miller
Who was snubbed: Denis Villeneuve, Sicario
Oh boy. It’s anyone’s game in this category, and any and all bets should hedge on what style of filmmaking the Foreign Press might want to recognize this year. If you think they’re looking to champion some old school Hollywood filmmaking, then circle either Todd Haynes or Tom McCarthy for Carol and Spotlight, respectively. If you’re convinced they believe a little Hollywood magic is just what America needed in 2015, then start doubling-down for Ridley Scott’s The Martian. But, if you’re a little adventurous and you’re thinking they might be too, then have fun deciding between Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant and George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road.
To be honest, I’m putting my faith in the last camp, but if I had to pick just one, it’s going to be Miller. Not only is the blockbuster sequel fueled by a stronger critical consensus, it’s also a bigger statement to be made, and if the Golden Globes want to say something, they’re not really going to do that with The Revenant. By picking Mad Max: Fury Road, they’re more or less flipping the game on its head, welcoming bigger and brassier producers to apply for future ceremonies. But who knows. His post-apocalyptic masterpiece could be totally shut out and left on the side of the road; in hindsight, a token gesture to get more people to watch. Rest assured, the fury will be contagious.
Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical)
The Big Short
What should win: The Big Short
What will win: The Martian
What was snubbed: Inside Out
The elephant in the room is that nomination for The Martian, isn’t it? Make a couple video blogs, mug on Mars, and suddenly you’re a nominated comedy. And we’re not dissing The Martian. It’s a genuinely likeable STEM education adventure, a modern day Robinson Crusoe on Mars, but it’s still so weird to see the audience favorite in comedy. Oh well.
Hey, maybe this means The Big Short can shine, instead. Despite its narrative limitations, the movie’s legitimately one of the pants-pissingly funniest things to come out in theaters this year, and, bonus, it’s got something to say. Hopefully that rubs, actually, goads Hollywood Foreign Press Association voters the right way.
Joy, Trainwreck, Spy, all imperfect yet entertaining in their own rights, but they lack the “importance” voters are probably looking for. Spy and Trainwreck will have deservingly healthy home video lives. If only Inside Out were recognized as a comedy, and not just a cop-out nomination solely for animated feature (which it’s a lock for). Inside Out had vivid, comic animation, and genuine wit and frenetic slapstick to boot.
Best Motion Picture (Drama)
Mad Max: Fury Road
What should win: Mad Max: Fury Road
What will win: Spotlight
What was snubbed: Sicario, Creed
It’s difficult to find any real issue with the Globes’ nominees here. We loved Carol (A-), Fury Road (A), The Revenant (A), Room (B+), and Spotlight (A-). Case closed. We approve…
…to an extent. It’s been a really good year for movies. The past decade has heard a lot of talk about television surpassing the once-triumphant medium, but this year’s cache of films has us excited again. For one, there’s a good deal of variety in this particular field. We go from a lesbian-themed drama to a post-apocalyptic hell-hole to a 19th century tale of survival to a room to a church scandal around 9/11. Not a costume drama to be found in the bunch!
If one movie could be switched out, however, it would be Room, which a very good movie with outstanding performances from its leads (with Larson receiving a well-deserved nom for her efforts). In its place, I’d like to see the darkness-on-the-edge-of-America intensity of Sicario, or even Ryan Coogler’s improbably great Creed (a knockout and other analogies). There are some other favorites we love a lot that will be revealed later this month in our annual report, but those two are movies we thought the Globes would surely recognize. Oh, well.
Still, a Mad Max movie is nominated for Best Picture? What the hell am I complaining about?