Written by Brent Johnson and Dan Cohen
The Golden Globes have an odd place in the season of awards shows.
On the one hand, they’re the flashier, boozier cousin of the Emmys and Oscars. The ceremony features stars getting blitzed in a ballroom and often honors cooler, more relevant TV shows and films (Brokeback Mountain, The Social Network) than the more stodgy Academies.
On the other hand, the Globes — chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — mean very little to those looking to sweep their office Oscar pool. Their voting bodies don’t overlap at all, and often their winners don’t match up.
Still, those who tune in Sunday are likely in for a fun night. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting again, and this year’s film categories actually look like they might resemble the Academy’s final field pretty closely. Below, Pop-Break breaks down who is likely to win. –Brent Johnson
BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
12 Years a Slave
Brent Johnson: This category is a preview of what the Oscars’ Best Picture race will probably look like: a two-horse battle between the brutally evocative 12 Years A Slave and the subtly thrilling Gravity, with every other film following far behind. Expect 12 Years to take the trophy.
Dan Cohen: In terms of what my favorite movie is from this list, it’s probably Philomena. This category stinks though. I’ll go with 12 Years a Slave. It just feels like the juggernaut of this year’s awards.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr Banks
Kate Winslet, Labor Day
Brent Johnson: Blanchett is favored by almost everyone to take home the Academy Award. She’ll do the same here, unless Bullock — in a significantly better performance than her Oscar-winning turn in The Blind Side — can pull off an upset. The possible spoiler is Thompson, who was a grumpy delight as the author of Mary Poppins.
Dan Cohen: Cate Blanchett wins…the end.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave
Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford, All Is Lost
Brent Johnson: Everyone here but Elba is a serious contender in the tightest Oscar race of the year — there are maybe a dozen deserving contenders in the running for Best Actor. Still, Ejiofor is the clear favorite — and could win over the Academy, too, come March.
Dan Cohen: Idris Elba, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, and Robert Redford are all deserving. The nominee who will win though (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is mediocre at best. Believe me, come Oscar time…I will have a lot to say about the Best Actor race. I feel like a character from the old NBC show Heroes, as I have thousands of strings in my room trying to decipher who will be nominated this year.
BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Wolf of Wall Street
Brent Johnson: The great American Hustle — so smart, so sad, so funny — is the film to beat here. But the Globes love Alexander Payne. Don’t be surprised if Nebraska steals it.
Dan Cohen: All these movies are better than any of the films listed in Best Drama. I’m absolutely fine with any of them winning, and this is quite a race. Let’s take out Inside Llewyn Davis, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Her, simply based on the fact that the directors for those films aren’t even nominated. I’ll go with American Hustle over Nebraska for a couple reasons. First off, it has more nominations. Secondly, it’s more Hollywood Foreign Press friendly.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig, Francis Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Brent Johnson: The fact that the Globes breaks films into two categories — drama and comedy — often makes for some head-scratching nominees and winners. So while Adams’ heartbreaking turn as a stripper-turned-con artist seems to have a slight edge over Streep’s over-the-top role as a midwestern matriach, who knows?
Dan Cohen: I guess you can never count out Meryl Streep, but out of all the nominees listed here, Amy Adams is the only guarantee to get an Oscar nomination. I’ll just use that logic and pick her.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf Of Wall Street
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Joaquin Phoenix, Her
Brent Johnson: The comedy categories are often tough to fill with deserving candidates. But because of the wealth of strong male lead roles in 2013, this race is actually one of the tougher to predict. But let’s pick Bale — so underrated as a confident but flustered con man — as a slight favorite over Dern and DiCaprio.
Dan Cohen: This is like picking between Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees, with Oscar Isaac as the Andrew Luck of the group. We got to take Isaac out, he’s just not there with the big boys yet. American Hustle is more of an ensemble piece, so let’s take Bale out. Bruce Dern is great, but you could argue Nebraska is more about Will Forte’s character. So this really comes down to Phoenix and DiCaprio. DiCaprio has a better chance of winning the Oscar, so I’m going with him for the win.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Despicable Me 2
Brent Johnson: Frozen has a key thing most animated films need to win at award shows: strong word of mouth.
Dan Cohen: Frozen, not even close.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Blue is the Warmest Color (France)
The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)
The Past (Iran)
The Wind Rises (Japan)
Dan Cohen: I feel like I’ve read more articles on Blue is the Warmest Color, so I’ll just go with that.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska
Brent Johnson: Another category filled with strong contenders. Nyong’o might be the favorite come Oscar time, but don’t be surprised if the celeb-loving Foreign Press Association picks Lawrence — the darling of 2013 — here.
Dan Cohen: In an award ceremony chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press, I’ll go with Jennifer Lawrence. But I might be singing a different tune at Oscar time…
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Brent Johnson: Expect the Academy to go sentimental and replace Cooper with the late James Gandolfini in Enough Said when the Oscar nods are released. But no matter: This is a battle between Fassbender’s vicious slave owner and Leto’s head-turning role as a transsexual battling AIDS — with Leto finishing just in front.
Brent Johnson: The only person who can give Jared Leto a run for his money this year is Michael Fassbender. Having said that…Jared Leto for the win.
BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Brent Johnson: You know it’s a tight year when Scorsese and the Coen Brothers don’t make the final cut. But the real battle is between Cuaron and McQueen. Expect the flashier Globes to pick Cuaron’s visual spectacle and the more traditional Oscars to choose McQueen’s taut, harrowing storytelling.
Dan Cohen: Whether it’s the Oscars or Golden Globes, I always get the most frustrated with the Best Director nominees. Paul Greengrass gets in, but not Martin Scorsese? Whatever. This is probably between Steve McQueen and Alfonso Cuaron…I think Cuaron takes this one.
BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Jeff Pope & Steve Coogan, Philomena
John Ridley, 12 Years A Slave
Eric Warren Singer & David O. Russell, American Hustle
Brent Johnson: American Hustle’s mix of wit, thrills, glamor, and pathos is what the Globes are all about.
Dan Cohen: Strong category, but this has to go to Spike Jonze for Her…it just has to. 12 Years a Slave is a perfectly fine film, but if it wins Best Screenplay over these other nominees, I’m jumping out the window.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
Alex Ebert, All Is Lost
Alex Heffes, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Steven Price, Gravity
John Williams, The Book Thief
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years A Slave
Brent Johnson: Zimmer’s sparse but moving score is the likely winner, but never count out John Williams, who has more awards on his mantle than music has notes.
Dan Cohen: I’ll take Hans Zimmer, and just pretend he’s winning it for Man of Steel.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE
“Atlas,” The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — Coldplay
“Let It Go”, Frozen – Kristen Anderson Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Ordinary Love,” Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom — U2
“Please Mr. Kennedy,” Inside Llewyn Davis — Justin Timberlake, Oscar Isaac, Adam Sackler, T-Bone Burnett
“Sweeter Than Fiction”, One Chance — Taylor Swift
Brent Johnson: While the Oscars have turned this category into a joke in recent years, the Globes still nominate wonderful songs written by relevant artists. And few musical moments in recent movie history are as memorable as ‘Please Mr. Kennedy.’ That said, don’t be surprised if the beloved Frozen jumps ahead.
Dan Cohen: I’d imagine this is between Frozen and Inside Llewyn Davis…a tough one, but I think Llewyn Davis will barely edge it out.