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2024 Golden Globes Awards Predictions

January 6, 2024
Hunter Friesen
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The path to the Oscars is laden with several steps along the way, the most important being the televised awards quartet of the Golden Globes, Critics Choice, SAG Awards, and BAFTAs. The Globes have always been a finicky bunch. As the first of the four to occur, their show is the place where many future Oscar winners cement themselves as the lead horse in the race. But the Globes have had their reputation of questionable behavior, with every addition to an awards sweep also being met with an eyebrow-raising outside choice (Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Nocturnal Animals, anyone?). 

Luckily for the group (and probably for us too), the Globes have supposedly cleaned up their act by expanding their membership and leaning more international. Their nominations this year provide evidence of their strides for improvement. Because of this, you’re going to hear me relentlessly debate the tendencies of the old and new versions of the Golden Globes.

In preparation for the show this Sunday, I'm predicting the winners in each category. Each of the nominees is ranked in terms of their likelihood to come out on top. Some of the categories have a significant divide between the top and runner-up spots and some categories are neck-and-neck. No matter how the results shake out, we should all be in for an exciting night that kicks off this new phase of the awards season.

Best Motion Picture - Drama

  1. Oppenheimer

  2. Killers of the Flower Moon

  3. Maestro

  4. Anatomy of a Fall

  5. Past Lives

  6. The Zone of Interest

Is this where Oppenheimer starts its televised run to Best Picture? Or will it go the way of The Fabelmans and succumb to frontrunner fatigue? That’s a question for after it wins the Globe, which it looks extremely likely to do. It was Barbenheimer in July, and it will still be in January.

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

  1. Barbie

  2. Poor Things

  3. The Holdovers

  4. American Fiction

  5. May December

  6. Air

Those three songs, two acting, a writing, and directing nominations weren’t just for show. This is where all comes together for Barbie, which would mark director Greta Gerwig’s second victory in this category after Lady Bird. There’s still competition in the form of Poor Things and The Holdovers, but neither of them seems to be both beloved and popular enough.

Best Director

  1. Christopher Nolan (Oppenheimer)

  2. Martin Scorsese (Killers of the Flower Moon)

  3. Greta Gerwig (Barbie)

  4. Bradley Cooper (Maestro)

  5. Yorgos Lanthimos (Poor Things)

  6. Celine Song (Past Lives)

This race was over once the very auteur and indie-friendly NYFCC gave their Best Director prize to Christoper Nolan. And that was in the first week of precursors! Much like Da’Vine Joy Randolph, he’s virtually undefeated so far and none of the other contenders are accumulating any reasons to be the upset choice. If I had to pick a potential spoiler, it would be Martin Scorsese as he holds ten nominations and three wins from this group.

Best Screenplay

  1. Barbie (Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach)

  2. Poor Things (Tony McNamara)

  3. Past Lives (Celine Song)

  4. Oppenheimer (Oppenheimer)

  5. Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese & Eric Roth)

  6. Anatomy of a Fall (Justine Triet & Arthur Harari)

This category is already the hardest to predict the nominees for as you can only fit six out of the 12-15 that are vying for the two categories at the Oscars. Now it’s even tougher as only one can win. You might as well roll a die and go with whatever it tells you, as any choice has considerable pros and cons. The momentum seems to be with Barbie at this point in the season. I could spend every waking minute until the envelope is read debating the other contenders, so I should conserve my sanity and move on.

Best Lead Actor - Drama

  1. Bradley Cooper (Maestro)

  2. Cillian Murphy (Oppenheimer)

  3. Colman Domingo (Rustin)

  4. Leonardo DiCaprio (Killers of the Flower Moon)

  5. Andrew Scott (All of Us Strangers)

  6. Barry Keoghan (Saltburn)

This category really puts the drama in Motion Picture - Drama as it features the first smackdown in the most competitive acting race. It’s Bradley Cooper vs. Cillian Murphy, with it truly being a split decision between the two of them at the moment. Who do you go for: the overdue actor in an awards-baity performance, or the respected outsider in the most acclaimed movie of the year? I’m going with Cooper because… well, he has to win at some point, right? Either way, neither of the two will pull too far ahead with a win here. The war continues!

Best Lead Actress - Drama

  1. Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon)

  2. Sandra Hüller (Anatomy of a Fall)

  3. Carey Mulligan (Maestro)

  4. Greta Lee (Past Lives)

  5. Cailee Spaeny (Priscilla)

  6. Annette Bening (Nyad)

All signs point towards Lily Gladstone, especially with Emma Stone, her biggest Oscar threat, being placed in a different category. She’s been seen as the main representation for a much-beloved film in Killers of the Flower Moon, and hasn’t lost a step from any lead vs. supporting debate over her role and screen time. Hüller could be the upset pick similar to Isabelle Huppert in 2017, so watch out if this group truly decides to embrace the international makeup of their membership.

Best Lead Actor - Musical or Comedy

  1. Paul Giamatti (The Holdovers)

  2. Jeffrey Wright (American Fiction)

  3. Timothée Chalamet (Wonka)

  4. Matt Damon (Air)

  5. Nicolas Cage (Dream Scenario)

  6. Joaquin Phoenix (Beau Is Afraid)

As I said in my nomination predictions article, this category is between Paul Giamatti, Jeffrey Wright, and a bunch of also-rans. Unfortunately for Wright, he’s leaning a little closer to the also-rans than to Giamatti, who’s been picking up some serious steam for the Oscar with wins at NBR and other regional critics’ groups. Giamatti actually won this award in 2011 for Barney’s Version, a movie that has only lived on as a trivia question and for this article.

