Amy Poehler and Tina Fey will be hosting the 2014 Golden Globes.
As much talk as this being a major showdown between "12 Years A Slave" and "American Hustle" at 7 nominations each, both of them are actually not in competition with each other for the Best Picture category, so it's highly plausible to see them coming out as big winners.
Even so, this year's list of nominees may prove to be one of the more varied ones in recent years, thanks mostly to the diverse range of challenging roles played by some of the greatest performers to date in a healthy helping of films made by the best directors and visiting timeless subject matters, whether from the past or the present.
Although as always, we'd expect a few upsets here and there, but there is also plenty of categories where it is hard to make a call.
One thing's for sure, we think there will only be one film to have a sweep, but it would have to go through some tough competition to earn it.
While we will only know the results of the 71st Golden Globe Awards on 12 January 2014 (13 January in Malaysia and Singapore), here's our predictions of who we think the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) would vote to win for each of the motion picture categories below.
Best Original Song
Atlas ("The Hunger Games: Catching Fire")
Let It Go ("Frozen")
Ordinary Love ("Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom")
Please Mr. Kennedy ("Inside Llewyn Davis")
Sweeter Than Fiction ("One Direction")
With no other musical this year on this list, it's hard to imagine the HFPA not being blown away by Idina Menzel's "Let It Go" from Disney's "Frozen". Then again, with "Frozen" pretty much locked to win the Best Animated Feature, this prize could go to "Please Mr. Kennedy" performed by Justin Timberlake in the only nomination for the Coen's "Inside Llewyn Davis".
Our Prediction: Let It Go ("Frozen")
Best Original Score
"All Is Lost" (Alex Ebert)
"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" (Alex Heffes)
"Gravity" (Steven Price)
"The Book Thief" (John Williams)
"12 Years A Slave" (Hans Zimmer)
We've heard many great things about Alex Ebert's work for "All Is Lost", but it shares the same duties with what Steven Price's score did for "Gravity", and admittedly "Gravity" has a higher profile than the dialogue-less survivalist film starring Robert Redford. That's doesn't secure a sure win for Price though because the big names of John Williams and Hans Zimmer are lingering to pull an upset.
Our Prediction: "Gravity" (Steven Price)
"Her" (Spike Jonze)
"Nebraska" (Bob Nelson)
"Philomena" (Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan)
"12 Years A Slave" (John Ridley)
"American Hustle" (David O Russell and Eric Warren Singer)
We were quite surprised to see this list of nominees because there could certainly be other films that deserve to be here more than "Philomena", "Her" and "Nebraska" in this category. Still, the distinction here is between John Ridley's adaptation of "12 Years A Slave" and the original screenplay of "American Hustle". We suspect this category would be part of the sweep whoever the HFPA favours between the two.
Our Prediction: "American Hustle" (David O Russell and Eric Warren Singer)
Best Foreign Language Film
"Blue is the Warmest Colour"
"The Great Beauty"
"The Wind Rises"
With "Blue Is the Warmest Colour" being not eligible to be in the Foreign Language Oscar, this is the perfect opportunity to create more buzz for Abdellatif Kechichein's scandalous film in the US awards circuit, and a chance for the Golden Globes to distinguish themselves from the Academy.
Our Prediction: "Blue is the Warmest Colour"
Best Animated Feature
"Despicable Me 2"
With Hayao Miyazaki's potentially final piece "The Wind Rises" in the Best Foreign Film category and "Monsters University" being snubbed, this is the only category in our prediction where the answer seems pretty obvious.
Our Prediction: "Frozen"
Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi ("Captain Phillips")
Daniel Bruhl ("Rush")
Bradley Cooper ("American Hustle")
Michael Fassbender ("12 Years A Slave")
Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club")
Aside from naming Daniel Bruhl and Barkhad Abdi as the dark horses of this category, Bradley Cooper and Michael Fassbender have the heavyweight advantage of the films they are attached with. If this category isn't going to be another battleground between "12 Years A Slave" and "American Hustle", then we think that Jared Leto could clinch this one.
