Golden Globe Predictions

Awards Shelf: Golden Globe Picks and Predictions

Is anyone rooting for James Corden?

While assembling the Golden Globe predictions and picks, many members of the Shelf team indicated a sense of indifference. The pandemic prevented studios from bringing out the big movies, but the indies were good if one was willing to find them. Globe voters, it seems, were not.

This year’s nominations are more loony yet more boring than ever, even by Golden Globes standards. They’re obvious results of votes made less by a group of people who actively cover and debate cinema than a reflection of what publicists and campaign strategists were shoving at them most aggressively. The dramatic categories are fine, if mostly predictable. The comedy categories are especially embarrassing, a reflection of the “well, we had to vote for something” malaise that hangs over much of this award season. Which is a shame because there actually are a lot of films worthy of a spotlight. It’s too bad that a group with as big a platform as the Globes doesn’t use it to champion discerning taste.

Who actually thinks Music is one of the year’s best films? Who actually saw it besides voters or people who wanted in on the joke? On what planet is Helena Zengel in News of the World better than Yuh-jung Youn in Minari? Even the two nominations for Hamilton feel like capitulation to the might of Mickey Mouse. Or, more likely, the Globes’ unwillingness to grasp the difference between film and film-mediated drama. Hamilton gives audiences every best seat in the house to a landmark musical, but it’s a play on film any which way you look at it. Case in point: the songs aren’t nominated, and they’re as original as the material shot during the production four years ago. (Which is to say: they’re not original at all.)

The Favourites

The members of the That Shelf team submitted their Golden Globe predictions and picks for should win at Hollywood’s favourite drinking game. Each time the Globes blow it, sip some Moet!

The results are varied with only one case of complete agreement. When polled about which nominees they were rooting for most, Emma Badame hopes that Carey Mulligan and Chadwick Boseman are the top actors of the night, while Rachel West says Anthony Hopkins is her MVP on the ballot for his devastating performance. Daniel Grant is rooting hard for Promising Young Woman across the board. Chloé Zhao and Nomadland scored shout outs from Shane Slater myself, although I also gave one TV “hurrah” to The Crown’s Gillian Anderson. Colin Biggs, meanwhile, is rooting for anything but The Crown, which shows how wide our taste ranges, and hope La Llorona pulls an upset.

Editor-in-chief Will Perkins, summarized this year’s nominations best by saying he hoped that The Prom’s James Corden would fall flat on his face in the most embarrassing way possible, adding, “In a year where increasingly nothing has any meaning, the Golden Globes feel especially meaningless…Bring on the Oscars!”

Golden Globe predictions in film categories were submitted by Colin Biggs, Daniel Grant, Emma Badame, Manuel Betancourt, Pat Mullen, Rachel West, Shane Slater, and Will Perkins. Contributors were allowed to abstain in any category in which they either hadn’t seen enough nominees or didn’t have an opinion. Members were also allowed a few “this for that” options where they could say who should have been nominated instead.

Golden Globes Nomadland
Frances McDormand in Nomadland | Searchlight Pictures

Best Picture – Drama

The nominees: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7


Could this moment be the one that says the Oscar race is a done deal or that it’s just getting started? Nomadland is the overwhelming favourite of the critics’ awards and festival circuit. The Trial of the Chicago 7, on the other hand, is a traditional award season film if there ever was one: a stacked cast, snappy dialogue, and vanilla flavouring. The Globes have a history of pandering to studios, so it’s only a question, really, if they see Netflix on their level. If they stick with the “studios,” Netflix’s Mank might actually be more up their alley. For all the reasons that one can rightly criticize the HFPA for its award show, the group is very active in film preservation and film history. Could they therefore be the group that gives Citizen Kane the glory it didn’t enjoy during its original run?

Will win:

The Father: Manuel

Mank: Colin, Rachel

Nomadland: Daniel, Emma, Pat


The Trial of the Chicago 7: Shane, Will


Should win:

The Father: Emma, Rachel

Nomadland: Manuel, Pat, Shane, Will

Promising Young Woman: Colin, Daniel



This for that:

Emma says: Swap out Mank for Da 5 Bloods

Golden Globe predictions
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Picture – Comedy/Musical

The nominees: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Hamilton, Music, Palm Springs, The Prom

While 2020 wasn’t an exceptional year for comedy—it remains a mystery why distributors buried escapism at a time when everyone needed it—this category is an embarrassment. Music, Sia’s hate crime against cinema and people with autism, might be the only Best Picture nominee in history that was actively withheld by its distributor. Nobody in the industry had a chance to see it after bad early word of mouth plagued its release. Hamilton is a filmed version of a play and not even eligible by the Academy’s standards. Borat is arguably a much lesser version of film they celebrated before, The Prom is a perfectly enjoyable if mostly mediocre escape with great performances, and Palm Springs is an offbeat indie Groundhog Day. Rarely is Best Picture the ideal bathroom break during an awards show.