Best Lead Actress - Musical or Comedy

  1. Emma Stone (Poor Things)

  2. Margot Robbie (Barbie)

  3. Natalie Portman (May December)

  4. Fantasia Barrino (The Color Purple)

  5. Alma Pöysti (Fallen Leaves)

  6. Jennifer Lawrence (No Hard Feelings)

The law of these Musical or Comedy acting categories is to always bet on the actor/actress that has the best chance of being Oscar-nominated, as there’s usually only 1-2 here. That logic worked last year with Michelle Yeoh and in 2019 for Olivia Colman, both of whom went on to win the Oscar. This year’s favorite is Emma Stone, with Margot Robbie being a respectably distant second-place.

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Robert Downey Jr. (Oppenheimer)

  2. Ryan Gosling (Barbie)

  3. Charles Melton (May December)

  4. Mark Ruffalo (Poor Things)

  5. Robert De Niro (Killers of the Flower Moon)

  6. Willem Dafoe (Poor Things)

This should be the start of Robert Downey Jr.’s Oscar push, with both him and his film being quite beloved by this group. He’s also been performing much better than expected at the regional critics, proving that he’s not just a mainstream choice. But this awards season is defined by Barbenheimer, and Ryan Gosling shouldn’t be taken too lightly as a surprise winner.

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Da’Vine Joy Randolph (The Holdovers)

  2. Emily Blunt (Oppenheimer)

  3. Danielle Brooks (The Color Purple)

  4. Jodie Foster (Nyad)

  5. Julianne Moore (May December)

  6. Rosamund Pike (Saltburn)

While RDJ will be starting his (potential) winning streak, Da’Vine Joy Randolph will just be extending it. The Holdovers actress has hardly recorded a loss yet, sweeping pretty much every major critics’ prize under the sun (NBR, NYFCC, LAFCA). Emily Blunt would be a spoiler if this was still the same Globes voting body (she’s been nominated 8 times in the past 16 years). But that time seems to have passed, so there’s not much need to dwell on this category beyond the minimum time required.

Best Foreign Language Film

  1. Anatomy of a Fall

  2. Past Lives

  3. The Zone of Interest

  4. Society of the Snow

  5. Fallen Leaves

  6. Io Capitano

This is one of the most competitive races this category has ever seen, with half the nominees also being mentioned in the Best Motion Picture - Drama category. That means there really isn’t a right or wrong answer between them. My money is going on Anatomy of a Fall as it's been racking up wins in this category all season. Of course, past performance doesn’t indicate future results, and Anatomy hasn’t had to face Past Lives yet. And what about last year when the film with the lowest odds, Argentina, 1985, pulled off the upset and beat RRR and All Quiet on the Western Front? Does the acting nomination for Alma Pöysti spell something for Fallen Leaves?

Best Animated Feature Film

  1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

  2. The Boy and the Heron

  3. Elemental

  4. Suzume

  5. The Super Mario Bros. Movie

  6. Wish

It’s been a battle between The Boy and the Heron and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse at the regional critics’ awards so far. The battlefield shifting over to the televised awards should put the ball in Spider-Verse’s court on account of its more mainstream appeal. The Globes also tend to be unique when it comes to their nominations, but then fall more in line with convention once it’s time to crown a winner.

Best Original Score

  1. Oppenheimer (Ludwig Göransson)

  2. Killers of the Flower Moon (Robbie Robertson)

  3. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Daniel Pemberton)

  4. Poor Things (Jerskin Fendrix)

  5. The Boy and the Heron (Joe Hisaishi)

  6. The Zone of Interest (Mica Levi)

Ludwig Göransson has been the favorite for this category ever since Oppenheimer premiered in July, and now it’s time for him to start reaping the rewards. It would also be his first win in the category, having lost out on the previous two occasions. The spoilers would be posthumous nominees and longtime respected veteran Robbie Robertson for Killers of the Flower Moon and Globes-favorite Daniel Pemberton for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the latter being front and center throughout the awards campaign.

Best Original Song

  1. What Was I Made For? (Barbie)

  2. I’m Just Ken (Barbie)

  3. Dance the Night (Barbie)

  4. Road to Freedom (Rustin)

  5. Addicted to Romance (She Came to Me)

  6. Peaches (The Super Mario Bros. Movie)

It’s time we catch a glimpse at what Barbie song will start racking the televised wins on its presumed way to the Oscar podium. Will it be Billie Eilish’s melancholic “What Was I Made For?”, Ryan Gosling’s power ballad “I’m Just Ken,” or Dua Lipa’s funky “Dance the Night”? Eilish won this category a few years ago for “No Time to Die,” and she’s being positioned as the lead horse by Warner Brothers, so it makes sense for her to claim victory here.

Cinematic and Box Office Achievement

  1. Barbie

  2. Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour

  3. Oppenheimer

  4. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

  5. The Super Mario Bros. Movie

  6. John Wick: Chapter 4

  7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

  8. Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

It seems fitting that this “award” should go to the highest-grossing movie of the year, no? It also helps that, apart from its financial success, Barbie was an enormous hit critically and culturally. That’s a trifecta that seems impossible to beat. The wrinkle is that we have no precedent for this category, and still don’t really know what it’s celebrating. The movie that made the most money? The movie that made the most profit? The best movie that made a lot of money? If you want to talk about “box office achievement,” then you’d have to mention Taylor Swift for redefining the distribution paradigm in her favor.

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