Golden Globes: Who will win in key film categories? Our final predictions

Golden Globes: Who will win in key film categories? Our final predictions
Scenes from "Boyhood," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Birdman" and "Selma." (Clockwise from top left: IFC Films / Fox Searchlight Pictures / Paramount Pictures)

The Golden Globes are mere hours away. As you read this, Hollywood A-listers are busy primping and plucking and plotting arrival strategies that avoid awkward red-carpet encounters.

And then ... the awards themselves, maybe not the most interesting aspect of the evening, but NBC does need to fill air time in between the drinking and the ... um ... drinking.


Who will be leaving the Beverly Hilton with a shiny new doorstop? Our predictions for some key races on the film side, as NBC gets set to air the proceedings live at 5 p.m. Pacific time Sunday:


The nominees: "Boyhood," "Foxcatcher," "Selma," "The Imitation Game" and "The Theory of Everything"

The winner: Let's go with the eventual Oscar winner, "Boyhood." The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. loves to plant its flag before the Oscars. Then again, Richard Linklater's movie might be a bit low-key for this group, which could lead to a win for "The Imitation Game." Really, it's a coin flip.


The nominees: "Birdman," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Into the Woods," "Pride" and "St. Vincent"

The winner: Globes voters don't go for ha-ha funny. They like their humor dark and curdled (or, sometimes, in the case of "The Tourist," nonexistent). That comedic taste should translate into a win for "Birdman," though it's possible that Wes Anderson's magnificent "Budapest Hotel" could pull off an upset.


The nominees: Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"; David Fincher, "Gone Girl"; Ava DuVernay, "Selma"; Alejandro G. Inarritu, "Birdman"; and Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"

The winner: Inarritu. The Mexican-born director has been nominated before ("Babel"), and the razzle-dazzle style he employed in "Birdman" should get HFPA voters' attention.


The nominees: Steve Carell, "Foxcatcher"; Benedict Cumberbatch, "The Imitation Game"; Jake Gyllenhaal, "Nightcrawler"; David Oyelowo, "Selma"; and Eddie Redmayne, "The Theory of Everything"

The winner: Give Redmayne the edge for his transformative portrayal of Stephen Hawking in "Theory." But it's close and it wouldn't be shocking if voters choose another Brit (Cumberbatch or Oyelowo) or go with Gyllenhaal, whose movie has been gaining serious momentum the past few months.



The nominees: Jennifer Aniston, "Cake"; Felicity Jones, "The Theory of Everything"; Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"; Rosamund Pike, "Gone Girl";  and Reese Witherspoon, "Wild"

The winner: Moore has been considered the front-runner in the lead actress race since "Alice" premiered at Toronto in September. She's respected and liked and considered underserved by awards-givers over the course of her career. (Her only Globe win came on the TV side for the HBO movie "Game Change.") Aniston has been working the award-season circuit harder than anyone else, but it's still hard to imagine her pulling off an upset here.


The nominees: Ralph Fiennes, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"; Michael Keaton, "Birdman"; Bill Murray, "St. Vincent"; Joaquin Phoenix, "Inherent Vice"; and Christoph Waltz, "Big Eyes"

The winner: Of the nominated actors, only Keaton figures to find favor with the academy too. That makes him the likely winner, though Fiennes, so good as the can-do concierge in "Budapest," could surprise for a movie that many HFPA members adore.


The nominees: Amy Adams, "Big Eyes"; Emily Blunt, "Into the Woods"; Helen Mirren, "The Hundred-Foot Journey"; Julianne Moore, "Maps to the Stars"; and Quvenzhane Wallis, "Annie"

The winner: It's possible that none of these women will win an Oscar nomination, making this category something of a wildcard. Historically, Globes voters have been partial to musicals, giving Blunt the edge. But they adore Adams, nominating her six times and giving her this prize last year for "American Hustle." And they could also decide to simply go all-in for Moore, handing her this award and the drama one too. We'll stick with Blunt, but nothing -- save for Wallis taking the stage to the strains of "Tomorrow" -- would surprise us.

Twitter: @glennwhipp