Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Nominees: Mary J Blige, Mudbound; Hong Chau, Downsizing; Allison Janney, I, Tonya; Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird; Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
Predicted Winner: Laurie Metcalf
Lady Bird is a mother/daughter story and would thus only work half as well if it wasn't for Laurie Metcalf's touching performance in the film. Metcalf brings as much subtly to the role of Christine/Lady Bird's mother as she does dramatic flair, presenting a perfect match for her headstrong onscreen daughter (Saoirse Ronan). A victory here for Metcalf might be predicable, but it's also quite well-deserved.
Should Win: Laurie Metcalf
Metcalf hasn't been nominated for a Golden Globe since her days on Roseanne in the mid-1990s, so she's arguably "owed" a win here as much as anyone else. Everyone in the running for this category this year did terrific work of their own, but Metcalf cemented her status as the front-runner for Lady Bird months ago and hasn't lost any momentum since then. Keeping that in mind...
Potential Upset: Allison Janney
Allison Janney is up for a Golden Globe this year, thanks to her own scene-stealing performance as a mother (albeit, a very different one than Lady Bird's) in I, Tonya. Janney has been nominated for a Golden Globe six times now, thanks primarily to her multiple nods for The West Wing. Could this be the year that the HFPA decides to finally recognize the great character actor for her work?
Should've Been a Contender: Betty Gabriel, Get Out
Betty Gabriel is another candidate who has been by and large overlooked throughout this awards season thus far. It's quite unfortunate, seeing as she manages to deliver a performance that reveals itself to be multilayered and yet over the top when necessary in Get Out, once you know what her character's big secret is. If nothing else, Gabriel gave us one of 2017's best and most telling memes.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Nominees: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project; Armie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name; Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water; Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World; Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Predicted Winner: Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe has already racked up multiple wins for her turn in The Florida Project and may yet wind up adding a Golden Globe to his trophy collection. Dafoe hasn't been nominated for a Globe since he made Shadow of the Vampire, but he's deserving of a win for his richly humane performance as a motel manager in Sean Baker's compassionate exploration of class and privilege.
Should Win: Richard Jenkins
Richard Jenkins was, for many, The Shape of Water's unexpected MVP, thanks to his performance as a closeted artist in the 1960s set fairy tale. Jenkins has never been nominated for a Golden Globe before this year either, which is all the more shocking considering how prolific a character actor he is. If nothing else, he very much deserves to have been nominated by the HFPA at last for his work here.
Potential Upset: Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer's performance as elderly J. Paul Getty is arguably the best part of All the Money in the World, which is all the more impressive when you remember that he wasn't even in the film until about two months ago. It's possible that the HFPA will go the whole nine yards in making a statement here and actually give the Golden Globe to Plummer, in addition to nominating him to begin with.
Should've Been a Contender: Ray Romano, The Big Sick
Not to sound like a broken record, but this is yet another category where The Big Sick should have been in the running. Ray Romano brings a welcome dose of humanity and levity to his role in the film, deftly navigating scenes of awkward comedy and poignant drama in the process. It's also a refreshingly non-showy role, yet still manages to pack an emotional punch.
Best Director - Motion Picture
Nominees: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water; Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk; Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World; Steven Spielberg, The Post
Predicted Winner: Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan's WWII epic Dunkirk is quite the impressive technical achievement and may well land the filmmaker his first Golden Globe victory. Dunkirk also feels like the sort of awards contender that will win lots of trophies for its technical aspects and direction, but miss out on most of the top prizes (see films like Life of Pi and Gravity for previous examples of this).
Should Win: Guillermo del Toro
The Shape of Water perfectly illustrates not only Guillermo del Toro's rich sense of mise en scène, but also his ability to evoke strong performance from his ensemble casts. While del Toro's film is neither as grand in scale nor as noticeably performance-driven as some of its competitors, its direction is naturally a key element of its success. A win for del Toro here feels more than fitting, in those respects.
Potential Upset: Ridley Scott
It's genuinely impressive how Ridley Scott was able to seamlessly integrate a significant chunk of reshot footage into All the Money in the World, but a few weeks before releasing the film in theaters. Scott has also never won a Golden Globe for directing before, despite two of his films (Gladiator and The Martian) having taken home Best Picture Globes in the past. Could this indeed be Scott's year for a win?
Should've Been a Contender: Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Greta Gerwig was one of several non-white and/or non-male directors (along with names like Jordan Peele, Dee Rees, and Patty Jenkins) who arguably deserved to land a Golden Globe nomination for their work this year. The story might change at the Academy Awards this year, but Gerwig certainly deserved to be in the running for Lady Bird here too.
Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Nominees: Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water; Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird; Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, The Post; Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game
Predicted Winner: Martin McDonagh
Martin McDonagh is both a celebrated screenwriter and playwright overseas, making it all the easier to envision the HFPA giving him the Globe for his Three Billboards screenplay. The movie's acting and screenwriting have been its most widely celebrated aspects thus far this awards season, making it all the more plausible that it will take home the gold in this particular category.
Should Win: Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor
The Shape of Water script by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor masterfully weaves a history lesson into the fabric of a dark fairy tale anchored by a subversive take on the "Beauty and the Beast" love story. As much as the film deserves to be celebrated for its production design and direction, Shape of Water gets much of its heart from its screen story too.
Potential Upset: Aaron Sorkin
It's never wise to count out an Aaron Sorkin screenplay during an awards show, much less one that dramatizes the life of a real person a la Molly's Game. Sorkin has won a pair of Golden Globes in the past for writing two other biographical dramas (The Social Network and Steve Jobs), and the idea of him winning a third time isn't out of the question at all.
Should've Been a Contender: Jordan Peele, Get Out
To be fair, the Best Screenplay category is extra competitive at this year's Golden Globes. Still, Jordan Peele's Get Out script is masterful in the way that it subtly lays the foundation for its eventual Twilight Zone-style twists and manages to deliver searing social commentary without ever feeling preachy. Maybe even more than his directing, Peele's writing here deserved recognition.
Best Motion Picture - Animated
Nominees: The Boss Baby, The Breadwinner, Coco, Ferdinand, Loving Vincent
Predicted Winner: Coco
Pixar's Coco is a beautifully animated and touching exploration of family though a cultural lens that is typically neglected by mainstream Hollywood. It's also the studio's best work since their last proper awards season contender (2015's Inside Out) and features some of the year's catchiest tunes, as well as its most heartstring-tugging songs. A victory here would be well-earned by the film.
Should Win: Coco
As indicated earlier, Coco's authentic and rich portrayal of Mexican cultures and traditions is very much deserving of the acclaim that it's accumulated to date. Mainstream animated releases like Ferdinand and The Boss Baby are visually striking in their own ways and offer their fair share of heart to boot. Still, this particular Golden Globes category feels like Pixar's to lose this year.
Potential Upset: The Breadwinner
The Breadwinner is another visually striking and humane offering from The Secret of Kells director Nora Twomey and one that could (arguably) pull off an upset and take the Golden Globe here, instead of Coco. That seems unlikely to happen, but a victory for The Breadwinner would shine a spotlight on Coco's relatively lesser-known competitor. In that respect, it would be a win-win situation.
Should've Been a Contender: The LEGO Batman Movie
Chris McKay's The LEGO Batman Movie avoids the common pitfalls of animated movie franchises spinoffs and instead deconstructs the legacy of the Batman franchise through a study of the LEGO Batman character himself. The resulting film is funny, insightful, and full to the brim with exciting superhero action sequences. Most importantly, Batman sings in the movie, which is deserving of a nomination on its own.
Best Motion Picture - Foreign Language
Nominees: A Fantastic Woman; First They Killed My Father; In the Fade; Loveless; The Square
Predicted Winner: The Square
Should Win: In the Fade
Ruben Östlund's The Square is an overall effective satire of a celebrated male artist (and their ego) for 2017 and the post-Harvey Weinstein era. At the same time, something similar could be said for Fatih Akin's In the Fade, a drama/thriller that features Diane Krueger in arguably a career best performance, as a complicated protagonist on the hunt for members of the Neo-Nazi scene.
Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Nominees: Carter Burwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Alexander Desplat, The Shape of Water; Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread; John Williams, The Post; Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk
Predicted Winner: Hans Zimmer
Should Win: Alexandre Desplat
Hans Zimmer's pulse-pounding, clock-ticking fueled score for Dunkirk may bring the composer his first Golden Globe win since Gladiator. Still, even in the face of heavy competition from such cinematic legends as Zimmer and John Williams, Alexandre Desplat's whimsically romantic leitmotifs and themes of longing for The Shape of Water stand out as something special.
Best Original Song - Motion Picture
Nominees: “Home”, Ferdinand; “Mighty River”, Mudbound; “Remember Me”, Coco; “The Star”, The Star; “This Is Me”, The Greatest Showman
Predicted Winner: "Remember Me"
Should Win: "Remember Me"
Coco isn't just one of Pixar's best films in years, it's also a movie in which music plays an integral role. The Greatest Showman's tunes will get your toes tapping and "Mighty River" tugs on your heastrings, but "Remember Me" is the one song among the lot that can both get you dancing and bring tears to your eyes, depending on how it's performed.
The 75th Annual Golden Globes ceremony will be hosted by Seth Meyers and take place at the Beverly Hilton on Sunday, January 7.