Will win:

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Emma, Pat, Rachel, Will


Hamilton: Colin, Daniel, Manuel, Shane


Should win:

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Rachel, Will

Hamilton: Shane

Palm Springs: Colin, Daniel, Emma, Manuel

The Prom: Pat


This for that:

Colin says: Swap Music for Bad Education

Manuel says: Swap Music for French Exit

Pat says: Swap Music for Let Them All Talk and Hamilton (they filmed a play…) for The Personal History of David Copperfield

Golden Globe Predictions
Frances McDormand in Nomadland | Searchlight Pictures

Best Actress – Drama

The nominees: Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday; Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman; Frances McDormand, Nomadland; Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Will Frances McDormand take a step closer to her third Oscar? It seems inevitable that love for the film and her performance go hand in hand, even though she just won an Oscar and a Golden Globe three years ago. On the other hand, Carey Mulligan is proving to be more than a dark horse after winning respectable kudos during the critics’ prizes and weathering one of the biggest controversies about a film review in recent memory. Some Globes voters clearly like Promising Young Woman given the film’s quartet of nominations, so it probably has to win something, right? On the other hand, Andra Day is as true wild card since Billie Holiday came to the game very late, landing nominations when nary a review was published. It’s hard to compete with contenders who’ve firmly established themselves as favourites in voters’ minds.

Will win:

Vanessa Kirby: Rachel

Frances McDormand: Colin, Daniel, Emma, Pat, Will

Carey Mulligan: Manuel, Shane


Should win:

Viola Davis: Colin

Frances McDormand: Manuel, Pat, Shane

Carey Mulligan: Daniel, Emma, Rachel, Will

Golden Globes Chadwick
Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom | David Lee / Netflix

Best Actor – Drama

The nominees: Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal; Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Anthony Hopkins, The Father; Gary Oldman, Mank; Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian

While he’s widely expected to be a posthumous double nominee at the Oscars, it probably helps Chadwick Boseman that the Globes ignored Da 5 Bloods. He can’t cancel himself out this week and his superior work in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom could be the performance to beat. Moreover, while his death last summer makes him a sentimental favourite, it’s arguably a performance that would have been a frontrunner had he been alive to claim the prize. Ahmed is the dark horse of the season for his turn as a musician who loses his hearing in Sound of Metal, but that most critics groups showered this film with support. A lone nomination for Sound of Metal could indicate that he’s lagging behind the pack. Watch out for Anthony Hopkins riveting turn in The Father, a film that Globes voters clearly liked.


Will win:

Riz Ahmed: Colin, Daniel

Chadwick Boseman: Emma, Pat, Rachel, Shane, Will

Anthony Hopkins: Manuel


Should win:

Riz Ahmed: Colin, Daniel, Manuel, Will

Chadwick Boseman: Emma, Shane

Anthony Hopkins: Pat, Rachel


This for that:

Emma says: Swap Gary Oldman for Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods)

Pat says: Swap Gary Oldman for Mads Mikkelsen (Another Round)

Rachel says: Swap Gary Oldman for Steven Yeun (Minari)

Will says: Kingsley Ben-Adir (One Night in Miami) should be there, but only a jerk would kick out one of those other nominees.


(In short, only Will will be approved for Gary Oldman interview requests moving forward.)

Maria Bakalova in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Actress – Comedy/Musical

The nominees: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm; Kate Hudson, Music; Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit; Rosamund Pike, I Care a Lot; Anya Taylor-Joy, Emma.

The sheer lunacy of Golden Globe voters is evident in the fact that they had not one but two stellar Streep performances and decided to nominate…Kate Hudson. Music is an embarrassing career low for both Hudson and the HFPA, but they likely won’t stick the knife any deeper. Instead, expect odds-on favourite Maria Bakalova to continue her rise to fame. Her zany performance in Borat is literally suicidal and more-or-less seals the deal with her scene with Rudy Giuliani. Any other year, Michelle Pfeiffer might have taken this for her wickedly funny performance in French Exit.


Will win:

Maria Bakalova: Colin, Emma, Pat, Shane, Will

Rosamund Pike: Rachel

Anya Taylor-Joy: Manuel


Should win:

Maria Bakalova: Colin, Daniel, Rachel

Michelle Pfeiffer: Manuel, Pat

Rosamund Pike: Shane, Will


This for That:

Pat says: Swap Kate Hudson and Anya Taylor-Joy for Meryl Streep in Let Them All Talk and Meryl Streep in The Prom.

Rachel says: Swap Kate Hudson for anyone…Meryl Streep could have taken one of those slots.

Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton

Best Actor – Comedy/Musical

The nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm; James Corden, The Prom; Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton; Dev Patel, The Personal History of David Copperfield; Andy Sanberg, Palm Springs

It’s probably a two-man race here, but could Sacha Baron Cohen cancel himself out or win two Globes à la Kate Winslet? He’s a safe bet to win for his scene-stealing turn in The Trial of the Chicago 7, while he seems like a default winner here based on the competition. But Lin-Manuel Miranda was great in Hamilton (hell, he was nominated for a Tony in this same performance years ago) and Dev Patel is a wonder as David Copperfield. How much the Globes love Sacha Baron Cohen in Chicago could determine what happens here: will they reward range twice or share the love?


Will win:

Sacha Baron Cohen: Emma, Manuel, Rachel, Shane, Will

Lin-Manuel Miranda: Colin, Pat


Should win:

Sacha Baron Cohen: Colin, Rachel, Will

Lin-Manuel Miranda: Manuel, Shane

Dev Patel: Daniel, Pat


This for That:

Pat says: Swap out James Corden for Pete Davidson (The King of Staten Island) or, better yet, an ounce of self-respect.

Golden Globe Predictions Glenn Close
Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy | Netflix

Best Supporting Actress

The nominees: Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy; Olivia Colman, The Father; Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian; Amanda Seyfried, Mank; Helena Zengel, News of the World

It’s round two of the “Close, but no cigar years” for Glenn, Jodie, and Olivia. Most Oscar diehards peg 1988 as the year that Close should have won (for Dangerous Liaisons) but lost to Jodie Foster (for The Accused). Her presumed legacy Oscar (for The Wife) lost to the mother of all upsets by Olivia Colman (for The Favourite). Now, Close is gunning for a win in the critically reviled Hillbilly Elegy. It’s a terrible film, but even a critic of the ham-fisted Ron Howard flick must admit that Close’s performance is great. It’s just a shame that one has to watch the movie to appreciate it. The film itself is the biggest hurdle, which doesn’t bode well for Close when Colman’s The Father has a Best Picture nom and Globe voters also dished for Foster’s co-star Tahar Rahim.

Alternatively, Amanda Seyfried could give Mank its lone win of the night for capturing the spirit of silver screen ingénue Marion Davies. Finally, it’s an honour just to be nominated, Helena Zengel. (But Rachel has faith in you, captain!)


Will win:

Glenn Close: Colin, Manuel, Shane, Will

Amanda Seyfried: Pat

Helena Zengel: Rachel


Should win:

Olivia Colman: Emma, Manuel, Rachel, Shane, Will

Jodie Foster: Pat

Amanda Seyfried: Colin

Golden Globe Predictions Daniel Kaluuya
Daniel Kaluuya in Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Supporting Actor

The nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7; Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah; Jared Leto, The Little Things; Bill Murray, On the Rocks; Leslie Odom, Jr. One Night in Miami

We already discussed Sacha Baron Cohen and the same logic could apply to rival Leslie Odom, Jr. The One Night in Miami star is a Best Song nominee, and probably the winner. If the Globe members split their votes, that could help Daniel Kaluuya. He’s building mad momentum for his performance as Black Panther Fred Hampton, and the film is one of the late-breakers in the race. With that being said, several of the critics’ groups that deferred their awards until the New Year, including Toronto, went for him. Jared Leto, on the other hand, has a bit of an Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Nocturnal Animals vibe here, but stands less of a chance as a late-breaker than Kaluuya having received only a fraction of the positive notices. Murray, meanwhile, is an overdue favourite in a role that suits him perfectly.


Will win:

Sacha Baron Cohen: Manuel, Pat, Shane

Daniel Kaluuya: Colin, Emma

Jared Leto: Rachel

Bill Murray: Daniel, Will


Should win:

Daniel Kaluuya: everyone


This for that:

Emma says: Swap Jared Leto for Chadwick Boseman (Da 5 Bloods)

Manuel says: Swap Jared Leto for Colman Domingo (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)

Pat says: Swap Jared Leto for Stanley Tucci (Supernova)

Rachel says: Swap Jared Leto for literally anyone

Frances McDormand and director/writer Chloé Zhao on the set of Nomadland. Photo by Joshua James Richards.

Best Director

The nominees: Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman; David Fincher, Mank; Regina King, One Night in Miami; Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7; Chloé Zhao, Nomadland.

Chloé Zhao seems like one of this season’s safest bets. Even the critics’ groups that didn’t honour Nomadland frequently awarded her their Best Director prize. But there’s a difference between a group of 30 critics in a Zoom call trading baseball cards and a comparatively larger body of Globes voters casting ballots in secret. Zhao’s uniqueness is hard to deny, and her talent might prove extra enticing for a group that’s been repeatedly slammed for not nominating female directors. On the other hand, Fincher’s Mank solidifies his auteur status and Chicago proves that Sorkin can do more than deliver a snappy script.


