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72nd Golden Globe Awards (2014-15): Final Predictions

The Golden Globes

The 72nd Golden Globe Awards are just a few days away.
More or less, they start the final stage of film's award season, which as usual will officially close with the Academy Awards near the end of February. I've already voiced my growing appreciation for the Globes in my pre-nominations predictions and preview. The only thing I'll add to that is that the Globes often feel less predictable than the Oscars. Coming earlier in the season, we've yet to see the same movies and performances recognized again and again and again. Most film awards pundits focus their efforts on forecasting the Oscars, giving the Globes more passing notice. Plus, dramas are separated from musicals and comedies, giving some films that don't comfortably fit an Oscar movie model a shot at recognition.

Once again, I'm not going to pretend I am a television expert and try to predict those awards relying on what others say. I'll stick with the fourteen film categories, tackling them in terms of what should win, what could win, and what should have been nominated.

Best Picture - Drama
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

What should win: From these nominees, I'd be happiest with a Foxcatcher win. Boyhood or Selma would be fine. I'd be less crazy with the award going to either of the British biopics, which I'd classify as merely good (Imitation Game) and just okay (The Theory of Everything).

What will win: Boyhood has already overcome some of its biggest obstacles, being a small film from a minor studio released all the way back in summer. That it is still being remembered and widely recognized suggests this award is its to lose. One assumes the two British biopics cancel each other out and Foxcatcher's support has been flagging, which means that Boyhood's chief competition is Selma, which I assume is also its biggest threat for the Best Picture Oscar (though its Producers Guild snub maybe suggests otherwise). Boyhood takes it, though.

The Evans family reunites for a photo with high school graduate Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane).

What should have been nominated: I found Interstellar, Gone Girl, and Whiplash more interesting and enjoyable than all five of these nominees. I'm bummed they all missed out and hopeful (but not confident) they can still crack the Oscars' expansive Best Picture field. Also every bit as worthy as those was Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, though I'm not foolish enough to think a summer sci-fi-action sequel had any legitimate shot at winning or even just competing for winter's major honors.

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

What should win/what should have been nominated: The Lego Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy. The Lego Movie was ineligible for this category because it was predominantly animated, which is just plain stupid, especially since a willingness to recognize animation in this category was one of the Globes' most attractive features (past winners have included The Lion King and Toy Story 2). Limiting some of the most creative films of every year to Best Animated Feature competition simply because of their medium compromises these awards.
The absence of Guardians may be partly the fault of Marvel's apparent disinterest in awards and campaigning, but the omission also runs contrary to the history of the Globes, which nominated blockbuster comedies like Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, "Crocodile" Dundee, Home Alone, and Mrs. Doubtfire. Films as funny and critically acclaimed as these two deserve nods here before any of the ones that got in.

What will win: Birdman is seen as the only one of these five with a genuine shot at major Oscar awards. Into the Woods would be more in line with past Globes' selections (which have included Les Misérables, Dreamgirls, Sweeney Todd, Moulin Rouge!, and Chicago). The only other movie that could win this without genuinely shocking would be The Grand Budapest Hotel, a film you'd think would appeal to the European sensibilities of the Hollywood Foreign Press. I'd almost say each of these three has an equal chance of winning this honor, but if I'm forced to pick just one, I'd say Birdman, which I would also call the most deserving of the four nominees I've seen (Pride is still on my to-see list).

Outside the St. James Theatre, Riggan (Michael Keaton) has a chat with his substitute leading man Mike Shiner (Edward Norton).

Best Actor - Drama
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
David Oyelowo, Selma
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Who should win: Steve Carell is certainly the most transformative of the four performances I have seen. He also may be the biggest celebrity of these five actors. Neither of those are valid reasons for winning, but Carell still has my pick as the most powerful work from this lot.

Who will win: This is one of the toughest categories to predict because none of these actors seems to have a great chance of winning the Best Actor Oscar over Michael Keaton. At the same time, it's easy to imagine any one of these winning this award. Maybe the Brits cancel each other out and Nightcrawler is too creepy for voters, leaving us with a Carell vs. Oyelowo battle (which momentum might push in Oyelowo's direction). Or maybe voters buy into Redmayne's physical transformation and reward him for his Stephen Hawking impression. It's very tough to say. My head says that Foxcatcher is losing steam, but my heart still feels that Carell could win this.

