Golden Globes 2021: Predictions for Winners in All Feature Film Categories

We take a break from our usual programming now to predict the results of this evening’s Golden Globes ceremony!

Some of the nominees this year are a little… interesting to say the least, so it’s actually really difficult to figure out what will happen. Who knows what’s going on in their heads at this point?

I should let you know first off that I’m yet to see some of the movies nominated, so my view is entirely biased towards those I’ve actually seen. Because of this, I’ll be taking a look at other critics’ reviews and the general buzz around the ceremony to split each category into “What TQR would like to see win” and “What will win”.

So, without further ado!

Best Picture – Drama

What TQR would like to see win: Nomadland

Frances McDormand is one of the most authentic, talented actresses of this generation, and she helms this neo-Western drama by Chloe Zhao. The Hollywood Reporter praises Nomadland as being “a powerful character study” and it has often featured in many “Best films of 2020” lists, often taking the top spot. Not only do awards seasons love movies like this, but they also love McDormand, so it seems like a shoe-in for the win with its romantic yet realistic depiction of the beauty of the United States landscape.

What Will Win: The Trial of the Chicago 7

You know what? If this does indeed win, I won’t be mad. Historically significant, beautifully performed, and masterfully written, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is Aaron Sorkin’s best feature film to date. It has all the markers to suggest it’ll win awards, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it clinched its first major win at the Globes this year.

Also nominated: The Father, Mank, Promising Young Woman

Best Picture – Musical or Comedy

What TQR would like to see win: Hamilton

Okay, okay, hear me out. Hamilton receiving a nomination in this category has been highly criticised, with many filing grievances that “it’s a stage show, not a movie”. But you know what? I just want good things for it. Thomas Kail does such a brilliant job of directing the recording of Hamilton that a case could be made that although it was filmed in front of a live audience, it has all the markers of an exceptionally technical movie, with various camera angles, close-ups and highly intelligent sound mixing, not forgetting that the theatres were closed for the majority of 2020 and this got so many theatre-lovers through their time in lockdown. It’s simply wonderful and I’d love to see it win.

What will win: Palm Springs

Palm Springs is perhaps the most ‘traditional’ comedy of all nominees this year. Andy Samberg and Cristian Milioti play their parts with relatable gusto, and the time loop story is certainly the safest choice to win in this category. Though I prefer Hamilton, there are many who dispute its place in the nominations list, and I believe the HFPA will see Palm Springs as ‘the best of the rest’. It’s a cheery, uplifting piece of filmmaking, and many will have enjoyed letting their hair down with Samberg and company in what was a particularly difficult year.

Also nominated: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Music, The Prom

Best Actress – Motion Picture, Drama

Who TQR would like to see win: Frances McDormand, Nomadland

I started off writing this thinking that Viola Davis would be my choice… and then I saw Nomadland. Frances McDormand – as usual – plays the lead role of Fern with such sensitivity and strength that it was impossible for me not to choose her. Whilst McDormand is always excellent, her performance here is more understated and natural than some of her other roles, and it’s impossible to see anyone else as this character. Possibly her best achievement to date, she deserves all the awards this year.

Who will win: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

I’ll admit that this category is perhaps one of the hardest to call. However, I’m taking a punt on Carey Mulligan with this one. Her performance is undoubtedly fantastic, although this one could easily go to McDormand or Viola Davis as well. If past ceremonies have taught us anything, it’s that the Globes like to give awards to those who are more than likely not going to win the Oscar in their respective category. Whilst Promising Young Woman is fresh and fun, its not exactly ‘Oscar-bait’ material, which leads me to think the HFPA might lean towards Mulligan this time round.

Also nominated: Andra Day (The United States vs Billie Holiday), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)

Best Actor – Motion Picture, Drama

Who TQR would like to see win: Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)

Do I even need to explain this one? As if 2020 wasn’t cruel enough, Chadwick Boseman was taken away from the world far too soon. Chadwick winning wouldn’t be a cheap excuse to give him a posthumous award though; in Ma Rainey, he lives and breathes his character of dreamer musician Levee, and his illness is utterly undetectable throughout his performance. He oozes energy and life to the extent that I’d still be arguing for him to win even if he were still with us. His star continues to shine through his work, and this is a prime example of it.

Who will win: Chadwick Boseman. (Special shoutout to Riz Ahmed however, who is phenomenal in his nominated film. I would not feel begrudged if he took the award in any other year.)

