January 6, 2019

Yup, it's that time of year again. Though we know that many of you C&Lers are much too cool and too busy to worry about rich people giving each other awards, for those of us who recognize that entertainment provides a window into the values of a society and that art is what elevates us, it's time for the Hollywood Foreign Press to launch the awards season, with hosts Sandra Oh and Andy Samburg.

Please consider this an open thread for you to offer up your predictions, reviews of the shows/movies being honored, notable speeches or gripes of snubs. My predictions are listed after the nominations. John Amato has predictions for the television categories that I'm also including.


Best Picture — Drama

  • Black Panther
  • BlacKKKlansman
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • A Star Is Born

The two movies that stayed with me the longest this year (Blindspotting and Three Identical Strangers) weren't even nominated. I have a feeling that A Star is Born will win the sentiments of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association voting body, but my personal choice of the nominees would be BlacKKKlansman, narrowly edging out If Beale Street Could Talk.

Best Picture — Comedy or Musical

  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • The Favourite
  • Green Book
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Vice

I haven't seen Vice yet, but I'm going to go ahead and call this one for The Favourite. I was skeptical of director Yorgos Lanthimos (I disliked his previous efforts of The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer), but I found his style just right for this one.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama

  • Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
  • Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
  • Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased
  • Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
  • John David Washington, BlacKKKlansman

I think I was one of five people (literally) in the theater to see Willem Dafoe's performance as Vincent Van Gogh. It's a stinkin' shame, because it was definitely award-worthy.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama

  • Glenn Close, The Wife
  • Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
  • Nicole Kidman, Destroyer
  • Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • Rosamund Pike, A Private War

Lady Gaga has been campaigning hard (and likely persuasively) for this award, but Melissa McCarthy was criminally good as failed author turned forger Lee Israel.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy

  • Christian Bale, Vice
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Poppins Returns
  • Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
  • Robert Redford, The Old Man & the Gun
  • John C. Reilly, Stan & Ollie

For sheer shape-shifting ability to turn into Dick Cheney, speaking tics and all, Christian Bale seems the strongest of this lot, though I am basing that strictly on trailers and ads. Much as I love Lin-Manuel Miranda as a Broadway force, his inclusion on this list is odd. He admits his cockney accent was not even up to Dick Van Dyke standards.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy

  • Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns
  • Olivia Colman, The Favourite
  • Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
  • Charlize Theron, Tully
  • Constance Wu, Crazy Rich Asians

Olivia Colman is good in everything she does, but Elsie Fisher blew me away in a vanity-stripped bare, honest portrayal of a teenager navigating the transition into high school with every cringe-inducing milestone therein.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

  • Mahershala Ali, Green Book
  • Timothée Chalamet, Beautiful Boy
  • Adam Driver, BlacKKKlansman
  • Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • Sam Rockwell, Vice

I think this is actually the toughest competition. All of these performances are deserving, but I'm going to give a little edge to Mahershala Ali, because his face expressed all the emotions his lines didn't give him. It was a less showy performance than Viggo Mortensen's, but it was literally the heart and soul of the movie.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

  • Amy Adams, Vice
  • Claire Foy, First Man
  • Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Emma Stone, The Favourite
  • Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

I will never understand the studio's choice to put Stone and Weisz head-to-head in this category. My daughter thinks that Coleman belongs in this category and Weisz should be lead actress. My guess is that this will go to Weisz.

Best Director — Motion Picture

  • Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
  • Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
  • Peter Farrelly, Green Book
  • Spike Lee, BlacKKKlansman
  • Adam McKay, Vice

I watched Roma last weekend. I saw a review afterwards that called it "watching beautiful paint dry," which I think was apt. It's beautifully photographed and framed, but ultimately, I feel like Cuarón missed a deeper emotional connection. I suspect that Cooper is going to win, but I'd rather see Spike Lee get it.

Best Screenplay — Motion Picture

  • Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
  • Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, The Favourite
  • Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Adam McKay, Vice
  • Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Green Book

Another tough category. I'd like to see Barry Jenkins get some recognition, for a beautiful adaptation of James Baldwin's novel.

Best Motion Picture — Animated

  • Incredibles 2
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Mirai
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

I (or my kids) have apparently entered the age where I don't need to see animated films, because I've seen none of these. However, my film student daughter saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse a week ago and was surprised by how good it was. She said it was the best of the Marvel Universe she's seen.

Best Picture — Foreign Language

  • Capernaum
  • Girl
  • Never Look Away
  • Roma
  • Shoplifters

The only ones I've seen are Girl and Roma, neither of which would I give the award to. I've heard good things about Shoplifters, so I'll stake on that one.

