UPDATE: The Golden Globe 2014 winners
It's that time of year again -- when people who work in the entertainment industry feel like they have enough knowledge to predict the winners of awards. I am one such person.
The 71st Golden Globe Awards air on Sunday, January 12, starting at 6 p.m. EST with red-carpet coverage. 2013 was a year of great movies and even better television, so it's definitely tough to whittle down the nominees in each of the major categories.
For nearly a decade, I've scrutinized these award shows until I can barely enjoy them anymore. This year may be different, depending on who/what the Hollywood Foreign Press Association decides to bestow the Golden honours on. In order to choose the correct winner, you have to get into the mindset of someone else, and not always go with your favourite -- which is, in a word, difficult. Here are my picks for winners in the major categories, each with a short explanation below the choice.
** DISCLAIMER: Don't email me with your rage if you lose your office pool because of me. Feel free, however, to disparage me on Twitter if you must.**
Best Motion Picture - Drama
"12 Years A Slave"
Why: Heart-wrenching, stark, raw and important, "12 Years" is the hands-down winner here. Any other victor would be a shock. If you asked me a few months ago, I would have said "Gravity," but I think "12 Years" has more gravitas, and there are Best Director, Special Effects and Cinematography categories to honour "Gravity," which is really where the movie shines.
Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"The Wolf Of Wall Street"
Why: I've written about how empty I felt "American Hustle" is, but at this point, critics are falling all over themselves to praise this movie. It's approachable, fun, and lightweight, and features several hot A-listers. It has Hollywood Foreign Press written all over it. "Her" is spectacular, but too "out there," "Nebraska" and "Inside Llewyn Davis" are too outside the mainstream, and "Wolf Of Wall Street" is like one long drug trip, and I'm afraid its subject matter cripples its chances.
Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years A Slave"
Idris Elba, "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom"
Tom Hanks, "Captain Phillips"
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Robert Redford, "All Is Lost"
Why: This is a contest between Ejiofor and Redford, with McConaughey holding a slim chance at victory (I don't think he'll win because Leto is a shoo-in for Best Supporting Actor). If the judges are feeling nostalgic and want to honour a veteran, it'll be Redford. If "12 Years" takes over the night (as it deserves), then Ejiofor's breathtaking performance will take the prize.
Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale, "American Hustle"
Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Oscar Isaac, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Joaquin Phoenix, "Her"
Why: Phoenix should win this, but he won't. DiCaprio's performance is amazing, but again, it's too wild and vice-laden -- plus he has a weird relationship with these award shows. Isaac is too "new" to the scene, so he'll have more chances in the future, which leaves us with Bale and Dern; as with the Best Actor in a Drama category, it's between honouring an acting legend and rewarding a strong young actor. Since Bale won so recently (in 2011 for "The Fighter"), I'm leaning towards Dern, who brings it home in "Nebraska."
Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"
Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"
Judi Dench, "Philomena"
Emma Thompson, "Saving Mr. Banks"
Kate Winslet, "Labor Day"
Why: Blanchett's only competition is Bullock, who might steal the win out from under her. Like Bale, Bullock won for "The Blind Side" in 2009, but she was stellar in "Gravity," so we'll see. It's pretty doubtful that Blanchett's haunting, sad-yet-humourous showing in "Blue Jasmine" will lose, but you never know with these things.
Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Amy Adams, "American Hustle"
Julie Delpy, "Before Midnight"
Greta Gerwig, "Frances Ha"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Enough Said"
Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County"
Why: Guess who's never won a Golden Globe? Amy Adams. Guess who's in every movie? Amy Adams. Her time is now. Her closest competition is Streep, but with the bizarre sweeping under the rug of "August: Osage County," it's looking like her chances are growing slimmer by the day. Adams delivers the most genuine performance in "American Hustle," and really, how often do celebs win the award for their best role? Adams has been better elsewhere, but her chances of winning are pretty good. Louis-Dreyfus has an outside chance, but it's probably going to happen for her in the TV category.
Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"
Daniel Bruhl, "Rush"
Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle"
Michael Fassbender, "12 Years A Slave"
Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Why: I just can't see anyone else winning this. I am so not a Leto fan, but I have to admit his performance was outstanding. Fassbender is a close second, but this is Leto's to lose.
Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture Drama
Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine"
Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"
Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years A Slave"
Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"
June Squibb, "Nebraska"
Why: Because. C'mon. Even though she won last year for "Silver Linings Playbook," I think she's riding this insane wave of popularity at the moment and can't lose. However, Nyong'o may take it if "12 Years" dominates the night. Also, here's a shout-out to Squibb: there's a microscopic chance she could take it. That would be one hell of an acceptance speech, that's for sure.
Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity"
Paul Greengrass, "Captain Phillips"
Steve McQueen, "12 Years A Slave"
Alexander Payne, "Nebraska"
David O. Russell, "American Hustle"
Why: The man deserves it. "Gravity" is a new chapter in filmmaking, and a beautiful one at that. We'll be looking back on "Gravity" decades from now as a landmark, so it would be short-sighted to not honour it. We'll all look stupid if we don't. A close second is McQueen for "12 Years," who could very well take the award if the movie dominates the evening.
Best Drama Series
"The Good Wife"
"House of Cards"
"Masters of Sex"
Why: After "Breaking Bad" was essentially snubbed at the Emmys, which still makes me shake my head, it had better win the Globe. Honestly, it's been a very long time since I've seen a show this fantastic, from head to tail. And now it's over, so this its last chance to be honoured.
Best Actor in a Television Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Liev Schreiber, "Ray Donovan"
Michael Sheen, "Masters of Sex"
Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"
James Spader, "The Black List"
Why: Cranston has been snubbed and snubbed and snubbed, yet he's undoubtedly one of the best TV actors currently working. The logic of his non-win escapes me every single year. As far as I'm concerned, there isn't even a competition in this category.
Best Actress in a Television Drama Series
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black"
Taylor Schilling, "Orange is the New Black"
Kerry Washington, "Scandal"
Robin Wright, "House of Cards"
Why: As much as I want Tatiana Maslany to win this, she probably won't. We know how awards shows treat sci-fi: like an embarrassing distant relative. Margulies and Wright stand the same chance of winning -- they both delivered strong, compelling performances last year, but with them it's almost status quo. That's why I selected Washington, whose star is on a meteoric rise. Just ask any "Scandal" fan.
Best Comedy Series
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Parks and Recreation"
Why: Its ratings are consistently high from week to week, and its fan base is massive. Rookie show "Brooklyn 99" has been getting some critical praise, but I don't think it has enough juice to take home the big prize. "Girls" would be a surprise, since its second season didn't have quite the oomph of Season 1, and just no to "Modern Family" and "Parks And Rec."
Best Actor in a Television Comedy Series
Jason Bateman, "Arrested Development"
Don Cheadle, "House of Lies"
Michael J. Fox, "The Michael J. Fox Show"
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"
Andy Samberg, "Brooklyn 99"
Why: He almost always wins (deservedly). If the Hollywood Foreign Press decides to break tradition, then it's going to be Samberg for "Brooklyn 99." No chance for Fox, since his show isn't even funny, and Bateman could win. It depends on the nostalgia factor, since the brand-new "Arrested Development" didn't quite measure up to its pre-Netflix incarnation. Cheadle won last year, so probably not a repeat this time around.
Best Actress in a Television Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel, "New Girl"
Lena Dunham, "Girls"
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"
Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"
Why: Wouldn't it be something if Poehler, as co-host, won? Unfortuntely, I don't think it'll happen. Louis-Dreyfus stands the best chance, with Deschanel as runner-up. Dunham won it last year, but it's not too far-fetched to consider it a possibility again this year. And as fantastic an actress as Falco is, I just feel like not enough people watch "Nurse Jackie" for her to win.
Tune into the Golden Globes on January 12, starting at 6 p.m. EST. I hope I wasn't too wrong.