2014 Golden Globe Awards Predictions: ‘Gravity,’ ‘American Hustle’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ For the Wins

By  · Published on January 11th, 2014

Last year I took on the Golden Globes for the first time, did my research and made my assumptions, and my predictions wound up with only 9 out of 14 winners chosen correctly. This year I’m going more with my gut. I’m also going to have a try with the TV categories since we’ve been covering more and more of that stuff here at FSR.

We’ll find out how well I do in my sophomore effort when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association holds its 71st Golden Globe Awards tomorrow night with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting. You should join me then for as-it-happens updated coverage on this site. I’m not calling it a “live blog.” It’ll be more like a concurring review of the show and results.

I can’t guarantee that my predictions are going to help you win any bets or pools, but I’ll offer a friendly wager with anyone who thinks they can beat my score. Gimme your best shot in the comments.

Best Picture – Drama

Nominees: 12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Philomena, Rush

Winner: Gravity

The top award this year is really just between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity. And it should go to the former, as it is more fully the better movie. But while 12 Years is probably the Oscar frontrunner, the HFPA does enjoy sci-fi type stuff more than the Academy does. Golden Globes for Best Picture went to E.T. and Avatar. Tomorrow it will go to Gravity.

Best Picture – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: American Hustle, Her, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, The Wolf of Wall Street

Winner: American Hustle

The HFPA has never given a top award to a Coen brothers movie (they went with Atonement the year No Country For Old Men won the Oscar), but I don’t think they’ll make up for that here. I simply see American Hustle as being the sort of farcical comedy that the foreign press would really enjoy more than the rest of these nominees.

Best Actor – Drama

Nominees: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Redford

Winner: Tom Hanks

I should probably go with the favorite here, which is Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave. But I think there’s going to be a major upset in this category. Maybe it could be Redford for All Is Lost. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club, either. But if the HFPA gave it to Hanks for Cast Away, they ought to give it to him for Captain Phillips, too.

Best Actress – Drama

Nominees: Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet

Winner: Sandra Bullock

This might also be an upset, as I wasn’t aware until recently that Blanchett was the favorite for her Blue Jasmine performance. With this her fourth nomination with only one win so far, it could indeed be her night. I just have a big hunch that the HFPA is really into Gravity and will give the award to Bullock for a two-for-two record.

Best Actor – Comedy or Musical

Nominees: Christian Bale, Bruce Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Oscar Isaac, Joaquin Phoenix

Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio

I want to say that Bale gets it for the fact that he’s made a nice comedic turn in American Hustle, which is also my guess for Best Picture. But then, so has DiCaprio with The Wolf of Wall Street. They’re certainly the funniest in this category. Maybe they’ll cancel each other out. Or maybe they’ll recognize the most ridiculous slapstick performance of the year and also the guy they like the most among these nominees. If they do cancel each other out or DiCaprio’s performance is considered too unlikable, Dern could be the champion, but that seems like such a boring choice to go with the vet among the new generation picks just because he’s the vet.

Best Actress – Comedy or Musical

Nominees: Amy Adams, Julie Delpy, Greta Gerwig, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Meryl Streep

Winner: Amy Adams

Even when Streep goes up against herself she is capable of winning this category, but she doesn’t get it every time. This will be another of her many losses and it shall go to her Doubt co-star, Amy Adams, who’ll win with this fifth nomination. In American Hustle, she gets to be funny, sexy, emotional, powerful and do a fake accent. And in a year where she’s played very different characters who don’t seem to be portrayed by the same actress, this one really stands out as the most interesting out of her own performances and those of her fellow nominees.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Barkhad Abdi, Daniel Bruhl, Bradley Cooper, Michael Fassbender, Jared Leto

Winner: Daniel Bruhl

Why not make it three in a row for Austria? You see, in 2012 the winner was Christopher Plummer, best known for playing the Austrian patriarch in The Sound of Music. Then last year it was an actual Austrian actor, Christoph Waltz. And this time we have a portrayal of an Austrian F1 driver in Rush. I haven’t seen the film so can’t vouch for Bruhl’s performance, but I’m expecting the HFPA will go triple down on this strange trend.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Sally Hawkins, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong’o, Julia Roberts, June Squibb

Winner: Lupita Nyong’o

Lawrence is truly the best among this bunch, and it could very well be the women of American Hustle that reap that movie’s accolades, but this category has been very predictable over the past decade and has for the most part coincided with the Academy’s pick. 12 Years a Slave breakout Nyong’o is considered a favorite for the Oscar by a long shot, so it’s almost a sure thing she’ll also win the Golden Globe.

Best Director

Nominees: Steve McQueen, David O. Russell, Paul Greengrass, Alfonso Cuaron, Alexander Payne

Winner: Alfonso Cuaron

The HFPA and the Academy have not been matching with this category in recent years, and it probably won’t happen this year either. I’m betting on McQueen for the Oscar and Cuaron for the Golden Globe. Even if Gravity doesn’t wind up their Best Picture pick. It’s showy directorial work, which tends to be honored by this group, and James Cameron got it for Avatar a few years ago, so it’s hard to imagine them ignoring this spectacle that also primarily works because of the visual storytelling over everything else, particularly its flaws.

