January 8, 2016 6:01 pm
Updated: January 10, 2016 12:08 pm

Golden Globes 2016 predictions: picks for this year’s winners

WATCH: The 73rd annual Golden Globes are happening tonight in Beverly Hills honoring the year's best in movies and TV . NBC’s Mark Barger reports.

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It’s awards season again, and as always, those of us in the entertainment industry try our best to predict who the Hollywood Foreign Press will reward with little statuettes.

The 73rd Golden Globe Awards airs on Sunday, Jan. 10, starting at 6 p.m. ET with red-carpet coverage. 2015 was a year of intense movies (Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant) and off-the-radar TV shows (Mozart in the Jungle, Wolf Hall) so it’s a difficult process to whittle down the nominees in each of the major categories.

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Here are my picks for winners in the major categories, each with a short explanation below the choice.

** DISCLAIMER: Don’t email with rage if you lose your office pool because of me. Feel free, however, to disparage me on Twitter if you must.**

MOVIES

Best Motion Picture – Drama
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Room
WINNER: Spotlight

Why: This journalism movie, which follows the 2001 Boston Globe investigation into defrocked priest John Geoghan, has been getting accolades since it started screening at festivals on the circuit. It’s under the radar for the mainstream, but still has the potential to win. Revenant may have been more likely to win had it not received some weaker reviews after its release. Of course, Fury Road is the fan favourite, but it doesn’t have enough gravitas to take top prize.

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
WINNER: The Big Short
Joy
The Martian
Spy
Trainwreck

Why: A few months ago, The Martian would have been the top pick here, but The Big Short hasn’t come up short (so to speak) in the last month. The absolute onslaught of commercials, trailers and sound bytes, along with reminders of how stacked the cast is (Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carell) make this a shoo-in.

Best Actor – Motion Picture, Drama
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
WINNER: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Will Smith, Concussion

Why: This comes down to DiCaprio vs. Redmayne, who, if you’ll recall, took the prize last year. There’s so much buzz around DiCaprio eating raw bison liver and suffering in the snow for The Revenant, on some level he kind of deserves it. It says nothing about Redmayne’s performance in The Danish Girl, which is unquestionably award-worthy.

Best Actor – Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Steve Carell, The Big Short
WINNER: Matt Damon, The Martian
Al Pacino, Danny Collins
Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear

Why: Damon carries The Martian squarely on his own two shoulders, and as a result, will most likely win. Bale and Carell are great in The Big Short, but neither deserves to win over the other, so they’ll cancel each other out.

Best Actress – Motion Picture, Drama
Cate Blanchett, Carol
WINNER: Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Saoirse Ronin, Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Why: For months now, it’s been all about Brie Larson. The only chance for an upset might come in the form of Ronan, who’s excellent in Brooklyn.

Best Actress – Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Melissa McCarthy, Spy
WINNER: Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van
Lily Tomlin, Grandma

Why: Hmm, who to pick, who to pick. You have three current Hollywood favourites and two old-hat performers, all worthy of a prize in comedy. But we all know who’s going to take it, right? Yes, it will be Amy Schumer, who’ll swipe it right out from under her BFF Jennifer Lawrence’s nose.

Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, Drama
Paul Dano, Love
Idris Elba, Beast of No Nation
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
WINNER: Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Why: This is about as even a playing field as you can get. The inside edge goes to Stallone, though, since he’s a producer’s dream on stage, and he’s gotten a lot of buzz since Creed opened. Plus, nostalgia.

Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, Drama
Jane Fonda, Youth
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
WINNER: Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Why: If you’re observant, you’ll note that Vikander is nominated in the Lead Actress category too, and she’s arguably the biggest breakout actress of the year. If Leigh were more present in The Hateful Eight, she might stand a greater chance of winning because her character is a delight, but this year, it’s going to be Vikander.

Best Director
Todd Haines, Carol
Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
WINNER: Ridley Scott, The Martian

Why: While Miller’s Fury Road is a directorial masterpiece on every level, Scott has never won at the Golden Globes, so this is his year to be honoured. The outlier is Haynes for Carol, which has been hailed as a critical success pretty much across the board.

TELEVISION

Best Drama Series
Empire
Game of Thrones
WINNER: Mr. Robot
Narcos
Outlander

Why: Newcomers Narcos and Mr. Robot stand the best chance of taking this esteemed prize, but Mr. Robot will ultimately come out on top. Weirdly, last year’s winner, The Affair, is nowhere to be found. Empire slumped a bit in its second season, and Game of Thrones is always nominated, but never a winner, and I don’t think Season 5 was good enough to bring in the trophy.

Best Actor in a Television Drama Series
WINNER: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Wagner Moura, Narcos
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Why: So much talent in one category, it’s almost unfair. This should be Hamm’s, since it’s his last season playing Mad Men cad Don Draper, but dark horse Rami Malek has been generating so much buzz he can almost power his own electric dam. It’s one of the two. In a parallel universe, Bob Odenkirk should win, because his work on Better Call Saul is an absolute joy every single week, but he’ll have to wait for his chance.

Best Actress in a Television Drama Series
WINNER: Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Eva Green, Penny Dreadful
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Why: OK, let’s break this down, since it’s between Balfe, Davis and Henson. HTGAWM went off the rails in its last season, and Davis remains the stoic centre trying to keep it all together. Empire, meanwhile, has declined in terms of ratings and Henson has gone a bit caricature. On Outlander, Balfe carries the show with a certain dignity and poise; she’s not trying to hide a dead body or take over the room with a sashay, which makes me think she’ll win.

Best Comedy Series
Casual
Mozart in the Jungle
Orange Is the New Black
Silicon Valley
WINNER: Transparent
Veep

Why: This’ll be a repeat winner, since Season 2 was as stellar — if not better — than the first.

Best Actor in a Television Comedy Series
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Gael García Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle
Rob Lowe, The Grinder
Patrick Stewart, Blunt Talk
WINNER: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Why: Tambor is just as likely to take the prize for the second year in a row as Transparent is. Dark horse? Bernal, who brings a real zest to Mozart in the Jungle.

Best Actress in a Television Comedy Series
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
WINNER: Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Why: This is another one of those hard ones, with qualified candidates across the board. It depends on which way the HFPA wants to go: the nostalgic route (Curtis, Tomlin), the “new” route (Bloom, Rodriguez), or the tried-and-true route with Louis-Dreyfus. Since Rodriguez won last year, and Jane the Virgin is still gliding on its good reviews, we’ll go with her. If not her, then Louis-Dreyfus will take home the trophy again.

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