Golden Globe Predictions 2017

golden globes, awards, awards shows, predictions, S. A. Young

I’m blowing the dust off of this blog with a quickie Golden Globes prediction post.

Here are my (semi-eductated) guesses, which will probably change by the time the Academy Awards roll around, especially since nominations haven’t even been announced yet, and the Golden Globes are not necessarily Oscar harbingers. The one thing that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association does oh so right, is divide the Best Picture and Best Actor/Actress categories into Drama and Musical/Comedy. This just makes sense to me. Why wouldn’t you compare apples to apples, oranges to oranges, etc?

But then, quizzically, they lump all of the directors, writers and supporting actors/actresses in their respective fields together. So essentially that’s just as head scratching as the Oscars. There are ten “Best Picture” nominees with only five nominated directors and five nominated writers. If there is logic to this, I have not been able to find any evidence of it. The internet, so chock full of experts and theorists, has let me down on the subject. If I live to be a thousand, I may, someday, be able to puzzle it out.

Oh well, as usual, I digress. I did say this was to be a “quickie” post, after all. Here are my picks, with categories in no particular order:

manchester by the sea, casey affleck, michelle williams, golden globes, S. A. Young

Best Picture-Drama

Manchester By the Sea

La La Land, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Golden Globes, predictions, S. A. Young

Best Picture – Comedy or Musical

La La Land

Best Actor – Drama

Casey Affleck – Manchester By the Sea

Best Actor – Miusical or Comedy

Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool ( It’s the battle of the Ryans. I’m going with Reynolds by hair. call me crazy but Deadpool did HUGE money overseas)

Best Actress – Drama

Natalie Portman – Jackie (because Natalie Portman)

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy

Emma Stone – La La Land

Moonlight, golden globes, mahershala ali, predictions, S. A. Young

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis – Fences

Best Director

Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By the Sea (this is a race between Lonergan and Damian Chazelle and I think HFPA will want to reward an older, first time {directing} nominee. It’s a tough category and any one of the nominees – Lonergan, Chazelle, Gibson, Jenkins, or Ford could pull off a win)

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight (This will be the category where the amazing Moonlight is rewarded)

Zootopia, golden globes, predictions, S. A. Young

Best Animated Feature

Zootopia (though I adored Sing)

Best Foreign Language Film

Elle (Isabelle Huppert won’t win for her performance so I think the HFPA will reward her film)

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

La La Land

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

“City of Stars” from La La Land (Everyone I saw this movie with left the theater either humming or singing this catchy tune – although this is tricky. Justin Timberlake could steal for “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from Trolls. It was a radio hit worldwide.)

The Crown, golden globes, predictions, S. A. Young

Best Television Series – Drama

“The Crown”

atlanta, donald glover, predictions, S. A. Young

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy

“Atlanta”

Best Actor – Television – Drama

Billy Bob Thornton – “Goliath”

Best Actress – Television – Drama

Caitriona Balfe – “Outlander” (if anyone beats her it will be Claire Foy for “The Crown”, but I live in hope)

the people vs oj simpson, american crime story, golden globes, predictions, S. A. Young

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

Sarah Paulson – “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

Courtney B. Vance – “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (another tough category but I think the OJ:Crime Juggernaut will win out)

insecure, issa rae, golden globes, predictions, S. A. young

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Issa Rae – “Insecure”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Donald Glover – “Atlanta”

Westworld, Thandie newton, golden globes, awards, awards shows, predictions, S. A. Young

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Thandie Newton – “Westworld”

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture MBest ade for Television

John Lithgow – “The Crown”

Get to Know the Frontrunner: More Very Early Oscar Talk‏‏

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave, movie

image via The Wrap

Back in July I made a prediction that, on the face of it, should be no big deal, but in our skewed reality, is: that there would be at least two black actors nominated for Best Actor Academy Awards this year (and neither of them named Denzel).

There could be a third if Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is any good. I have no doubt Idris Elba will be, but the movie will have to kill for him to get any buzz. Then there’s Isaiah Washington in Blue Caprice. It’s possible his name could be in the mix as well. Given that there are only five slots to fill, that may be pushing it. “When, oh when, are they going to match the number of acting and directing categories to the number of Best Picture nominees?! It makes no sense! If we have 10 BP’s then we should have 10 Best Director nominees, if we have 8 BP’s, we should have 8 BD’s etc, etc.” *shakes fist in general direction of AMPAS*  Okay, rant over.

All of this preamble aside, let us get to the point. Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale Station, despite the fact that his performance as Oscar Grant III is undoubtedly worthy,  cannot be considered a a sure bet for a nomination, by any stretch. Unless Focus Features mounts a campaign for him, possibly including a WIDE rerelease of the film, Jordan might not have enough momentum. It is only September after all, and his movie, while technically “still playing” in a handful of places, has come and gone from cinemas some time ago. (It wasn’t in that many to start with.)

The other actor that I mentioned, Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave, after just two triumphant festival appearances, is now being considered a lock for a nomination. Some are going so far as to already call him the “frontrunner”.

So the name Chiwetel Ejiorfor is about to become ubiquitous and before the end of the year we’re all going to learn to pronounce it. (It’s not that hard: Chew-eh-tell Edge-ee-oh-for. In my head I call him “Chewy”. That’s awfully familiar, and he might not like it, I realize.)

And now that you have a face to the name, you can stop saying “Who?” You already know who he is. He’s been making movies, really good movies, for the last fifteen years, beginning with Amistad directed by Steven Spielberg in 1997. in addition to a thriving career in British theater, for which he’s already been awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), he’s been nominated thrice for a Golden Globe (“Tsunami: The Aftermath”, Kinky Boots and “Endgame”) twice for a British Independent Film Award (Dirty Pretty Things, Kinky Boots), and once for an Independent Spirit Award (Talk to Me), as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award. This last as part of the ensemble cast of Sir Ridley Scott’s American Gangster with that guy called Denzel and Russell Crowe.

