Who Will, And Should, Win at the Golden Globes

Just how many awards is Damien Chazelle’s La La Land going to win tomorrow night at the Golden Globes? It’s a film that seems tailor made for this particularly group, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and benefits from the split by genre in Motion Picture awards. It will no doubt win Best Film and Actress, but can it go all the way in categories like Screenplay, Score, Song, Actor and Director too?

The other big question heading into tomorrow night is who will emerge victorious in the Drama categories: Manchester By The Sea or Moonlight? All three of these films are the big names heading into the Oscar nominations, so who can make the biggest mark prior to nomination day?

Let’s take a look at all of the major categories.


Best Motion Picture (Drama)

  • Hacksaw Ridge 
  • Hell or High Water 
  • Lion 
  • Manchester By The Sea
  • Moonlight 

Will Win: Moonlight 

Could Win: Manchester By The Sea

Should Win: Moonlight 

The lowdown: With the absence of La La Land in this category, this really becomes a race between Moonlight and Manchester By The Sea. If you’re looking to see who has the edge, from a nomination count that would be Moonlight which has six to Manchester‘s five. It’s true that Manchester has been picking up some steam as of late (leading the SAG nominations, robust box office performance) but I think the passion for Moonlight that seems to be felt by everyone that sees it will be reflected in a win here. It’s far and away the best film of the year, so a win here would be more than deserving.


Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical)

  • 20th Century Women 
  • Deadpool
  • Florence Foster Jenkins 
  • La La Land
  • Sing Street 

Will Win: La La Land

Should Win: Sing Street 

The Lowdown: I don’t think anyone is foolish enough to think La La Land is losing this award, in fact this might be the easiest category to call. That said, I do wish Sing Street stood a chance. It’s not only a far better musical but a better film overall.


Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama)

  • Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea
  • Joel Edgerton, Loving 
  • Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge 
  • Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic 
  • Denzel Washington, Fences

Will Win: Denzel Washington

Could Win: Casey Affleck

Should Win: Denzel Washington

The Lowdown: I’m calling this for Denzel based purely on the fact that he is Denzel Washington. That’s not say he doesn’t deserve it (he does), but the Globes are notorious for choosing stars over critical favorites. And while Casey Affleck isn’t your typical indie darling, he’s not a Denzel. Remember when the Globes passed over Lupita Nyong’o in favor of Jennifer Lawrence? I think we’re headed for that kind of a situation. Besides, Denzel’s performance is the kind of performance you want to award, and the fact he directed the film is something else we shouldn’t ignore. But I truly wouldn’t be surprised if Casey takes this; he’s been everywhere this season.


Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama)

  • Amy Adams, Arrival
  • Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane
  • Isabelle Huppert, Elle 
  • Ruth Negga, Loving 
  • Natalie Portman, Jackie 

Will Win: Natalie Portman

Could Win: Amy Adams

The Lowdown: I just want to go on the record and recognize how great this category is. I’m a fan of every single one of these performances, and would be happy with any one of these ladies winning this award. That said, I think everyone expects Natalie Portman to take this. Her biggest competition, Emma Stone, is over in the Comedy or Musical category and Portman has been truly working the circuit for Jackie all season long. She won in a bit of an upset at the Critic’s Choice last month and has received glowing tributes and endorsements from high-profile stars like Tom Hanks and Reese Witherspoon. Plus the Globes have a bit of a history with her; they nominated her when she was still a child actress for Anywhere But Here, and awarded her for both Closer and Black Swan.

That said, they also love Amy Adams; they went as far to give her an award for Big Eyes a few years ago. And don’t count out Isabelle Huppert either who has won a ton of Best Actress honors this year. I think Portman’s got this, but it’s not as much of a cakewalk as many would have you believe.


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

  • Colin Ferrell, The Lobster
  • Ryan Gosling, La La Land 
  • Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jonah Hill, War Dogs
  • Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool 

Will Win: Ryan Reynolds

Could Win: Ryan Gosling

Should Win: Colin Ferrell

The Lowdown: I don’t think Ryan Gosling has this as tied up as a lot of others would have you think. First of all, Ryan Reynolds has been everywhere almost a year after his film opened. Deadpool was one of the most successful films of last year, and is showing up in places like the WGA. A lot of people are wondering if it has the potential to go all the way to the Oscars, and while I wouldn’t go as far to predict that I think a win for Reynolds here makes perfect sense. It’s the kind of crazy announcement the Globes are known for, and even the most passionate defenders of La La Land aren’t the craziest about Gosling’s work in the film. But even though I wasn’t super high on the film like others were, Colin Ferrell is excellent in The Lobster and is easily the best performance in this category. The Globes have a history of nominating/awarding him as well, so a win for him here isn’t exactly ludicrous either.


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

  • Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
  • Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply
  • Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
  • Emma Stone, La La Land
  • Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins 

Will Win: Emma Stone

Should Win: Hailee Steinfeld

The Lowdown: Emma Stone hasn’t won an award since the Venice Film Festival. Her status as Natalie Portman’s biggest threat to that second Oscar are fading fast, but a win her will no doubt change that. She’s charming, funny and lovable and I’m sure that will translate into a fabulous acceptance speech. I think it would be foolish to bet against her, despite some great competition (save for Lily Collins).

I haven’t seen 20th Century Women yet, but I do wish Hailee Steinfeld had a better chance at winning here for what is one of the best performances of the year, regardless of genre. I think a lot of people started to think True Grit was a fluke, but Steinfeld came back swinging with her tragicomic work in the little seen Edge of Seventeen. As much as I respect Stone’s work and preparation for her role in the otherwise lackluster La La Land, she pales in comparison to the work done by Steinfeld.


Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture:

  • Naomie Harris, Moonlight 
  • Nicole Kidman, Lion
  • Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures 
  • Michelle Williams, Manchester By The Sea
  • Viola Davis, Fences

Will Win: Viola Davis

Should Win: Viola Davis

The Lowdown: I’ve been a firm believer in this being Viola Davis’ award to lose ever since it was announced she was running in Supporting Actress. And while it’s true Michelle Williams was steamrolling with the critic’s awards, Davis’ performance is undeniable and far and away the best. Now that Fences is a box office success, it’s even harder to deny that she is the favorite to win. There are many (myself included) who believe she should have had an Oscar already; the stars just aligned for her this year.


Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

  • Mahershala Ali, Moonlight 
  • Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water 
  • Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Dev Patel, Lion 
  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals 

Will Win: Mahershala Ali

Should Win: Mahershala Ali

The Lowdown: Mahershala Ali is the definition of a lock, the closest we’ve had to one all season. He’s only lost the National Board of Review award (which went to Jeff Bridges) but I don’t expect him to lose anything else on the path to Oscar in the coming weeks. Much like the stars aligned for Viola Davis this year, Ali’s trajectory with House of CardsLuke CageMoonlight and Hidden Figures will no doubt carry him to a well deserved victory.


Best Director (Motion Picture):

  • Damien Chazelle, La La Land 
  • Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals
  • Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge 
  • Barry Jenkins, Moonlight 
  • Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By The Sea

Will Win: Damien Chazelle

Could Win: Barry Jenkins

Should Win: Barry Jenkins

The Lowdown: I hope I’m wrong, but I think Chazelle has the better shot at winning here. La La Land led the nomination count, and I do think the HFPA will have a hard time separating their love for the throwback musical from wanting to award the man at the center of it all. That said, Jenkins has given Chazelle a run for his money despite being the newest kid on the block so I wouldn’t be shocked if he won here either. He certainly deserves to for the sheer magnitude of Moonlight.


Best Screenplay (Motion Picture):

  • Damien Chazelle, La La Land
  • Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals 
  • Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
  • Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By The Sea
  • Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water

Will Win: Kenneth Lonergan

Could Win: Damien Chazelle

Should Win: Barry Jenkins

The Lowdown: I think this is Kenneth Lonergan’s to lose. The enthusiasm for Manchester outside of Affleck seems to be coalescing around the screenplay. Besides, Lonergan is very well respected as both a director and a writer, and I think his best chance at a victory this year stands in the screenplay category. It really depends, however, on how much the HFPA loves La La Land because if they really really love it, Chazelle could win here. I think the deserving winner here, however, is Barry Jenkins for obvious reasons; Moonlight is just the best and everyone else truly pales in comparison.


Best Motion Picture (Animated)

  • Moana
  • My Life As A Zucchini 
  • Sing
  • Zootopia 
  • Kubo And The Two Strings

Will Win: Zootopia 

Could Win: Moana 

Should Win: Zootopia 

The Lowdown: Zootopia isn’t just the best animated film of the year, it’s one of the best films that came out last year, period. That said, Moana is also a stunning achievement and could win here as well, but I think it has a better shot over in the Song category.


Best Motion Picture (Foreign Language)

  • Divines
  • Elle 
  • Neruda
  • The Salesman
  • Toni Erdmann

Will Win: Elle 

Could Win: Toni Erdmann

The Lowdown: Of the films in this category, I’ve only had the chance to see Elle so I can’t comment on overall category quality. But it’s the buzzier film and they also nominated its lead actress, Isabelle Huppert, so they clearly like it, making it somewhat of an obvious choice. There’s also Toni Erdmann which has popped up on a lot of Best Of 2016 lists, which doesn’t have anything to do with the Globes, but suggests there is passion for it.


Best Original Score (Motion Picture)

  • Nicholas Britell, Moonlight
  • Justin Hurwitz, La La Land
  • Jóhann Jóhannsson, Arrival
  • Dustin O’Halloran & Hauschka, Lion 
  • Hans Zimmer, Pharrell & Benjamin Wallfisch, Hidden Figures 

Will Win: Justin Hurwitz

Could Win: Jóhann Jóhannsson

Should Win: Nicholas Britell

The Lowdown: I expect this to be another win for Team La La Land, but I do remember the Globes going for Jóhann Jóhannsson’s work in The Theory of Everything in something that was seen as surprising, so I’m not totally counting him out. It’s Britell’s work, however, that has stayed with me the longest this year out of this group. His subtle work goes a long way in giving Moonlight a lot of its power, without telling the audience “Now is the time to feel something” in the way a lot of film scores do.

(I just want to say how WRONG it is that Mica Levi’s score for Jackie was not included in this lineup though, which is easily the best score of the year.)


Best Original Song (Motion Picture)

  • “Can’t Stop The Feeling!,” Trolls
  • “City of Stars,” La La Land
  • “Faith,” Sing
  • “Gold,” Gold
  • “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

Will Win: “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”

Could Win: “City of Stars”

Should Win: “How Far I’ll Go”

The Lowdown: Justin Timberlake’s awful contribution to the Trolls film was last year’s most successful song. He was smart in dropping it months before the film even came out, giving it the chance to be everywhere, so I think it’s the favorite to win here (if this were the Oscars I think this would be a whole different scenario). “City of Stars” is repeated throughout La La Land in differing variations, so it’s not unlikely for that ear worm to show up here either, especially if La La Land is going to be the night’s biggest winner. But it’s “How Far I’ll Go” that is the best of the group, I think. It’s another song that is pretty important to its film’s narrative; it’s the closest thing to “Let It Go” levels of standing out.