How I won the 2018 Golden Globes film predictions contest by anticipating the ‘Three Billboards’ sweep & more [WATCH]

As the 75th Annual Golden Globes approached on January 7, like many, I found myself scrambling to solve that riddle we all aim to decipher: How can I defeat thousands of other movie fans and come out on top of this ruthless Gold Derby predictions contest? And how can I toss a wrecking ball into that prestigious panel of Experts for my own 15 minutes of bragging rights? So I took risks where there were openings, played it safe when it seemed appropriate, and, frankly, I got a little lucky. But my foresight that “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” would dominate the night turned out to be the biggest factor in my win. Watch me discuss this year’s Globe winners with Gold Derby Editors Joyce Eng and Daniel Montgomery above.

Frances McDormand‘s performance as a mother seeking vengeance for her brutally murdered daughter was a tour de force, so I never wavered in my certainty that she would win Best Film Drama Actress. In my mind, Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”) was the only potential threat. But it’s tough to win an acting award with no dialogue, much less when your stiffest competitor delivers her lines so ferociously. Hence, it was my easiest call for “Three Billboards.”

For Best Film Supporting Actor, Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”) had been the front-runner all year, but I just refused to get on that bandwagon. It lacks the kind of awards-bait scene voters look for. Surging behind Dafoe was Christopher Plummer (“All The Money in the World”), who has been getting rave reviews after stepping in to replace Kevin Spacey, ultimately saving that film. Then there was the young, charming Armie Hammer (“Call Me By Your Name”), who certainly fits the profile of a Globe winner, and Richard Jenkins (“The Shape of Water”), the likable veteran. But who gave the biggest performance with the most prominent character arc from beginning to end? Without question it was Sam Rockwell in “Three Billboards.” But he didn’t appear to be on many people’s radar to prevail. I chose Rockwell for the win when he had 14/1 odds and used my “super bet,” which paid out with 7,000 points. It was a calculated risk that paid off and ultimately put me on top of the leaderboard.

I knew Best Screenplay was a tight race, but I am always drawn back to the crisp, clean, and ruthless dialogue in “Three Billboards,” and I wasn’t convinced “Lady Bird,” a teen-angst comedy, would resonate as much with Globe voters. And my decision to predict Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”) to win Best Film Supporting Actress was based solely on the fact that “I, Tonya” deserved to win something and this was the only logical place to reward it. Although Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”) was a formidable front-runner, her film had its chances elsewhere.

Heading into the ceremony, “The Shape of Water” had become the odds-on favorite to win Best Film Drama, followed by “The Post,” “Three Billboards,” “Dunkirk” and “Call Me By Your Name.” But if I thought “Three Billboards” was winning Best Film Drama Actress, Best Film Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay, how could I not assume the Hollywood Foreign Press thought this was the best film of the year? It is not unheard of for there to be a split between Best Director and Best Film at the Globes. So with that in mind I went with Guillermo Del Toro for directing the more artistic spectacle (“Shape of Water”) and “Three Billboards” for Best Film. Nailed it!

Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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