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73rd Golden Globe Awards (2015-16):
Film Nominations Preview and Predictions

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Leonardo DiCaprio is poised to dominate the season's Best Actor awards for his grueling work in "The Revenant."

Best Actor - Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Johnny Depp, Black Mass
Will Smith, Concussion
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, The Walk

Next in line: Michael B. Jordan, Creed; Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl; Ian McKellen, Mr. Holmes; Michael Caine, Youth; Jake Gyllenhaal, Southpaw;
Tom Hanks, Bridge of Spies; Bryan Cranston, Trumbo; Samuel L. Jackson, The Hateful Eight

While this is finally Leo's year, this honor won't mean nearly as much as the Oscar, since he's already won two Globes from ten nominations, most recently in Musical or Comedy for 2013's The Wolf of Wall Street. HFPA's love of Depp is extensive (he's even been nominated for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the second Pirates movie, and Alice in Wonderland), so his position here seems safe, even if the movie wasn't quite as well-received as it ought to have been. Last year, the Globes proved to be less wooed by star power than their reputation indicates, nominating David Oyelowo over Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck, and Brad Pitt. But there doesn't really seem to be anyone else with enough buzz to leapfrog ahead over this mix of household names and respected talents, with the exception of that fifth slot I have Gordon-Levitt mostly as wishful thinking, given the way that The Walk completely sunk at the box office.

Saoirse Ronan is likely to get her second Golden Globe nomination for her fine performance in the 1950s immigration drama "Brooklyn" (with Domhnall Gleeson).

Best Actress - Drama
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Brie Larson, Room

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Rooney Mara, Carol
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Next in line: Emily Blunt, Sicario; Carey Mulligan, Suffragette; Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Another place where the Globes took a stand on category fraud was this category, in which it placed Mara and Vikander despite their respective studios' calling them supporting actresses to some criticism. With ten lead actress slots to go around, I think they both get in along with Ronan, Larson, and Blanchett, all of whom seem more likely to claim a spot in the Oscars' Best Actress field despite some stiffer than usual competition. If the field is as I've predicted, you can bet there will be some articles bemoaning the ageist choices, since it would mean the highly acclaimed Rampling wouldn't make the cut while I also peg her fellow geriatrics Blythe Danner and Maggie Smith as being just narrowly on the outside looking in for the Musical or Comedy equivalent.

Best Actor - Musical or Comedy
Matt Damon, The Martian
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Steve Carell, The Big Short
Bradley Cooper, Burnt
Robert De Niro, The Intern

Next in line: Bill Hader, Trainwreck; Al Pacino, Danny Collins; Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear

I expect Bale to take people by surprise for certain here, but also probably at the Oscars, where he is more likely to show up in Supporting Actor as the studio is suggesting. I see Bale as Damon's chief competition and would much prefer an upset to an outcome where The Martian is awarded for its comedy chops. Cooper's film may have tanked, but the narrative that studio head Harvey Weinstein is running with is that the actor's still great, or at least good enough to make it in this uncompetitive field. De Niro is one of those wacky choices only the Globes could make, but the movie performed well and his acting was singled out. I'm at a loss to come up with other dark horses, since Bill Murray's Rock the Kasbah was reviled and Trumbo is still unnecessarily being deemed a drama. Perhaps the likable Hader sneaks in, but the Globes have generally resisted Judd Apatow movies.

With "Joy" classified as a comedy, Jennifer Lawrence has an excellent chance of winning her third Golden Globe award in four years.

Best Actress - Musical or Comedy
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
Lily Tomlin, Grandma
Meryl Streep, Ricki and the Flash
Melissa McCarthy, Spy

Next in line: Blythe Danner, I'll See You in My Dreams; Anne Hathaway, The Intern; Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van

Joy's classification as a comedy is more debatable than the previous two David O. Russell films, but if it means another award and speech for Jennifer Lawrence, I'm all for it, especially if the most obvious alternative is her pal Amy Schumer. I never saw Ricki and I doubt it's very good, but never bet against Meryl. Choosing her and Tomlin (and maybe even Smith too!) would put a big hole in the ageist claims I raised in the Drama Actress category. McCarthy would seem to be a shoo-in for most organizations, given Spy's glowing reviews and strong box office, but the Globes don't seem to dig her, having inexplicably snubbed her for Bridesmaids or The Heat. Hathaway has the bigger track record, having been nominated for Rachel Getting Married and Love & Other Drugs, before winning for Les Mis.

"Spotlight" co-stars Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo could very well end up competing against each other if voters nominate both in the Supporting Actor category as instructed.

Best Supporting Actor
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Michael Keaton, Spotlight
Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Next in line: Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation; Benicio Del Toro, Sicario; Paul Dano, Love & Mercy, Kurt Russell, The Hateful Eight; Robert De Niro, Joy; Bradley Cooper, Joy

The Globes don't owe Keaton anything, as they naturally awarded him Best Actor (Musical or Comedy) for Birdman, as the Oscars should have. In truth, you could fill this entire category with Spotlight actors (Tucci! Schreiber! Crudup!),
but I don't think anyone will. Still, with the showier and slightly more focal performance, Ruffalo should be set to return to this category, where Whiplash's J.K. Simmons beat him last winter. Rylance is as far from star power as you can get, but I suspect the movie will play well with HFPA, as other recent Spielberg movies have.

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Jane Fonda, Youth
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Diane Ladd, Joy

Next in line: Rachel McAdams, Spotlight; Meryl Steep, Suffragette; Julie Walters, Brooklyn

This category becomes a lot foggier and more open with Mara and Vikander relegated to Lead Actress (Drama). I don't think Ladd's role is big or important enough to get in, even knowing the success that Russell movies have had in the Oscars. But who else is there? Never bet against Meryl, I guess...even though her involvement in Suffragette is minimal.

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Posted December 7, 2015.

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