'Spotlight,' 'The Martian,' 'Carol' and more: Predictions for the 2016 Golden Globe nominations

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has pivoted slightly in the last couple of years, with its choices for its annual Golden Globe Awards increasingly mirroring the critical mainstream rather than simply rewarding the biggest stars on the planet. Will that trend continue this year?

MOTION PICTURE DRAMA

"Spotlight"

"The Revenant"

"Bridge of Spies"

"Carol"

"Steve Jobs"

Bubbling under: "Brooklyn," "The Hateful Eight," "The Danish Girl," "Room"

Analysis: "Spotlight," "The Revenant" and "Spies" seem secure. Quentin Tarantino has a long history of success at the Globes, but reaction to his three-hour western, "The Hateful Eight," was mixed among HFPA voters. So we'll lean toward Todd Haynes' gorgeous romance "Carol" and critics favorite "Jobs," though a nom for the immigrant story "Brooklyn" would not be surprising in the least.

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ACTOR DRAMA

Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant"

Johnny Depp, "Black Mass"

Eddie Redmayne, "The Danish Girl"

Michael Fassbender, "Steve Jobs"

Will Smith, "Concussion"

Bubbling under: Tom Hanks, "Bridge of Spies"; Michael Caine, "Youth"; Ian McKellen, "Mr. Holmes"

Analysis: DiCaprio and Depp have long enjoyed massive support from the HFPA, as has Smith when he's made dramas such as "Ali" and "The Pursuit of Happyness." The well-loved Caine remains a strong threat here too, as his film, "Youth," has the sort of international flavor the foreign press likes to reward.

ACTRESS DRAMA

Cate Blanchett, "Carol"

Saoirse Ronan, "Brooklyn"

Brie Larson, "Room"

Alicia Vikander, "The Danish Girl"

Rooney Mara, "Carol"

Bubbling under: Emily Blunt, "Sicario"; Charlize Theron, "Mad Max: Fury Road"; Angelina Jolie, "By the Sea"; Charlotte Rampling, "45 Years"; Carey Mulligan, "Suffragette" 

Analysis: The HFPA ignored the studios’ wishes and (correctly) put Mara and Vikander in this category instead of supporting. That creates an unfortunate logjam of worthy women with Mulligan (“Suffragette”) and L.A. Film Critics lead actress winner Rampling (“45 Years”) the most likely to be left out.

FULL COVERAGE: Golden globes

MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL/COMEDY

"Joy"

"The Martian"

"Trainwreck"

"The Big Short"

"Grandma"

Bubbling under: "Spy," "Tangerine," "The Lady in the Van," "Burnt," "Sisters"

Analysis: The HFPA has never been too partial to rewarding straight-up comedies in this category, preferring character-based dramedies or genre flicks with comic elements. (Hello "Martian"!)) With the kind of year Amy Schumer has been having, "Trainwreck" probably makes it in, but the hit Melissa McCarthy comedy "Spy" may lose out to voters' love for Lily Tomlin's sweet and smartly observed "Grandma."

ACTOR, MUSICAL/COMEDY

Matt Damon, "The Martian"

Steve Carell, "The Big Short"

Bill Hader, "Trainwreck"

Robert De Niro, "The Intern"

Bradley Cooper, "Burnt"

Bubbling under: Bill Murray, "Rock the Kasbah"; Al Pacino, "Danny Collins"; Paul Rudd, "Ant-Man"

Analysis: Maybe "The Martian" landing in comedy isn't such a bad thing since this category would be awfully thin without Damon's presence. And while we know these voters don't like Marvel movies, an exception should be made here for the appealing Rudd, particularly because the entries from HFPA faves Cooper and De Niro don't measure up to either actor's best work.

ACTRESS, MUSICAL/COMEDY

Jennifer Lawrence, "Joy"

Lily Tomlin, "Grandma"

Amy Schumer, "Trainwreck"

Sandra Bullock, "Our Brand Is Crisis"

Meryl Streep, "Ricki and the Flash"

Bubbling under: Melissa McCarthy, "Spy"; Blythe Danner, "I'll See You in My Dreams"; Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, "Sisters"

Analysis: Could the HFPA bring back everyone's favorite Globes hosts simply by nominating them? We haven't seen Fey and Poehler's "Sisters" but it can't be any worse than "Our Brand Is Crisis" or "Ricki and the Flash."

Follow me on Twitter @GlennWhipp

MORE:

Oscar Watch: 'Hateful Eight' goes over great

'Spotlight' named best of 2015 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.

Leonardo DiCaprio's 'The Revenant' is a brutal test for awards voters 

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