Tonight marks the return of Ricky Gervais to the annual Golden Globe Awards. And while the comedian's uninhibited humor is guaranteed to stir up some controversy, some insiders are curious to see where the Hollywood Foreign Press decides to go with their selections. The results may only have a minimal impact on the many neck-and-neck Oscar races, but this unpredictable awards season has caught everyone's attention. Confidence levels are low for just about every prognosticator out there, but here are my predictions for tonight's Golden Globes (click here for a full list of nominees):
Best Animated Film: Inside Out
Best Foreign Film: Son of Saul
Best Original Score: Ennio Morricone - The Hateful Eight
Best Original Song: "One King of Love" - Love & Mercy
Best Motion Picture - Drama
With the Golden Globes, anything is fair game. A late resurgence for Mad Max: Fury Road has been in the works and The Revenant's violence won't scare these voters, but for the Best Picture categories, they usually go mainstream. That means Spotlight feels like the safest bet.
Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical
Ridley Scott's The Martian is a puzzling wildcard here. Many believe this film was intentionally misplaced into the comedy category by its studio in hopes of gaining notoriety through a Golden Globe victory. However, this may swing some voters in the direction of the fast-rising Oscar contender, The Big Short.
Best Actor - Drama
When you've faced an uphill awards season career like Leonardo DiCaprio (The Reventant), you can't assume anything. However, the stars are aligning for his spectacular performance and I anticipate he'll overcome the Golden Globe darlings Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) and Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) to deliver a humbling acceptance speech.
Best Actor - Comedy/Musical
After I just verbalized my belief in a slight rebellion against Ridley Scott's film, it seems strange to then hand off the acting award to its leading star, Matt Damon (The Martian). My biggest defense of these odd circumstantial predictions is that Christian Bale and co-star, Steve Carell, (The Big Short) are in competition against one another, which could (and should) lead to a splitting of the votes. If it doesn't, then Bale would be my next pick.
Best Actress - Drama
I'm siding with my heart and my eyes on this one. Not only is Brie Larson (Room) the most deserving performance in this category, she's been holding off some staunch competition from Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) and Cate Blanchett (Carol) this entire awards season. This is an extremely crowded category that could, in all honesty, go any direction, but I'll put my money on Larson.
Best Actress - Comedy/Musical
If the Globes wants to go with a prestigious superstar, they'll hand the award off to Jennifer Lawrence (Joy). However, based on how wildly mediocre (at best) David O. Russell's latest film is, I see this category swaying to the "it"- girl, Amy Schumer (Trainwreck). Although I didn't laugh nearly as much as I wanted to, she does offer an impressive debut turn that should earn her the win.
I know, I know ... I stated above that Ridley Scott's The Martian wouldn't even take home the Best Comedy/Musical award, but now I'm handing him and star, Matt Damon, huge awards? In support of my twisted logic, the directors are all grouped together and the drama/comedy debate goes out the window. This feels like the perfect time for recognizing a lifetime of achievement from Scott, but he'll have to fend off Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) and George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road).
Best Supporting Actor
The Best Supporting Actor race is flooded with worthy performances, at least 7 others that didn't make the cut, but any of which could sneak into the Oscar's mix. However, in my heart of hearts there can only be one winner in this category and that's Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies). His exceptional work finds itself pitted against legendary underdog, Sylvester Stallone (Creed), who offers a fine turn himself. Common sense should knockout sentiment and Rylance wins.
Best Supporting Actress
This is another race that could go in any direction, which happens to be the stunning theme of the awards season. However, I believe Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) gets rewarded for an entire year of exceptional work, her best of which came in this psychological sci-fi thriller. Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) may have delivered the finest performance and Jane Fonda (Youth) will have her supporters as well, but Vikander takes the slight edge.
Since the Globes don't differentiate between adapted and original, their screenplay category is always filled with juggernauts. A large part of me believes this could be a huge night for Spotlight, which could take wins for Best Picture - Drama, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Otherwise, Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight clearly boasts one of the year's finest scripts and I wouldn't be shocked to see the rising threat, The Big Short, sneak a win from out of nowhere.
*** Enjoy tonight's showcase and stay tuned these week for Oscar Nomination Predictions as well as my personal choices for all of the major categories.