2017 Golden Globe Predictions: A Night Made for ‘La La Land’ and What Else?


This Sunday is the 74th annual Golden Globes, which will be hosted by Jimmy Fallon on NBC. In an era where statistics are being abandoned by the year (i.e. “Birdman” winning without an Editing nod or “Argo” winning without a Director nod), we are eagerly anticipating another big shoe to drop. Want more clarity on that? Can anyone name the last film to WIN the Golden Globe for Best Picture (Drama) and not go on to an Oscar nomination? The answer: a little film from 1963 called “The Cardinal” that went on to be nominated for six Oscars, but came up short in Best Picture. Why do we bring this up?

In a scene in Clint Eastwood’s “Sully,” Tom Hanks’ character is being interrogated about the events that led to the plane crash on the Hudson River in New York City. When Sully explains that a flock of birds flew into the aircraft, one of the officials says “that would be unprecedented.” Sully smartly responds by saying “Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time.”

An unprecedented event, when it comes to awards season, is a hard thing to “foresee.” The five films nominated in Best Picture (Drama) seem very likely to translate to Best Picture love, but if there is a weak link or two, “Hell or High Water” and even “Hacksaw Ridge” could come up short. So what if one of them wins and that happens? There can be signs that lead one to such a conclusion, but at the end of the day, if you’re not speaking to these foreign journalists, then you’re just going with your gut.

Check out the predictions down below, and join us Sunday night for our annual LIVE Chat during the show, and talk about the winners (and losers) as they’re announced.

Best Original Song

The default reaction is choose the song from the musical, right? Even when a musical isn’t really in the running (i.e. “Burlesque” and “Happy Feet”), the HFPA has bit. “City of Stars” seems like the sure-fire contender, but with big stars like Justin Timberlake (“Can’t Stop the Feeling!”) and Lin Manuel Miranda (“How Far I’ll Go”), the star-loving HFPA may feel interested in checking off another box on the ballots. I’m going with Timberlake in an upset.

PREDICTION: “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

This seems like a full-on race between the presumed Oscar frontrunner Justin Hurwitz for “La La Land” and the ineligible Jóhann Jóhannsson for “Arrival.” Word on the street is that the HFPA is over the moon about “La La Land” and it could clean up. Truth is, the last two musicals they awarded in this category were both Disney films (“Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast”). By a smidge, I’m going with Hurwitz.

PREDICTION: Justin Hurwitz for “La La Land”

Best Foreign Language Film

There are three very high-profile foreign features in contention, and the soft tone of “Toni Erdmann” may be able to hit the pocket of the HFPA and help it propel itself forward in the race to the Dolby. The precursors have been heavy on the ineligible “The Handmaiden” and has clouded the path. This is its comeback.

PREDICTION: “Toni Erdmann” from Germany

Best Animated Feature

“Zootopia” has become the de facto frontrunner with its big wins at the Critics’ Choice and various other guilds. Truth is, “Kubo and the Two Strings” has garnered the most critics awards and speaks volumes to an international audience. With “Moana” there to siphon some of the votes from Disney, I’m guessing that “Kubo” comes up the middle.

PREDICTION: “Kubo and the Two Strings” (Laika)

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

No musical has ever won this category. Remember when we talked about “unprecedented”?  Does that mean there isn’t room for a first time occurrence? Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen two films win this category and not go on to an Oscar nomination (“Steve Jobs” and “The People vs. Larry Flynt”). With a lone director nod at the Globes, could they want to throw a bone to Tom Ford, despite a seemingly long shot Adapted Screenplay (for the moment)? In the end, “Manchester by the Sea” may have the proper mix of drama and emotion.

PREDICTION: “Manchester by the Sea” by Kenneth Lonergan

Best Director – Motion Picture

The last musical film to win both Best Picture (Comedy or Musical) and Director was Barbra Streisand’s “Yentl” in 1983. Damien Chazelle has the edge here, but Mel Gibson’s welcome back tour has been quite effective and could squeak by for his work on “Hacksaw Ridge.” Ultimately, though, Chazelle’s power will be hard for them to pass up.

PREDICTION: Damien Chazelle for “La La Land”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

This race here reminds me of Jennifer Lawrence vs. Lupita Nyong’o where the previous winner emerged victorious. Insert nominees Jeff Bridges for “Hell or High Water” and Mahershala Ali for “Moonlight” and you could see the exact same outcome. Dev Patel might have some fighting power himself for “Lion,” but I wouldn’t count on it. I think we’re in store for a Bridges on stage.

