Golden Globes Preview: Who Should Win?

In which the team attempts to predict the unpredictable, the Golden Globes.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

RACHEL: The Theory of – Bwha ha ha. Gotcha. Boyhood should win. Here’s why. Again. I have no idea if the Hollywood Foreign Press is that brave, but by and large, it is the best film of the year, drama or otherwise.

DAVID: I’m anticipating that the HFPA is that “brave,” mostly because they know which way the wind is blowing and want to award the consensus pick. Boyhood’s long (and deserving) march to Oscar glory continues here. Or Harvey Weinstein works his dark magic, and you’re looking at an Imitation Game win and a pissed-off Rachel. It’s the HFPA, after all.

CHASEThe Golden Globes is a weird, unpredictable award show (especially when it comes to the TV categories.). Making a logical prediction is about as likely to be correct as rolling dice to pick your winners…which is exactly what I’m going to do. I’ll roll a die, and then wax poetic about whatever random pick the universe bestows on my sad little dotted cube. On Globes night we’ll finally know if spending the time making picks is worth the time and effort it takes (Don’t worry. I’ll make real picks at Oscar time). Here we go!

Selma is the best dramatic picture of the year. It’s both expertly crafted and timely, holding a mirror to our current racial troubles. That’s something the HFPA can’t pass up. That said, I haven’t seen it. Curse you dice roll!

SEAN:  Chase is right, unpredictability is their thing as evidenced by how terribly David and I did with predictions last year.  That being said, Boyhood is in it to win it.  I have seen Selma and it is the best film of the year.  Unfortunately Paramount really blew their chances by realizing what they had much too late (they didn’t even get screeners out in time to SAG or PGA).  The Globes obviously saw and liked Selma and if it could manage a win here it would be a huge boost for them, but perhaps still too little too late.


Lead Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
David Oyelowo – Selma
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

RACHEL: I think this one comes down to Cumberbatch and Redmayne, and while I think Redmaynes’s performance was the best thing about The Theory of Everything, the true story was ultimately far more interesting than the film everyone is ridiculously raving about. Cumberbatch has all the gravitas and that will win him the statue.

DAVID: Removing Steve Carell, one of these guys is going to win their first Golden Globe. Oyelowo deserves it most — his performance as MLK is so thrillingly transformative, he makes the others look awfully artificial. But I’m not counting on the HFPA to agree; Cumberbatch is your likely winner.

CHASE: The die says… Selma’s star takes the top acting prize along with its award for best drama. Oyelowo wins here. It would’ve been easy to play Dr. King as a one-sided saint, but Oyelowo gives a rich humanity to the role during a pivotal moment in history. A similar role already won Daniel Day Lewis this award for Lincoln, and I expect the same for Oyelowo.

SEAN: It would thrill me to no end if Oyelowo could pull off an upset and win for his deeply nuanced take on Dr. King, but that ain’t gonna happen.  It is either Cumberbatch or Redmayne. This will give an indication as to how the rest of this awards season might go.


Lead Actress in a Motion Picture- Drama
Jennifer Aniston – Cake
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild

RACHEL: This is a tough one. I’m going with Rosamund Pike. It is a near impossible feat to represent a sociopath on celluloid, to actually show a lack of emotion, the absence of something…how do you do that?! Pike found a way. No character was more terrifying than Amazing Amy this year.

SEAN: Still Alice may be terribly mediocre as a film, but Julianne Moore deserves the praise she is getting for her spot-on performance as a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s.

DAVID: To my eyes, Julianne Moore is one of the biggest locks of this awards season. Anything else would be an upset, but I’m not terribly invested in this category.

CHASEA tough pick indeed. I’m glad I’m not making it, myself. The universe says Julianne Moore takes this award.


Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Into the Woods
St. Vincent

RACHEL: Birdman. There’s an old axiom in Hollywood: you’re not supposed to make a film about the business. Altman did it to perfection in The Player, and here, Inarritu follows suit. I thought The Grand Budapest Hotel was superior in character (save the title Birdman, obviously) and story, however Birdman has all of the momentum and, amazing, wins in the style category. If you can beat Wes Anderson in style, you’re going to walk away with a statue, every time.

DAVID: Well, I’m definitely pulling for The Grand Budapest Hotel. It’s the best, most complete film in its category. Which is why I don’t think the voters can resist the whiz-bang of Birdman.

SEAN: While it is stupid to bet against Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel is such a frenzied, fun concoction with very broad support in the industry.  I know that doesn’t mean much when it comes to the Globes, but the staying power of this film has been remarkable throughout the season.  It’s going to pick up a big win somewhere, why not here?

CHASEThe dice say that the foreign voters can’t resist the allure of Into the Woods. Might well be right. It’s the only real musical in this category, and seems like the off-the-wall pick that the voters just might pick.


Lead Actor in a Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical
Ralph Fiennes – Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Bill Murray – St. Vincent
Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
Christoph Waltz – Big Eyes

RACHEL: Fiennes was fine, Murray sweet and sour in all the best ways. Phoenix can thank the material, and Waltz overdid it. This is finally, once and for all, Keaton’s year. A triumphant performance in a year that will not end with the Globes. Expect to see Keaton hoisting a naked, bald guy come February.

CHASEMichael Keaton’s story is impossible to pass up: the forgotten actor making his bold comeback in a role that was tailor-made for him. It doesn’t hurt that it actually is the best performance of the year, too.

DAVID: Michael Keaton, and as much as I love Fiennes, I’m alright with that.

SEAN: It’s actually going to be a lot of fun watching Keaton pick up his first big award of the season.  Yes, like David, Fiennes would be my choice (that he still doesn’t have an Oscar is criminal), but Keaton’s story and reverence in the industry is just too strong to miss.


Lead Actress in a Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical
Amy Adams – Big Eyes
Emily Blunt – Into the Woods
Helen Mirren – The Hundred-Foot Journey
Julianne Moore – Maps to the Stars
Quvenzhané Wallis – Annie

DAVID: Despite her film’s flaws, hardly anyone has a bad thing to say about Emily Blunt. She not only surprised us with her singing voice, but just about held Into the Woods together with sheer force of will. She’s my personal fave and my pick to win.

RACHEL: I have yet to see Maps to the Stars, which I have heard Moore’s performance is the favorite. I’m going out on a limb here (heh) and calling it for Blunt.

CHASE: According to the dice, evidently Julianne Moore will be a double winner this year. That’s not a ludicrous idea. Kate Winslet won both awards in 2009 for The Reader and Revolutionary Road. That said, not only have I not seen Maps to the Stars, I haven’t even heard of it – and I watch a lot of films.

SEAN: Maps to the Stars was supposed to be Moore’s big Oscar play this year after she won best actress at the Cannes film festival for her performance, but then its distributor made some bad decisions for its release schedule.  Now it isn’t opening stateside until February.  Thankfully Moore found another awards season vehicle in Still Alice, but it will be fun watching her pick up both trophies.


Wes Anderson – Grand Budapest Hotel
David Fincher – Gone Girl
Ava DuVernay – Selma
Alejandro G. Inarritu – Birdman
Richard Linklater – Boyhood

RACHEL: LINKLATER, LINKLATER, LINKLATER – or the whole thing is a joke.

DAVID: You’re basically right. We’ll repeat it a few more times as awards season continues, but what Linklater accomplished is without precedent, and the film is a legit masterpiece.

SEAN: Linklater wins in a walk… unless Ava DuVernay surprises and she really deserves to.  Selma is just that well crafted.

CHASEThis category is stacked. Absolutely stacked. The dice say the voters want to award David Fincher for his work on Gone Girl. The Globes love Fincher, having (correctly) won this same award for The Social Network. He turned one of the year’s most popular pulp novels into a beautiful, powerful film. Gone Girl could have been a disaster with the plot changes and twisty narrative, but Fincher pulls it all off flawlessly.


Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

RACHEL: If there was ever more of a lock, I missed it. J.K. Simmons’s sharp performance in Whiplash reminds me of Richard Jenkins’s standout work in 2007 The Visitor: both roles exhibited why we must never categorize a performer as a “character actor.” I resent that term outright; these men are masters of their craft, and Simmons should take his victory lap on Sunday.

CHASEAs great as Keaton is in Birdman, Edward Norton does equally great work in his scene-stealing supporting part. He’s side-splittingly hilarious, and some (David) would say that the film stalls when Norton’s character leaves the narrative. The same meta-narrative about Keaton embodying himself in Birdman can also be applied to Norton, a famously difficult actor. It just works, and he’s way overdue to win some major awards. He won a Globe for Primal Fear. It’s time he does so again.

DAVID: Chase is right about Norton, but being fervently pro-Whiplash in all categories, it’s a relief to have one award that’s all but guaranteed on Oscar night. The HFPA won’t want to be left out. J.K. Simmons today, J.K. Simmons forever.

SEAN: J.K. Simmons has this thing all sealed up.  I’m just happy to see Hawke nominated this year for such a naturalistic performance that could have been easily passed over, especially since his costar Arquette gets all the big emotional scenes.  And yes, if I had it my way he would win, even over Simmon’s powerhouse performance.  But naturalism doesn’t win awards.  Big performances do.


Supporting Actress  in a Motion Picture
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Emma Stone – Birdman
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

RACHEL: Phenomenal work on the whole, here, but you know where I’m going, and I called it mid-year: Patricia Arquette.

DAVID: Arquette is the favorite, but I wouldn’t bet a vast some of money on it. Not with singing, be-wigged Meryl Streep lurking behind a stump. And Emma Stone could shock.

SEAN: Arquette wins without competition. The universe wants to see Arquette win.  Streep and Into the Woods aren’t strong enough to pull off any upsets.

CHASEOh Fortuna! Things are stacking up Birdman. Emma Stone wins, though it seems hard to pass up Meryl Streep. Who knows? The fates – that’s who.


Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl
Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo – Birdman
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Graham Moore – The Imitation Game

RACHEL: Of these, I believe Gone Girl to be the most technically proficient: structure and character-wise; The Grand Budapest Hotel has the best dialogue…either would be the best choice. Linklater, Hawke, and Arquette have maintained that Boyhoods script altered very little over the twelve years of filming, which gives me chills as it soars, but I think THFP will honor The Imitation Game for its subject and time period.

SEAN: Where oh where is Selma? Such a taut, controlled, and dynamic screenplay should not have been left out of this race especially up against the plot hole-riddled pulp fantasy that is Gone Girl, an overpraised, though technically astute, trashy picture. Imitation Game has to win somewhere, especially since it could lose Actor.

CHASEWes Anderson is long overdue. Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Moonrise Kingdom would have all been worthy screenplay winners. The Grand Budapest Hotel finally earns Anderson the award he so richly deserves. The importance of manners matters to both Gustave H. and the foreign press. It’s a match made in heaven.

DAVID: Once again, I’m pulling for Wes Anderson, and though the others are all heavyweights, I think Grand Budapest has been picking up traction in recent weeks. He might pull it out. This category is closer than most and only Gone Girl would truly surprise me.


Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Lego Movie

RACHEL: There were very few films (drama, animated, comedy, or otherwise) that were better than The Lego Movie. Dragons animation is truly a work of art, but the brutal nature of the movie should wipe it from this category. The Book of Life is an earnest frame story with vibrant colors and deep imagery – but again, Emmett and his band of merry Master Builders has this in the bag. After all, it was awesome.

DAVID: LEGO! Yes, please. One of the year’s biggest surprises, and with no Pixar in the field, perfectly timed.

