Golden Globes Film: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

Last year’s Golden Globes ceremony was a historical one on the film side. Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” won a record-breaking seven awards, a clean sweep of every category for which it was nominated. But you can expect things to revert back to the usual wealth-spreading this year, as the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. is primed to hand out baubles for the 75th time on a ceremony broadcast right in the thick of Oscar voting.

It’s always a little weird picking the Globe winners, though. The HFPA can be a fickle group, bending with the breeze at times. It’s a small, tight-knit organization and voters are hyper-aware of how they’re perceived. So every year it’s a moving target.

Here’s a comparison from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.  Check your skills and make your picks in the comment section below.

Best Picture – Drama

Variety’s Pick
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is said to be an overall favorite with the group and could easily take this. “The Post,” meanwhile, is a topical drama that could draw plenty of votes. But the momentum is with “The Shape of Water,” and the HFPA pays attention to where the breeze is blowing, so we’ll go with the nominations leader.

Prediction: “The Shape of Water”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Pick
SHOULD WIN: Call Me by Your Name

All five of the nominees here are good enough that none would be an embarrassing winner. But while it is arguably the least showy and stylishly cinematic of the lot, I still come down decisively in favor of Call Me by Your Name for its casual intelligence, the slow burn of its gathering eroticism and intense sensitivity to the vagaries of love and sexual attraction.

WILL WIN: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Picture – Comedy or Musical

Variety’s Pick
“Get Out” stirred a lot of controversy by its very inclusion in this category, and there are plenty in the group who feel it should have been in the drama field. That could divide sentiment as no one wants a repeat of a filmmaker mocking category placement on stage. There are multiple places to honor “Lady Bird,” so they could opt for something else, but we’ll call it for Greta Gerwig’s film.

Prediction: “Lady Bird”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Pick

As usual, this cockamamie category features only a couple of worthy nominees and one that dwarfs the rest, that one being Lady Bird. One of the most completely satisfying American writer-director debuts of recent times, Greta Gerwig’s semiautobiographical project is definitely funny enough to be regarded as a comedy but remains firmly moored to its serious underpinnings.

WILL WIN: Lady Bird

Best Director

Variety’s Pick
Watch for Martin McDonagh (“Three Billboards”), or even Christopher Nolan, as “Dunkirk” will surely walk away with something. And Steven Spielberg (“The Post”) is the star director of the group; they like their stars. Ultimately, Guillermo del Toro ought to make a fine choice for a film they clearly responded to.

Prediction: Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Pick
SHOULD WIN: Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)

All five of the nominees can be fairly said to have maximized the values inherent in the stories they’ve told, and in very stylish ways. But for me the race is between Christopher Nolan and Guillermo del Toro, the former telling a massive historical tale in a dazzlingly disciplined way, the latter relating a confined sci-fi fable in breathtakingly intimate terms. Flipping a coin, I’ll go for Nolan.

WILL WIN: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Best Screenplay

Variety’s Pick
Without a “Get Out” to make the choice clear (in the context of the season, that is), this could go a number of ways. The tug-of-war between a number of films plays out here. But they often go with work that screams WRITING, so that leaves Martin McDonagh or HFPA-favored son Aaron Sorkin. We’ll go with the former, but “Lady Bird” is a very real possibility, too.

Prediction: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Pick
SHOULD WIN: Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)

Martin McDonagh gets off some of the best dialogue of the season in Three Billboards, but I share with a few others the reservation that the playwright didn’t do enough to flesh out the entire town; a few characters were the whole show. So the tyro in the bunch, Greta Gerwig, earns my support on the basis of terrific character writing for roles big and small in Lady Bird, ever-resourceful naturalistic humor and the percolating dramatic tension of the mother-daughter relationship that fully pays off at the end.

WILL WIN: Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

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