There is, of course, no surefire way to augur what will happen at the notoriously nutty Golden Globes, an awards ceremony that considers The Martian a comedy and Downton Abbey a miniseries. But that won’t deter the awards experts at Vanity Fair from making our best guesses about what to expect when the show airs on January 7. Read on to learn who we think will triumph in the ceremony’s biggest categories—though anything is possible on Globes night.
Best Motion Picture, Drama
The Shape of Water
Call Me by Your Name
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The conventional wisdom here would be that Dunkirk—a big, technically marvelous British production that memorializes a grim but heroic time in European history—would be most to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s liking. And maybe it will be. But the H.F.P.A. is famously odd and idiosyncratic, so maybe conventional wisdom is not the way to go here. That’s why we’re predicting Guillermo del Toro’sThe Shape of Water. It’s lush and romantic, just like Atonement was when it beat No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood at the Globes 10 years ago. Though, uh, there was a big scene set at Dunkirk in that film, so maybe we’re way off? There’s also a chance that The Post, with its Streep, and Hanks, and Spielberg pedigree could eke out a win, but we’ll give the slight advantage to Sally Hawkins and her sea monster right now.
Best Actress, Motion Picture, Drama
Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Meryl Streep, The Post
Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World
In a ferociously competitive year for lead actresses, nothing feels guaranteed—especially when four of these five nominees have, at some point in this up-and-down season, been considered front-runners for the best-actress Oscar. Sally Hawkins and Frances McDormand both have excellent chances here, Hawkins a previous surprise winner for Happy-Go-Lucky and McDormand a multiple-time nominee who gives the kind of arresting lead performance that’s difficult to ignore. But then again, they have the misfortune of competing against Meryl Streep, who has nine Golden Globes—including the honorary Cecil B. DeMille award she accepted last year with a fiery political speech that earned an angry tweet from the then-president-elect. Who wouldn’t want to see a repeat of that by bringing Meryl, who also happens to be excellent in The Post, up on stage once again?
Best Actor, Motion Picture, Drama
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Tom Hanks, The Post
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Talk about a clash of the titans! You’ve got four of the most accomplished and celebrated actors of their generation (that singular is intentional—they were all born between 1954 and 58) going head-to-head-to-head-to-head in this category. Aaaaaand . . . you’ve got a 22-year-old kid no one had heard of until this year. Imagine what it’s like to be Timothée Chalamet, then, who actually could beat all of these guys with what amounts to the first leading role of his career. That would be a sight to behold—but, for all the justified excitement surrounding his luminous performance in Call Me by Your Name, it would also be a surprise. The truth is, Gary Oldman still has the advantage in this race—not only because he utterly transforms into a wartime Winston Churchill in Joe Wright’sDarkest Hour, but also because he embodies everything Hollywood’s tastemakers (and Europe’s freelance journalists) are yearning for now: a leader who, while eccentric as all hell, has the brains, the guts, and the moral fiber to save civilization from the brink of destruction.
Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
The Disaster Artist
The Greatest Showman
If you listen to the experts, this is a two-horse race between legit Oscar best-picture contenders Lady Bird and Get Out. And yet, the canny bettor must ask some tough questions before placing her or his wager. First: could the talk of “category fraud” hurt Get Out’s chances? Second: are there even enough qualifying laughs in Lady Bird? Third: should The Disaster Artist, which nicked a slot most pundits had reserved for The Big Sick, be happy just to be nominated, or does its presence here reflect a more ardent form of admiration? Fourth: how much face time has the notoriously sway-able H.F.P.A. spent with Australian screen goddess Margot Robbie of I, Tonya? And fifth: is this ragtag group of foreign “journalists” actually eccentric enough to hand this thing to Hugh Jackman’sThe Greatest Showman? With all that in mind, and considering the broader #MeToo moment, we’re putting our chips on the only movie in this group to be directed by a woman: Greta Gerwig’sLady Bird.
Best Actress, Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Judi Dench, Victoria & Abdul
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes
Helen Mirren, The Leisure Seeker
Despite the presence of luminaries Dench and Mirren, this category is the battle of the ingenues, with young awards-season darling Saoirse Ronan (a three-time Globe nominee at only 23) facing off against Margot Robbie, whose buzzy performance in I, Tonya has elevated her into the awards conversation she first skirted with her breakthrough role in The Wolf of Wall Street. (Emma Stone, last year’s winner in this category, is surely just fine sitting this competition out.) Though Ronan’s Lady Bird has been a more overall awards-season favorite, it has just one more Globe nomination than I, Tonya, suggested a parity of affection among Globes voters. And this category, often a bizarre mix of musicals and dramedies and rom-coms, is where the Globes are known to get weird—just look at Jennifer Lawrence’s win for Joy in 2016. So while Ronan may still have the advantage in buzz, don’t be surprised if Robbie sneaks up to take this one in the end.