SEAN: How to Train Your Dragon 2 was one of the rare animation sequels that bested the original.  And it is beautiful to behold.  The Lego Movie was a fun gimmick, that ran on far too long.  And we are getting another one? Oy!

CHASEThe Book of Life? Apparently!


Foreign Film
Force Majeure (Turist), Sweden
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Gett, Israel
Ida, Poland/Denmark
Leviathan, Russia
Tangerines (Mandariinid), Estonia

CHASEEstonia’s Tangerines wins the foreign film award. I’d have rolled a dice here anyways. I don’t know enough about any of these to make a pick.

DAVID: I have yet to see any of these either, but Ida has been cleaning up with the critics’ awards and should be the frontrunner here.

SEAN: Ida has the edge.  Leviathan could also happen.


Original Song – Motion Picture
“Big Eyes” – Big Eyes (Lana Del Rey)
“Glory” – Selma (John Legend, Common)
“Mercy Is” – Noah (Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye)
“Opportunity” – Annie (Greg Kurstin, Sia Furler, Will Gluck)
“Yellow Flicker Beat” – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 (Lorde)

CHASE2012-2013 was the year of Adele. Seems like 2014-2015 will be the year of Lorde. She’s been everywhere, and the HFPA won’t pass up the chance to give her an award in year with weak competition.

DAVID: Look, I listened to Lorde’s song, and it’s barely a song. And Lana del Rey’s is just awful. The only pop star that really makes an impression is John Legend, so I’m going with “Glory.”  But would it have killed them to nominate “Everything Is Awesome?”

SEAN: Where is “The Last Goodbye”?  Is Hobbit fatigue so great with these awards bodies that they can’t even recognize the best film song of the year, especially when compared to this list of pop garbage?  “Glory” is the only tolerable one of the bunch.


Original Score – Motion Picture
Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game
Johann Johannsson – The Theory of Everything
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – Gone Girl
Antonio Sanchez – Birdman
Hans Zimmer – Interstellar

CHASEHans Zimmer’s score was one of the only redeeming parts of Interstellar for me. Even when most of that film was sagging, the master’s powerful score shone through. You can’t ignore greatness, so the dice roll says.

DAVID: I’m inclined to agree. Zimmer is at his best these days when collaborating with Christopher Nolan, and Interstellar is his best work of that partnership. BUT… I’m thinking Alexandre Desplat actually takes the prize with this group. (A win for Birdman’s avant-garde drum solos would amuse me, though.)

SEAN:  I’m thinking they might just give it to Birdman as a consolation prize for the score being ruled ineligible by the Academy. And that would be awesome.


Best TV Drama
The Affair
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
House of Cards

RACHEL: Of these choices, it’s Game of Thrones, but The Good Wife will probably win, inexplicably. THFP must have missed Mad Men, however, because it is currently having its best season. The best season of any drama currently running.

CHASEAward season comes to Westeros! Game of Thrones is everything everyone else has already said about it. It’s definitely got the best water cooler moments of any of the nominated shows. Glad to see the dice agrees.

DAVID: Look, y’all, Game of Thrones is far and away my preferred choice, but it ain’t happening. Not at the Globes (and definitely not at the Emmys). This category is pretty dumb this year, and it’s hard to guess whether they’ll go with the old-school network The Good Wife, or the fake-prestige House of Cards…and then there’s The Affair, which is new, and judging by the other categories, the HFPA seems to love it as they love many things that are new.

SEAN: Wow, this is a pretty pathetic bunch of nominees.  David is right, Thrones should win, but the HFPA isn’t likely to go quite that risque. The Good Wife, I guess…


Lead Actor – TV Drama
Clive Owen – The Knick
Liev Schreiber – Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey – House of Cards
James Spader – The Blacklist
Dominic West – The Affair

RACHEL: No idea. Kevin Spacey?

SEAN: Kevin Spacey had a lot of fun in that second season.  Sure, why not?

