This Sunday will be the 71st Annual Golden Globe awards, hosted (once again) by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Of course, the real winners of the ceremony will be Poehler and Fey, but we have our own bets for the more standard categories. The list of nominees is extensive and impressive, with competition tight among films.
There is a lot of speculation going into this year's awards. Here are some predictions for how the races will shape up this Sunday:
1. Best Picture (Drama and Comedy)
Both categories are tough, but 12 Years a Slave will win for Drama and American Hustle will win for Comedy. Both movies face stiff competition in their respective categories, but they seem like logical choices by process of elimination.
Their biggest competitors, as far as buzz is concerned, are Gravity (in Drama), and Her and Inside Llewyn Davis (in Comedy). Gravity, though, will likely not pull through due to its underwhelming writing, and Her and Inside Llewyn Davis are, frankly, barely comedies.
Will Win (Drama): 12 Years a Slave
Could Win (Drama): Gravity
Will Win (Comedy): American Hustle
Could Win (Comedy): Her; Inside Llewyn Davis
2. Best Director
The Golden Globes tend to be more egalitarian when they hand out awards. With Best Picture (Drama) going to 12 Years a Slave, and Best Picture (Musical/Comedy) going to American Hustle, Alfonso Cauron will likely be recognized for his deft handling of the space drama Gravity. While the other directors did great jobs, it takes a master director to bring a film set entirely in space — and focused on one actress — to life. His care in coordinating special effects, artful sound design, and emotional acting will not go unrecognized.
Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron
Could Win: David O. Russell, Steve McQueen
3. Best Actress, Drama
Another tough category. All of the talk, though, has centered on Cate Blanchett, who has picked up most of the awards leading up to this for her turn as a rich socialite who loses everything in Woody Allen's drama Blue Jasmine.
Blanchett is raw and tragic in her role, while maintaining a certain confidence and self-absorption despite her sudden change in circumstances. Unless Sandra Bullock is able to somehow woo enough voters for her emotional role as an astronaut alone in space, Blanchett will walk away with another Golden Globe.
Will Win: Cate Blanchett
Could Win: Sandra Bullock
4. Best Actor, Drama
This is Chiwetel Ejiofor's award to lose. Playing a free man in the antebellum South sold into slavery, Ejiofor brings the horrors of American slavery onto the big screen in a powerful film and a role that had critics talking from the moment it hit the festivals.
It is hard to make a movie about slavery that is popular with the critics while not being made purely for awards show fodder, but a large part of its success can be attributed to Ejiofor's gravitas as a man kidnapped from the North and made to be a slave in the South. There is always the possibility, though, that votes between him and Robert Redford will be split. Redford spends most of his screentime silent in All is Lost, a daunting task for any actor to be able to carry a film using only gestures and expressions.
Will Win: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Could Win: Robert Redford, Matthew McConaughey
5. Best Actress, Musical or Comedy
This is a pretty open and shut case. Meryl Streep, a perenial awards show favorite, has this award locked in for her turn as the pill-addicted matriarch of a family gathered to mourn the loss of her husband in the adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning August: Osage County. Streep is able to disappear into any role with a veracity of feeling and depth that it is no wonder she is so often nominated for her characters.
Will Win: Meryl Streep
Could Win: Amy Adams
6. Best Actor, Musical or Comedy
Oscar Isaac, fresh off winning the National Society of Film Critics award for Best Actor, has a great shot at winning this time, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) will award Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street.
The Golden Globes tend to be splashier in these kinds of categories, often awarding celebrity over lesser-known — but equally talented — contenders. DiCaprio tends to be a darling of the HFPA, but Bruce Dern has also been seen as a tough contender for Nebraska — his performance is raw and emotional in a way that's typically rewarded by the Globes.
Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Could Win: Bruce Dern
7. Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Lawrence can do no wrong, and she is a virtual shoo-in for a second year in a row, after winning Best Actress at last year's awards. Her energy and authenticity, both on screen and in the film, is the kind of attention that award shows love, and they are guaranteed to be on display.
But Lupita Nyong'o could be the the one to take the crown for her gripping performance in 12 Years a Slave. Still, Lawrence's performance is renowned and she is beloved by critics, journalists, and moviegoers alike.
Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence
Could Win: Lupita Nyong'o
8. Best Supporting Actor
Jared Leto. Again, given the egalitarian nature of the Golden Globes, the HPFA will want to recognize another fantastic film that — had it come out any other year — had the potential to win many awards. But the most-talked about performance is Jared Leto as an HIV-positive transsexual in Dallas Buyer's Club. Leto has already won most of the awards leading up to the Globes. He disappeared into his role, both physically and dramatically, and anyone else winning would be the epitome of an upset.
Will Win: Jared Leto
Could Win: Michael Fassbender
9. Best Animated Feature
Who doesn't like a good animated feature? It is a small category, but expect Frozen to take home the prize. It's tale of two princesses and a curse of winter, beautiful animation, and powerful songs. While Disney has generally dominated awards such as these in the past, there is still the chance that Universal's Despicable Me 2 will overrun the HFPA with minions and take home the award.
Will Win: Frozen
Could Win: Despicable Me 2
10. Best Foreign-Language Film
Blue is the Warmest Color has picked up many of the awards previously for its tale of discovering an unexpected love. A favorite at film festivals, it is the most-talked about film in this category. It is also the film most people have actually heard of on this list, which tends to be a big plus in awards shows. None of the other films have even been mentioned as contenders.
Will Win: Blue is the Warmest Color
Could Win: Blue is the Warmest Color should have been nominated five times.
11. Best Screenplay
Surprise! Another tough category. It will be close between Spike Jonze for Her and John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave, but the quirkiness and depth of Her will carry the day. This is a chance for the Globes to recognize another of this year's amazing films, but still reserve the more well-known awards for the bigger-name films. This category is where films such as Her thrive, because they are able to receive recognition while other films fight over the bigger awards.
Will Win: Spike Jonze, Her
Could Win: John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave; David O. Russell & Eric Warren Singer, American Hustle
12. Every Television Category
Let's put it this way: Breaking Bad was a critically-acclaimed show that was beloved by everyone, and it just finished its final season while it was still sitting on top. Best TV Series-Drama, Best Actor in a TV Series-Drama, and Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series, or TV Movie are all pretty much locked in for the hit show. Expect this to be the Year of Breaking Bad. Kevin Spacey could potentially beat out Bryan Cranston for his turn as Senator Francis Underwood in order to give some credit to something other than Breaking Bad, but it is not likely, given Cranston's gripping final episodes as Heisenberg and the fact that Cranston has not actually won a Golden Globe for his portrayal. Last chance, HPFA!
Will Win (Best TV Series-Drama): Breaking Bad
Could Win (Best TV Series-Drama): House of Cards
Will Win (Best Actor in a TV Series-Drama): Bryan Cranston
Could Win (Best Actor in a TV Series-Drama): Kevin Spacey
Will Win (Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series, or TV Movie): Aaron Paul
Could Win (Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series, or TV Movie): Corey Stoll or Jon Voight.