The 76th Golden Globe awards will take place this Sunday, January 6. We know which movies and TV shows are up for awards: A Star is Born, The Favourite, Green Book, Barry, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Some of them will win, some won’t. But what else will go down on Hollywood’s most unpredictable, free-flowing night? Herewith are our predictions for the show that everyone loves to hate and hates to love.
1. Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg will keep things loose and light
The newly anointed hosts, who barely know each other but were chosen by NBC based on a presenter segment they did at the Emmys, have made it clear they’re not going dark or roasty on Sunday night. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, they frequently invoked the terms “positive” and “celebratory” to describe how they’re approaching their gig. The rationale is that in a world that actually is dark and foreboding, the Globes is going to be a night of boozy escape, along with the requisite nods and appreciation for the work of their fellow film and TV makers. In other words: This is not going to be a Ricky Gervais scorch-the-town kind of a night. Samberg is a veteran of the hosting circuit, having emceed the MTV, Spirit, and Emmy awards, so expect some timely barbs–though none related to Trump, which the duo have outright said they’re not touching. But overall, this is going to be a palsy-walsy performance that, if the pair are lucky, will come close to matching Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s killer run as presenters in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
2. Amazon will be the streamer of the night
By now everyone is used to Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu racking up awards at the Globes and stealing the spotlight from the traditional film and TV players. This year will be no different, though expect Amazon to shine a little brighter than its OTT peers. Julia Roberts, the star of Amazon’s latest darling, Homecoming, is up for best actress in a TV drama (though Oh, the star of the BBC’s Killing Eve, is expected to win), and the show itself is a favorite for Best Drama series. Then there’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the series that almost everyone loves to love–and shower with awards. The multiple Emmy winner is expected to win TV’s Best Comedy and Best Comedy Actress (Rachel Brosnahan). Supporting actress Alex Borstein could also surprise and bring home a trophy. And then there’s Hugh Grant, who’s a favorite for Best Actor in a Limited Series for his portrayal of real-life politician and accused murderer Jeremy Thorpe in A Very English Scandal. Netflix, meanwhile, should take home awards for Roma (best director for a dramatic film and best foreign language film). But still: probably a good idea to say hi to Jennifer Salke if you see her.
3. A Star is Born will gain momentum, while Vice loses it
Sure, there’ll be surprises and snubs, but it’s all but certain that A Star is Born will get a Globes jolt, solidifying its position as Oscar frontrunner. The film, which is nominated for five Globes, is catnip for members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, thanks to the star power of Lady Gaga and its combination of commercial and critical success. Expect it to win for Best Actress in a Drama (Gaga) and Best Song (Shallow). Writer-director-star Bradley Cooper could possibly, maybe, also win trophies, though he’s expected to be beaten in the Best Drama Director category by Roma‘s Alfonso Cuarón. Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Rami Malek is expected to win for Best Actor in a Drama. Vice, meanwhile, which stormed into the Globes, receiving the most nominations of any film (six, including Best Musical or Comedy), will likely fizzle. The film, a biting satire about former Vice President Dick Cheney, has received mixed reviews and still has a ways to go at the box office before recouping its $60 million production budget. The one silver lining: Christian Bale, who put on more than 40 pounds to play a mumbling, understated Cheney, is expected to win for Best Actor in a Comedy.
4. Someone will have an Oprah/Meryl Streep moment
Typically, the winner of the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement turns their acceptance speech into a sweeping call-to-action-slash-commentary-on-the-state-of-current-affairs. In 2017 that was Meryl Streep, who used her time at the podium to deliver a rousing indictment of president-elect Trump (without ever naming him). “Disrespect invites disrespect,” the most Oscar-winningest actress of all time declared. “Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.” Almost as memorably, Trump reacted the next day by Tweeting that Streep was “one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood.” Last year, Oprah turned her acceptance speech into a show-stopping oration on the civil rights struggle and the #MeToo movement. On Sunday, Jeff Bridges will be the recipient of the DeMille award. The shambling actor may wax on about some of his pet issues, like the environment and childhood hunger, but don’t expect any Trump Tweets or Lebowski 2020 memes in his wake. As for who will deliver the night’s Sobering Truth moment, our bets are on Gaga.
5. Trump will be mentioned or alluded to at least 80 times
Oh/Samberg may be swearing off any mentions of the president and the state of Washington, but expect most other presenters and awards winners to use the Globes as a Trump-bashing workshop. The Globes, after all, has always felt more like a soirée for the liberal elite than a formal awards ceremony, what with all that free-flowing champagne and sense that it’s really just a warm-up for the Oscars. Sure, there are movies and TV shows to applaud, but more than anything it’s a night when stars feel free to go rogue onstage as their publicists sit quietly at tables way in the back of the room and reach for another drink. MeToo, TimesUp, and other causes will certainly get air-time, but Trump is the easiest, most obvious target for this crowd. All cameras will be trained on Alec Baldwin.
6. An Oscar host will be discovered
As the Globes ceremony unspools, it won’t be lost on anyone in the industry that another awards ceremony that’s just around the corner–the big one–is currently without a host, thanks to the Kevin Hart debacle. Which means the Globes can be a warm-up in that sense, too–i.e., a very public audition by presenters who can pull off zingers that are feisty without being actually offensive, while also being heart-warming and entertaining and engaged. The latter seemed like a requirement that didn’t need to be mentioned until James Franco barely showed up as an Oscar co-host in 2011. So who’s free on February 24? Gaga? Lena Waithe? Chadwick Boseman? Chrissy Metz?
7. Everyone will start leaving early for the HBO party
Netflix, Amazon, and other tech giants may have arrived in Hollywood with their billion-dollar war chests and limitless desire to spend and showboat, but when it comes to Globes after-parties, there is only one worth attending–HBO’s–and everyone knows it. It’s no surprise that the company that has always treated talent relations like a fine art ends up with the most star-studded galas. It also helps that the party is situated right outside the Beverly Hilton ballroom, where the Globes takes place, making it a first-stop destination for revelers. As smaller awards are given out later in the show, expect a slow migration towards HBO to begin.
8. Everyone will bitch about how the Globes don’t mean anything
Mocking the HFPA and the Globes themselves is a Hollywood pastime by now, one that never seems to grow old. The gripes include: HFPA members aren’t real journalists; winners are selected based on how much stars have schmoozed with the HFPA and posed for selfies (remember the year The Tourist won? And Burlesque? And then there was Pia Zadora; there are so many wild cards, including Vice). And yet… Every year everyone dutifully shows up, earnestly accepts their awards, gives rambling shout-outs to their agents, managers and lawyers, and has a good time. Indeed, for one night, at least, the Globes is the most important event on the planet. On Monday, the bitching will resume–until next year.