PREDICTION: Jeff Bridges for “Hell or High Water”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

While there is room for either Michelle Williams for “Manchester by the Sea” or Nicole Kidman for “Lion” to nab the spotlight, the dominance for Viola Davis has been apparent all season long. “Fences” may have been passed over in the Picture (Drama) category, but Davis is likely to keep her frontrunner status.

PREDICTION: Viola Davis for “Fences”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Comedy or Musical)

Hugh Grant won this prize 22 years ago for his Oscar-snubbed work in “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” Although he campaigned in Supporting Actor, the HFPA deemed this a lead performance and moved him here. If the research is correct, he would be the very first performer to win this category under those circumstances. If we’re not looking for history to be made, we’re left with the “Battle of the Ryan’s.”

“Deadpool” has been picking up steam lately, nabbing a Best Picture nod at the Globes, and recently an Adapted Screenplay nod from the WGA. That helps Reynolds. Gosling is one half of the Best Picture frontrunner. That surely helps Gosling.

Colin Farrell surprised in this category a few years back, winning this prize for “In Bruges.” What if he nabs his second for “The Lobster?”

Interesting and obscure fact.  Of the Five nominated men, only Gosling is generating palpable buzz that looks to result in a Best Actor nod (since Grant is supporting).  By that definition, Gosling should be winning easily.  However, if he were to lose, the last time that one of the nominees in this category translated without the winner of Actor (Comedy or Musical) was Sean Penn in “Sweet and Lowdown” in 1999, when he lost to Jim Carrey for “Man on the Moon.” I’m sticking with Gosling.  An obscure fact but but proves why it really can’t be anyone but Gosling.  He can’t afford it to be.

PREDICTION: Ryan Gosling for “La La Land”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Comedy or Musical)

Even with Meryl Streep winning the Cecil B. Demille award on Sunday, “Florence Foster Jenkins” doesn’t seem like it’s going to crack any winning moments. Emma Stone has seemingly had this locked up for months. If we’re looking for a shocker, could the SAG-snubbed Annette Bening get her Oscar nomination back on track by leap frogging Stone? I wouldn’t bet on it.

PREDICTION: Emma Stone for “La La Land”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Drama)

This is one of the hottest races of the night. We always knew that Casey Affleck would dominate the precursor circuit, but it has been assumed that Denzel Washington would be able to catch on him when the televised shows started. Denzel is fresh off his Cecil B. Demille prize from the HFPA last year. This would be his third competitive Golden Globe award if he wins. Affleck has the momentum. It looks as though half a dozen recipients of the prestigious Demille award have gone on to win a competitive Golden Globe following their awarding. Time to add one more to that list.

PREDICTION: Denzel Washington for “Fences”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Drama)

This is the single hottest race of the night. Three of the women are in the thick of the race and we could see a number of things happen. The international appeal of Isabelle Huppert kicks into gear and pushes her over for “Elle.” The riveting force of Natalie Portman puts her into undeniable territory resulting in a win for “Jackie.” Or finally, Amy Adams begins her Oscar run, resulting in a stunning upset for her work in “Arrival.”

In terms of sheer Oscar nomination, Huppert could use the win the most. As someone who is seemingly looking from the outside in with her category, a win would almost solidify her with AMPAS ballots now in voters’ hands. The last winner here to not translate to Oscar was Kate Winslet for “Revolutionary Road” (though that’s a technicality). Technically it’s Shirley MacLaine in “Madame Sousatzka” (though this also doesn’t REALLY count since she won in a stunning three-way tie).

So I guess TECHNICALLY the answer is…no one. Not a single person in the history of the Golden Globes and this category has won Lead Actress (Drama) and not translated to an Oscar nom without it being because of a three-way tie or showing up for a different performance. Guess we should keep an eye on “Things to Come,” huh? Either way…sticking with Portman. No reason not to.

PREDICTION: Natalie Portman for “Jackie”

Best Picture – Comedy or Musical

Ummm….”La La Land.” No need to bore you with a reason. It just is. Actually, watch out for….nothing. It’s “La La Land.”


Manchester by the SeaBest Picture – Drama

This is another questionable race because three films feasibly can take the prize. Does the dramatic arc help “Manchester by the Sea?” Does “Moonlight” speak to them like it does critics? Or does “Hacksaw Ridge” have the guns (no pun intended) to make some real noise toward the Dolby? In a world where they have no qualms about recognizing streaming companies (though I recognize it’s not a “streaming” film), Amazon Studios, in partnership with Roadside Attractions, may have what it takes to come out on top. Feels very “Descendants”-like.

