2015 Golden Globes Predictions and Proclamations

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The 72nd Annual Golden Globes are Sunday night, and there are a things that are easy to predict: hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be hilarious, someone—whether it’s Matthew McConaughey himself or someone making a joke at his expense—will say “alright, alright, alright,” speeches will run long, and we’ll all freak out on Twitter about how George Clooney remains so damn handsome despite being old enough to have an AARP card. The awards themselves, however, are a little more difficult to predict, especially in a year with so much fine TV and film. We’ve taken our best stab at it, offering our thoughts for each of the major categories on who will win, who should win and who got snubbed. Check it out below, and be sure to stop back here at 8 p.m. EST on Sunday as we post real-time results.

Best Motion Picture, Drama
Boyhood, Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything

Who Will Win: Boyhood
Who Should Win: Boyhood
Who Got Snubbed: Whiplash

Of all the achievements in Richard Linklater’s career, perhaps what he will be best remembered for is his depiction of time. Dazed and Confused chronicled teenage life with precision, but his Before trilogy showed how the passage of time shapes and changes people in ways that they can’t see, precisely because they’re on the inside, lacking the necessary perspective easily available to us on the outside. Now with Linklater’s new movie, Boyhood, time is examined in a new, incredibly moving way. As is Linklater’s custom, Boyhood is profound in such a casual way that its weighty themes feel nonchalant, effortless. This movie might make you cry for reasons you can’t quite articulate. You won’t be alone in feeling that way.—Tim Grierson

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), Reese Witherspoon
(Wild), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Jennifer Aniston (Cake)

Who Will Win: Reese Witherspoon
Who Should Win: Julianne Moore
Who Got Snubbed: Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

When an actor is called upon to inhabit a completely different mental state in a movie, such as Julianne Moore’s portrayal of a woman with early-onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice, it’s easy to praise a believable performance. But the panic and frustration she shows during Alice’s less lucid moments is only half the accomplishment. Imbuing the linguistic professor with strength and courage makes her transformation all that more heartbreaking. It may be the crowning performance of Moore’s already impressive career.—Josh Jackson

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), David Oyelowo (Selma), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)

Who Will Win: Eddie Redmayne
Who Should Win: David Oyelowo
Who Got Snubbed: John Lithgow, Love is Strange

With Selma, Ava DuVernay lights a fire beneath both modern civil rights discourse and her career. But if DuVernay provides the film’s spark, it’s David Oyelowo who stokes the flames. Selma is a classic case of an actor disappearing into a role and becoming their character rather than making a mere pantomime; when you see Oyelowo on screen, you’re not seeing Oyelowo so much as you’re seeing a man possessed of the same courage, the same conviction, the same vigor as the man who was is the embodiment of the Civil Rights Movement. Whether he’s playing politics, leveraging media, showing humility in the face of his own weakness, or broadcasting his belief that human fellowship will always triumph over adversity, Oyelowo is ever a force of human nature and the heart of the film. —Andy Crump

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Into The Woods, Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, St. Vincent, Pride

Who Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Who Should Win: Birdman
Who Got Snubbed: Inherent Vice

Above all else, Birdman is tender, raucously funny and deeply tragic. The final qualifier just proves that this is an Alejandro González Iñárritu film, but Iñárritu is operating on a new level here. This is intimate, personal stuff, perhaps his best effort since his first, 2000’s Amores Perros—or at least his most passionate, for more than just the director himself. The film at times reads like a dedication to Keaton’s work in Tim Burton’s Batman movies, and an admonition against the indulgent comic book rumpuses Thompson is supposed to have helped invent. There sure are a lot of pictures about caped crusaders out there, but don’t even the most over-the-hill superheroes deserve a chance to fly anew? —Andy Crump

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Julianne Moore (Maps To The Stars), Amy Adams (Big Eyes), Emily Blunt
(Into The Woods), Helen Mirren (The Hundred Foot Journey), Quvenzhané Wallis (Annie)

Who Will Win: Emily Blunt
Who Should Win: Amy Adams
Who Got Snubbed: Jenny Slate, Obvious Child

