Over the weekend, Gold Derby opened its predictions for the 2023 Golden Globes, and given that we’ve already been discussing the Oscars for a good month or so, I figured it was time to give these Golden Globes a glance too as – for better or for worse – they will be back this year, and regardless of the many controversies the HFPA finds themselves embroiled in, the Golden Globes remain one of the most influential precursors in awards season, kicking off the televised awards in January.
Thus far, Gold Derby is only monitoring the picture, acting, directing, and writing races – as we’re still waiting to really see what’s in contention for categories like Best Original Song or Best Non-English Language Film – but that gives us more than enough to discuss, especially when assessing how frontrunners like The Fabelmans and Everything Everywhere All at Once (competing here in separate genre categories) will fare across the board. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Avatar: The Way of Water
Top Gun: Maverick
The Fabelmans feels like such an “obvious” frontrunner here, but come on, it checks all the boxes! I think many are going to be swayed by the charms of the “Steven Spielberg biopic” this year, and its potentially prosperous awards season could start here. I’d put Sarah Polley’s Women Talking in second right now (the next strongest contender in all four races – picture, acting, directing, and writing), followed by our two blockbusters, Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water.
Some are still doubting the James Cameron sequel – despite the Avatar re-release spotlighting the franchise’s box office strength yet again – but I think that the technical majesty will be too daring to deny, and as one of the last films the HFPA will probably see (due to its late December release date), it’ll be on the top of their mind during voting. Finally, I’ll throw TÁR in as well – it’s a bit of an “artier” flick, which isn’t always the HFPA’s bread-and-butter, though being such a strong performance showcase should elevate it – but I wouldn’t be surprised if other performance-driven pictures like Elvis or The Whale take its place.
BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once*
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Triangle of Sadness
Methinks Comedy or Musical is going to come down to Babylon and Everything Everywhere All at Once, but I’ll give the edge to my current Best Picture frontrunner and stick with the latter at #1 as well – though I won’t be surprised if Babylon‘s late-in-the-year premiere makes the HFPA want to anoint it as the “next big thing” in the 2022-2023 awards season, as they’ve done in the past for films like The Revenant and 1917 (there’s also the chance Babylon might not compete here at all, given that, as anyone familiar with the script can tell you, this doesn’t stay a “comedy” for long).
The Banshees of Inisherin and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery are right behind, as two strong Best Picture players with considerable strength in the acting and writing categories as well, while that fifth spot can go a few ways right now. I’m thinking that international voters might favor Ruben Östlund’s scorching (and side-splitting) social satire Triangle of Sadness, but I can just as easily see the HFPA go with a more populist pick like Bros, especially since I think that film is guaranteed some love elsewhere.
BEST ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Austin Butler – Elvis
Tom Cruise – Top Gun: Maverick
Brendan Fraser – The Whale*
Hugh Jackman – The Son
Bill Nighy – Living
ALT: Gabriel LaBelle – The Fabelmans
Brendan Fraser and Austin Butler are in, and this race is between the two of them – that’s where my head is at right now. I still give the edge to Fraser (he’s got the transformation and the career comeback narrative), and I don’t think his traumatic history with the HFPA will “hurt him” (imagine what a bad look it would be to snub him because he accused your organization’s former president of sexual assault?), but Butler remains a tantalizing alternative, and the HFPA do love their “musicals,” which Elvis still sort of is.
Hugh Jackman should also be safe here for The Son, while I round out my predictions for the category with Bill Nighy for Living and Tom Cruise for Top Gun: Maverick (and no, I don’t think he’ll be hurt by his anti-HFPA actions either), but I will admit that those two lack the blistering awards buzz surrounding my top three (yes, even Jackman), so they could be vulnerable. Who would replace them? Maybe Gabriel LaBelle for The Fabelmans (the Golden Globes do love recognizing a new star, like last year’s Rachel Zegler for Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story), or perhaps Harry Styles for My Policeman, if they want a big name at the ceremony.
