BEST MOTION PICTURE DRAMA
WILL WIN 12 Years a Slave
BECAUSE while the Globes did go for Avatar over The Hurt Locker three years ago, which looks not dissimilar to a Gravity v. 12 Years lineup, I think that voters will break for the film that has a very significant social message over one that, as visually magnificent as it is, doesn't have much social relevance at all. A co-leading seven noms is also a good sign for 12 Years.
SHOULD WIN Gravity
BECAUSE it takes you places you've visited before -- but never like this.
BEST MOTION PICTURE MUSICAL/COMEDY
WILL WIN American Hustle
BECAUSE, while they love musicals or music-related films like Inside Llewyn Davis and have great respect for Nebraska's director, the one that features the most stars and is simply the most fun -- and was therefore rewarded with seven noms (no film had more) -- is Hustle.
SHOULD WIN Inside Llewyn Davis
BECAUSE an extra ounce of soul, poetry and ambiguity give it a slight edge.
BEST MOTION PICTURE DIRECTOR
WILL WIN Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
BECAUSE the Mexican filmmaker clearly bit of the most of any director this year and managed to chew it capably -- plus this is the most logical place to acknowledge Gravity, even if voters aren't quite prepared to give it a best picture award.
SHOULD WIN Alfonso Cuaron
BECAUSE he took the greatest risk, a leap into the unknown.
BEST MOTION PICTURE DRAMA ACTOR
WILL WIN Robert Redford, All Is Lost
BECAUSE my guts tells me so -- the Globes have, after all, rewarded legends in winter for lesser work -- but the truth is that any one of the category's five nominees could end up taking home the prize. The biggest thing working against Redford: he doesn't kiss up to them in the way to which they are accustomed, whereas the others are all charmers -- none more so than Matthew McConaughey, who is hot on his heels.
SHOULD WIN Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
BECAUSE he's an actor who only recently revealed his true skills.
BEST MOTION PICTURE DRAMA ACTRESS
WILL WIN Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
BECAUSE she is liked, respected, international and, in the views of almost everyone, gave one of the most complex and fully-realized performances this year. That all being said, one should always be careful about betting against a dame: Judi Dench was terrific too in a movie that the HFPA liked even more than Jasmine, the British drama Philomena, so she is probably the most likely alternative.
SHOULD WIN Cate Blanchett
BECAUSE repeat viewing reveals myriad details that make this choice easy.
BEST MOTION PICTURE COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTOR
WILL WIN Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
BECAUSE he radiates movie star more than just about anyone else in the world these days -- hence his 10 Golden Globe nominations and one win -- and he gave the performance of his lifetime in Wolf. All of the nominees' films were liked enough to score best pic noms, but DiCaprio and Christian Bale appeared to be acting with capital-A's, so my suspicion is it's between the two of them, with Bruce Dern the sleeper.
SHOULD WIN Christian Bale, American Hustle
BECAUSE It's his best screen work to date.
BEST MOTION PICTURE COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTRESS
WILL WIN Amy Adams, American Hustle
BECAUSE they clearly loved her movie more than the other nominees' -- none of whose films were nominated for best pic, unlike hers -- and because she has never played a character like this before, complete with an accent and omnipresent cleavage. It's always hard to bet against Meryl Streep, especially for a role as showy as hers is in August: Osage County, but bet the coattails.
SHOULD WIN Amy Adams
BECAUSE it's a subtle, striking turn that continues to deliver on multiple viewings.
BEST MOTION PICTURE SUPPORTING ACTOR
WILL WIN Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
BECAUSE, while it's hard to bet on the category's only nominee whose film is not a best picture nominee, it would also be hard for the HFPA to justify voting for someone else when virtually every critics group and awards group so far has agreed that Leto's transformative performance is the year's best in this category.
SHOULD WIN Jared Leto
BECAUSE it's an out-of-nowhere, breathtaking performance.
BEST MOTION PICTURE SUPPORTING ACTRESS
WILL WIN Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
BECAUSE, despite the fact that newcomers who are complete unknowns rarely fare well with the star-infatuated HFPA, J-Law won just last year, Julia's movie didn't blow them away and Sally Hawkins and June Squibb were more role players than showstoppers -- unlike Nyong'o, who came out of nowhere to make an unforgettable impression.
SHOULD WIN Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
BECAUSE it's a 500-horsepower performance in a 480 hp film.
BEST MOTION PICTURE SCREENPLAY
WILL WIN American Hustle
BECAUSE it's an original work (unlike 12 Years and Philomena) co-written by a known quantity who was liked enough to receive a nom in this category last year, as well, and in this category and the best director category this year (David O. Russell). I feel like Her is its strongest challenger.
SHOULD WIN American Hustle
BECAUSE it's bursting at the seams with effrontery, scabrous humor and insight.
BEST ANIMATED MOTION PICTURE
WILL WIN Frozen
BECAUSE the general consensus around town is that this one is in a class of its own this year in just about every sense -- story, animation, music, you name it.
SHOULD WIN Frozen
BECAUSE there's no real competition.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
WILL WIN The Great Beauty
BECAUSE I'm not sure that a long and risque film like Blue Is the Warmest Color is this group's cup of tea as much as the more mannered and stylish Oscar-shortlisted homage to the great films of Rossellini and Fellini.
BEST MOTION PICTURE SCORE
WILL WIN Gravity
BECAUSE, thanks to the absence of much dialogue in the film, its score has more of an opportunity to shine than any other -- even the great Hans Zimmer's and John Williams' in 12 Years a Slave and The Book Thief, respectively. (All Is Lost has even less dialogue than Gravity, which will help call attention to Alex Ebert's score, but I think it's clear from their nominations counts which of the two movies voters preferred.)