Thankfully, one of Obvious Child’s best qualities is its cast, which is full of lightness without being overly cutesy. It starts with Slate, a former Saturday Night Live cast member, who has gone on to be a welcome, loony presence on sitcoms like Parks and Recreation and Bob’s Burgers. As Donna, she’s dialed back a little, but that’s understandable: While Donna is undoubtedly floundering, she’s not a patronizingly lovable nincompoop, either. Slate finds a good middle ground where her harried character can try to pull herself together after being dealt a series of life-altering blows. Obvious Child can be looked at as a coming-of-age movie about a late bloomer, but Robespierre and Slate don’t condemn or coddle Donna’s choices. If anything, they’re trying to normalize them, suggesting (again, in the least provocative way possible) that maybe they’re more common among women than what we generally see at the movies with their timid black-and-white morality.—Tim Grierson

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

Who Will Win: Michael Keaton
Who Should Win: Michael Keaton
Who Got Snubbed: Chris Pratt, Guardians of the Galaxy

Plenty of things needed to go right for Guardians of the Galaxy to travel the considerable distance from “What are they thinking?!” to “That was one of the most enjoyable films of 2014!” Marvel needed a decent story, a good director, and of course for the CGI behind a certain talking raccoon and sentient tree to be spot-on. But the most important ingredient in this particular space opera—and hell, maybe in all successful ones—was the performance of Chris Pratt as the likable, scoundrel-lite Star-Lord. With a franchise so unfamiliar to viewers and a story that bears scrutiny but barely, it was Pratt’s turn as the affable, capable lost boy that both grounded and propelled the blockbuster. Sure, Pratt won’t be competing for an Oscar come February, but none of those contenders will have single-handedly ensured an entire wing of the Marvel Universe (Marvel Cosmic) will most definitely be open for business in the years that follow. Who is the only actor on this list carrying a billion-dollar franchise on his or her shoulders? His name is Star-Lord. —Michael Burgin

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year), Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game),
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Meryl Streep (Into The Woods), Emma Stone

Who Will Win: Meryl Streep
Who Should Win: Patricia Arquette
Who Got Snubbed: Minnie Driver, Beyond the Lights

For as much as the film is about being a parent, and more specifically being a mom, Boyhood could just as well be called Motherhood. If Ellar Coltrane’s Mason is the protagonist, he’s a passive figure in his own story. It’s the leading lady of his life, Olivia, who drives the bulk of the plot forward. In that respect, Patricia Arquette is Boyhood’s true star, a dynamic figure who invests herself in her on-screen relationship with Ellar with all the love, compassion and limitless gusto that a real mother would. Olivia is a survivor. She’s a fighter. She’s also exactly what a mom should be—there, not just for the fun times, like Ethan Hawke’s freewheeling dad, but for the tough times, the ugly times, the times you wish you could erase from memory for how badly they scarred you. Arquette imbues Olivia with spirit, mighty but gentle, and in doing so creates one of the most indelible, achingly real characters of 2014.—Andy Crump

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Robert Duvall (The Judge), Edward Norton
(Birdman), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)

Who Will Win: J.K. Simmons
Who Should Win: Edward Norton
Who Got Snubbed: Logan Lerman, Fury

Edward Norton became “one to watch” with his first film, Primal Fear, picking up a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and the first of two Oscar nominations. He continued to be “one to watch” in films like American History X and Fight Club but, somewhere along the way, I stopped watching. Maybe it was the reports of being difficult on set. By the time he showed up in the tepid The Bourne Legacy, he was delivering the antithesis of the performances I’d come to hope for from him. So, among the many hopes I had for Birdman was a great performance to restore my faith in Edward Norton. I got it, and then some. Playing Mike, a difficult actor with ego and attitude in spades, Norton sunk his teeth into a role that really played to his strengths and, quite possibly, his passions. Mike, possibly like Norton himself, is passionate about acting and theater, maybe to a fault, clashing with his director and co-star played by Michael Keaton. Norton’s performance is a ball of energy that really leaps off the screen as spits out dialogue with the same speed and power as bullets flying from a machine gun. Ultimately, Norton’s Mike is hard to like but easy to sympathize with and understand because his work clearly means so much to him.—David Greenberg

Best Director, Motion Picture
Ava DuVernay (Selma), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman), David Fincher (Gone Girl), Richard Linklater

Who Will Win: Richard Linklater
Who Should Win: Ava DuVernay
Who Got Snubbed: Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