Also nominated: Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank), Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian)

Best Actress – Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

Who TQR would like to see win: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

The fact that there are literally no high resolution photos of Bakalova in Borat 2 is testament to how little people are taking her seriously. Sure, her character in this film is completely bonkers, but if we’re going off pure comedy value, it would be an injustice for her not to win. It seems extremely unlikely, but she’s my winner for sure with this completely fearless, precise and hysterical performance.

Who will win: Rosamund Pike, I Care A Lot

Rosamund Pike is undoubtedly brilliant as her extremely unlikable character in I Care A Lot, but I’ll admit that she is absolutely the obvious choice here. She’s been nominated at the Globes twice before, and we all know that these people prefer to opt for more well-seasoned and previously nominated actors over the younger ones in the film categories, so that pretty much counts Anya Taylor-Joy out. Plus, out of the films nominated in this category, I Care A Lot is the best out of a pretty average bunch and Pike is certainly has most complex performance.

Also nominated: Kate Hudson (Music), Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit), Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma)

Best Actor – Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

Who TQR would like to see win: Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton)

Controversial as Lin-Manuel Miranda being nominated for best actor in a ‘motion picture’ may be, it would just be so nice to see him win yet more accolades for Hamilton. It’s without doubt the best new musical in decades, and though he’s not exactly known for his acting calibre, he sells this role with such heart and gumption to prove all the doubters wrong. Plus, it just feels like none of the other nominees are worthy in this category…

Who will win: Andy Samberg (Palm Springs)

Honestly, this just seems like the safe choice. I don’t know how Samberg could justify this win really because he’s the same in Palm Springs as he is in everything else he’s ever been in. If there was any justice in the world, Lin-Manuel Miranda or Dev Patel would win but I just don’t see it coming, sadly. That’s not a sleight on Samberg though – he’s perfectly fine in this film. But award-worthy? Nah.

Also nominated: Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), James Corden (The Prom), Dev Patel (The Personal History of David Copperfield)

Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture

Who TQR would like to see win: Helena Zengel, News of the World

This is basically Zengel’s first Hollywood film (even if that film was a Netflix release), but my word, was she good in this movie? It’d be nice to see the award go to a young actress, but unfortunately the Globes aren’t too kind to their youngest nominees. They even did away with the ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ award in 1982. Plus, she’s up against some very big names this year, so the likelihood of Zengel winning is next to none. However, the maturity that shines through in her performance in News of the World doesn’t count her out entirely, and she really deserves her spot here.

Who will win: Amanda Seyfried, Mank

I’ll confess, Mank is one of the nominees I’ve not actually seen this year. It’s one of those movies that I was really looking forward to, and then the reviews were so incredibly average that it killed off any buzz I had about it. However, the buzz around Seyfried’s performance remained alive and well, and her reputation remained in tact after the release of the supposedly average film. If other opinions are anything to go by, Seyfried is pretty much the dead on favourite to take the gong for Best Supporting Actress.

Also nominated: Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian)

Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture

Who TQR would like to see win: Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah)

I’m not entirely sure how Kaluuya’s performance constitutes as ‘supporting’, but whatever. I’d love to see him win in this category regardless. His portrayal of Fred Hampton is nothing short of outstanding in Judas and the Black Messiah and I wouldn’t actually surprised if the win swings his way. However, the odds on favourite is… (see below.)

Who will win: Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7)

Fair play to Sacha Baron Cohen for being nominated in both drama and comedy categories this year – it was truly a great year for the man. Not only does he master the Massachusetts accent in The Trial of the Chicago 7, but his character flows smoothly from humorous to serious with ease, making him the ideal person to play social activist Abbie Hoffman. Though there are some extremely strong performances in this category, it feels as though it’s Cohen’s for the taking.

Also nominated: Jared Leto (The Little Things), Bill Murray (On the Rocks), Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami…)

Best Director – Motion Picture

Who TQR would like to see win: Regina King (One Night in Miami…)

Hurrah! Three whole females are nominated in this category compared to only two men!!! Can you believe it?! Although I wouldn’t begrudge Chloe Zhao taking away this award, I’d love to see Regina King get the recognition she deserves this time. One Night in Miami… is an adaptation of a play, but King managed to make it feel much less stage-y than one may expect, and the way she creates depth in every shot is phenomenal. Again, Zhao would be just as deserving here, but I’d hope that the Oscars are looking at her as the winner, so hopefully King gets a nod too.