Best Actor, Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes
Ansel Elgort, Baby Driver
James Franco, The Disaster Artist
Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
If you enjoy seeing film-geek Twitter erupt in spasms of collective rage, you should be rooting for Ansel Elgort to win this award for his Sphinx-like performance in the title role of Baby Driver. But if you just want to pick the winner, go with James Franco, who commits 1,000 percent to his portrayal of the anti-talented filmmaker Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist. Putting his ass on the line, literally and figuratively, Franco manages to make you love (or at least warily appreciate) the mysterious Wiseau without shying away from the scary side of his freakishness. Franco, who has dreamed up his share of misfires over the years, also gets bonus points for not just starring in but also directing this bold, unlikely crowd-pleaser.
Best Supporting Actor, Motion Picture
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
In an awards season where nearly everything seems up in the air, only one thing feels certain: Willem Dafoe will win an Oscar for his sweet, sympathetic portrayal of a rundown motel manager in The Florida Project. He has won virtually every critics’ precursor up to this point, and as an industry veteran who has built up decades of goodwill, there’s no reason to expect that celebration to end. His toughest competition here might be the most surprising: Christopher Plummer’s last-minute casting in All the Money in the World earned remarkably good reviews, and not just for how surprised critics were to see him step in so ably to the role as J. Paul Getty. Could the shock factor be enough to lead to a shock win? We’re not betting on it, but 2017 proved repeatedly that stranger things can happen.
Best Supporting Actress, Motion Picture
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Hong Chau, Downsizing
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
There’s a neat parallel between this and the comedy-actress category, with the competition essentially coming down to two films and two sets of squabbling cinematic mothers and daughters. And Laurie Metcalf and Allison Janney have even more in common; they’re both veteran TV actresses who have only recently begun to get similar acclaim for their film roles. While we wouldn’t want to ignore Mary J. Blige and the star power she brings here, Janney and Metcalf seem to be the clear front-runners, and critics’ prizes have made it feel like essentially a toss-up between the two of them. When pushed to decide, we’ll give the edge to Janney, who has the flashier role in I, Tonya and the most Golden Globe nominations (six, to Metcalf’s three).
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Steven Spielberg, The Post
Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World
A bit disappointing to see this category go all-male in this of all years, but that doesn’t subtract from the achievements of each nominee. All five deliver messages of sorts, some more explicitly than others. Whereas Steven Spielberg’sThe Post is practically an advertisement for an adversarial press, Martin McDonagh’sThree Billboards feels more like a misanthropic graphic novel targeting law enforcement, identity politics, and victims’ rights alike. Both, along with Ridley Scott’sAll the Money in the World, are likely to lose out to the subtler arts of del Toro’s The Shape of Water or Nolan’s Dunkirk. An exquisitely crafted homage to love among the marginalized, del Toro’s Cold War fairy tale is apparently more celebrated on the West Coast than the East this season, whereas Nolan’s epic yet concise re-creation of the British military’s desperate stand against advancing Nazis at Dunkirk has a more obvious transatlantic appeal. Which will prevail with the Euro-centric H.F.P.A.? It’s a toss-up, but our guts tell us del Toro’s enfolding warmth will win the day.
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
We’d love to see Greta Gerwig pick up a win here for Lady Bird, as beloved a script as there was in 2017. And she might! But something tells us Martin McDonagh has a better shot with Three Billboards, a script that attempts to address various American ills in a way that’s edgy while still secretly being Hollywood palatable. (If you can stand a little violence.) Though, the H.F.P.A. has given its screenplay award to Aaron Sorkin twice in the last eight years, so maybe we shouldn’t count out Molly’s Game, either.
Best Television Series, Drama
The Handmaid’s Tale
This Is Us
Game of Thrones
The Emmy race got a brief reprieve from Game of Thrones mania this year when the HBO juggernaut missed the cutoff for eligibility. But just because the shortened seventh season is eligible for the Golden Globes, don’t expect it to dominate the ceremony. Thrones has only ever netted one award from the H.F.P.A.: a Season 1 best-supporting statue for Peter Dinklage. Rewarding Thrones in its first year and then ignoring it as it grows more popular is entirely on brand for the Globes, which has a fairly consistent fascination with shiny first seasons. Last year, the H.F.P.A. awarded new kid on the block The Crown—and you can expect that this year’s freshest TV drama, The Handmaid’s Tale, will take home the biggest award again in 2018.