PREDICTION: “Manchester by the Sea”


  • Best Television Series – Drama: “Westworld” (HBO)
  • Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy: “Atlanta” (FX)
  • Best Mini-Series or Television Film: “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX)
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama: Matthew Rhys in “The Americans” (FX)
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama: Evan Rachel Wood in “Westworld” (HBO)
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy: Donald Glover in “Atlanta” (FX)
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy: Issa Rae in “Insecure” (HBO)
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film: Tom Hiddleston in “The Night Manager” (AMC)
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film: Sarah Paulson in “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX)
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film: John Lithgow in “The Crown” (Netflix)
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film: Thandie Newton in “Westworld” (HBO)

Share your own Golden Globe predictions and thoughts in the comments below!

  • 22cinema11

    Good predictions and plausible arguments, Clayton! These are my predictions:

    Best Picture – Drama: Manchester by the Sea
    Best Picture – Comedy or Musical: La La Land
    Best Director: Damien Chazelle
    Best Actor – Drama: Casey Affleck
    Best Actress – Drama: Natalie Portman
    Best Actor – Musical or Comedy: Ryan Gosling
    Best Actress – Musical or Comedy: Emma Stone
    Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali
    Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis
    Best Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea
    Best Score: La La Land
    Best Song: City of Stars (La La Land)
    Best Animated Feature: Zootopia
    Best Foreign Language Film: Toni Erdmann

    But the Globes always offer some huge surprises – especially last year in the TV categories, when “Mozart in the Jungle” (which didn’t show up at the Emmys at all) won big and Lady Gaga won an acting award. So it’s hard to predict the outcome (especially in competitive races like Best Picture – Drama, Best Actor – Drama or Best Song that could go either way), and it is highly likely that the HFPA surprises us again on Sunday.

  • Tee

    Best Drama: Manchester by the Sea
    Best Comedy/Musical: La La Land
    Best Director: Barry Jenkins
    Best Actor – Drama: Casey Affleck
    Best Actress – Drama: Natalie Portman
    Best Actor – Comedy/Musical: Ryan Reynolds
    Best Actress – Comedy/Musical: Emma Stone
    Best Supporting Actor: Jeff Bridges
    Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis
    Best Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea
    Best Score: La La Land
    Best Song: How Far I’ll Go by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana)
    Best Animated Feature: Kubo and the Two Strings
    Best Foreign Language: Toni Erdmann

    I think that Moonlight can upset for Drama, and if Moonlight wins BP it’ll be Denzel taking Actor.

    • Phill Milner

      I agree with you in actor. If Affleck loses that, then Manchester will lose picture, but if Jenkins wins director, then Moonlight will win BP.

  • Phill Milner

    I won’t be able to handle a Washington win over Affleck… I just can’t.

    • Loed

      Me neither. That would be wrong in so many ways. Affleck delivered the performance of a lifetime and should get every award he could possibly get. I have seen Manchester three times, and I can’t stop thinking about his performance. I dare to say it’s the best of the decade.

      • Phill Milner

        I was discussing that with a buddy the other day. I can’t think of a better performance in the last 10 years.

        • Loed

          Truly a performance for the ages. Just like you, I am very worried that we will see a big tragedy tomorrow night.

  • Matt St.Clair

    Best Motion Picture-Drama: Manchester By The Sea
    Best Motion Picture-Musical Or Comedy: La La Land
    Best Director: Damien Chazelle
    Best Actor-Drama: Casey Affleck
    Best Actor-M/C: Ryan Reynolds
    Best Actress-Drama: Natalie Portman
    Best Actress-M/C: Emma Stone
    Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali
    Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis
    Best Screenplay: Manchester By The Sea
    Best Foreign Language Film: Toni Erdmann
    Best Animated Feature: Kubo And The Two Strings
    Best Original Score: La La Land
    Best Original Song: “How Far I’ll Go”

  • Luke McGowan

    I’m anticipating Manchester winning Picture and Actor. I get all the arguments for Washington but I feel like this is Redmayne Keaton again and we will wait for Keaton/Washington to jump out in front and it never happens.

  • Luke McGowan

    Picture Drama: Manchester By the Sea
    Drama Actress: Amy Adams – pegging the upset
    Drama Actor: Casey Affleck
    Picture Musical: La La Land
    Musical Actor: Ryan Gosling
    Musical Actress: Emma Stone
    Director: Damian Chazelle
    Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams
    Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali
    Screenplay: Manchester By the Sea
    Animated: Zootopia
    Foreign Film: Elle
    Score: La La Land
    Song: City of Stars (La La Land)

    Predicting 4 wins for Manchester, 6 for La La Land, and only one for Moonlight which makes me apprehensive.