Best Original Score — Motion Picture

  • Marco Beltrami, A Quiet Place
  • Alexandre Desplat, Isle of Dogs
  • Ludwig Göransson, Black Panther
  • Justin Hurwitz, First Man
  • Marc Shaiman, Mary Poppins Returns

Justin Hurwitz's use of the theremin (a 1950s era instrument) actually was really cool.

Best Original Song — Motion Picture

  • “All the Stars,” Black Panther
  • “Girl in the Movies,” Dumplin’
  • “Requiem for a Private War,” A Private War
  • “Revelation,” Boy Erased
  • “Shallow,” A Star Is Born

This is just waiting for a Lady Gaga spectacle, so "Shallow" it is.


Best Television Series — Drama

  • The Americans (FX)
  • Bodyguard (Netflix)
  • Homecoming (Amazon)
  • Killing Eve (BBC America)
  • Pose (FX)

Much to Amato's consternation, I don't watch The Americans, which apparently deserves every award for its final season. I did watch Bodyguard on Netflix and thought it was well-paced and taut from beginning to end. But I'll go with Amato's choice of The Americans.

Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy

  • Barry (HBO)
  • Kidding (Showtime)
  • The Good Place (NBC)
  • The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)

No one can convince me that The Good Place isn't the most inventive, smartest and silliest show on TV. Amato agrees with me and we've got a rare agreement on the winner.

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

  • The Alienist (TNT)
  • The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX)
  • Escape at Dannemora (Showtime)
  • Sharp Objects (HBO)
  • A Very English Scandal (Amazon)

Amato thinks this one goes to Sharp Objects, but I found it a little too gothic for my taste. The only one of the nominees I saw beginning to end was The Alienist, but I don't know that's a strong enough recommendation for a best show award.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama

  • Jason Bateman, Ozark
  • Stephan James, Homecoming
  • Richard Madden, Bodyguard
  • Billy Porter, Pose
  • Matthew Rhys, The Americans

Again, I'm deferring to Amato's choice of Matthew Rhys, because I can believe that the actor's challenge of playing a spy with a variety of disguises is a great showcase, even without having watched the full series.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Drama

  • Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
  • Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
  • Julia Roberts, Homecoming
  • Keri Russell, The Americans

Amato loves Keri Russell, but I'm rooting for Sandra Oh.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy

  • Sacha Baron Cohen, Who Is America
  • Jim Carrey, Kidding
  • Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
  • Donald Glover, Atlanta
  • Bill Hader, Barry

I'm all about Donald Glover. I have yet to see him not be amazing in anything he does. Amato thinks it's Bill Hader.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy

  • Kristen Bell, The Good Place
  • Candice Bergen, Murphy Brown
  • Alison Brie, Glow
  • Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Debra Messing, Will & Grace

While I stand by my The Good Place love, I have to give the edge for award to Rachel Brosnahan over Kristen Bell. Amato would be happy if Brosnahan, Bell, or Brie walked away with the award.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

  • Antonio Banderas, Genius: Picasso
  • Daniel Bruhl, The Alienist
  • Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Melrose
  • Hugh Grant, A Very English Scandal

People much smarter (or more into television) than me (specifically, the one named Amato) keep insisting that Hugh Grant deserves this. I honestly couldn't keep interested in the show, but I'm willing to concede this point.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

  • Amy Adams, Sharp Objects
  • Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannemora
  • Connie Britton, Dirty John
  • Laura Dern, The Tale
  • Regina King, Seven Seconds

I haven't watched Escape at Dannemora, but I'm a big fan of any time actors make themselves look as bad as possible for the sake of a role, because it's a lot rarer than you think. Patricia Arquette did that in a big way. Amato is sticking with his Sharp Objects love and picking Amy Adams.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television

  • Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
  • Kieran Culkin, Succession
  • Edgar Ramirez, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
  • Ben Whishaw, A Very English Scandal
  • Henry Winkler, Barry

Amato thinks this one is Ben Whishaw's to win, but it's hard for me to believe that Henry Winkler hasn't gotten many acting awards for his career. Give the man the award.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television

  • Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Patricia Clarkson, Sharp Objects
  • Penelope Cruz, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
  • Thandie Newton, Westworld
  • Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale

While I thought Alex Borstein was fantastic, I have to bow down to how wonderful Thandie Newton was over and over in Westworld. Amato can't decide between Patricia Clarkson or Yvonne Strahovski. Poor Penelope Cruz, being ignored.

So what are your predictions?

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