BEST ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Diego Calva – Babylon
Daniel Craig – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Adam Driver – White Noise
Billy Eichner – Bros
Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin*
ALT: Daniel Radcliffe – Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
Colin Farrell will be taking home his second Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (following his 2009 win for In Bruges), and you can take that to the bank. Who will join him in the line-up? Look for Daniel Craig to net his second Golden Globe nom (and second for the Knives Out franchise, amusingly) for Glass Onion, while Billy Eichner should also get in for his revolutionary queer romcom Bros (think along the lines of Kristen Wiig’s and Amy Schumer’s nods for Bridesmaids and Trainwreck, respectively).
Up next, continuing with the “HFPA loves a new star” logic I just used in the category above, I expect Babylon breakout Diego Calva to show up here (assuming Babylon stays classified as a comedy), and rounding out my line-up I have Adam Driver for White Noise – a former nominee in a contender with major studio backing (Netflix) – but if Roku can get word out about Daniel Radcliffe early enough for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, I could easily see him slip in in Driver’s place.
BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Naomi Ackie – I Wanna Dance with Somebody
Cate Blanchett – TÁR
Olivia Colman – Empire of Light
Danielle Deadwyler – Till
Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans*
ALT: Viola Davis – The Woman King
This is gonna boil down to Michelle Williams vs. Cate Blanchett, and at the moment, due to The Fabelmans‘ strength across-the-board – and Williams “overdue” Oscar narrative – I have the former ahead, but Blanchett is right on her heels. Olivia Colman seems like another solid bet, regardless of how Empire of Light performs overall (she’s won three Globes already, after all), while the next two spots should go to two of these three contenders: Viola Davis (for The Woman King), Danielle Deadwyler (for Till), and Naomi Ackie (for I Wanna Dance with Somebody).
Conventional wisdom says to go with the bigger name (Davis), but Deadwyler and Ackie are actually the ones starring in the more traditional awards players (dramatic and musical biopics, compared to a historical action epic), and they seem to have the showier/more outwardly “baity” roles. That’s why I’ve put the two of them in for now, but I could see Davis take one out (especially if The Woman King overperforms), though it’s too soon to say who’s more vulnerable between Deadwyler and Ackie.
BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Dakota Johnson – Cha Cha Real Smooth
Lesley Manville – Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
Janelle Monáe – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Emma Thompson – Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once*
ALT: Julia Roberts – Ticket to Paradise
Given that some category placements are still up in the air, this is a tough category to suss out at this stage, but I think one thing is clear: Michelle Yeoh is gonna walk away with the win. No matter what else Everything Everywhere wins (and I am pretty confident in it elsewhere too), I can’t see the HFPA denying Yeoh this moment, further solidifying that the Best Actress Oscar race is about to be a battle of the Michelles. Behind her, I think Emma Thompson is the next likeliest nominee for Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, while Janelle Monáe – who is being hailed as a standout in Glass Onion – could find herself in this category instead of Supporting Actress (where most assume she’ll be elsewhere) as a result of having the “Ana de Armas-esque role” in this Knives Out sequel (De Armas was nominated here in 2020).
The rest of the category should fill out with performers from films that may not have the highest profiles overall, but still rep some of the strongest comedic performances of the year. I’m talking about Dakota Johnson for Cha Cha Real Smooth (another contender who rides the line between Lead and Supporting but should likely find herself slotted in here), Lesley Manville for Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, and hell, maybe even Julia Roberts for Ticket to Paradise (she has been nominated for eight Golden Globes, after all). I’d also keep an eye out for Margot Robbie in this category, should she go Lead, but more on her (and her awards campaign) in a moment.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE
Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin
Judd Hirsch – The Fabelmans
Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once*
Brad Pitt – Babylon
Ben Whishaw – Women Talking
ALT: Paul Dano – The Fabelmans
You can get creative and consider the possibility that Eddie Redmayne cracks this category for The Good Nurse or Tom Hanks does so for Elvis, but these are the six I’m seriously considering at this point in time. I’ve had Ke Huy Quan at #1 all year long and see no reason to sway now, while Brad Pitt and Brendan Gleeson are right behind him, and then things get a little tricky. Will both of The Fabelmans boys break through? Or will it be one over the other?