  • Joey Magidson

    This is what I wound up with…

    Best Motion Picture (Drama): Moonlight

    Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy): La La Land

    Best Director: Damien Chazelle

    Best Actor (Drama): Casey Affleck

    Best Actor (Musical or Comedy): Ryan Gosling

    Best Actress (Drama): Natalie Portman

    Best Actress (Musical or Comedy): Emma Stone

    Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali

    Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis

    Best Screenplay: Manchester By The Sea

    Best Foreign Language Film: Toni Erdmann

    Best Animated Feature: Zootopia

    Best Original Score: La La Land

    Best Original Song: “City of Stars”

    • Luke McGowan

      Who do you have coming second in Supporting actor Joey?

      • Joey Magidson

        Bridges is in my number two spot there. I can see a potential upset, even if I’m not predicting it.

    • Phill Milner

      I can’t help but think that if Manchester doesn’t win picture, then Affleck isn’t winning actor. Hopefully neither of them happen, but it is the Globes..

      • Joey Magidson

        Since it’s the Globes, you throw logic out the window. I can see all sorts of combinations happening.

  • Reece

    Off topic, but idk where to ask this.. What would you (anyone) say the biggest Oscar best picture nomination snub has been, since 2000?

    • 22cinema11

      Personally, I would say “Seven Psychopaths” in 2013 (such a brilliant and completely underrated movie in my opinion), but it didn’t get that much praise and wasn’t in contention for any nomination at all. Maybe “Doubt” in 2009, “Gone Girl” or “Nightcrawler” in 2015, “Steve Jobs” or “Carol” last year or “Thank You For Smoking” in 2007. But these are just my personal picks.

    • Stein-Erik Rutledal

      #1. Seabiscuit over City of God
      #2. Chocolate over Almost Famous
      #3. Crash over Walk the Line or History of Violence
      #4. Any of the films in 2008 over Doubt, Wall-E, Dark Knight, The Wrestler, etc.
      #5. Ray over literally any film released in the year 2004

  • Phill Milner

    BP Drama: Moonlight (should NOT happen, but the Globes seem like the group that would want to make a statement.)
    BP Conedy: La La Land
    Director: Chazelle
    Actor Drama: Washington
    Actress Drama: Portman
    Actor Comedy: Gosling
    Actress Comedy: Stone
    Sup Actor: Ali
    Sup Actress: Davis
    Screenplay: Manchester

    This will begin the “celebration” of awards season that will boast 3 POCs winning in the acting categories after none were nominatinated at the Oscars last year. A narrative that will be too juicy for voters to pass up. At least we get a year without the whole #Oscarssowhite nonsense.

  • Loed

    I have spent the last 24 hours processing the possible scenario that Washington (Or God forbid someone else) wins Drama Actor over Affleck. Just to not die if it happens. I want to be able to continue living my life as normal on Monday. It would just break my heart into pieces.

  • Jonas Grundnig

    My predictions:

    BP drama: Manchester by the Sea
    Actor drama: Casey Affleck
    Actress drama: Amy Adams (pleeeaaassseee)
    BP Comedy: La La Land
    Actor Comedy: Hugh Grant
    Actress Comedy: Emma Stone
    Sup Actor: Jeff Bridges
    Sup Actress: Viola Davis
    Director: Damien Chazelle
    Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan
    Foreign language film: Toni Erdmann
    Animated Film: Zootopia
    Score: La La Land
    Song: Moana

  • Luke McGowan

    I’m just putting out there, because i didn’t properly when i predicted La La Land getting snubbed in Ensemble, I think Viola Davis might lose to Michelle Williams. The fact that they didn’t go for Fences in Picture, Director or – tellingly – screenplay means that they might not be queuing up to hand it accolades, whilst Manchester went 4 for 5, they might just go for Michelle Williams.

    • Julie

      I love Viola a lot but it’d be great if Michelle Williams won this considering she actually is supporting beyond a doubt.

  • michaeldal65

    I’d hate to see Chazelle take that trophy. Fancy awarding it for something that derivative. Give it to Jenkins to prime him for a much deserved Oscar.

  • Julie

    My predictions.

    Comedy/Musical: La La Land
    Actress: Emma Stone
    Actor: Ryan Reynolds

    Director: Jenkins
    Screenplay: Lonergan

    Drama: Manchester
    Actor: Affleck
    Actress: Portman

    Score: La La Land
    Song: City of Stars (I hope because I really like it, but it wouldn’t shock me if Miranda won it)

    Supporting Actor: Ali
    Supporting Actress: Davis, though Williams is not out of the question

  • Tom

    Very Interesting You Mentioned that Manchester feels Descendants-Like, and we all know what happened with that post Globes