John Du Pont (Steve Carell) takes in the foggy sights of his estate in "Foxcatcher."

Who should have been nominated: Though I have some reservations about the film, Brendan Gleeson is pretty terrific in Calvary. Andy Serkis is better than he's ever been in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but we still seem far from a day when motion capture acting is understood/appreciated enough to compete (recognizing as much, Fox only tried to squeeze this lead performance into the Supporting Actor category anyway).

Best Actress - Drama
Jennifer Aniston, Cake
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Who should win: Rosamund Pike. I've yet to see Aniston and Moore's performances, but Pike's turn in the titular role is a big reason why Gone Girl works as well as it does. I would love for the film to get recognized and this might be its best shot.

Who will win: Julianne Moore seems to have been pegged as the runaway favorite for the Oscar and for this equivalent for her Alzheimer's disease portrayal. Very little of the general public has seen the film and Moore doesn't have quite the "overdue" factor she has with the Oscars, having won a Globe for HBO's Game Change. Still, the award seems like hers to lose.

For her portrayal of an Alzheimer's disease-addled college professor in "Still Alice", Julianne Moore is expected to win a Golden Globe and an Oscar.

Who should have been nominated: It's a sad state of affairs for women in Hollywood when I can't think of a single dramatic female performance begging to be recognized here. I was surprised that Aniston made it over The Fault in Our Stars' Shailene Woodley, but I'm reluctant to call that a snub since even better YA films have been similarly ignored in the past.

Best Actor - Musical or Comedy
Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Bill Murray, St. Vincent
Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice
Christoph Waltz, Big Eyes

Who should win: Bill Murray. Murray has long been a favorite of mine and he's proved again and again he isn't just consistently hilarious, he's also a great actor. Without him, St. Vincent would probably suck quite a bit. With him, it's still not perfect, but it is often moving and kind of profound.

Who will win: Michael Keaton. And that's just fine because Keaton would be my second pick in this category (and at least Murray won a Globe for Lost in Translation, which should have also earned him the Oscar). Keaton, who's never won a Globe and only once been nominated for a TV movie, is by far the best thing about Birdman, a movie that isn't as enjoyable when he's offscreen. Even overlooking the obvious parallels between the actor and his character, Keaton's long taken-for-granted career is probably the most compelling narrative of this awards season and it will certainly be enough to notch him this win against not terribly formidable competition.

In "Birdman", actor Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) is haunted by his famous film alter ego, the superhero Birdman.

Who should have been nominated: Paul Rudd, They Came Together. He never had a chance, of course, but David Wain's send-up of romantic comedy tropes deserved so much more notice than it got.

Best Actress - Musical or Comedy
Amy Adams, Big Eyes
Emily Blunt, Into the Woods
Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars
Helen Mirren, The Hundred-Foot Journey
Quvenzhané Wallis, Annie

Who should win: I have not seen Maps to the Stars or Annie yet. Of the remaining three, I'd be okay with either Adams or Blunt winning. Adams has a chance of repeating in this category after last year's win for American Hustle, which would be nice to see for someone who's sadly a perennial Oscar bridesmaid. Blunt is a former Globe winner only for the BBC TV movie Gideon's Daughter and she would be an agreeable winner as well.

Who will win: It's probably between Sunshine Cleaning sisters Adams and Blunt, and I feel like neither outcome would inspire all that much passion from many. I predict Adams, if only because she's so likable and the Globes may wish to spread the wealth instead of giving Into the Woods multiple wins.

In Tim Burton's "Big Eyes", Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) takes credit for the doe-eyed waifs painted by his wife Margaret (Amy Adams).

Who should have been nominated: Hmm....I guess as long as I'm seizing this as an opportunity to recognize They Came Together, then female lead Amy Poehler could have been in contention.

Continue >>
Page 2: Supporting Actors, Director, Screenplay, Animated Feature, and More

Related Reviews -- Golden Globe-Nominated Films:
BoyhoodThe Theory of EverythingBirdmanThe Imitation GameThe Grand Budapest HotelSt. Vincent
Gone GirlThe Lego MovieBig Hero 6NightcrawlerThe Hundred-Foot Journey
Big EyesInto the WoodsInherent ViceThe JudgeThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1Noah

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Posted January 7, 2015.

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