They Shoot Oscar Prognosticators, Don't They?
A Look At Golden Globe Winners and Potential Spoilers
By J. Don Birnam
January 4, 2018

But seriously, Guillermo, why is The Strain so gross?

Happy New Year Prophets! With the advent of the new calendar, the holiday break is over and awards season is back with us for the last two months. We are still a couple of weeks away from Oscar nominations, but the guilds are in full swing again and the Globes are this Sunday. Read on for an update on what some of the precursors have been doing. If you like what you read follow me on social media. Twitter @jdonbirnam and Instagram @awards_predix.

Who Will The HFPA Help…or Hurt?

For all the talk about how this has been an unpredictable awards season, I think that the Globes are about to clear up the picture in favor of Three Billboards. The reason is twofold: the first is that audiences just keep falling over and over again for the tricky Martin McDonagh film. Few if any dislike it, and most love it. Really, not other film in the race can say that. Even Lady Bird has detractors. Thankfully, the two are not in the same category. The main competition for Billboards is of course Del Toro’s love story The Shape of Water. When the nominations came out, it was clear by tits largest tally that the HFPA was definitely partial to the project. But can it win? I have my doubts that it can win in the charged political environment in which Three Billboards resides. That movie just feels more important. Then again that may be more of a consideration with the Oscars. It will be close between those two, anything else will be surprising.

In the “Musical or Comedy” race, I also do not think they will go for what is still a genre film like Get Out. But with that movie not even getting a Screenplay nod…Most likely they will go with the much deserving but also more mainstream Greta Gerwig movie (the only one of this race with that nod), though I, Tonya is also a threat. Greatest Showman is just not good enough of a movie. They could go quirky for The Disaster Artist, but I really doubt it.

The director category is also the obvious place to reward Del Toro with a Globe for Shape, and thus spread the love like the Academy has been prone to do of late. It is simply too hard to imagine Spielberg or Ridley Scott winning (though I suppose Spielberg’s movie is about journalists), and even McDonagh and his movie seem like a long shot. There is not as much showiness to reward. Dunkirk for sure remains a threat.

What of the acting races? Most can be boiled down to two, which won’t help for the Oscars. For example for Actor Comedy, it is likely between James Franco for The Disaster Artist and Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out. Anything else will be stunning. The same goes for the drama category, where Timothee will battle veteran Gary Oldman. I just can’t imagine a world where any of Denzel, Hanks, or Day-Lewis win that race.

The ladies are also down to two in their races. The drama category, for example, is most likely between Frances McDormand for Three Billboards and Sally Hawkins for Shape of Water. This could be an early sign of which of the two movies they prefer. They seem to be that close. In the comedy side it is clearly between Saoirse Ronan for Lady Bird and critical darling Margot Robbie for I, Tonya. Robbie may not yet have the “overdue” factor that Ronan is slowly acquiring.

The supporting races are a tad clearer, at least in the male field, where Willem Dafoe has won everything for The Florida Project, while the female race is clearly between Laurie Metcalf for Lady Bird and Allison Janey for I, Tonya. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a repeat of the two movies competing in both the lead and the adapted races. Will they go for both, or split it? Who will benefit from this? This is really the toughest question of the night and probably one of the hardest of the award season.

Elsewhere I think there is little drama but that Three Billboards will win the Screenplay award, but they did signal out Lady Bird as the only movie from the Comedy group that go this nomination, so maybe that will do well. The consolation prize for Shape could be the score award, but Phantom Thread is a clear spoiler there. In the other races I expect Coco to triumph in Animated and hopefully The Square will win in Foreign. But the Diane Kruger factor could help the hapless In The Fade take it. I doubt they go for the Angelina bait.

Full Globe predictions in next page.

Best Motion Picture, Drama
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Lady Bird

Best Director
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Best Actor, Motion Picture, Drama
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Best Actress, Motion Picture, Drama
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Actor, Motion Picture, Comedy
James Franco, The Disaster Artist

Best Actress, Motion Picture, Comedy
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Best Supporting Actor, Motion Picture
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Best Supporting Actress, Motion Picture
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Best Screenplay
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Guild Updates: Writers and Art Directors

Meanwhile, groups with actual overlap with the Academy have released more nominations. The Writers’ Guild of America and the Art Directors each gave out mentions in a number of categories.

Writers: Original Screenplay Is Where It is At

The writers have the same two categories as the Oscars, but they have strange and strict guild eligibility rules such that year in year out, a lot of stuff does not show up here that is a serious Oscar threat. This year is no different, with Original Screenplay powerhouse Three Billboards not eligible. Nor was The Florida Project for that matter. We will get to Oscar predicting later this season, but this could be a place where they reward several movies and give Lady Bird love it will not get in Best Picture.

In any case, the real race this year in both the guild and here is in Best Original. The Adapted nominees are Call Me By Your Name, The Disaster Artist, Molly’s Game, Logan, and Mudbound. I have a hard time imaging anything other than the purported Best Picture nominee CMBYN winning here. There has been a lot of support for James Franco’s movie but I wonder if it’s more a vocal devoted minority than anything else. Clearly a comic book movie is not going to win. I suppose Dee Rees’ film also has somewhat of a chance.

Given the above, here is our first of the year handicap of the Best Adapted Screenplay race, a very short list of only a few contenders.

Meanwhile, in Best Original we have an embarrassment of riches, a welcome thing given that it is normally the other way around. The nominees are The Big Sick, Get Out, I Tonya, Lady Bird, and The Shape of Water.

I think Big Sick and Shape are out—one is small, the other more a technical production. It is probably between Get Out and Lady Bird, but we will have to wait and see what other guilds do. In any event, given this, here is the handicap for Best Original screenplay.

Art Directors: Fantasy vs. Period

The Art Directors give out awards in three categories, fantasy, period, and contemporary. Except for last year, when La La Land took the contemporary prize and then the Oscar, the category with the Academy normally goes somewhere where the Art Directors’ went in fantasy or period. The nominees for fantasy this year are fanboy favorites like The Last Jedi, Blade Runner: 2049, Wonder Woman, and War for the Planet of the Apes, as well as Beauty and the Beast. The Dennis Villeneuve movie has the most “prestige” and I expect it will triumph here and probably also at the Academy Awards.

The period nominees are slightly tougher, but they include The Post, The Shape of Water, Murder on the Orient Express, Dunkirk, and Darkest Hour. This is a tough one. Joe Wright’s movie arguably has the most Art Direction, but the guild will likely go for a more respected film, so it is probably Dunkirk or Shape. The Oscars may in fact go for “most,” however, so stay tuned.

Up Next: Producers’ Guild Announce Friday and Directors Monday. We will be back with Post-Globes Coverage and More