This Sunday sees the Awards Season kick into overdrive with the Golden Globes Awards on Sunday, January 7th.
As always, we'll have a full round-up of everything that happens, including a full list of winners, analysis, red carpet photos - all of it. In the meantime, however, we've also got our annual tea-leaf reading and, friends, this year is particularly difficult. As always, we're covering the major categories.
Let's dive in. We begin, as always, with...
BEST PICTURE (DRAMA)
Call Me by Your Name
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The gut here says Dunkirk, as it's Christopher Nolan's year - but what give us pause is the fact that the HFPA is made up of, well, foreign press. This essentially means that the likes of Call Me By Your Name could be a possible contender. Still, the favourite for this has to be Dunkirk. The Shape Of Water is a great film, as is The Post. Three Billboards, on the other hand, seems to be hit with the dreaded "mixed reactions" tag, so that's definitely out. This looks pretty clear for Dunkirk. On the other hand...
BEST PICTURE (COMEDY / MUSICAL)
The Disaster Artist
The Greatest Showman
This is an absolute group of death situation. Lady Bird is incredible, Get Out was extraordinary, The Disaster Artist was hilarious and I, Tonya is meant to be cracking. The Greatest Showman, well, it's a musical and the category states Comedy or Musical so it's filling up a spot. Get Out's inclusion here may seem odd as it's more known for being a psychological horror, but remember that Ridley Scott's The Martian was in this category - so who knows, really. Looking at what's on offer here, it seems like a dead tie between Lady Bird and Get Out. Our guess is Get Out will win here and our own Saoirse Ronan will win in the Best Actress - Comedy or Musical category for Lady Bird.
BEST ACTOR (DRAMA)
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day Lewis, Phantom Thread
Tom Hanks, The Post
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Although we haven't yet seen Daniel Day-Lewis' performance in Phantom Thread, the mere mention of his name means that he's a serious contender. Gary Oldman gave a fantastic performance in Darkest Hour, his best in years (in our opinion, anyway), and the word is that he's due an Oscar this year for that performance and to correct the total and utter injustice that he's been without one for years. Tom Hanks was fine in The Post, but it's more Meryl Streep's film than anything else. Timothee Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name is an interesting choice, but is definitely the most unlikely option here.
BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA)
Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Meryl Streep, The Post
Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World
We've seen The Shape Of Water and, friends, we're here to tell you that it's beautiful, heartwarming, romantic and Sally Hawkins deserves to walk away with every award going. That said, Meryl Streep does give an equally strong performance in The Post - but how many awards can she win at this stage? How heaving is her award shelf? No, Sally Hawkins deserves to win it for The Shape Of Water and that's all there is to it. Michelle Williams in All The Money In The World was fine, Jessica Chastain in Molly's Game was also good and hearing Frances McDormand curse like a sailor is always good fun, but our money is on Sally Hawkins here.
BEST ACTOR (COMEDY / MUSICAL)
Steve Carrell, Battle of the Sexes
Ansel Elgort, Baby Driver
James Franco, The Disaster Artist
Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Daniel Kaluuya was great in Get Out, but Jordan Peele's script and direction was so good that you could put almost any actor in that role and they'd have come back with something equally as special. By all accounts, the clear favourite here is James Franco for The Disaster Artist. He directed and starred in it, for one, and the fact is that a film about Hollywood and the system itself is always a popular choice around Awards Season. Plus, it also helps that he was really good in it - so this seems like a lock for him. Ansel Elgort in Baby Driver, however, is a joke. How come not a single, solitary person from Death Of Stalin received a nomination?
BEST ACTRESS (COMEDY / MUSICAL)
Judi Dench, Victoria & Abdul
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes
Helen Mirren, The Leisure Seeker
This isn't just local bias - or as one commenter put it, us being The Official Saoirse Ronan Fan Club - there is no way on God's green and bountiful Earth that Saoirse Ronan is NOT going to win here. She is absolutely going to win here. The HFPA is wasting time, money and resources by announcing any other nominee in this category. This is Saorise Ronan's to lose. She'd literally have to come out as some kind of horrible racist with a hatred of dogs, cats and small children in order for her NOT to get it - and even then, you'd have arguments about whether or not you can separate a terrible person from a great piece of art. For the record, Saoirse Ronan is not some kind of horribe racist with a hatred of dogs, cats and small children. But yes, she is going to win this and we will eat a printed-out piece of paper with her face on it if she doesn't.
Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World
Steven Spielberg, The Post
For taking the practically unthinkable step of completing replacing Kevin Spacey's performance with Christopher Plummer in All The Money In The World, Ridley Scott deserves a special award all on his own. He managed to do all the work with Plummer in the space of just nine days, and when you watch the film back, you'd never once think for a second that Spacey had anything to do with it. It's incredible. Aside from that, however, it looks pretty safe that this will be Christopher Nolan's year. Guillermo del Toro deserves credit, too, for making The Shape Of Water for under $20 million and make it look like the budget was tripled.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All The Money in the World
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
As great and all as he was in All The Money In The World, there's no denying that Christopher Plummer's inclusion here feels like a gigantic middle finger to Kevin Spacey. The outright favourite here, however, is Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project which was largely shut out from every other category here. Richard Jenkins was brilliant in The Shape Of Water, but when isn't he brilliant? The only other contender here is Sam Rockwell for Three Billboards, but our money is still on Dafoe.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Hong Chau, Downsizing
Alison Janney, I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
Much like the Best Picture (Comedy / Musical) category, this is another group of death situation - but the two clear favourites for us are Allison Janney in I, Tonya and Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird. Metcalf, in particular, gave the performance of a career in Lady Bird and that really should be recognised. Allison Janney, as we know, has been great ever since The West Wing so to see her in a far different role - one which sees her characteristic grace and elegance out the window - is interesting. Gun to head? Probably go for Laurie Metcalf here. She's really that good in Lady Bird.
Guillermo Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, The Post
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game
Aaron Sorkin's inclusion here feels like something of a sop to the fact that Molly's Game was shut out from just about every category except Best Actress (Drama) for Jessica Chastain. Don't get us wrong, he's definitely a contender but HFPA does tend to lean more towards non-US entries than the Oscars - so this puts The Shape Of Water and Three Billboards in contention. The Post could also be in play, as HFPA does go for the political stuff and the film is timely - even if it is set in the '70s. However, Greta Gerwig's screenplay for Lady Bird, however, was beautiful and heartfelt - and really deserves the win here. Not only that, the fact that she was nominated for Best Director is a travesty. Gerwig for the win here.
BEST PICTURE (ANIMATED)
The Boss Baby
For technical achievements, Loving Vincent deserves a mention as it really is a unique, challenging film. The Breadwinner - which was animated by our own Cartoon Saloon - looks like a strong favourite here and will likely go head-to-head with Pixar's Coco. Again, given how HFPA often slants to non-US entries, there's every chance that The Breadwinner could scoop this award. If it doesn't, expect Coco to pick it up instead.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE
A Fantastic Woman
First They Killed My Father
In the Fade
Whenever The Square has been screened in front of an awards-voting audience, it's won. It picked up the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year and won a number of critics award for Best Foreign Language film. First They Killed My Father is Angelina Jolie's effort, but the fact that it's a Netflix film and there's a bit of a hum around it means that it'll be overlooked. The only thing stopping The Square from winning here is the fact that it's barely got any kind of release either here or in the US. Still, the critical accolades it's been getting means it's the clear favourite to win here.
So that's it for our predictions - got any of your own? Let us know in the comments!