Numlock Awards: Golden Globes Predictions

Numlock Awards is your one-stop awards season newsletter, and it’s back! Every week, join Walt Hickey and Michael Domanico as they break down the math behind the Oscars and the best narratives going into film’s biggest night. Today’s edition comes from Michael.

Happy Golden Globes Sunday! Pandemic weirdness aside, this will be a big night for a lot of movies to capitalize on their momentum — or fall short, dropping out of the conversation and imperiling their Oscar odds.

A lot of the power of the Globes can often come from the actual moments of the telecast. Take, for example, a visibly stunned Isabelle Huppert winning Best Actress in a Drama for Elle, besting the then-frontrunner Natalie Portman (Jackie) right as Oscar voting was underway and landing a nomination weeks later. (If you haven’t seen Elle, you may think it’s a pretty standard example of a foreign-language performance with crossover appeal nabbing an Oscar nomination. You should really see Elle before committing to that take.)

Here are my predictions on who will win the Globes tonight. Follow along with your own ballot, or feel free to submit my choices for your pool. As always, if you win any money off of these predictions, please Venmo me half your winnings.

Best Motion Picture Drama

The Father Mank Nomadland Promising Young Woman The Trial of the Chicago 7

The Globes have pretty varied taste in this category. Sometimes, they go for the big epic (The Revenant) over the eventual, understated Oscar winner (Spotlight). Other times, they see your The Imitation Game and raise with Boyhood. Nomadland is winning award after award, but if there is a spoiler, I think it’s The Trial of the Chicago 7. We just have to see which Hollywood Foreign Press Association voting bloc has the votes.

Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Hamilton Music Palm Springs The Prom

It was a mere two years ago when Green Book won this award and went on to win the Oscar. I somehow doubt Sia’s directorial debut or a movie starring James Corden is going to do the same when the Oscars roll around. The original Borat also got a nomination in this category, losing to Oscar-friendly Dreamgirls in a category that also included Little Miss Sunshine and The Devil Wears Prada. This is a much weaker category, so I’m expecting Borat to take it, with a possible spoiler from Palm Springs if the Globes’ love of Andy Samberg is still strong.

Best Actress in a Drama

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holliday Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman Frances McDormand, Nomadland Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

This is a tough race between Frances McDormand and Carey Mulligan. McDormand already has two Globes — one for 2017’s Three Billboards and an unusual special award for being part of the ensemble of Robert Altman’s Short Cuts back in 1993. If McDormand hadn’t just won the Globe and the Oscar for Three Billboards, I’d lean more toward her, but I’m going with Mulligan getting her first Globe win tonight.

Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Kate Hudson, Music Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit Rosamund Pike, I Care A Lot Anya Taylor-Joy, Emma

The Globes loved Bakalova so much they bumped her from supporting to lead. Not entirely unprecedented — the same happened when Catherine Zeta-Jones was nominated in this category for Chicago and ended up winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. I can maybe see an argument for a Michelle Pfeiffer win (we’ve loved you before!) or Anya Taylor-Joy (we love you now, hence two nods!), but I think it’s Bakalova’s to lose.

Best Actor in a Drama

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Anthony Hopkins, The Father Gary Oldman, Mank Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian

This is a two-way race between Ahmed and Boseman. I think Boseman’s support will tend to coalesce around his lead role in Ma Rainey instead of his supporting work in Da 5 Bloods, and since the Globes didn’t even nominate Boseman for his supporting role, this is their once chance to honor him and kick off that trend in a big way.

Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy

Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm James Corden, The Prom Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton Dev Patel, The Personal History of David Copperfield Andy Samberg, Palm Springs

Sacha Baron Cohen will make history in this category if he wins — he’ll be the first to win for reprising a character in a sequel, since he won for 2006’s original Borat. His closest competition is probably from Andy Samberg, but that would be an upset.

Best Supporting Actress

Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy Olivia Colman, The Father Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian Amanda Seyfried, Mank Helena Zengel, News of the World

Glenn Close cannot escape being locked into a category with Olivia Colman. This time around, I think Close’s luck is starting to change, and she could very well be the eventual Oscar winner. (Personally, I don’t think Close ever truly gave the best performance in her category the seven times she’s been Oscar nominated, but we can save that conversation for later.) Despite Elegy’s miss with critics, Close still escaped relatively unscathed from the most brutal reviews.

Best Supporting Actor

Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah Jared Leto, The Little Things Bill Murray, On the Rocks Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami

I’m going out on a limb here — I’m seeing a lot of predictions for Sacha Baron Cohen and Leslie Odom Jr. Cohen will win for Borat, so I don’t know how many people will double dip and give him a second Globe. Odom Jr. weirdly missed in the Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy category, despite the HFPA’s clear affinity for Hamilton and Music. Still, Kaluuya’s performance in Judas and the Black Messiah is that good, and it could be a good time to correct the record since Kaluuya lost Best Actor a few years back for Get Out to James Franco of all people.

Best Director

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman David Fincher, Mank Regina King, One Night in Miami Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

As Walter explained just a few days ago, Chloé Zhao’s run is unprecedented when it comes to critics’ awards. I expect her to continue her sweep of Best Director prizes tonight. If there’s a dark horse, it’s David Fincher, since the Globes are a bit more up on him than other groups.

Best Screenplay

Promising Young Woman Mank The Trial of the Chicago 7 The Father Nomadland

Aaron Sorkin is on his eighth nomination at the Globes, previously winning for both The Social Network and Steve Jobs. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is more Sorkin being Sorkin — dramatic monologues about the nature of the American experiment, stirring calls to action for the audience, and a complete dearth of developed female characters. If voters are a little bit more strategic and sense Promising Young Woman is coming up short in other categories, then this could be a good place to reward that movie, but I think Sorkin will walk away with his third win.

Best Original Score

Soul Mank News of the World The Midnight Sky Tenet

Remember when Tenet was supposed to save movie theaters from COVID-19, and it shockingly turned out that the mere will of Christopher Nolan wasn’t enough to stop a deadly pandemic? God, I miss the summer. Edge goes to Soul, which is actually about music in a way the others aren’t.

Best Original Song

“Fight for You,” Judas and the Black Messiah “Hear My Voice,” The Trial of the Chicago 7 “Io sì,” The Life Ahead “Speak Now,” One Night in Miami “Tigress & Tweed,” The United States v. Billie Holliday

I fear going against Leslie Odom Jr. too often will tank my ballot, so I’m going to give it to him and Sam Ashworth for One Night in Miami.

Best Animated Feature

The Croods: A New Age Onward Over the Moon Soul Wolfwalkers

Pixar + Graham Norton = Golden Globe, and that’s just math. Walter’s not the only one who can do complex arithmetic.

Best Foreign Language Film

Another Round (Denmark) La Llorona (Guatemala) The Life Ahead (Italy) Minari (USA) Two of Us (France)

Despite some of the wonkiness of the Globes’ rules pushing Minari into the foreign language category instead of Best Drama, I think it’s an easy win here, since it’s a huge Oscar contender with a ton of buzz and universal raves. Given the backlash the Globes got for classifying the film as a foreign-language movie, I doubt they’ll go so far as to then give the award to another nominee.