That DuVernay found a way to tell a story of the complex relationship between violence and glory, as exhibited in the unique world of Martin Luther King Jr., and during the unique time of the 1965 Civil Rights march from Selma to Montgomery, proves that she is a masterful and dauntless auteur. A movie that could have been a mere biopic about a historical figure or moment instead became a film about the overwhelming experience of violence and glory—and how the experience of one, and the promise of another, can incite a political movement. While many filmmakers have explored these concepts, few have done so with both small and massive scopes, and with such care for the intricate parts of a grand story. In her attention to the subtle narratives often left out of war movies and Civil Rights narratives, and other movies about the (black) American experience, DuVernay offers a revolutionary new way of creating a narrative work. For her achievement with Selma, a film that seemed predestined to arrive in 2014, she was named Paste Magazine’s Film Person of the Year. Shannon M. Houston

Best Screenplay, Motion Picture
Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel); Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl);
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo
(Birdman); Richard Linklater (Boyhood); Graham Moore
(The Imitation Game)

Who Will Win: Richard Linklater
Who Should Win: Richard Linklater
Who Got Snubbed: Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice

Because of the ambition of the project and the amount of years it covers, Boyhood might initially seem underwhelming. By design, Mason’s life isn’t particularly momentous, and there are no major revelations or twists. Instead, everything that happens is a matter of gradation—say, for example, how Mason begins to develop an interest in art or how his mother’s partners start to repeat similar patterns of behavior. These moments aren’t commented on—they’re simply observed—and one of Boyhood’s great attributes is its generous spirit. Linklater, who also wrote the script, doesn’t care about indulging in soap-opera melodrama to elevate the drama because he’s too busy being jazzed by the casual flow of life. There’s enough going on with most people that he doesn’t need to invent incidents… By the time Boyhood ends, no grand resolutions have occurred. Mason will keep living his life, and so will we. But by observing the everyday with such grace, Linklater allows us the opportunity to do the same. There are few better gifts a filmmaker can give his audience. —Tim Grierson

Best TV Series, Drama
Downton Abbey, The Affair, Game Of Thrones, House of Cards,
The Good Wife

Who Will Win: The Good Wife
Who Should Win: The Affair
Who Got Snubbed: Mad Men

The beginning of the end of Mad Men brought with it lots of change. Sally’s a full-blown teenager who, as it turns out, loves her dad unconditionally. Don’s fighting his way back from leave, having threesomes with (and subsequently being left by) Megan in California while Peggy butts heads with Lou Avery. Ginsberg’s hacking off nipples. And when the excellent half-season came to a close with a moon landing, a farewell to Bert Cooper and a big power play from Roger that’ll make Sterling Cooper a subsidiary of McCann, all we could do was take a page from Bert’s book, whisper “bravo” and wait for 2015 to roll around and bring us the conclusion of one of the greatest TV series of all time.—Bonnie Stiernberg

Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder), Claire Danes (Homeland), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Robin Wright (House of Cards), Ruth Wilson (The Affair)

Who Will Win: Claire Danes
Who Should Win: Julianna Margulies
Who Got Snubbed: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Any conversation about the women of Mad Men (and perhaps the men as well) has to begin with the incomparable Peggy Olson. Moss’s Olson is the answer to practically everything every feminist with a television set has been asking for since the dawn of feminism and television sets. To say that Elisabeth Moss’ performance has stolen the show would be putting it lightly. Jon Hamm’s Don Draper has become iconic, but Peggy Olson is complex and revolutionary in ways that Draper simply is not (and, arguably, is not meant to be).—Shannon M. Houston

Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama
Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Clive Owen (The Knick), James Spader
(The Blacklist), Dominic West (The Affair), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan)

Who Will Win: Kevin Spacey
Who Should Win: Dominic West
Who Got Snubbed: Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Even as the ominous drums and screeching strings and murky sets of House of Cards drew us in to a macabre world, Kevin Spacey was the man who kept it fun. As Underwood, his insinuating southern accent weaved its sinuous way into our heads; he was the winking serpent who was born for the outlandish halls of power in this hyperbolic version of D.C., and it’s hard to imagine a more provocative tour guide. —Shane Ryan

Best TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Orange is the New Black, Girls, Jane the Virgin, Transparent,
Silicon Valley

Who Will Win: Orange is the New Black
Who Should Win: Transparent
Who Got Snubbed: Louie