Aside from the roles that have garnered awards attention, there has been just general acclaim for his roles in Four Brothers, Serenity, Inside Man, Children of Men, Red Belt, Salt, and lest we forget, Love, Actually. (Yes, that was him.)  So, an Oscar nomination should really be next, in the grand scheme of things.

If you need more, there’s another film that debuted last week in Toronto and also coming out this year, Half of a Yellow Sun, a drama set during the Nigerian Civil War in the late 1960s- early 1970’s “that brings together the lives of four people during the struggle to establish an independent republic” in which Ejiofor plays Odenigbo, a radical academic and Thandie Newton plays Olanna, his independent-minded sophisticate girlfriend. Half of a Yellow Sun will also be part of the lineup for the BFI London Film Festival next month.

Speaking of London, Playing on your televisions around the same time that 12 Years a Slave is released to theaters will be the BBC miniseries picked up for American audiences by Starz, “Dancing on the Edge”. Ejiofor stars as Louis Lester, the leader of a “black jazz band {that} becomes entangled in the aristocratic world of 1930s London as they seek fame and fortune.” It sports a cast that includes Matthew Goode, John Goodman, Anthony Head, Jenna Louise Coleman and the late great British comedian Mel Smith. It looks all kinds of terrific, in my humble opinion. Take a look at the trailer:

Probably the only other guaranteed nomination in this category is Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyer’s Club. Hell, that was practically inscribed in granite the first time anyone saw a picture of Matty whittled away to nothing. Now reports are coming out of Telluride and TIFF that, yes, he is just that good (though the movie itself is uneven.)

Again, I haven’t seen either of these movies yet. I’m basing my assumptions solely on the trailers, word of mouth from people who have seen the films and some understanding of how these things usually work.

If McConaughey has, in fact, delivered a bravura performance, he has too many other factors going for him not to earn at least a nomination. The accounts I’m reading say he is brilliant in the film (even if he is supposedly overshadowed at times by his supporting costar Jared Leto.). I’ve already talked a lot about the fact that he’s in the middle of an amazing career transformation and resurgence, which Academy voters will want to acknowledge. In fact, there has already been awards buzz for another McConaughey performance this year, the title role in Jeff Nichols‘ Mud. (It is quite possible that McConaughey will be up against another member of the 12 Years a Slave cast for Supporting Actor nods: Michael Fassbender.)

In Dallas Buyer’s Club, McConaughey plays a real life hero, another nugget of pure Academy gold, and then the icing on the cake, to mix my metaphors, he went through that drastic physical transformation, dropping an unhealthy amount of weight to look the part of an AIDS patient wasting away. The Academy is a sucker anytime a gorgeous actor or actor is willing to “ugly themselves up” for a role (eg: Russell Crowe in The Insider, Nicole Kidman in The Hours, Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables, Kate Winslet in The Reader). They get an almost automatic nod. Then again, maybe it’s so liberating that they give fantastic performances. Certainly those I’ve mentioned are worthy.

So that’s Jordan, Ejiofor, and McConaughey. Benedict Cumberbatch could get a slot for The Fifth Estate, and one will surely go to Tom Hanks for Captain Philips, just because…Tom Hanks. (What’s odd is that at this juncture, no one is talking about Forest Whitaker for The Butler, or rather, they’ve stopped talking about him, but that could change, too.)

This is really reading the tea leaves here, but I can feel in my bones that it’s going to come down to Ejiofor and McConaughey. This almost me somewhat sad for Matty. Doesn’t it usually happen that there’s one actor, who gives a fantastic performance to be sure, but of whom everyone says “It’s their year”, and are rewarded almost as much for toughing it out and beating the odds, being a “nice guy”, as much as for a single film? While all of that can surely be said of McConaughey, I’m looking at you Sandra Bullock – as well as you Jeff Bridges. Remember Colin Firth, who was so good and so deserving for A Single Man in 2010? Bridges swooped in and scooped his award because he made himself relevant again by single-handedly saving a slight little movie (Crazy Heart) from going straight to dvd and reminding Academy voters of his body of work and the fact that he’d never won. I’m not suggesting that Dallas Buyers Club is in the same category as Crazy Heart, but will the award go to Matty for similar reasons? (Or will it go to Bruce Dern? He’s winning raves for Alexander Payne’s Nebraska – including Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival – and he hasn’t been nominated since 1978 for Coming Home.)

Ah, but here comes the spoiler; someone who needs to be, should be, recognized for the performance of a lifetime in a once-in-a-lifetime film. How could the role of Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave be anything but? Chiwetel Ejiofor knew it the moment he read the script and wasn’t sure he was prepared to take on such a life-changer (in terms of the character he’d have to inhabit as well as the notoriety it would bring). If the actor wasn’t up to the task, the movie would collapse around him and by all of the accounts coming out of just two film festivals, that is certainly not the case. The mere five minutes in this featurette would seem to bear that out as well:

Okay enough of the blind prognostications. I’ve put my crystal ball away until I’ve actually had a chance to see these films and the performances in question, at least for today and as far as the Best Actor category is concerned.. Given that most of us plebes still have months yet to wait, there’s a lot more speculation to be done.

*At least no one will have to contend with Colin Firth again this year (playing another real person, this one with crippling PTSD). The Weinstein Company has just picked up Railway Man, but contrary to earlier rumblings, won’t release it until 2014.  Harvey’s on fire up there in the Great White North. He’s successfully pocketed this one along with two more for next year: Can a Song Save Your Life from Once director John Carney starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo as well as The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, the three hour/two part romantic drama with Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, both of whom will probably figure into next year’s speculations.