Let the awards begin! After months of prestigious releases and relentless campaigning, the award season kicks into overdrive tonight with the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Unlike the critic awards, the guild awards, and the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), a group of around 90 journalists who cover the film industry in over 55 countries worldwide. Since the HFPA has a knack for honoring sophisticated, star-studded efforts, the winners here don’t always match up with that of the Oscars (for instance, they chose Babel over The Departed and Atonement over No Country For Old Men); nonetheless, the Globes are still a revered honor and this year a number of worthy films will be fighting it out in both the Drama and Comedy/Musical Categories. Below, our critics Zack Sharf and Mike Murphy take their best guesses as to who will walk away with the gold:
Best Motion Picture, Comedy
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Silver Linings Playbook
SHARF: The beautiful Moonrise Kingdom and the great Silver Linings Playbook are equally deserving winners, both deftly balancing laugh-out-loud comedy with heartfelt truths, but the ambitious (and disastrous) Les Miserables already has this one in the bag. Meh!
MURPHY: The sinuous momentum of Silver Linings Playbook is currently on the rise. Had the Globes been announced right as the new year began, Les Misérables may have had the upper hand, but its recent polarization is pushing it out of the limelight in these major categories. I believe the HFPA’s soft hearts have been touched by SLP, it’s got this one.
Best Motion Picture, Drama
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty
SHARF: The timely importance and unnerving ambiguities of the masterful Zero Dark Thirty demand a win, but there’s no way the HFPA isn’t going to go with the sophistication and star-studded pedigree of Lincoln.
MURPHY: My love for Django and Zero Dark Thirty won’t stop the HFPA from awarding Lincoln the top prize of the evening. Coming off the announcement of a whopping twelve Oscar nominations, the Globes wouldn’t dare defy the Academy’s beloved Spielberg biopic and award another nominated film…though Argo is the potential upset, the adoration for which has been present since early October.
Best Director, Motion Picture
Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
SHARF: The tightest race of the night could pretty much go to any of these deserving directors, and though I’d love to see Bigelow or the exceptional Ang Lee take the prize, I have a feeling Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s decade long passion project, is going to be the HFPA crack of the evening. I predict Spielberg for the win.
MURPHY: The Broadcast Film Critics awarded Affleck the same day he was snubbed, and my vote would go to Bigelow if Best Picture and Best Director were to match (in truth, Ang Lee did the best directorial work of the year), but with a Lincoln win being pretty likely, the HFPA wouldn’t be one to splice Picture and Director. It’s looking like a Spielberg kind of year.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Richard Gere, Arbitrage
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight
SHARF: Joaquin Phoenix’s tormented performance in The Master was unforgettable, but Daniel Day-Lewis was the winner of this one (and all the Best Actor awards this season) the minute he was cast as our 16th president. He’s the obvious choice, yes, but he’s damn extraordinary in Lincoln and deserves all the love coming his way.
MURPHY: Anyone who thinks otherwise has a bad case of wishful thinking. Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln. Done.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea
SHARF: I wouldn’t be surprised if Naomi Watts’ gut wrenching work in The Impossible sneaks in for the win, but the up-and-coming Jessica Chastain adds the emotional punch to Zero Dark Thirty and her escalating power throughout the film is definitely worthy of the prize.
MURPHY: The frontrunners will be saving the competition for another night. The Globes have made the decision here very easy since the two actresses duking it out for this prize owned their performances in movies that fall in these two very distinct categories. Hence, Jessica Chastain will have no trouble accepting Best Actress Drama for Zero Dark Thirty and Jennifer Lawrence will follow up with her Comedy/Musical win due to Silver Linings Playbook.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Jack Black, Bernie
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Ewan McGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson
SHARF: Jack Black or Bradley Cooper deserve the award here for their career best work (both of their films proved that these comedians can truly act), but the HFPA loves a good musical and Hugh Jackman seems to have the edge because of it.
MURPHY: If the Globes were going to throw a curveball, it would be here. Black and Jackman should not be counted out, but I’m going to retreat to safety and predict Bradley Cooper in this category based on the resurgence of Silver Linings Playbook.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Judy Dench, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Maggie Smith, Quartet
Meryl Streep, Hope Springs
SHARF: If there’s one category besides Best Actor – Drama that’s a definite lock, it’s this one right here, for there’s no way Jennifer Lawrence isn’t taking home the Globe for her vivacious, feisty, and entrancing performance in Silver Linings Playbook. Fortunately, this is one award where the winner more than deserves her prize; yup, Lawrence is just that damn good.
MURPHY: As previously noted, the Globes have made the decision here very easy since the two actresses duking it out for this prize owned their performances in movies that fall in these two very distinct categories. Hence, Jessica Chastain will have no trouble accepting Best Actress Drama for Zero Dark Thirty and Jennifer Lawrence will follow up with her Comedy/Musical win due to Silver Linings Playbook.