CHASE: The die says James Spader! He seems to be enjoying his time on The Blacklist immensely, and this is just the type of crazy pick that the HFPA would make.

DAVID: Please, God, not Spader. I’m feeling like Clive Owen ought to win, but if I’m predicting The Affair for Best Drama, I might as well predict Dominic West.


Lead Actress – TV Drama
Claire Danes – Homeland
Viola Davis – How to Get Away With Murder
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
Ruth Wilson – The Affair
Robin Wright – House of Cards

RACHEL: Tatiana Maslany. Julianna Margulies will win. Didn’t someone die on that show? Critics love that.

DAVID: Viola Davis, because Shonda Rhimes cannot be denied forever.

SEAN: She lost the Emmy I was convinced she would win: maybe the Globes will make it up to Robin Wright, who is just sensational in House of Cards no matter how trashy it gets.

CHASERuth Wilson. Why? Hell if I know. I surrender to the wheel of fate. I bow before the will of the universe.


TV Miniseries or Movie
The Missing
True Detective
The Normal Heart
Olive Kitteridge

RACHEL: Should be Fargo as there was nary a sour note, whereas True Detective had moments of mind-numbing tedium and a sense that the writers knew not how to end the story. Fargo? WHAT an ending!

DAVID: Yeah, Fargo deserves it, but deserve’s got nothing to do with it. I expect True Detective to win.

CHASEThe Globes right the Emmys’ wrong. I don’t mean the winner – I mean that they nominate True Detective as a mini-series. It should be a close race between it and Fargo, but I (the dice) see True Detective winning.

SEAN: True Detective was lightning in a bottle.  It deserves its moment in the sun.  I have a feeling Fargo will come back better and stronger next season.  I can’t say the same for True Detective, though I hope I’m wrong.


Actor – TV Miniseries or Movie
Martin Freeman – Fargo
Woody Harrelson – True Detective
Matthew McConaughey – True Detective
Mark Ruffalo – The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton – Fargo

RACHEL: Again, great category on the whole. Is McConaughey still riding the wave? Probably, but Martin Freeman was terrifyingly brilliant, like Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

CHASEThe McConaissance wave finally crests when McConaughey wins without Bryan Cranston there to award-block him.

SEAN: McConaughey deserves this, especially after losing the Emmy to Cranston.  It is the best performance of his entire career.

DAVID: Crazy to think that McConaughey is still winning awards for the same things, but he’s still the front-runner by default. I’d love an upset from one of the Fargo boys, though.


Actress – TV Miniseries or Movie
Maggie Gyllenhaal – The Honorable Woman
Jessica Lange – American Horror Story: Freak Show
Frances McDormand – Olive Kitteridge
Frances O’Connor – The Missing
Alison Tolman – Fargo

RACHEL: Tolman, if there is any goodness or fairness in the world. In a show with solid performances from every character, Tolman stood out and left us all asking why we had never heard of her.

CHASETolman, Tolman, Tolman. The die is righteous. Any other winner here would be a crime. Tolman’s turn in Fargo may have been the first nail in the anti-hero coffin of the early 2000s. She’s just an honest woman doing her job, and she did it spectacularly.

DAVID: You guys have said it, I’ve said it: Alison Tolman is the best. But she won’t win. Frances McDormand will win, which is an irony the Coen brothers would love.

SEAN: I think it’s going to be hilarious when Jessica Lange wins her millionth award for American Horror Story.  For the record, her work in Freakshow is the worst of the series’ run, but that hardly matters.  She’s having a ball and everyone still adores her.


Best TV Comedy
Jane the Virgin
Orange Is the New Black
Silicon Valley

RACHEL: Transparent, because sometimes, Press Associations like to pat themselves on the back, and it truly is the best of these shows. I do find this category very intriguing for its diversity of storytelling. Pit this against the dribble of the drama category (obviously not talking about GOT) any day.