BEST MOTION PICTURE SONG
WILL WIN "Ordinary Love," Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
BECAUSE it's a nice song; it offers the HFPA a chance to acknowledge Mandela and The Weinstein Co., which has fought hard for this one; and, above all else, it offers a great excuse to get the internationally-revered U2 up on the stage. (Taylor Swift and Coldplay would be exciting, too, but less so for the HFPA demo.)
SHOULD WIN "Please Mr. Kennedy," Inside Llewyn Davis
BECAUSE it's a disarmingly novel novelty song.
BEST TELEVISION SERIES DRAMA
WILL WIN Masters of Sex
BECAUSE the HFPA likes to be different and loves to be the first to crown a new show as "best" -- sometimes wisely (i.e. Homeland), other times not so much (i.e. Ugly Betty) -- I think that this is between Masters of Sex and House of Cards. Breaking Bad and even House of Cards are so yesterday, at this point, that Masters seems like a perfect opportunity for the HFPA to lay its stake.
SHOULD WIN Breaking Bad
BECAUSE it's a no-brainer. Or it should be.
BEST TELEVISION SERIES MUSICAL/COMEDY
WILL WIN Girls
BECAUSE none of the options are especially exciting, so I imagine that voters will just sort of do what they did last year, which is tip their hat to Lena Dunham's show for at least being ballsy and creative. If they're bored of it already, though, then I guess Brooklyn Nine-Nine stands a better shot than any of the rest, mainly because it's new and the others have been contenders for years and didn't win in their hey-days (save for Modern Family two years ago), making it hard to envision them winning now.
SHOULD WIN Brooklyn Nine-Nine
BECAUSE the Globes needs an upset.
BEST TELEVISION ACTOR DRAMA
WILL WIN Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
BECAUSE the HFPA loves nothing more than a movie star -- especially on a new TV show (Schreiber, Sheen and Spader are also on strong new shows but do not possess Spacey's star power) -- and because they have never loved Breaking Bad in the same way that the TV Academy did. (Cranston, who won three best actor Emmys for the show, has never won a Golden Globe.)
SHOULD WIN James Spader, The Blacklist
BECAUSE Spader is the show.
BEST TELEVISION ACTOR COMEDY OR MUSICAL
WILL WIN Michael J. Fox, The Michael J. Fox Show
BECAUSE he's good on the show, to be sure, but mainly because he is about as likable and sympathetic a figure as there is in show business, and people are just delighted to see him back in action.
SHOULD WIN Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
BECAUSE he's never not great.
BEST TELEVISION ACTRESS DRAMA
WILL WIN Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
BECAUSE my suspicion is that the HFPA knows how ridiculed the TV Academy was for not even nominating this critically-acclaimed performance and would like to claim it as its own -- but I must confess that this is probably the hardest category to predict of all. The two main alternatives: Taylor Schilling, who is out of this world on Orange Is the New Black and who they might like to be the first to celebrate, too (but they didn't even nominate her show for best series), and Kerry Washington, who the TV Academy did nominate but passed over for the win this year (but whose recognition this year marks the only nom her show has recieved in its first two years of eligibility).
SHOULD WIN Tatiana Maslany
BECAUSE it's not possible to vote against her.
BEST TELEVISION ACTRESS MUSICAL/COMEDY
WILL WIN Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
BECAUSE she is a double-nominee this year (also for best actress in a film comedy, Enough Said) and they're not going to let her go home empty-handed -- I think. The reason I have a little doubt: she was nominated for Veep last year but lost, in quite a surprise, to Lena Dunham. While I think Girls will repeat for its second season, I don't see Dunham doing the same, and there are no exciting new options amongst the nominees, so I think the HFPA will second the TV Academy's choice and go with JLD.
SHOULD WIN Julia Louis-Dreyfus
BECAUSE it's her dream role, and she nails it.
BEST MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
WILL WIN Behind the Candelabra
BECAUSE it is immensely entertaining, is the product of a big-time director and huge stars, is based on real people and events, is a product of HBO and has already won everywhere else.
BEST ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
WILL WIN Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra
BECAUSE he is a big movie star who took on a risky role and killed. He is up against another guy from his own movie who can say the same thing (Matt Damon), though, so a vote-split is conceivable, in which case I would have to think that a third great movie star and longtime HFPA favorite, Al Pacino, would emerge. But I do think that Douglas can hold on for the Globe, just as he did for the Emmy.
BEST ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
WILL WIN Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake
BECAUSE Top of the Lake was great and she is the reason to watch it. It's hard to bet against Jessica Lange, who won for the first installment of American Horror Story, but she lost last year for the second and I think the HFPA is now focusing on other things. I wouldn't totally count out Rebecca Ferguson for her starring role on the 10-part BBC drama series The White Queen, which the HFPA liked enough to reward it with three total noms, including one for best miniseries or TV movie.
BEST TELEVISION SUPPORTING ACTOR
WILL WIN Jon Voight, Ray Donovan
BECAUSE Aaron Paul was never even nominated for a Globe before this year, which makes me think that the HFPA isn't as on-board with Breaking Bad as the rest of the universe and will therefore reward someone else -- say, an Oscar-winning legend who is the best part of a well-received new show? I think so.
BEST TELEVISION SUPPORTING ACTRESS
WILL WIN Monica Potter, Parenthood
BECAUSE she is very moving on the show -- and because the category's other nominees are up for shows that are either a little too random (i.e. Jacqueline Bisset for Dancing on the Edge) or that the HFPA has nominated but then passed over in the past when their shows were even fresher (i.e. Hayden Panettiere for Nashville and Sofia Vergara for Modern Family). The only other plausible winner, to me, is veteran Janet McTeer for the aforementioned The White Queen.