Best Actress, Television Series, Drama
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Claire Foy, The Crown
Katherine Langford, 13 Reasons Why
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
If The Handmaid’s Tale seems the likeliest show to catch the H.F.P.A.’s attention, then it follows that Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss could add a Globe to her collection; the H.F.P.A. previously nominated her for Mad Men and awarded her for Top of the Lake. But H.F.P.A. voters also seem particularly swayed by recency bias. With many voters binge-watching Claire Foy’s second and final season as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown over the holiday break, they might have had her exquisite stiff upper lip in mind as they were sending in their ballots in late December and early January. Foy would be the second actress ever to win back-to-back Globes in this category, after Claire Danes in Homeland. Then again, The Deuce’s Maggie Gyllenhaal, who took home a surprise Globe in 2015 for The Honourable Woman, could also steal the prize away from both front-runners.
Best Actor, Television Series, Drama
Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
It’s no surprise to see five-time nominee Liev Schreiber in the mix here. But this Susan Lucci (or, if you prefer, Jon Hamm) of the TV drama acting category also seems very unlikely to take home a win. Instead, this feels like a three-way race between new series stars Jason Bateman and Freddie Highmore and sophomore favorite Sterling K. Brown. But unless the H.F.P.A.’s soft spot for non-Americans (Highmore is British) or antiheroes (Bateman’s character is bleak as they come) spoil the race here, the statue likely belongs to last year’s Emmy winner and 2016 Golden Globe winner for American Crime Story: Sterling K. Brown. Not only is Brown a critical and commercial smash, but he also gives one hell of a speech.
Best Television Series, Comedy
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Master of None
Will & Grace
Could Mrs. Maisel—a series that debuted its first season barely more than a week before the Globe nominations were revealed—actually go all the way? Well, yes; the competition isn’t particularly stiff this year, and even more importantly, the Globes love nothing more than bestowing laurels upon TV’s hot new comedy. In the past seven years alone, Girls, Glee, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Transparent, and Atlanta all won Globes for their very first seasons, some of which were in progress when the ceremony aired; expect Mrs. Maisel, which is not only shiny and new but also incredibly Globes-y (the costumes! The music! Rachel Brosnahan!)—and, it must be said, very, very good—to take home gold.
Best Actress, Television Series, Comedy
Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Alison Brie, GLOW
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Issa Rae, Insecure
Frankie Shaw, SMILF
Between GLOW, The Disaster Artist, and The Post, there’s no denying that actress Alison Brie had an incredible year that’s well-represented among the Globe nominations. Both her GLOW performance and Frankie Shaw’s SMILF debut fit the H.F.P.A.’s fondness for bright young women in brand-new roles. But no new TV comedy actress shone brighter among the voters who count in 2017 than Rachel Brosnahan, who winningly carried nearly every frame of the The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on her well-dressed shoulders.
Best Actor, Television Series, Comedy
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Kevin Bacon, I Love Dick
William H. Macy, Shameless
Eric McCormack, Will & Grace
Will & Grace earned a staggering 27 Golden Globe nominations during its original run, but somehow never managed to seal the deal at the ceremony itself. (Nope, not even for Megan Mullally.) But the revival has been well-received enough to imagine that this year’s Globes will end that losing streak—if not in the best TV series category, then here, in a category without another strong front-runner. Neither Anthony Anderson nor William H. Macy’s roles seem quite zeitgeisty enough to take them all the way across the finish line, while Kevin Bacon’s seems too little-seen. Aziz Ansari could easily be a spoiler, if the Globes turn out to be as enamored with the second season of Master of None as the Emmys were—but we still expect a wave of goodwill and nostalgia to carry Eric McCormack onto the podium in the end.
Best Limited Series or TV Movie
Big Little Lies
Feud: Bette and Joan
Top of the Lake: China Girl
The Golden Globes often diverge from consensus—but in this category it would be shocking if the H.F.P.A. didn’t follow suit with the Emmys and give this award to Big Little Lies, a buzzy hit boasting lauded performances from movie stars not so much stooping to television but bringing it up to their level. We suppose you could say the same thing about Feud, but that series was seriously overshadowed by Big Little Lies last spring. While we’d kind of love it, for insanity’s sake, if the H.F.P.A. did something wild like give the prize to Jessica Biel’sThe Sinner, the fact is that not only will Big Little Lies likely win, but it also deserves to.
Best Actor, Limited Series or TV Movie
Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies
Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks
Jude Law, The Young Pope
Ewan McGregor, Fargo
Geoffrey Rush, Genius
For making a strange, triumphant return, in multiple roles, to the shadowy, cracked environs of David Lynch’sTwin Peaks, we think longtime journeyman actor Kyle MacLachlan will take the prize, 27 years after first winning a Globe for (roughly) the same performance. That would probably be some kind of record, and would feel like a nice cap-off to a long and twisty story. We could see the H.F.P.A. opting for Jude Law’s turn in the opulent and decidedly Euro The Young Pope instead, but this is certainly MacLachlan’s to lose.