There’s so much that could have gone wrong with Transparent. For one, an out-of-context image of Jeffrey Tambor in a dress is bound to attract some smirks. What’s more, on initial glance, the show’s content (marital discord, adultery, unplanned pregnancy) reads like a writers’ room whiteboard on a network soap. As creator Jill Soloway demonstrates, however, sometimes it’s all in the execution. Indeed, what’s immediately striking about the show, is how disarmingly intimate it all feels. In telling the story of an elderly parent’s decision to finally reveal her transgender lifestyle to her children, Soloway does not take any shortcuts in depicting the subsequent shockwaves the decision causes. In the process, she endows each character and plot development with the proper dramatic weight, without ever sacrificing a sense of levity. Maintaining such a tone is a proverbial tightrope act, and Soloway and her creative team somehow manage to keep their balance throughout each of the season’s ten episodes, without breaking a sweat. Hear that? That’s the sound of Amazon Studios throwing down the gauntlet in the online TV revolution.—Mark Rozeman

Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Gina Rodriguez (Jane The Virgin), Lena Dunham (Girls), Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black)

Who Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Who Should Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Who Got Snubbed: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Like Steve Carell’s Michael Scott in The Office before her, Selina Meyer has the wonderful ability to be both exasperating and endearing at the same time. What separates her, though, is that for all her mismanagement, Meyer is also both smart and savvy. Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays the Vice President as both a Washington insider, and someone always trying to find her balance in the game of politics. The way she straddles so many lines creates a complicated character who’s never quite sure of her own capabilities. This central uncertainty ends up being Meyer’s most defining trait. And as she speeds from one crisis to the next, there’s always a question of her true character, one which not even Meyer is capable of answering. It would be easy for a satire to simply make fun of a character, but Veep’s handling of Meyer never betrays the fact that she is ultimately a well-meaning human who’s simply been ruined by the political system in which she’s become entangled.—Sean Gandert

Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Don Cheadle (House of Lies), William H. Macy (Shameless), Ricky Gervais (Derek), Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent), Louie C.K. (Louie)

Who Will Win Ricky Gervais
Who Should Win: Jeffrey Tambor
Who Got Snubbed: Andy Daly, Review

Given the rarity of transgender characters in television, it would have been tempting (and understandable) for Transparent creator Jill Soloway to contextualize Maura Pfefferman as a shining and dignified representative of the community. And while Jeffrey Tambor’s phenomenal performance endows Maura with a warm, relatable humanity, the show’s genius lies precisely in its refusal to treat its central figure with kid gloves, often revealing her to be just as selfish as the progeny she frequently admonishes. Far from being alienating, however, Maura’s flaws only serve to make her more complicated and, thus, more achingly human. Though the show has already, in its limited run, done much to highlight the trials of the transgender experience, Soloway and her team have done good in assuring that Maura is a compelling character first and a trailblazing statement second.—Mark Rozeman

Best TV Movie or Miniseries
Olive Kitteridge, Fargo, The Missing, True Detective, The Normal Heart

Who Will Win: True Detective
Who Should Win: True Detective

Now, a year after the show premiered, it’s much easier to look at what True Detective actually is, as opposed to what its hype would lead you to believe it is. True Detective was never about its central mystery, the mcguffin of the Yellow King’s identity, rather it was a meditation on masculinity, obsession, and—perhaps above all else—craft. Because of this, the show’s content was a perfect match for some of the finest acting, production, cinematography, and editing on display, not just on television screens but in fact anywhere in 2014. True Detective excels both as a tone poem, creating an almost primordial world out of southern Louisiana, and as a character piece, casting a dark mirror against the buddy cop genre that Hollywood hasn’t let go of since the late 1980s. While it was all but impossible to ignore the fact that many of True Detective’s ideas were cribbed from elsewhere, that does nothing to detract from the show’s strong voice and overall originality. This Southern Gothic noir set primarily in the past, nonetheless felt more universal and timely than almost anything else made this year.—Sean Gandert

Best Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries
Jessica Lange, (American Horror Story: Freak Show), Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Honorable Woman), Frances McDormand (Olive Kitteridge), Allison Tolman (Fargo), Frances O’Connor (The Missing)

