After having to wait a little while, we’re finally handing out hardware this awards season.
Delayed due to COVID-19 – like every other ceremony on the way to April’s Academy Awards – the 78th Golden Globe Awards airs live via a virtual show Sunday night (NBC, 8 EST/5 PST) hosted by Amy Poehler in LA and Tina Fey in New York. And while a bunch of films have been jockeying for pole position amid this very strange pandemic-era Oscar race, maybe front-runners will begin to emerge from a crop including “Mank” (which leads with six total nominations), “Nomadland” and “Promising Young Woman” before Academy nominations are announced March 15.
USA TODAY predicts who will win (and who should) in the top Globes movie categories:
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“Promising Young Woman”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Will win/should win: “Chicago 7”
There’s not a stinker in this bunch: “Mank” is all about old-school Hollywood, “The Father” is a profound look at dementia, “Promising Young Woman” is a female-fueled revenge thriller and “Nomadland” is a tale of modern Americana. “Chicago 7,” however, has a parade of stellar star power – which the Globes usually loves – and there’s a definite electricity in Aaron Sorkin’s 1960s-set courtroom drama.
COMEDY OR MUSICAL
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Will win: “Borat”
Should win: “The Prom”
Individual nominations for Sacha Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova probably give the raucous “Borat” sequel an edge over its competitors like “Hamilton,” which won a ton of Tonys for the production now streaming on Disney+. This time, the trophy should go to another Broadway vehicle: Ryan Murphy’s Netflix adaptation of “The Prom” is an earworming delight that warms the heart and lifts the spirits with its inclusive message.
ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
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 win: McDormand
Should win: Kirby
Although it’s a stacked category, “Nomadland” has a lot of goodwill going into the Oscars and so it goes with McDormand, whose performance as a traveling working widow is absolutely essential. Mulligan, so good in “Young Woman,” might pull an upset. But come on, give the gold to Kirby: Her role in “Pieces” is a raw, gut-wrenching portrayal of a woman trying to move on after a tragic childbirth gone wrong.
ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
Gary Oldman, “Mank”
Tahar Rahim, “The Mauritanian”
Will win/should win: Boseman
Any other year, Hopkins wins this hands down – his portrayal of a man with dementia trying to make sense of his memory loss is one of the best things he’s ever done. However, with Boseman’s role as a self-centered musician being a career highlight – and his passing last year way too early at 43 – a posthumous, undefeated run toward Oscar is both a highly likely outcome and the right way to honor his legacy.
ACTRESS IN A COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Kate Hudson, “Music”
Michelle Pfeiffer, “French Exit”
Rosamund Pike, “I Care A Lot”
Anya Taylor-Joy, “Emma”
Will win: Bakalova
Should win: Pike
Bakalova might be the Cinderella story of this awards season, holding her comedic own with the likes of Cohen and getting through thatcringe-y scene with Rudy Giuliani. (She definitely deserves some sort of honor for that.) That said, Pike is back on her “Gone Girl” game in “I Care a Lot,” vaping up a storm and ruling the screen as a sinister con woman and grifting caregiver you love to hate.
ACTOR IN A COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Sacha Baron Cohen, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
James Corden, “The Prom”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”
Dev Patel, “The Personal History of David Copperfield”
Andy Samberg, “Palm Springs”
Will win: Cohen
Should win: Miranda
Of the two categories he’s in, Cohen has the best shot here reprising his best-known role as Kazakh “journalist” Borat who takes on former President Donald Trump and the GOP in the mockumentary sequel. Miranda’s never won a Golden Globe, though, and the genius behind the wondrous musical “Hamilton” – and the man who gives life to a rapping Founding Father – deserves one of everything.
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”
Will win: Kaluuya
Should win: Odom Jr.
This category might be a toss-up and one where the unpredictable Globes could go rogue with a Leto win. Kaluuya is probably the strongest contender right now, coming off a recent wave of acclaim for playing Fred Hampton in “Black Messiah.” Although when it comes to real-life portrayals, Odom is spectacular inhabiting the persona and impressive pipes of legendary soul singer Sam Cooke in “Miami.”
Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
Olivia Colman, “The Father”
Jodie Foster, “The Mauritanian”
Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
Helena Zengel, “News of the World”
Will win: Close
Should win: Seyfried
Close has three Globes victories in her storied career, and probably will add a fourth after being transformed into the tough-love “Hillbilly” granny Mamaw. A better choice (and for a much better movie) would be Seyfried, a first-time nominee (and SAG snub) who wows as 1930s Hollywood starlet Marion Davies in David Fincher’s “Citizen Kane” origin tale.