2017 Golden Globes

In what maybe a prelude to the Oscars next month,  this Sunday is the Golden Globes hosted by Jimmy Fallon. Maybe you can catch up on a few of these if you missed the releases last month. Here are Vanity Fair predictions.

2017 Golden Globes Predictions: Who Will Win Big This Year?

Our crack team of experts sees a good night ahead for Manchester by the Sea, La La Land, and The Crown.
JANUARY 4, 2017 8:00 AM

From left, courtesy of Lionsgate, Twentieth Century Fox, A24.
Can anyone ever truly predict what will happen at the Golden Globes, the rowdy pre-Oscar party that delights in anointing the new and unexpected? Maybe not—but that won’t stop Vanity Fair. Below, you’ll find our best attempt at guessing who will walk away with some shiny new hardware when the Globes air Sunday, January 8 at eight P.M. E.T. on NBC—and who will have to smile and clap politely when their names aren’t called.


Best Picture, Drama

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Manchester by the Sea

The H.F.P.A. is a strange and unpredictable institution, so they could do something wacky in this category, like, say, giving the prize to Mel Gibson’s harrowing, gore-spewing war drama Hacksaw Ridge. But let’s err on the side of conservatism and assume that this is really a race between Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight, perhaps the two most lauded films of the year. (The other contender for that title, La La Land, is sitting pretty over in the musical/comedy category.) We’re giving the advantage to Manchester here, just because it has some movie stars in it—and the H.F.P.A. loves movie stars.

Best Picture, Musical or Comedy

20th Century Women
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land
Sing Street

This category is only interesting if La La Land doesn’t win. Were that to happen, it would put a serious hitch into the step of a film that has been gliding toward best picture at the Oscars ever since its premiere at Telluride last fall. But for La La Land to stumble, another film on this list would have to cut in to replace it—and it’s very hard to see that happening here. Deadpool is too crass, 20th Century Women is too indie-cool, Florence Foster Jenkins is too slight, and Sing Street is just happy to be nominated. Cross this off your list of things to worry about: Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone will twirl on.

Best Actor, Drama

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Joel Edgerton, Loving
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

A performance like Casey Affleck’s in Manchester by the Sea doesn’t come along every year. By the end of the film, it’s hard to remember anything else the 41-year-old actor has done, so completely does he embody the character of Lee Chandler, a brokenhearted New England divorcé forced to look after his dead brother’s mouthy teenage son. Most people who’ve seen the film remember the devastating emotional impact, but watch it again: there’s also comedy gold scattered all over the tear-soaked landscape. Does that mean Affleck will win? Probably, but not definitely, given the unease over two past accusations of sexual harassment as well as the overall stiffness of competition: Denzel Washington in Fences can’t be counted out, nor can Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge. Still, our bet remains on Casey, based on the sheer impact of his on-screen achievement.

Best Actress, Drama

Amy Adams, Arrival
Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie

With her nearest competition, Emma Stone, competing in the comedy category, the way seems clear for Portman to take home her third Golden Globe, and possibly boost her Oscar chances in the process. Yes, Isabelle Huppert has that international flair, and Amy Adams has the box-office power of Arrival, but in recent years, the Globes have seemed increasingly interested in reflecting the spirit of the Oscar race and not going out on a limb—in this category in particular. Portman, pregnant and charming, ought to make a good case for Academy members watching that she deserves that second Oscar, too.

Best Actor, Comedy

Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Colin Farrell, The Lobster
Jonah Hill, War Dogs

This one’s being framed as Ryan vs. Ryan, but pardon us for feeling skeptical that, for all his skill, wit, and weaponry, Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds can fend off the awards-hogging power of La La Land. Yes, Ryan Gosling underplays his role as a crabby jazz nut in Damien Chazelle’s homage to the power of music, dance, and Los Angeles location scouts, but he and the film are charming and gorgeous—and that oughta be enough. If Gosling somehow doesn’t prevail, consider it another sign that the La La Land awards juggernaut has sprung a flat.

Best Actress, Comedy

Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply
Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Annette Bening and Meryl Streep are both two-time winners in this category within the last decade, which means you can never truly count them out. But come on: this is Emma Stone’s category through and through, as bright and appealing as that yellow dress she wears to dance with Ryan Gosling in La La Land. The Globes knew Stone was a star to reckon with when they gave her a much-deserved nomination in this category in 2011, and now they have the chance to crown her as the rightful comedic superstar of her generation. Jennifer Lawrence, also a two-time winner in this category, will surely be cheering along.

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins
Dev Patel, Lion
Aaron Taylor Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

In years when there’s a supporting-actor contender who maybe should have won the Oscar but didn’t quite get there, that person often wins the Globe: think Clive Owen for Closer or Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls. And it’s possible that this race will emerge as closer than we expect when Jeff Bridges takes this category. But Mahershala Ali’s astonishing work in Moonlight, which makes for an excellent way to reward the film even when it may not win the top prizes (see best drama, above), ought to be rewarded here, even if its understated power is pretty much the opposite of everything the Globes stand for.

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

There are many deserving contenders in this category, and three of them are previous Globes winners themselves. But this year belongs to Viola Davis, whose powerful turn in Fences has already been rewarded with a Tony from the 2010 Broadway production, and seems destined for every possible film award as well. If her 2015 Emmy speech is any indication, she ought to take the stage in style.

Best Director

Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals

Not to keep strumming the same note, but here’s the best chance of all to see if La La Land has the kind of momentum we think it does heading into the Oscar race. With the whole “drama vs. comedy” nonsense out of the way, we finally get to see Damien Chazelle’s semi-escapist musical face off directly with fellow front-runners Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, and, it must be said, Hacksaw Ridge. If anyone has a chance to upset Chazelle, it’s probably Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins, who enjoys passionate support not just for the breathtaking quality of his unexpected second film but also for his status as being something other than a straight white guy in the year Trump turned back time to the mid-1980s. This being the H.F.P.A. (and, lest we forget, the year of Trump), it’s also entirely possible Mel Gibson could trot up to the podium to slug down a giant dose of who’s-sorry-now redemption. But we’re still bullish on Chazelle. We think.