Golden Globes 2020 Film Predictions: Bold Picks in Every Category

While the Oscar race is still in flux, this year’s Golden Globes are easier to call. Netflix drama “Marriage Story,” which led the field with six nominations, and Sony comedy “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” with five, are expected to dominate, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association could spread the love among “The Irishman,” “Joker,” and the late-breaking “1917.” This Sunday’s Globes winners won’t have much impact on Oscar nominations, as voting began three days before the Globes and ends two days later this year, on January 7, the same day that PGA and DGA announce their nominations.

But, you never know. Sometimes the 9,000-member Academy is an easier group to gauge than the idiosyncratic 90 members of the HFPA, who have spent years developing close ties to Hollywood talent. They may have had the sense to put Actress contenders Awkwafina and Saoirse Ronan on their ballot (unlike SAG), but the Globes always throw a curve or two before the real business gets under way at the Beverly Hilton Sunday night at the afterparties. These now include the combined Disney/Fox behemoth and Netflix, along with the usual studio/network suspects.


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Best Motion Picture — Drama

“The Irishman”
“Marriage Story”
“The Two Popes”

Will Win: “1917”
Could Win: “Marriage Story”
Should Win: “The Irishman”

Three Netflix dramas compete in this category, but “Marriage Story” auteur Noah Baumbach and “The Two Popes” director Fernando Meirelles weren’t nominated for director, and Martin Scorsese was for “The Irishman.” But his star Robert De Niro didn’t land a Best Actor slot, and Al Pacino and Joe Pesci could knock each other out in supporting. Advantage: late arrival “1917,” a one-shot tour-de-force with war-movie gravitas and impressive tech, led by Sam Mendes, who was included in the director category.

Renee Zellweger in “Judy”

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Best Actress — Drama 

Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”)
Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”)
Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”)
Renee Zellweger (“Judy”)

Will Win: Renee Zellweger
Could Win: Charlize Theron
Should Win: Scarlett Johansson

Veteran chameleons Zellweger and Theron are seeking a return to the winners’ circle, while Johansson is looking for her first Globe win after five nominations. The HFPA does admire “Marriage Story,” but Zellweger looks like a lock for the win.

Adam Driver

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Best Actor — Drama

Christian Bale (“Ford v Ferrari”)
Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”)
Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”)
Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”)
Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”)

Will Win: Adam Driver
Could Win: Joaquin Phoenix
Should Win: Adam Driver

Driver’s impressive performances in “The Report” and “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker” help push his career-best heart-tugging turn as a man separated not only from his ex-wife but his son in “Marriage Story.” Clearly, the HFPA also admires “Joker” star Phoenix, who is in a tight race with Driver. But it feels like Driver’s year.

Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy

“Dolemite Is My Name”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Knives Out”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Will Win: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Could Win: “Jojo Rabbit”
Should Win: “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Of the musical/comedy nominees, Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is the easy frontrunner. Tarantino is the only filmmaker in this category to land a directing nod, while his closest rival, Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”), did not.

Lulu Wang and Awkwafina

Anne Thompson

Best Actress — Musical or Comedy

Ana de Armas (“Knives Out”)
Awkwafina (“The Farewell”)
Cate Blanchett (“Where’d You Go Bernadette?”)
Beanie Feldstein (“Booksmart”)
Emma Thompson (“Late Night”)

Will Win: Awkwafina
Could Win: Ana de Armas
Should Win: Awkwafina

Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell” also landed a Best Foreign Language nomination. Popular “Crazy Rich Asians” comedienne Awkwafina will take this one by a mile, especially after the HFPA was criticized for not recognizing enough movies from women filmmakers this year.

Best Actor –Musical or Comedy

Eddie Murphy (“Dolemite Is My Name”)
Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”)
Daniel Craig (“Knives Out”)
Roman Griffin Davis (“Jojo Rabbit”)

Will Win: Eddie Murphy
Could Win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio

The comeback narrative is powerful for Murphy, returning to Globes contention 13 years after winning the Supporting Actor Globe for “Dreamgirls.” He’s up against three-time Globe winner DiCaprio, whose movie is beloved.