Who will win: Aaron Sorkin or David Fincher

In a year where more women are nominated than men, don’t be surprised if they still give it to either of these guys. Whilst I do love Sorkin and Fincher (particularly Sorkin because The West Wing remains to be one of the greatest TV shows of all time), it just seems fitting that the HFPA will round off a shitty year with ignoring some of the most talented female directors once again. Will 2020 ever truly end?

Also nominated: Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), Chloe Zhao (Nomadland)

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Who TQR would like to see win: Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7)

Perhaps I’m a biased West Wing lover, but Aaron Sorkin writes a screenplay like no one else. His dialogue is inch perfect down to the very last comma, and in his Chicago courtroom drama, his script is tightly woven and inspiring to say the least. And something tells me that several members of the HFPA might just be West Wing aficionados like me…

Who will win: Aaron Sorkin

Also nominated: Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), Jack Fincher (Mank), Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller (The Father), Chloe Zhao (Nomadland)

Best Picture – Animated

What TQR would like to see win: Wolfwalkers

If you’ve never heard of Wolfwalkers, now is the time you take a moment to do so. From the studio known as ‘Cartoon Saloon’, this movie is unlike any other animated film I’ve ever seen. Beautifully hand-drawn consistently throughout, it is so intricate and unique in terms of visuals and storyline that it almost feels like a short film rather than a full-length feature film. I’d love for this to not get overlooked at the Globes, but sadly it seems that not enough members of the Hollywood Foreign Press will have seen it to throw their vote at it. A true shame, because this is once in a lifetime stuff.

What will win: Soul

If you asked me who I’d like to win before seeing Wolfwalkers, Soul would have been my choice. As awards season is generally kinder to the bigger studios in this category, I’d be truly surprised if Soul didn’t come out on top here. Don’t get me wrong, it deserves it – the animation, the concept and that glorious jazz soundtrack are all exquisite.

Also nominated: The Croods: A New Age, Onward, Over the Moon

Best Picture – Foreign Language Film

What TQR would like to see win: Minari

There’s been some controversy over whether or not Minari should be classed as a ‘foreign language’ film, and I hear that. It is however true that the Golden Globes state that if a film has dialogue of 51% or more that is not English, it is classed as a ‘foreign film’. Minari, I would estimate, is at least 75% subtitled and the leading language is Korean. Make of that what you will. Anyway, Minari simply has to win this category. It is, quite simply, one of the greatest films I’ve seen this year. Thematically strong, well-performed by the whole ensemble, and a modern American movie that will be a source of adoration for many Korean-Americans (and the whole world), it is a purely heartfelt and wonderful film.

What will win: Minari

Also nominated: La Llorona, Another Round, The Life Ahead, Two of Us

Best Score – Motion Picture

What TQR would like to see win: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste (Soul)

Jazz is not only the heart of American music, but it’s the heart of this movie. What Reznor, Ross and Batiste do here is unlike anything seen in a Pixar movie before (no offence to Randy Newman.) This is a score that not only compliments its moving picture counterpart, but makes for the perfect Sunday morning listening in every day life, and we all know the best soundtracks are the ones that make you want to listen to them after the movie ends. (Special mention to James Newton Howard for his News of the World score – it’s intense and powerful, but won’t get a look in barring some kind of miracle.)

What will win: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste (Soul)

Also nominated: Alexandre Desplat (The Midnight Sky), Ludwig Göransson (Tenet), James Newton Howard (News of the World), Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross (Mank)

Best Song – Motion Picture

What TQR would like to see win: “Speak Now” (One Night in Miami…)

Not only is this a beautiful song even when it doesn’t have a brilliant film attached to it, but pair it with Leslie Odom Jr.’s portrayal of Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami… and it becomes magic. Lyrically it’s completely fitting and musically it comes with so much soul thanks to Odom Jr.’s Tony Award winning pipes. Honestly, The Trial of Chicago 7’s ‘Hear My Voice’ by the amazing British soul singer Celeste almost became my personal winner because I love that one too, so I’ll give it special shoutout here so you can compare them for yourselves:

What will win: “Speak Now” (One Night in Miami…)

Also nominated: “Fight for You” (Judas and the Black Messiah), “Hear My Voice” (The Trial of the Chicago 7), “Io sì (Seen)” (The Life Ahead), “Tigress & Tweed” (The United States vs. Billie Holiday)

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