Mahershala Ali took home everything that wasn’t nailed down during the 2016-2017 awards season for his performance in “Moonlight”: the SAG Award, an Indie Spirit Award for ensemble acting, a cornucopia of critics’ awards, and of course the Oscar. But he didn’t win the Golden Globe, which was especially surprising since “Moonlight” won Best Film Drama at the end of the night. Now he’s back in the awards conversation for “Green Book,” giving Globe voters a chance to make it up to him.
Ali’s performance in “Moonlight” as a Florida drug dealer who becomes an unlikely father figure to a neglected boy was a juggernaut throughout that awards cycle, so we pundits gasped when the envelope opened at the Globes and it was Aaron Taylor-Johnson who won Best Film Supporting Actor instead for playing a sadistic killer in “Nocturnal Animals.” That was a curious anomaly since Taylor-Johnson turned out to be one of the rare winners in that category who wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar — his “Nocturnal” co-star Michael Shannon got the nom instead.
Now Ali is campaigning again for Best Film Supporting Actor, though the Globes will make their own final determinations about category placements. In “Green Book” he plays a musician navigating the racism of the 1960s American South with his white driver (Viggo Mortensen). The film made its first big splash at the Toronto Film Festival, where it won the People’s Choice Award. The last six winners of that prize ended up with Oscar nominations for Best Picture, and one of them won — “12 Years a Slave” (2013) — so “Green Book’s” victory over “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Roma” signaled that it’s a real player in the awards race.
Will the Oscars reward Ali again so soon after his first victory? That remains to be seen, but he’s carrying a Golden Globes IOU from “Moonlight,” so the Hollywood Foreign Press Association may want to repay their debt regardless of what ends up happening on Oscar night. And that just might happen, according to our latest Globe odds: as of this writing Ali ranks a close second to Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”), with one of our Experts (Gold Derby’s own Joyce Eng) picking Ali to upset.
Be sure to make your Golden Globe predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on December 6. And join in the fierce debate over the 2019 Golden Globes taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our movie forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.