Best Screenplay

Nominees: Philomena, Her, Nebraska, 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle

Winner: 12 Years a Slave

This is a tricky one. They can’t go with their dramatic picture favorite, Gravity. But is their comedic pick, American Hustle, truly the best choice? Like Gravity, the writing is not its strongest suit. I think this is where they’ll be recognizing Steve McQueen’s film by way of John Ridley’s adaptation of 12 Years a Slave.

Best Original Score

Nominees: All Is Lost, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Gravity, The Book Thief, 12 Years a Slave

Winner: 12 Years a Slave

I’m pretty bad at the original score category (except for last year, when Life of Pi was such a logical choice), so I’m just going with 12 Years a Slave, which I think will be recognized for the wrong reasons.

Best Original Song

Nominees: “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 Chance)

Winner: “Ordinary Love”

The Golden Globes very rarely go with the song from the Disney animated feature here and I think the track from Inside Llewyn Davis is too much of a goofy novelty for them, too. When they go against Academy favorites so often with tunes by popular artists such as Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Eddie Vedder and Cher, it’s hard for them not to pick U2 this time around. For Mandela’s “Ordinary Love” they’ve teamed up with Danger Mouse, who I’m fine with being encouraged to do more material for movies.

Best Animated Feature

Nominees: The Croods, Despicable Me 2Frozen

Winner: Frozen

Aside from one year, when they chose Spielberg over a terrible sequel, the Golden Globes have consistently gone with Disney. No stopping them now.

Best Foreign Language Film

Nominees: Blue is the Warmest Color, The Great Beauty, The Hunt, The Past, The Wind Rises

Winner: Blue is the Warmest Color

Another category where the HPFA has been rather obvious of late. Blue is the Warmest Color is the most popular at the moment, and while I can easily see the Academy going with an upset this year, I think this is the easiest choice for the Globe. It will be the first time the two awards went separate ways in four year. It would be neat if they went with the foreign animated feature that should also be in another category, a la their pick of Waltz With Bashir a while back. But that was even more necessary since the Golden Globes have no documentary category. The Wind Rises being absent from the animated category is weird and maybe a sign it won’t win here either.

Best Series – Drama

Nominees: Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, The Good Wife, House of Cards, Masters of Sex

Winner: Breaking Bad

With no Homeland nomination this year, they have to finally give it to Breaking Bad, don’t they?

Best Series – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: The Big Bang Theory, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Girls, Modern Family, Parks and Recreation

Winner: Modern Family

Unless they go with the newbie and pick Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I suspect their going to skip last year’s winner, Girls, to return to Modern Family love.

Best Actor – Drama

Nominees: Bryan Cranston, Michael Sheen, Liev Schreiber, Kevin Spacey, James Spader

Winner: Bryan Cranston

There will probably be some upset for a newcomer like House of Cards’ Spacey or The Blacklist’s Spader, but if they go another year ignoring Cranston in Breaking Bad how will anyone respect the HPFA again?

Best Actress – Drama

Nominees: Julianna Margulies, Tatiana Maslany, Taylor Schilling, Kerry Washington, Robin Wright

Winner: Kerry Washington

Once again, without Homeland in there, some other favorites have a shot. Perhaps Margulies again, but she’s had her win. Everyone loves Washington in Scandal, and this is her first nomination, too.

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Jason Bateman, Don Cheadle, Michael J. Fox, Jim Parsons, Andy Samberg

Winner: Michael J. Fox

Because why not? They proved they loved him a lot on Spin City and now they probably love him on The Michael J. Fox Show, as well.

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Zooey Deschanel, Lena Dunham, Edie Falco, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Amy Poehler

Winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

No way Girls’ Dunham gets this over Veep’s Louis-Dreyfus again, especially after the former’s second season wasn’t as good and the latter’s was even better. Plus, Louis-Dreyfus will lose in her movie category and this is a good way to honor a great year overall.

Best Actor – Miniseries or TV Movie

Nominees: Matt Damon, Michael Douglas, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba, Al Pacino

Winner: Michael Douglas

Sure, Ejiofor and Elba could have consolations here if they lose in the movie category, but Douglas is so undeniably delightful in Behind the Candelabra.

Best Actress – Miniseries or TV Movie

Nominees: Helena Bonham Carter, Rebecca Ferguson, Jessica Lange, Helen Mirren, Elisabeth Moss

Winner: Elisabeth Moss

Moss is incredible in Top of the Lake even regardless of the accent. But that accent is what will put her over the top here.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Josh Charles, Rob Lowe, Aaron Paul, Corey Stoll, Jon Voight

Winner: Rob Lowe

Maybe, just maybe they can give it to Paul to make up for having never even nominated him for Breaking Bad before now. But it’s so hard to think about that when Lowe is such a stunning scene stealer in the very popular Behind the Candelabra.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Jacqueline Bisset, Janet McTeer, Hayden Panettiere, Monica Potter, Sofia Vergara

Winner: Janet McTeer

I have no clue with this category, but I can’t imagine they’ll finally give it to Vergara, even if they go with Modern Family again. McTeer is probably incredible in The White Queen, which I haven’t seen – I also haven’t seen the other nominated performances here.

Best Miniseries or TV Movie

Nominees: American Horror Story: Coven, Behind the Candelabra, Dancing on the Edge, Top of the Lake, The White Queen

Winner: Behind the Candelabra

I’m not as big a fan of Behind the Candelabra as most, but even if I was I’d have to go with Top of the Lake as the most deserving. Alas, Candelabra does have a lot of fans and it will come out on top of the Globes.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.