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75th Golden Globe Awards Winner Predictions (Motion Picture)

The first televised awards of this season is upon us and in many respects it couldn’t be more difficult to predict. There are logical reasons for so many films and performances to win their categories this year. Why? Because it’s January and we still don’t have a frontrunner. Between late releases, shocking SAG snubs and overperforming and underperforming films with critics there is a case to be made for almost any film in the Motion Picture – Drama category to win. That’s not to dismiss Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical, which features arguably two Top 5 films in the Oscar race: Get Out and Lady Bird.

Like last year, the Golden Globes are almost a week earlier than in recent years. It’s not a great trend, really. With so many films to watch, and so many of them pushing right to the deadline, it’s inevitable that many get left aside. And, on the other hand, you have the case of All the Money in the World. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association was the ONLY December awards-nominating group to even see the film, which reaped three major Globe mentions.

This year, social and political elements could be very influential to voters. Freedom of the press, women filmmakers and race issues are all front and center with this year’s nominees.

The 75th Golden Globe Awards are this Sunday, January 7th. They will live on NBC at 5pm PT/ET with Seth Meyers hosting. Here are my predictions and thoughts.

Best Motion Picture (Drama)

This is probably the toughest race of all. Nearly all films are legitimate contenders. At seven nominations The Shape of Water leads going in, with The Post and Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri just behind with six apiece. Each film also has corresponding Director and Screenplay nominations. Call Me By Your Name will have a tough battle to win here, having missed out on crucial Director and Screenplay mentions. Dunkirk faired a bit better with a Director mention but without Screenplay, it might be tough.

I’m going with nomination leader The Shape of Water to win. As an alternate I’m picking The Post rather than Three Billboards for the sheer power of the Spielberg-Streep-Hanks trifecta and the fact that the HFPA is a group of journalists and rewarding a freedom of the press story might be too hard to resist.

Predicted winner: The Shape of Water
Alternate: The Post

Best Motion Picture (Comedy/Musical)

Going with Lady Bird here for the same reason as Motion Picture – Drama, the Screenplay nomination. While Get Out managed a nomination here and in Actor that’s all it got and it would be difficult to see it pull out a win with just those two nominations. Neither Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) nor Jordan Peele (Get Out) got a Director nomination but then, if the group hadn’t screened All the Money in the World either one of them could have taken Ridley Scott’s place. That said, I can see the group going crazy and rewarding The Greatest Showman. Not likely, but I won’t be shocked if it happens.

Predicted winner: Lady Bird
Alternate: Get Out

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama)

Despite being the film’s only nomination, and even with his history of Golden Globes bashing, I’d be hard-pressed to not predict Gary Oldman here. It would be a trick too cruel to finally nominate Oldman, get him to the party and then deny him the win. This should be the first step in his televised awards domination. Even though Timothée Chalamet is in the stronger film it would be a pretty big upset were he to triumph. If it happens though…fuckit, I’m doing it.

Predicted winner: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Alternate: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Comedy/Musical)

James Franco should be able to earn this easily and he’s definitely ahead of Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out). But Hugh Jackman winning here would be a shock to no one, least of all me.

Predicted winner: James Franco, The Disaster Artist
Alternate: Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama)

Like Motion Picture – Drama, this is largely a race between three contenders and guess what, they line up with that category too. Either Sally Hawkins, Meryl Streep or Frances McDormand is going to win this. Hawkins is a previous Globe winner, Streep has more Globe nominations and wins than any actor in history and is in the most ‘important’ film nominated. Her Globe speech last year would almost be enough to get her a competitive win this year. McDormand, however, has been snubbed hard here. She lost for Fargo (to Madonna) but won the Oscar anyway. She lost for Olive Kitteridge (to Maggie Gyllenhaal) but won the Emmy anyway. I’m not sure what the HFPA has against McDormand but maybe this is her shot?

Predicted winner: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Alternate: Meryl Streep, The Post

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy/Musical)

A tough race. Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie are both young ingenues in arguably their best roles to date. Both are in films nominated for Motion Picture – Comedy. I think it will be close but I’m going with Ronan. The other three nominees are the only mentions for their films and none have the momentum or buzz that Ronan and Robbie do.

Predicted winner: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Alternate: Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

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

Last year, the Globes through us a huge curveball by awarding Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals) the win over eventual Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight). Ironically, ATJ wasn’t even Oscar-nominated after this win, his co-star Michael Shannon was instead. I can absolutely see another situation like that happening in the form of Christopher Plummer taking it and it’s by far the best chance to reward the film. After that it’s actually quite up in the air. Although Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project) has been the clear critics’ choice so far, so was Ali last year. Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards) is not far behind him and I can also see him squeaking in. Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name) and Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water) could find themselves the ATJs of this year’s Globes – winning here but finding their co-star Oscar-nominated instead.

Predicted winner: Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
Alternate: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

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

Another tough race from two of the Golden Globes favorite women in television…for nominations. Amazingly, both Laurie Metcalf and Allison Janney have been multi-nominated here for their television work but never won. Janney has more nominations and has a flash and glamour the HFPA loves but I’m going give her the edge over Metcalf here. It’s pretty much a redux of Ronan v Robbie and this might be the best place to reward I, Tonya.

Predicted winner: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Alternate:Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

If I’m going with The Shape of Water for Motion Picture – Drama then I’m going with Guillermo del Toro in Director. All of the directors nominated helmed films of major achievement, whether in scope, creativity or with a rapid-fire production and post-production schedule. I’m going to with Ridley Scott as my alt for the sheer tenacity and success of those nine days of reshoots over Thanksgiving, getting the film edited and locked and having it ready for the HFPA by December 4th. That’s a directorial triumph if I’ve ever seen one.

Best Director

Predicted winner: Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water
Alternate: Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World

Best Screenplay

Tough. Is Lady Bird really going to win all four of its nominations? Probably not, which is why I’m predicting Three Billboards to find its only win in this category. Lady Bird should still give it some competition, even as the sole Comedy nominee here. But The Post is definitely scratching at the door of this, and almost every category it’s nominated in. But watch out for Molly’s Game. The film just earned an ACE Eddie nomination, is starting to look good for PGA and the Globes just gave Aaron Sorkin their Screenplay win two years ago, they love him.

Predicted winner: Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri 
Alternate: Lady Bird

Best Animated Feature Film

Yeah, next.

Predicted winner: Coco
Alternate: The Breadwinner

Best Foreign Language Film

Could go a lot of ways as their is no clear frontrunner. Only First Killed My Father is not among the shortlisted films for an Oscar nomination and the group did just give this award to Elle, which was also not on the shortlist. Granted, that film also won Best Actress for Isabelle Huppert so it was in a much better position.

Predicted winner: The Square
Alternate: First They Killed My Father

Best Original Score 

Going to add this to part of The Shape of Water‘s sweep.

Predicted winner: The Shape of Water
Alternate: Phantom Thread

Best Original Song 

The Globes are actually not that great at rewarding the eventual Oscar winner, sometimes not even a nominee. They’re not that hot an songs from animated films, either. Even “Let It Go” lost here.

Predicted winner: “This is Me,” The Greatest Showman
Alternate: “Remember Me,” Coco

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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