Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Renée Zellweger, Judy

One of the night’s few mortal locks, Zellweger came on strong early this season with her passionate performance as Judy Garland, and she has never given up her place as the best-actress frontrunner. Though Johansson is the only nominee who’s also fronting one of the best-drama contenders, this is Zellweger’s to lose — and she won’t.

Globe frontrunner: Renée Zellweger captures Judy Garland’s fragility and the sense of defeat that plagued her at the end.

Globe frontrunner: Renée Zellweger captures Judy Garland’s fragility and the sense of defeat that plagued her at the end. Credit:Universal Pictures

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama

Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari

Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Driver couldn’t be having a better year: Alongside recent star turns in The Report and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, he has delivered one of his most moving performances in Marriage Story, which scored more Golden Globe nominations than any other film. If he weren’t up against Phoenix, he’d win this in a walk, but Phoenix, a six-time nominee who won a Golden Globe for Walk the Line, likely has the edge for his more talked-about, transformational performance.

Globe frontrunner: Joaquin Phoenix's acclaimed turn in Joker.

Globe frontrunner: Joaquin Phoenix’s acclaimed turn in Joker.

Best Motion Picture, Drama

1917

The Irishman

Joker

Marriage Story

The Two Popes

If the Hollywood Foreign Press Association picks Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman or Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, everyone will simply nod and say, “That seems about right.” Which is why I think it may not happen! After all, this is the voting body that swerved from last year’s perfectly respectable best-drama choice, A Star Is Born, and selected Bohemian Rhapsody instead. It wouldn’t be a Globes ceremony without a big victory that comes out of left field, and I think Joker could provide the shock of the night.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

Awkwafina, The Farewell

Cate Blanchett, Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Ana de Armas, Knives Out

Beanie Feldstein, Booksmart

Emma Thompson, Late Night

The Globes always pay heed to where the Oscar wind is blowing, and since Awkwafina is the only contender in this eccentric category with any real chance at earning an Academy Award nomination, that could give her an advantage. Still, her odds have dwindled since she was snubbed by the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and that could open the door for an up-and-comer like de Armas, the Knives Out lead, to prevail instead.

Globe hopeful: Awkwafina playing the granddaughter to her dying grandmother (Zhao Shuzhen) in The Farewell.

Globe hopeful: Awkwafina playing the granddaughter to her dying grandmother (Zhao Shuzhen) in The Farewell. Credit:Casi Moss

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

Daniel Craig, Knives Out

Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit

Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood

Taron Egerton, Rocketman

Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

Could this category give us Sunday’s most delicious upset? My brain is telling me that DiCaprio should take the award easily: He’s an 11-time Globe nominee who has won three times before, and the Hollywood foreign press counts on his star wattage to keep their lights on every year. That said, Rocketman star Egerton has campaigned much more extensively than his reticent competitors, and though he’s hindered by the fact that his performance as Elton John comes in the shadow of Rami Malek’s Globe-winning Bohemian Rhapsody turn just last year, I can’t underestimate Egerton’s willingness to press the flesh. DiCaprio is probably safe, but oh man: If he loses, that reaction-shot GIF is going to be brutal.

Globe frontrunner: Leonardo diCaprio plays Rick Dalton, a big-time actor who fears he is a has-been, in Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood.

Globe frontrunner: Leonardo diCaprio plays Rick Dalton, a big-time actor who fears he is a has-been, in Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood. Credit:

Best Motion Picture, Comedy

Dolemite Is My Name

Jojo Rabbit

Knives Out

Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood

Rocketman

His screenplays for Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained earned Quentin Tarantino a pair of Oscars and a pair of Golden Globes, but he has never taken the top award from either voting body. The Globes will rectify that by giving Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood the best-comedy trophy. Will the Oscars follow suit?

