The fact that A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody requested that they compete in the more competitive category (Drama has historically been harder to win than Musical or Comedy) shows the scope of their ambition.
So the fact that ASIB and BR volunteered for the harder category demonstrates the belief the producers of the films have in their end products. In A Star is Born’s case, I reckon it will pay off.
Potential spoiler: BlacKkKlansman, very much a film for the moment.
The Favourite, Green Book and Vice were also all nominated for their screenplay, with the latter two films also picking up nominations in Best Director, which suggests to me that these two films are the 90-odd voting team of the HFPA’s preferred choices.
I’m predicting Green Book because it sounds like more of a crowd-pleaser than Vice (8.3 on IMDb compared to 7.2), which has polarised audiences.
I’ve lamentably seen none of the five films nominated in this category as my new job has been keeping me so busy, but I hope to be acquainted with at least a few of these by the time the Oscars get here. Until then, I’m listening to the Mary Poppins Returns soundtrack religiously!
Potential spoiler: The Favourite
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Alfonso Cuarón has been rave reviews and been scooping up Film Critics’ wins for his intimate directorial work on Roma. The portrait of a year in the life of a maid in Mexico City is unfussily and honestly told, and lacks all of the ‘look what I can do!’ grandstanding of Cuarón’s work on Gravity, which he won the Golden Globe, and the Oscar for, in 2014 (undeservedly, in my eyes. I feel 12 Years a Slave was better-directed).
Potential spoiler: Bradley Cooper, who in addition to acting in, directed, wrote, produced and basically did everything but the catering of A Star is Born.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama: Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
So this category really demonstrates that ASIB’s producers did not come to play. Glenn Close is Lady Gaga’s closest rival for Best Actress at the Oscars, with the veteran actress having the ‘overdue’ narrative over Gaga. I imagine ASIB’s producers wanted to gauge, early on in the awards race, whether Gaga would triumph over Close, something which they wouldn’t be able to discern if Gaga competed in the other category, which ironically is the film’s rightful one.
For my money, the strongest female lead performance I’ve seen in a 2018 film is Jessie Buckley’s electrifying turn in Beast, but that film’s entire budget is probably smaller than ASIB’s awards campaign kitty, and we all know these awards are rarely on merit and merit alone (hence how Jennifer Lawrence has an Oscar and Rooney Mara doesn’t).
Buckley did get nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star award earlier this week, along with Letitia Wright, Cynthia Erivo, Barry Keoghan and Lakeith Stanfield, making that one of the most impressive line-ups since the inception of the award.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Just like how someone leaving their job creates new opportunities for someone else, the greatest beneficiary of Lady Gaga competing in the wrong category will be Olivia Colman or Emily Blunt, who would have lost this award to Gaga if she had been in it.
The HFPA clearly liked The Favourite, giving it nominations across the board, and I think the wicked sense of humour running through it will render Colman the favourite to voters (see what I did there?) over Emily Blunt’s far more sanitised performance in the U-rated Mary Poppins Returns. It could go either way, tho, so…
Potential spoiler: Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Another category which could go either way between King or Amy Adams, who plays Lynne Cheney in Vice.
My logic for predicting King is that I reckon Amy Adams will win Best Actress in a Mini-series for Sharp Objects, a category which she’s also up against King for, and the HFPA will want to spread the love and award King here.
I think The Favourite’s ladies will split the votes, or at least I hope so, because I cannot sit through another Emma Stone Golden Globe speech (her lecture when she won for La La Land about how hard it is to be an actress was the most tone-deaf thing ever, given she stole a role from an Asian actress in Aloha), and the HFPA obviously didn’t love First Man, as the only nomination other than for this category was for its Score, so I can’t see Claire Foy winning.
Potential spoiler: Amy Adams, Vice
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama: Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Bradley Cooper has to win something for A Star is Born, and for his heartfelt, moving performance as a grizzled rocker on his way down, this is definitely the category where rewarding him feels most deserved.
Potential spoiler: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Christian Bale, Vice
I really don’t know about this category. I think it’ll be Christian or Viggo, with me picking Bale because he wore a lot of prosthetics in this film, and the Golden Globes obviously liked it when Gary Oldman did the same as Winston Churchill last year.
Potential spoiler: Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture: Mahershala Ali, Green Book
I’m predicting Ali because he won the Oscar two years ago for Moonlight, but lost the Golden Globe, in a surprise win for Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who didn’t even get an Oscar nomination in the end. A lot of people hypothesised that that win came about because the Nocturnal Animals director, Tom Ford, sent his perfume to all of the HFPA members, haha. So I think the Golden Globes will be keen to atone for their 2017 mistake by rewarding Ali for his dignified performance as a classical and jazz musician in Green Book.
As much as I love the boy, I really hope Timothée Chalamet doesn’t win this category. Firstly, because I think playing drug addicts is such a cheap way of getting rewards recognition. And secondly, he’s young and has a bright career ahead of him. The other men in the category have been grafting for far longer than him, and whilst his time will undoubtedly come, I wouldn’t want him to bloom too soon.
Potential spoiler: Richard E Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Best Screenplay: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, The Favourite
Potential spoiler: Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Best Original Score: Marc Shaiman, Mary Poppins Returns
This one was hard to call. Mary Poppins Returns is a musical, which historically has tended to do well in Original Score, but First Man’s score was praised for how it helped build tension in the film, and especially the track that played during the moon landing.
However, Justin Hurwitz did already win two years ago for La La Land, and like I said, the voters did not seem particularly fond of First Man, so I’m going for Mary Poppins Returns.
Potential spoilers: Justin Hurwitz, First Man
Best Original Song: “Shallow” — A Star Is Born
A deserved win, given how resonant the lyrics of "Shallow" are, as well as the crucial part it played in propelling the plot of the film along. I reckon this category is the most concrete in terms of result, with only ‘All the Stars’ from Black Panther offering the slightest competition, and that’s for the street cred that the HFPA will want from awarding Kendrick Lamar, rather than the song itself.
I’m rather disappointed none of the Mary Poppins Returns songs were nominated – I personally love "A Cover is not the Book" and "Trip a Little Light Fantastic". Hopefully at least one of them gets recognised come Oscar-time!
Potential spoiler: “All the Stars” — Black Panther
Best Motion Picture, Animated: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Potential spoiler: Incredibles 2
Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language: Roma
Just like Shallow, another easy to predict category. Roma is the only film in this category that got nominated in other categories (for its direction and script), and I foresee it winning Best Director, so it makes sense that it would get Best Foreign Film too.
Potential spoiler: Shoplifters
I don’t watch that much TV, so my guesses for the TV categories are purely guesswork. I won’t do an alternative prediction because it will be rather embarrassing if neither my first nor second guess happens, haha.
The only bit of information behind my decision-making in these categories is that I read Sharp Objects last year, and whilst I haven’t seen the show (it’s on my list of things to do!), I can imagine Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson absolutely nailing their characters, both damaged, fragile women, and juicy roles for them to showcase their acting chops.
Best Television Series, Drama: Killing Eve
Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy: The Good Place
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Sharp Objects
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Drama: Julia Roberts, Homecoming
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy: Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television: Amy Adams, Sharp Objects
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Patricia Clarkson, Sharp Objects
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Drama: Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy: Donald Glover, Atlanta
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television: Hugh Grant, A Very English Scandal
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