Best Actress, Limited Series or TV Movie
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan
Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan
Jessica Biel, The Sinner
Nicole Kidman had a hell of a 2017, the centerpiece of which was her stunning, perhaps career-best work in Big Little Lies. So, she will almost certainly be rewarded for that at the Globes, kicking off a 2018 that also includes promising new films from Karyn Kusama and Joel Edgerton—and, uh, Aquaman.
Best Supporting Actress, Television Series
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies
Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies
Emmy winners Ann Dowd and Laura Dern are just about neck and neck, and the prize could easily go to either one of them. Ultimately, though, we give the edge to Dern. For one thing, she’s a movie star, and the Globes love movie stars. For another, giving her the award would also mean the Globes could serve as the cherry on top of Dern’s huge 2017, a year in which she pulled stellar turns in Twin Peaks and Star Wars: The Last Jedi as well as HBO’s blockbuster not-so-limited series. And lastly, there’s this. We rest our case.
Best Supporting Actor, Television Series
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
David Harbour, Stranger Things
Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette and Joan
Alexander Skarsgård, Big Little Lies
David Thewlis, Fargo
Big Little Lies is all but certain to dominate the Globes, and this category should be no exception. Barring a last-minute surge of support for David Harbour—from Stranger Things fans, or fans of his barn-burning 2016 SAG Awards speech, or both—Alexander Skarsgård should expect to waltz away with another award for his performance as the world’s worst husband, one that’ll once again match that of his on-screen wife, Nicole Kidman.
Get Vanity Fair’s HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Full ScreenPhotos:22 Movies and TV Shows That Will Save Us in 2018
Westworld (Season 2)
HBO is once again hoping you’ll ignore the big Game of Thrones-shaped hole in its schedule and turn your attention back to the sci-fi mind game that is Westworld. The Emmy-nominated series, starring Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton, is ready to confound you once again in its second season. Until its spring 2018 premiere, take a trip back in time and revisit nine burning questions we still have about the finale.Photo: By John P. Johnson/HBO.
Yara Shahidi takes the lead in this youthful Black-ish spin-off set to air on Freeform starting Jan. 3, 2018. In this series, Zoey is finally off to college, stumbling through cringeworthy rites of passage like embarrassing herself at a frat party and hiding secrets from her parents.Photo: By Eric Liebowitz/Freeform.
Every superhero you love is coming out with a new movie in 2018. In no particular order, get ready for a bounty that includes: Black Panther,Avengers: Infinity War,Deadpool 2,The New Mutants,X-Men: Dark Phoenix,Ant-Man and the Wasp,Venom, and Aquaman.Photo: By Zade Rosenthal/©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Everett Collection.
The Winter Olympics
’Tis the season to watch a bunch of perfect human specimens fight for tiny gold medallions. This year’s Winter Olympics will kick off on Feb. 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.Photo: By Julian Finney/Getty Images.
After breaking out on Master of None and winning a historic Emmy for one of this year’s best TV episodes, Lena Waithe is ready to claim her spot in the prestige-TV realm. Enter The Chi, her Showtime series about young people coming of age in Chicago, set to premiere on Jan. 7.Photo: By Matt Dinerstein/SHOWTIME.
A Wrinkle in Time
The classic Madeleine L’Engle tale is finally coming to the big screen on March 9, 2018, thanks to Disney and director Ava DuVernay. The sci-fi story about a girl tesseracting her way through time to find her missing father will star newcomer Storm Reid alongside stars like Oprah Winfrey,Mindy Kaling,Reese Witherspoon, and Chris Pine.Photo: By Atsushi Nishijima/Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
After some catastrophic ups and downs, Han Solo’s origin story will finally be revealed to us on May 25, 2018. The Star Wars spin-off stars Alden Ehrenreich as the galactic smuggler and also features Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and Emilia Clarke playing a mysterious character named Kira.Photo: From Lucasfilm Ltd./Everett Collection.PreviousNext
Hillary BusisHillary Busis is the Hollywood editor at VanityFair.com. Previously, she was an editor at Mashable and at Entertainment Weekly. She lives in Brooklyn, just like everyone else.Mike HoganMike Hogan is Vanity Fair’s digital director, overseeing VF.com, social media, video, and digital editions.Katey RichKatey Rich is the deputy editor of VanityFair.com.Joanna RobinsonJoanna Robinson is a Hollywood writer covering TV and film for VanityFair.com.Richard LawsonRichard Lawson is a columnist for Vanity Fair's Hollywood, reviewing film and television and covering entertainment news and gossip. He lives in New York City.