Best Foreign Language Film
A Royal Affair (Denmark)
The Intouchables (France)
Rust and Bone (France)
SHARF: It’s hard to judge a category when you haven’t seen all the respective nominees, and while France’s The Intouchables was an international smash this year (something the HFPA definitely won’t ignore), Michael Haneke’s Amour has been an awards darling all season long and will probably win here.
MURPHY: There were other foreign language films this year other than Amour? What?! Well they must not have been nearly as good because this is the only one with a title in a foreign language and it’s the only one I saw and it’s worthy of every award it has been nominated for and could possibly receive. Any movie that makes me afraid to grow up deserves to be recognized.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
SHARF: My god, this has to be the most frustrating category of the entire awards season! Anne Hathaway is the definite winner here for her tailor-made-for-awards performance as the tragic Fantine, but she’s not nearly as worthy as the astonishing Amy Adams. (Note: If Lincoln does turn out to be HFPA crack, I wouldn’t be surprised if the passionate and more-deserving-than-Anne-Hathaway Sally Field takes the award)
MURPHY: I dreamed a dream of Amy Adams winning, but then I woke up and realized that Anne Hathaway is walking away with every Best Supporting Actress award from here on out.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Alan Arkin, Argo
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
SHARF: The monstrous Phillip Seymour Hoffman deserves it – I’d even be thrilled if one of the unforgettable men from Django took it (though they probably will split votes among Django lovers and cancel each other out) – but I think the HFPA will definitely show their love for Lincoln here and award the memorable Tommy Lee Jones the prize
MURPHY: Still the most open category so any guess here is good…but I do think mine will be a long shot based entirely on star power. Less of a prediction and more of a prayer, after being robbed of an Oscar nomination I’m going to hope that the HFPA rights the Academy’s wrong by giving Leonardo DiCaprio the Globe for Django Unchained. The Foreign Press was big on Tarantino’s newest so fingers crossed.
Best Animated Film
Rise of the Guardians
SHARF: There’s no doubt that Tim Burton’s imaginative, stop-motion genre throwback Frankenweenie deserves the prize – and it may very well win too – but something tells me the commercial and critical love for Wreck It-Ralph will push it to victory
MURPHY: If you can believe it, I didn’t see a single animated movie this entire year (am I growing up?!). With this category I might as well choose with a blindfold on, so I’m going to just throw out Wreck-It Ralph as a possibility. If I’m wrong: Oh well. If I’m right: Oh yea!
Best Screenplay for a Motion Picture
Zero Dark Thirty (Mark Boal)
Lincoln (Tony Kushner)
Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell)
Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino)
Argo (Chris Terrio)
SHARF: Another award where all the nominees are equally worthy; though the always inventive Quentin Tarantino would be my pick for his over-the-top, adrenaline fueled genre mash-up, Django Unchained, I expect the Lincoln love to continue and, therefore, Tony Kushner is the probable winner.
MURPHY: This becomes truly dependent on whether the HFPA found more value in an adapted screenplay or an original one. If they go with adapted, they’ll be splitting their votes between Tony Kushner and David O. Russell, and with original I don’t see Zero Dark Thirty coming out with many Globes tonight so I think Quentin Tarantino will take it by default (another fingers crossed hopeful win for my beloved Django).
Best Score for a Motion Picture
Life of Pi (Mychael Danna)
Argo (Alexandre Desplat)
Anna Karenina (Dario Marianelli)
Cloud Atlas (Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil)
Lincoln (John Williams)
SHARF: Since the exceptional scores for The Master and Beasts of the Southern Wild were snubbed, the elegant and melodic score for Cloud Atlas should be the winner, though we do have Lincoln and we do have John Williams – expect the master of move scores to take the award.
MURPHY: This one is actually pretty tough. If this were the Oscars, I would give this so much more thought, but since it’s the Golden Globes, I’m going to save my energy and predict another personal choice and hopeful winner: Cloud Atlas.
Best Original Song, Motion Picture
“For You” – Act of Valor
“Not Running Anymore” – Stand Up Guys
“Safe & Sound” – The Hunger Games
“Skyfall” – Skyfall
“Suddenly” – Les Miserables
SHARF: Is there anything Adele can’t do? After tonight, she’ll be able to put a Golden Globe next to her countless number of Grammys and other music awards.
MURPHY: Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Streisand should be sitting down to draft an invitation for Adele to join the EGOT club pretty soon. Though the Globes don’t represent the ‘G’ in EGOT, they do represent a stepping-stone toward the ‘O’s and her opener to Sam Mendes’ Skyfall is powerful, emotional, memorable, and actually very catchy which all culminates into a definite win. I’m sure HFPA members have been humming “Skyfall” it all winter.