Golden Globe predictions: Why I’m picking ‘The Irishman,’ Joaquin Phoenix, Brad Pitt and …

Sometimes it is hard to know what lurks in the hearts and minds of the 93 or so international journalists who’ll decide who wins  Golden Globes on Sunday. On the TV side, the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association tend to reward the newest series over older stand-bys. And they also like showcasing the most popular and glamorous celebrities as winners — the better to butter up the TV ratings.

But when it comes to film, it’s trickier to predict how their choices will stack up since every title in contention is a bright and shiny new object to dazzle them, unlike returning TV series and performers. There are also three more categories to consider for a total of 14 on the cinema side.

Basically, you have take your best shot as you attempt to reason out what these starry-eyed press people, who love nothing more than to rub elbows with famous folk at junkets and other events, value most. Therefore, here is my thinking as I predicted all the major movie categories.

BEST FILM DRAMA: Noah Baumbach‘s “Marriage Story” earned the most film nominations with six, but the movie’s maker was shut out of the director category. I originally thought it felt younger and fresher than Martin Scorsese‘s latest gangster yarn, “The Irishman.” But this could be the only win for the auteur’s Netflix mobster opus.

BEST FILM DRAMA ACTRESS: Renee Zellweger all the way for her deep-dive depiction of a late-life Judy Garland in “Judy.” The foreign press folks have been around long enough to recall how Zellweger was treated herself by Hollywood after she outgrew her sweetheart stage. She is likely to be applauded loudly and long as she steps on stage to grab her trophy.

SEE Golden Globe Best Actor showdown: Will Joaquin Phoenix (‘Joker’) or Adam Driver (‘Marriage Story’) prevail?

BEST FILM DRAMA ACTOR: You want drama? You want melodrama? You want tears? Wait until Joaquin Phoenix  (“Joker”) dances up those Beverly Hilton stairs as he did on screen and claims the prize for what will go down in history as one of 2019’s most memorable and most devisive performances — for a comic-book character, no less.

BEST FILM COMEDY/MUSICAL: Quentin Tarantino‘s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is lucky to qualify in the less competitive best film category. The fairy-tale ode to 1969 — when a new era of hip cutting-edge entertainment took hold in the era of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll — qualifies to be considered both humorous and filled with tunes inspired by the time. He has previously won Globes for his screenplays for “Pulp Fiction” and “Django Unchained,” but never a Best Film prize. While rivals like “Jojo Rabbit” and “Knives Out” are worthy, they seem rather lightweight compared to the scope of what Tarantino produced.

BEST FILM COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTRESS: Ana de Armas is as delicious as a fresh buttery warm croissant with extra jam as a billionaire’s caretaker who is suspected of plotting his murder in the hit “Knives Out.” But she can’t quite top Awkwafina in “The Farewell,” who would be the first East Asian actress to win in this category.  While  the comic and rapper has shown off her humor in such films as “Ocean’s 8” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” she reveals a shyer and more sensitive side as a hapless 30-ish woman who visits her grandmother in China and joins her family in hiding the matriarch’s fatal cancer diagnosis.

BEST FILM COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTOR: I know who I want to see beaming that smile and cracking wise while accepting a trophy. And that would be Eddie Murphy (“My Name Is Dolemite”). Remember that the Globe voters actually rewarded him for his supporting role in the musical “Dreamgirls,” unlike the stingy Oscars. He would also be the first black actor to win in this category since Jamie Foxx took home the gold for “Ray” in 2005.

BEST FILM SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Remember the days when Jennifer Lopez  (“Hustlers”) would make headlines just by sashaying down the red carpet with some sort of peek-a-boo attire as the cameras would click away at a showbiz event? Well, let’s see her unleash her Jenny From the Block attitude onstage once again as she grasps her long-overdue Globe. She was denied a win back in 1998 for her breakout performance in the musical biopic “Selena,” about the career and tragic death of the Mexican singing sensation. Time to make amends, I’d say.

BEST FILM SUPPORTING ACTOR: What’s a hunky guy gotta do to win a second Globe for his acting already. Brad Pitt previously won for his supporting part as a paranoid mental patient in the dystopian fantasy “Twelve Monkeys” in 1996. But this time, he is allowed to strut his matinee idol stuff as a loyal stuntman to a fading Western TV star in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” He is also the source of much of the funny business on screen, whether beating up Bruce Lee or feeding his fierce pit bull terrier copious amounts of dog food.

BEST FILM DIRECTOR: I believe that if the Globe voters want to leave their mark on this awards season, rewarding South Korea’s abundantly talented Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”) is the way to go. It is pretty much a given that his incisive depiction of culture clashes between the classes has hit a universal nerve among moviegoers around the world. The movie is also a shoo-in for Best Foreign Language Film.

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 winners are announced. And join in the fierce debate over the 2020 Golden Globes taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our movie forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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