Who Will Win: Jessica Lange
Who Should Win: Allison Tolman

TV has never before had such a quietly confident character. Deputy Molly Solverson, as so brilliantly portrayed by Allison Tolman, was a delightful and refreshingly different female portraiture. She wasn’t defined by a male character or a romance (although she was one half of the show’s only romantic coupling). And she was smarter than almost everyone—certainly most of the men around her. From the onset of the series, Molly knew the murders in Bemidji were not what they appeared to be, and that Lester Nygaard was not an innocent insurance salesman who had tragically lost his wife in a home invasion. While her theories are dismissed by her superiors, Molly remains doggedly determined. One of her best scenes came in the penultimate episode, when the two FBI agents believe Molly and tears of relief spring to her eyes. Finally she is vindicated. Tolman gave a breakout performance and, in one season, created an iconic character who will long be remembered. Most TV characters, no matter how fantastic, could only exist in the world of television. Molly was that completely believable rarity. She could have been your best friend. The second season Fargo will feature all new actors, and will be set in 1979—there’ll be no Deputy Solverson, and that’s our loss. I could have watched her for countless more seasons.—Amy Amatangelo

Best Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries
Martin Freeman (Fargo), Matthew McConaughey (True Detective), Woody Harrelson (True Detective), Billy Bob Thornton (Fargo), Mark Ruffalo (The Normal Heart)

Who Will Win: Matthew McConaughey
Who Should Win: Matthew McConaughey

It would be incredibly easy for Rust Cohle to be a complete joke. Just a few wrong lines of dialogue, or an ever-so-slightly broader performance would turn him into a stereotype of the super cop. Instead, due to dialogue that hits just the right level of purple, and perhaps the best performance of Matthew McConaughey’s entire career, Cohle is a trapped, soulful man always one step away from going too far. It would be simplistic to say that Cohle is the first season of True Detective, but despite the show being about a pair of cops, it’s Cohle’s obsessive search for truth—in a world he’s convinced doesn’t have any—that kept audiences on edge. While the internet would have you believe he’s all one-liners, Cohle speaks strongest in his silences, in those moments where he’s not performing for either the police or the suspects, as those are the times when he reveals how deeply empathetic he really is.—Sean Gandert

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie
Kathy Bates (American Horror Story: Freak Show), Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), Michelle Monaghan (True Detective), Allison Janney (Mom)

Who Will Win: Allison Janney
Who Should Win: Uzo Aduba
Who Got Snubbed: Lorraine Toussaint, Orange is the New Black

If you’re looking for the most truly evil character of 2014, this is it right here. The drug lord used her defacto position as the only parental figure her foster children had ever known to manipulate them, destroy their egos, and build her drug empire. When she returns to Litchfield prison she must face her old foe Red, along with the realization that she’s not Queen Bee any more. She immediately gets her claws into Taystee, turning her makeshift daughter into a drug dealer, once again. Vee is completely vicious. She lulls her prey into a sense of calm before her attack (the worst example being when she slept with her foster son R.J., before having him killed.) But her most heinous act came when she tried to pin Red’s attack on the defenseless and blindly devoted Suzanne. Lorraine Toussaint is a wonderful actress with a long list of credits, but Vee was a career-defining moment. Vee could have been one dimensionally evil, but Toussaint infused her with vulnerability and desperation. Litchfield may be better off without Vee, but her character will be missed.—Amy Amatangelo

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie
Bill Murray (Olive Kitteridge), Jon Voight (Ray Donovan), Matt Bomer
(The Normal Heart), Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), Colin Hanks

Who Will Win: Matt Bomer
Who Should Win: Alan Cumming
Who Got Snubbed: Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Andre Braugher’s gravitas and steely demeanor lends itself perfectly to drama. But when you capture that essence, and transplant it to the world of sitcom, it provides just as much value in terms of entertainment. Captain Holt is so much more than the stern boss against whom Andy Samberg’s goofball Jake Peralta bristles. He’s the finest comedic force in a series loaded to the brim with excellent characters and performances. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has found countless ways to mine humor from Holt, who consistently and perfectly expresses intense emotion in a flat, affectless fashion (“Kwazy Kupcakes” anyone?). And most importantly, this is a fully-developed and unique TV character; Holt is a gay, black man who has risen through the ranks, to become Captain of an admittedly ragtag group of cops on a quest to clean up the streets. Bonus points are also accrued for every flashback to Holt’s early days on the force—afro, mustache, jive talking, and all.—Chris Morgan

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