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell

Annette Bening, The Report

Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers

Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Dern is considered the Oscar front-runner, but if there’s any ceremony she might lose at, it’s this one: The Globes love a surprise supporting-actress winner, and a vote for Lopez would give them plenty of superstar flash. I also wonder whether Dern, who is on the Oscars’ Board of Governors, might be so associated with that group that the Hollywood Foreign Press will feel permission to go a different way. Then again, she is a four-time Globe winner who served as Miss Golden Globe at age 15. Expect a photo finish.

Golden Globe frontrunner Laura Dern, left, with nominee Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story.

Golden Globe frontrunner Laura Dern, left, with nominee Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story.

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes

Al Pacino, The Irishman

Joe Pesci, The Irishman

Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood

Pitt has never won an Oscar for acting, but the Globes haven’t proved as hard to impress: He triumphed in this category back in 1996 for Twelve Monkeys, and Sunday, he’ll win again.

Globe frontrunner: Brad Pitt in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Globe frontrunner: Brad Pitt in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Best Director

Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

Sam Mendes, 1917

Todd Phillips, Joker

Martin Scorsese, The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood

This will be a true clash of the titans, as Scorsese and Tarantino face the surging Bong. Scorsese has won this Golden Globe three times before, while Tarantino would be picking up his first award in the category. On paper, both of them would be a safer bet than the man I’m putting my chips on: Bong, who I increasingly think will win the best-director Oscar, too.

Globe frontrunner: Director Bong Joon-ho with his Palme d'Or award for the film Parasite.

Globe frontrunner: Director Bong Joon-ho with his Palme d’Or award for the film Parasite. Credit:AP

Best Screenplay

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story

Bong Joon Ho and Jin Won Han, Parasite

Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood

Steven Zaillian, The Irishman

Baumbach was denied a best-director nomination in part because Marriage Story is considered more of a scripting accomplishment. Here, then, is the perfect category for Globe voters to make it up to him, though he’ll face formidable competition from two-time winner Tarantino.

Best Foreign-Language Film

The Farewell

Les Misérables

Pain and Glory

Parasite

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

It’s way past time for the Golden Globes to open their top drama and comedy-musical categories to films made outside the English language, but in the meantime, this will be an easy win for Parasite.

Best Animated Feature Film

Frozen 2

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

The Lion King

Missing Link

Toy Story 4

This Globe almost always goes to a Pixar film, and though Incredibles 2 lost last year to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, Toy Story 4 should have an easier road to victory. Meanwhile, let’s enjoy the delicious shade of the Golden Globes nominating the photorealistic remake of The Lion King for this category, despite the fact that Disney has positioned it as a live-action movie for awards purposes.

Best Original Score

Alexandre Desplat, Little Women

Hildur Gudnadottir, Joker

Randy Newman, Marriage Story

Thomas Newman, 1917

Daniel Pemberton, Motherless Brooklyn

If you’re related to competing cousins Randy and Thomas Newman, filling out your Golden Globes pool could prove awfully fraught. The latter Newman is better situated thanks to a war movie that makes more pervasive use of his music, but I think the Globes are down to clown and will go for Gudnadottir’s Joker score instead.

Best Original Song

Beautiful Ghosts (Cats) — Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber

I’m Gonna Love Me Again (Rocketman) — Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Into the Unknown (Frozen 2) — Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez

Spirit (The Lion King) — Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Timothy McKenzie and Ilya Salmanzadeh

Stand Up (Harriet) — Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo

You’ve got two of the music world’s biggest stars going to head-to-head here in Swift and Beyoncé, and they’re up against another mammoth song from the Frozen franchise. Still, the Globes love legacy acts — don’t forget that Let It Go from the original Frozen lost to a U2 song you’d be pressed to name. For that reason, I think they’ll be inclined to reward the new song 72-year-old John wrote with Bernie Taupin for Rocketman.

Catch this masthead’s coverage of the Golden Globes, kicking off with the red carpet live blog from midday (AEST).

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