Will win:

David Fincher: Colin, Manuel

Aaron Sorkin: Rachel

Chloé Zhao: Daniel, Emma, Pat, Shane, Will


Should win:

Emerald Fennell: Colin, Daniel

David Fincher: Will

Regina King: Rachel

Chloé Zhao: Emma, Manuel, Pat, Shane

Promising Young Woman | Merie Weismiller Wallace, Focus Features

Best Screenplay

The nominees: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Emerald Fennel and Aaron Sorkin seem less likely to win Best Director because their odds are better in the screenplay category. Either win could be an opportunity to reward the film as a whole. Nomadland often finds its script dismissed due to the elements of improvisation entailed with the nomads, while Mank’s screenplay is older than the script for The Little Things. A bit dusty, just like the Globes’ voters.


Will win:

Promising Young Woman: Daniel, Manuel, Pat

The Trial of the Chicago 7: Colin, Emma, Rachel, Shane, Will


Should win:

Nomadland: Pat

Promising Young Woman: Daniel, Emma, Manuel, Rachel

The Trial of the Chicago 7: Shane


Best Animated Feature

The nominees: The Croods: A New Age, Onward, Over the Moon, Soul, Wolfwalkers.

It takes some moxie for a group of self-describe journalists to deem The Croods the best of the year. However, this contest is likely a two-horse race between the mighty mouse and a beloved indie animation house. Soul could continue Pixar’s grip on the animation categories, and critics’ prizes preceding the Globes gave the film two wins for each of Wolfwalkers’ one. Over the Moon could be the wild card here, though, especially if Globes voters took to those fancy coffee table books that Netflix doled out.


Will win:

Over the Moon: Rachel

Soul!: Daniel, Emma, Manuel, Pat, Shane, Will

Wolfwalkers: Colin


Should win:

Soul!: Daniel, Emma, Will

Wolfwalkers: Colin, Manuel, Pat, Rachel, Shane


Best Foreign Language Film

The nominees: Another Round (Denmark), The Life Ahead (Italia), La Llorona (Guatemala), Minari (USA), Two of Us (France)

We smell controversy! Minari could be the favourite here despite being an American film. The silly classification to reward non-English American films undermines the intent of the award, which is to honour international cinema. The controversy generated by the film’s classification and nomination as a “foreign film” could help it as much as hurt it, really. A win here is a bit of a backhanded compliment and an awkwardly tacit suggestion of what is and isn’t “American.” The palatable poignancy of The Life Ahead and the bittersweet romance of Two of Us are right up their alley, while Another Round could be a worthy film to toast during the Globes’ booze-fuelled party. La Llorona is a surprise here since mainstream awards don’t tend to honour horror. A lot of this category hinges on how one reads the Minari nomination: will people be more upset if it wins or loses?


Will win:

Another Round: Rachel

La Llorona: Colin

Minari: Emma, Manuel, Pat, Shane, Will


Should win:

Another Round: Pat, Rachel, Will

La Llorona: Colin, Manuel

Minari: Daniel, Emma, Shane


Best Score

The nominees: Mank, The Midnight Sky, News of the World, Soul, Tenet [sic]

Put those hearing aids to good use, Globe voters!


Will win:

The Midnight Sky: Manuel

Soul: Colin, Daniel, Emma, Pat, Shane

Tenet: Rachel, Will


Should win:

Soul: Emma, Manuel, Pat, Shane, Will

Tenet: Daniel, Rachel

Leslie Odom Jr. in One Night in Miami | Patti Perret/Amazon Studios

Best Song

The nominees: Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah, “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7, “Lo sì” (“Seen”) from The Life Ahead, “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami, “Tigress and Tweed” from The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Here is a case where double nominees Leslie Odom, Jr. and Andra Day could shake things up. They both have nominations for songs and performances. Could they split the vote between acting and music categories if Globes members want to share the love? “Tigress and Tweed” has no discernible appearance/airtime in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, though, which could be a factor for the few voters who consider the song’s use in a film. (Even after I watched the film, I had to look the song up on Spotify to know what it was.)

Unlike the Academy, Globes voters show little concern whether a nominated song is purely marketing collateral. The other four songs play with the end credits, so there is no “Shallow” or “Falling Slowly” that builds the film’s dramatic arc. Don’t count out previous Globe winner and 11-time Oscar loser Diane Warren to start a run for that overdue Golden Man with a win for her banger Italian ballad from The Life Ahead.


Will win:

“Hear My Voice”: Will

“Speak Now”: Colin, Emma, Manuel, Pat, Shane, Rachel


Should win:

“Lo sì”: Pat

“Speak Now”: Colin, Emma, Manuel, Rachel, Will


Let us know who your Golden Globe predictions in the comments!