Jennifer Lopez poses on the red carpet prior to the 11th Annual Governors Awards


Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Kathy Bates (“Richard Jewell”)
Annette Bening (“The Report”)
Laura Dern (“Marriage Story”)
Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”)
Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”)

Will Win: Jennifer Lopez
Could Win: Laura Dern
Should Win: Annette Bening

The HFPA will not deny themselves the opportunity to have megastar Lopez collect her trophy for this popular performance as a stripper who gets her own back. Beloved child of Hollywood Laura Dern will have to wait for another day at SAG and/or the Oscars to be rewarded for her wily divorce attorney in “Marriage Story.” And Bening’s uncanny transformation into Senator Dianne Feinstein is unlikely to beat out these heavyweights.

Brad Pitt

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Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”)
Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”)
Al Pacino (“The Irishman”)
Joe Pesci (“The Irishman”)
Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Will Win: Brad Pitt
Could Win: Tom Hanks
Should Win: Brad Pitt

This is Pitt’s to lose. His easy, solid masculinity as stunt double Cliff Booth cannot be beat, and while Pacino and Pesci are mighty opponents, they could knock each other out. It’s Pitt’s year.

Bong Joon-Ho

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Best Director

Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”)
Sam Mendes (“1917”)
Todd Phillips (“Joker”)
Martin Scorsese (“The Irishman”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Will Win: Bong Joon Ho
Could Win: Martin Scorsese
Should Win: Bong Joon Ho

While “The Irishman” could use a win in this category, the HPFA loves “Parasite,” which will likely take home Best Foreign Language film as well.

Noah Baumbach and Randy Newman from “Marriage Story.”


Best Screenplay

Noah Baumbach (“Marriage Story”)
Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”)
Anthony McCarten (“The Two Popes”)
Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”)
Steve Zaillian (“The Irishman”)

Will Win: Noah Baumbach
Could Win:  Quentin Tarantino
Should Win: Noah Baumbach

The Globes throw adapted and original into the same pot, but it’s a battle of auteurs this year: Baumbach vs. Tarantino, who could win both Best Comedy and Screenplay, having taken home wins in this category for both “Pulp Fiction” and “Django Unchained.” But this could be Baumbach’s win for “Marriage Story.”

“Toy Story 4”


Best Animated Feature

“Frozen II”
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
“The Lion King”
“Missing Link”
“Toy Story 4”

Will Win: “Toy Story 4”
Could Win:  “Frozen II”
Should Win: “Toy Story 4”

This race pits three studio sequels against one stop-motion original and one blockbuster Disney “live-action” remake. Advantage: Pixar’s adored and admired “Toy Story 4,” which performed the impossible feat of outdoing Globe-winner “Toy Story 3.”

Best Foreign Language Film

“The Farewell” (Lulu Wang)
“Les Miserables” (Ladj Ly)
“Pain and Glory” (Pedro Almodovar)
“Parasite” (Bong Joon Ho)
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (Celine Sciamma)

Will Win: “Parasite”
Could Win: “Pain and Glory”
Should Win: “Parasite”

Yes, Almodovar is a well-loved auteur, but even though his star Antonio Banderas landed a Best Actor slot, global box-office juggernaut “Parasite” ($127 million worldwide) grabbed nods for Director and Screenplay, and should easily take this win.

Best Original Score

Alexandre Desplat (“Little Women”)
Hildur Guðnadóttir (“Joker”)
Randy Newman (“Marriage Story”)
Thomas Newman (“1917”)
Daniel Pemberton (“Motherless Brooklyn”)

Will Win: “Joker”
Could Win:  “1917”
Should Win: “Joker”

Guðnadóttir’s haunting score inspired everyone on the “Joker” team during production, especially Phoenix, who thanked the Icelandic cellist/composer for helping him to find his character. The HFPA could also reward Thomas Newman for his delicately modulated “1917” score, which helps to carry the one-shot movie.

Best Original Song 

Elton John and Taron Egerton

James McCauley/REX/Shutterstock

“Beautiful Ghosts” (“Cats”)
“I’m Gonna Love Me Again” (“Rocketman”)
“Into the Unknown” (“Frozen II”)
“Spirit” (The Lion King)
“Stand Up” (“Harriet”)

Will Win: “”I’m Gonna Love Me Again”
Could Win:  “Into the Unknown”
Should Win: “Stand Up” (“Harriet”)

It’s the battle of the global pop stars here, but getting Elton John and Bernie Taupin together onstage should be irresistible to Globes voters who want to give “Rocketman” a win. Nominating Taylor Swift’s “Cats” song heaped such scorn on the group that they are unlikely to vote for it.

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