For now, I’m going with Judd Hirsch, as he still has the hottest buzz, but Paul Dano playing the “larger part” could cause him to replace Hirsch, or perhaps they both get in at the expense of Ben Whishaw for Women Talking. However, despite not being one of the titular talking women, Whishaw still has a supremely showy role in Sarah Polley’s prescient chamber piece, and shouldn’t be counted out whatsoever. So, I’ll stick with Hirsch and Whishaw and have Dano on the outside looking in, but I don’t feel great about it.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE
Jessie Buckley – Women Talking
Hong Chau – The Whale
Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin
Claire Foy – Women Talking
Margot Robbie – Babylon*
ALT: Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Oh hi Margot Robbie! Yeah, I’m still sticking with my “Margot Robbie will be campaigned Supporting for Babylon” theory until proven otherwise – they seem to be able to go either way with the size of the role and the film’s description as “an ensemble dramedy,” and, strategically, she would fare better not having to go head-to-head with this year’s Best Actress behemoths now that Williams has moved – so I’ll have her at first for the time being, but I won’t count out my Women Talking ladies either (Jessie Buckley and Claire Foy), as both still have more than enough time to make a claim for the Best Supporting Actress title as well.
Kerry Condon and Hong Chau should also be able to coattail big Best Actor contenders (Colin Farrell and Brendan Fraser, respectively), especially since they simultaneously serve as huge standouts of their films on their own as well, with showy supporting roles that come with a plethora of “Oscar clips.” You know who else benefits from that? The spectacular Stephanie Hsu in Everything Everywhere All at Once, who could absolutely coattail her film’s – and her co-stars’ – strength and break into the Best Supporting Actress category as well, though her status as a fresh face compared to some of these well-known names could hold her back.
BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
James Cameron – Avatar: The Way of Water
Damien Chazelle – Babylon
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Sarah Polley – Women Talking
Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans*
ALT: Todd Field – TÁR
The Best Director race is still up in the air – many seem to think its Spielberg’s for the taking, I (and a few others) are repping Chazelle, while Polley and the Daniels have their fans in the punditry world as well – but I think that, along with The Fabelmans likely Motion Picture – Drama win, Spielberg will take this trophy home too (unless Chazelle and Babylon make such an undeniable splash last-minute that they pull off the Sam Mendes-esque surprise and completely shift momentum).
The aforementioned Polley and Daniels should also be safe for noms, while I round out my top five with James Cameron, who should benefit from the very thing his film will benefit from as well – being one of the last movies the voters will see before casting their ballots for the Golden Globe nominations, and being such a stupefying spectacle that they just can’t shake it. Todd Field might also be up there for TÁR, though I suspect he’ll fare better with more highbrow bodies at ceremonies later in the season (BAFTA, The Academy, etc.).
BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
Damien Chazelle – Babylon
Tony Kushner and Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once*
Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin
Sarah Polley – Women Talking
ALT: Rian Johnson – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
The Best Screenplay award at the Golden Globes isn’t always the best Oscar precursor (from 2015-2020, none of the winners went on to win Oscars with the exception of 2018’s Green Book), but last year’s Belfast bucked this trend, and they have proved capable of anointing an “unconventional” genre contender prior to the Academy Awards and laying the path to its victory (Midnight in Paris, Django Unchained, Her), so this is where I think Everything Everywhere All at Once gets another one of its big wins.
It’s by far and away the most audaciously creative title in the bunch, and there’s something to be said for the sheer brazen ambition of the Daniels’ script even before discussing how exceptional the execution is as well. You can make cases for almost all of the other contenders (The Fabelmans would be a way to award Spielberg for his passion project if he loses Best Director, Women Talking is an awe-inspiring work of adaptation with social significance, The Banshees of Inisherin is another “dramedic” delicacy from Martin McDonagh and maybe his best work yet, etc.), but I’m sticking with EEAAO for the time being.