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!