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Golden Globes 2016 Predictions: Who Will Win and Who Should Win

Awards season kicks off in earnest this weekend as the Golden Globes take place at L.A.’s Beverly Hilton Hotel. Hosted by Ricky Gervais, the star-studded annual event will see the Hollywood Foreign Press Association lavishing praise and golden statuettes on stars of both film and TV. And like any self-respecting, red-blooded American with a debilitating gambling addiction, I’m putting money on it! While you don’t have to risk losing your life savings, trying to guess who will win big at Hollywood award shows is a time-honored tradition, which is why I’m here to help you get an edge on the competition. After all, won’t that buffalo chicken dip taste sweeter with a side of your friends’ salty, delicious tears? So, today on The Dan Cave, we’re breaking down who will win big (and who should win big) at this year’s Golden Globes.

For the complete list of nominees, click here.

Motion Picture Drama

The Nominees: Carol, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight

Will Win: Spotlight. Tom McCarthy’s searing drama about The Boston Globe‘s investigation of the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal is a gripping tale anchored by top-notch performances from a powerhouse cast. It’s widely considered to be the early frontrunner to take home the evening’s big prize.

Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road. The fact that a 70-year-old director who is responsible for family friendly gems like Happy Feet and Babe made a movie like this is nothing short of stunning. Fury Road is a riotously fun, supremely well-crafted piece of cinema, and a case-study in world building. It’s a whirling dervish of bravado filmmaking that deserves to be celebrated as one of this generation’s genre masterpieces.

Lead Actor, Motion Picture Drama

The Nominees: Bryan Cranston, Trumbo; Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant; Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs; Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl; Will Smith, Concussion

Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant. For Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s revenge epic, Leo ate raw buffalo and raw fish, endured hellish conditions, and turned in one of the most visceral and crazed performances of his career. He may not win an Oscar for it, but he’s definitely going to take home a Globe.

Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio. Guys, he’s not going to win an Oscar. Take some pity on this poor tortured soul and send him home with at least one gold statue this awards season. Otherwise, give it to Michael Fassbender.

Lead Actress, Motion Picture Drama

The Nominees: Cate Blanchett, Carol; Brie Larson, Room; Rooney Mara, Carol; Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn; Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Will Win: Brie Larson, Room. As a mother raising her son in captivity, Brie Larson turned in a heartwrenching, harrowing, and spellbinding performance. She may face competition from three-time Globes winner Cate Blanchett, but the fact of the matter is that by nominating both Blanchett and Rooney Mara for Carol, voters will be split, which should leave the door open for Larson to make off with the prize she rightfully deserves.

Should Win: Brie Larson, Room. Do you really need another Golden Globe, Cate Blanchett? We already know you’re a master of your craft, so why not share the wealth?

Best Director

The Nominees: Todd Haynes, Carol; Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant; Tom McCarthy, Spotlight; George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road; Ridley Scott, The Martian

Will Win: Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant. For his follow-up to Birdman, Iñárritu delivered a mad tale of revenge that was filmed in seemingly impossible conditions. After overlooking Iñárritu last year in favor of Boyhood and Richard Linklater, it seems likely that the HFPA will pay homage to two years of excellent filmmaking by giving the award to The Revenant director.

Should Win: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road. Sure, Todd Haynes’ Carol is a finely tuned, fluid production, and Tom McCarthySpotlight is a tense, taut thriller of a story, but George Miller‘s Fury Road is the result of a filmmaker at the heigh of his powers. At age 70, Miller made one of the most kinetic, essential pieces of cinema of the year, and the results are perfectly orchestrated. He deserves it.


Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

The Nominees: The Big Short, Joy, The Martian, Spy, Trainwreck

Will Win: The Big Short. Steeped in relevant, real-world subject matter and boasting a prestige cast, The Big Short is the kind of tragicomic blend to which voters are drawn. There’s a slim chance that the magic of the Year of Amy Schumer could engineer a win for Trainwreck, or  that the charms of Matt Damon in The Martian could steal the day. But it seems like a lock for Adam McKay’s scathing comedy.

Should Win: Spy. Not only was it the funniest film I watched all year, but it made the case for why Jason Statham belongs in every comedy from here on out. Honestly, though, I’d be fine with any of these winning except for Joy. Yeesh.

Lead Actor, Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

The Nominees: Christian Bale, The Big Short; Steve Carell, The Big Short; Matt Damon, The Martian; Al Pacino, Danny Collins; Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear

Will Win: Matt Damon, The Martian. Much like with Carol, the dual inclusion of The Big Short stars Bale and Carell will split the vote. Pacino and Ruffalo are both terrific actors, but the majority of voters haven’t seen the films for which they’re nominated. Although I maintain that The Martian is not a comedy (or a musical, no matter how much disco is in there), Matt Damon carried the film on his shoulders with a terrifically charismatic performance tinged with gallows humor. And thus, he scienced the shit out of bringing home a Globe.

Should Win: Matt Damon, The Martian. Like I said, The Martian isn’t a comedy. But Matt Damon gave the best performance of the bunch, for my money, and definitely ate the most potatoes.