Our Prediction: Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club")
Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins ("Blue Jasmine")
Jennifer Lawrence ("American Hustle")
Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years A Slave")
Julia Roberts ("August: Osage County")
June Squibb ("Nebraska")
Jennifer Lawrence may have met her match against Lupita Nyong'o in this category and a win here would be crucial not only to the careers of either actresses, but would certainly set the stage when these two ladies would undoubtedly meet again at the Oscars.
Our Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence ("American Hustle")
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale ("American Hustle")
Bruce Dern ("Nebraska")
Leonardo DiCaprio ("The Wolf Of Wall Street")
Oscar Issac ("Inside Llewyn Davis")
Joaquin Phoenix ("Her")
With "12 Years of Slave" not in this category, it would seem that the odds would be on Christian Bale's side, but not until we saw Leonardo DiCaprio, who could win it if the Golden Globes wanted to compensate for snubbing Scorsese in the director's category. Another strong contender here is Bruce Dern from "Nebraska", who could be a potential stumbling block for "Hustle" to make a sweepstake here.
Our Prediction: Christian Bale ("American Hustle")
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Amy Adams ("American Hustle")
Julie Delpy ("Before Midnight")
Greta Gerwig ("Frances Ha")
Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Enough Said")
Meryl Streep ("August: Osage County")
As much as we really appreciate the Golden Globes for putting three smaller indies onto the list, this is still a contest between Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. Would Streep be able to pull off a small victory for "August: Osage County" against the onslaught of Amy Adams representing "American Hustle"? We'd like to support the underdog despite the odds. Still, having an upset here by any of the smaller nominees here would be a delightful surprise.
Our Prediction: Meryl Streep ("August: Osage County")
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years A Slave")
Idris Elba ("Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom")
Tom Hanks ("Captain Phillips")
Matthew McConaughey ("Dallas Buyers Club")
Robert Redford ("All Is Lost")
Without having to go against more pedigreed actors in the Musical and Comedy category, this looks like a safe win for Chiwetel Ejiofor, although an upset by Matthew McConaughey or Robert Redford wouldn't be received too badly here as well.
Our Prediction: Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years A Slave")
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine")
Sandra Bullock ("Gravity")
Judi Dench ("Philomena")
Emma Thompson ("Saving Mr. Banks")
Kate Winslet ("Labor Day")
This would be a tight catfight if Amy Adams and Meryl Streep are in this list (something we'd expect to happen when the Oscar announces their Best Actress nominees), but that has been fought over somewhere else. For this round, it is clearly between Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock. With this being the only nomination that "Blue Jasmine" has, while "Gravity" has three others for Best Original Score, Best Director and Best Motion Picture (Drama), we'd think the Golden Globes could spare one from the frontrunner.
Our Prediction: Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine")
Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity")
Paul Greengrass ("Captain Phillips")
Steve McQueen ("12 Years A Slave")
Alexander Payne ("Nebraska")
David O Russell ("American Hustle")
This would have looked almost like a list we'd expect from the same race in the Oscars if Alexander Payne was replaced with Martin Scorsese, but that doesn't make it any easier to pick a winner out of these exalted gentlemen. A win here for Steve McQueen or David O Russell wouldn't be surprising, but we don't think the HFPA is going to make it that easy.
Our Prediction: Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity")
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"The Wolf Of Wall Street"
So far, the only other film that has numerous contentions with "American Hustle" in other categories other than here is "Nebraska" (for Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Actor in a Motion Picture of Musical or Comedy). So if by some strange winds that "American Hustle" is defied in all of its other nominated categories by "Nebraska", then the win for "American Hustle" here will be less secured. Look for the signs before this category is announced. Otherwise, the real competition we want to see is between "American Hustle" and "12 Years A Slave" at the Oscars.
Our Prediction: "American Hustle"
Best Motion Picture, Drama
"12 Years A Slave"
Having to choose between "12 Years A Slave" and "Gravity" for the Best Motion Picture, which will most likely repeat again at the Oscars, is a call too close to make because it requires an understanding of the voter base of the Golden Globes. Based on the knowledge we have about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association would have us pointing towards "Gravity" by a very small margin, but our gut feeling tells us that we could be wrong this time. There certainly will be indicators to look out for during the announcement night before this one is announced, and what the Golden Globe picks on awards night will throw a wrench in the Best Picture Oscar race for either film.
Our Prediction: "Gravity"
Cinema Online, 10 January 2014