CHASESilicon Valley was the funniest show I saw this year. Completely different from Mike Judge’s other work, it’s the perfect complement to (the curiously not nominated) Veep on HBO’s Sunday night. Was there a better penis joke on TV in 2014? I doubt it. I cannot wait until Season 2.

DAVID: Yeah, where the heck is Veep? Pretty stunning to not see it on the list — well, it might be more stunning to not see Modern Family on the list — but in any case, like the Drama category, I’m going with the shiny new thing. Transparent, and I don’t think anyone will complain. (But watch out for OITNB.)

SEAN: Orange is the New Black is beloved for reasons that are beyond me.  That second season was a structural train wreck, but it certainly has a large fan base who couldn’t care less.


Lead Actor – TV Comedy
Don Cheadle – House of Lies
Ricky Gervais – Derek
Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent
Louis C.K. – Louie
William H. Macy – Shameless

RACHEL: If you’ve never taken Jeffrey Tambor’s acting seminar he gives every year at SXSW, you’re missing out. His dedication to the craft is evident in his work here.

CHASETambor. Even I’m suspicious of the dices’ motives at this point. This all seems to have gone way too much by the book.

DAVID: Even your dice must bow to conventional awards wisdom, Chase. But I think they’ll get it right again: Jeffrey Tambor, and well deserved.

SEAN: Jeffrey Tambor. The end.


Lead Actress – TV Comedy
Lena Dunham – Girls
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
Taylor Schilling – Orange Is the New Black

RACHEL: Nurse Jackie is still a thing? And please stop trying to reward Dunham for taking her clothes off and playing herself…maybe she will do some acting this year, no idea. Louis-Dreyfus should and will.

SEAN: Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Veep had their best season yet. I raved about it till I was blue in the face for most of the year.

CHASEFinally! An outlier! Gina Rodriguez for Jane the Virgin.

DAVID: I would not actually be shocked by a Gina Rodriguez win — that show is apparently really good, despite its title and premise. And it’s disappointing Amy Poehler can’t get nominated when she’s hosting the darn ceremony… But I’m expecting/hoping a JLD win makes up for Veep being snubbed.


Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or TV movie
Matt Bomer – The Normal Heart
Alan Cumming – The Good Wife
Colin Hanks – Fargo
Bill Murray – Olive Kitteridge
Jon Voight – Ray Donovan

DAVID: Barring an Olive Kitteridge love-fest, (or Jon Voight, again?!), I say they actually throw a bone to The Normal Heart here, and Matt Bomer.

SEAN: Matt Bomer has to finally win something for a performance that screams for awards attention.

RACHEL: It’s nice to see Hanks’s name mentioned here, but Alan Cumming will probably upset the other honored film actors here. Didn’t someone die on that show? Critics love that.

CHASEThe Brits love Alan Cumming. The HFPA will follow suit. This is the kind of category where you can just pick the actor you like best. That’s Cumming. It’s also a chance to recognize the under-loved The Good Wife.


Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or TV movie
Uzo Aduba – Orange Is the New Black
Kathy Bates – American Horror Story: Freak Show
Joanne Froggatt – Downton Abbey
Allison Janney – Mom
Michelle Monaghan – True Detective

DAVID: Never count out Allison Janney, who has never actually won a Globe despite being nominated five times. But I’m making a less conventional pick: Uzo Aduba. None of the other three nominees deserve to be here.

SEAN: I’d love to see Uzo Aduba win for her endearing performance as Crazy Eyes, one of the few parts of the show worth investing in.

RACHEL: Um….Janney? I threw a dart.

CHASENo dart throwing, Rachel! That’s my thing! Kathy Bates picks up this award. The HFPA can’t pass up the chance to award her, bearded lady or no. This would be a total Globes-style pick, and that makes it perfect to end on. So say the dice. So are my random picks any better or worse than everyone else’s? The fates shall decide!


Watch the Golden Globes Sunday night on NBC, where we’ll find out that Chase’s dice have nothing on the HFPA.

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