Lead Actress, Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical

The Nominees: Jennifer Lawrence, Joy; Melissa McCarthy, Spy; Amy Schumer, Trainwreck; Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van; Lily Tomlin, Grandma

Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence, Joy. The HFPA loves them some J-Law, and rightfully so. After all, she is the only worthwhile part of David O. Russell’s Miracle Mop drama. The movie is basically just a showcase for Lawrence, which is why she’ll likely walk away with her third Golden Globe.

Should Win: Amy Schumer, Trainwreck. While Melissa McCarthy made me laugh my ass off in Spy, Amy Schumer impressed me in Trainwreck by moving past her comfort zone and showcasing a range beyond what we’ve seen in her stand-up and sketch comedy. Plus, you know it’d be one heck of a speech.

Mr. RobotTV Drama Series

The Nominees: Empire, Game of Thrones, Mr. Robot, Narcos, Outlander

Will Win: Mr. Robot. Sam Esmail’s hacking drama is 10 of the best hours of television I’ve watched all year. Given the Globes’ tendency to hoist new TV shows up on their shoulders and celebrate them, it seems all but a given than Mr. Robot will take home the title.

Should Win: Mr. Robot. Seriously, it’s that good. There’s a reason I’m so sure of its chances.

Lead Actor, TV Drama

The Nominees: Jon Hamm, Mad Men; Rami Malek, Mr. Robot; Wagner Moura, Narcos; Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul; Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Will Win: Rami Malek, Mr. Robot. Malek shined as the bug-eyed, paranoid, constantly addled hacker Elliot in Sam Esmail’s hacker drama, and stole the show. Eliot is not only the hero we need right now, but his real-world alter ego is going to walk home with a shiny new statue.

Should Win: Rami Malek, Mr. Robot. Sure, the rest of the category is packed with standout performances, but Malek shocked and awed with his dynamite turn on one of the year’s best new series.

Lead Actress, TV Drama

The Nominees: Caitriona Blafe, Outlander; Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder; Eva Green, Penny Dreadful; Taraji P. Henson, Empire; Robin Wright, House of Cards

Will Win: Caitriona Balfe, Outlander. As the time-traveling nurse Claire, Balfe pulled at our heartstrings and got us hot and bothered with her whirlwind romance with that strapping Scotsman Jamie. Also, castle sex. ‘Nuff said.

Should Win: Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder. While I’m more than fine with Balfe winning, Davis elevated Shondaland fare to a new plane of thespianism. After all, not just anyone could make the line, “Why is your penis on a dead girl’s phone?” sound anything other than patently ridiculous.


TV Comedy Series

The Nominees: Casual, Mozart in the Jungle, Orange is the New Black, Silicon Valley, Transparent, Veep

Will Win: Transparent. It’s universally acclaimed, deals with some intense and important subject matter, and seems to be a lock to take home the statue.

Should Win: Silicon Valley. Sadly, I haven’t seen Transparent yet myself, so I’m going with what made me laugh harder than anything else this year: Silicon Valley. With an outrageous amount of laughs per episode and the most mathematically sound dick jokes this side of the Mississippi, the HBO series is a worthy contender.

Lead Actor, TV Comedy

The Nominees: Aziz Ansari, Master of None; Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle; Rob Lowe, The Grinder; Patrick Stewart, Blunt Talk; Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Will Win: Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle. While Transparent will win the title of best series, the statue for best actor will go to another Amazon series star. Tambor already took home the Emmy for his role in the critically acclaimed series, so the HFPA will likely look to reward Bernal for his performance as the squirrelly, quirky conductor at the heart of Mozart in the Jungle.

Should Win: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent. Like I said, I haven’t seen the series yet, but I’ve been told that Tambor deserves to take home another award for his sterling work in Transparent. Personally, I’d give it to Justin Roiland for Rick and Morty because juggling two diverse lead roles in a series that funny is surely worthy of some sort of accolade.

Lead Actress, TV Comedy

The Nominees: Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend; Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep; Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin; Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep. Even though she’s never won a Golden Globe for Veep, she is the only nominee from a Globe-nominated series. Plus she’s straight-up hilarious… except in those Old Navy commercials. Please, Julia, stop trying to sell me more khakis. I’m good on khakis, I promise.

Should Win: Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Just like the Globes unexpectedly rewarded Gina Rodriguez for her daring, honest, and tremendous performance in Jane the Virgin last year, newcomer Rachel Bloom deserves to take home a trophy for her role as the lawyer-turned-delusional stalker at the heart of the hilarious, wickedly incisive Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

What do you think of our predictions? Who do you think will win? What shows and actors got snubbed? Let us know in the comments below! Then, on Sunday night, be sure to follow along as members of the Nerdist editorial team and I livetweet along with the awards show. Use the hashtag #NerdistGlobes to join the conversation too!

Also, if you have a question you’d like answered on the red carpet, our awesome pals at Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls are letting YOU ask celebrities the tough questions. Simply use the hashtag #SmartGirlsAsk to participate:

Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about the Avengers and Star Wars. You can follow him on Twitter (@Osteoferocious)

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