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Who's going to win at the Golden Globes (probably)

Coming so close to the Oscars, the Golden Globes movie races draw most of the attention, but it's the TV winners — who have to walk a good country mile just to get to the stage — who often give the night its most genuine, surprising moments. (Remember Gina Rodriguez's emotional speech this year?) Thinking ahead, we believe viewers are going to be typing "Mr. Robot" into search engines. That prediction and others follow …

MOTION PICTURE DRAMA

The nominees: "Carol," "Mad Max: Fury Road," "The Revenant," "Room," "Spotlight"

And the winner is: The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has been going with the bread-and-butter critics' favorites lately, so look for "Spotlight" to win.

Unless: This group didn't reward "Birdman" last year, so unless HFPA voters really want to make it right with filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu and go with "The Revenant," then maybe "Mad Max" could pull off an upset.

LEAD ACTOR, MOTION PICTURE DRAMA

The nominees: Bryan Cranston, "Trumbo"; Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant"; Michael Fassbender, "Steve Jobs"; Eddie Redmayne, "The Danish Girl"; Will Smith, "Concussion"

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And the winner is: You've probably heard DiCaprio has never won an Oscar. He does own a couple Globes, though. This time, he'll take home one of each.

Unless: Those special edition "Steve Jobs" iPhones that HFPA members have been expecting suddenly arrive in the mail.

LEAD ACTRESS, MOTION PICTURE DRAMA

The nominees: Cate Blanchett, "Carol"; Brie Larson, "Room"; Rooney Mara, "Carol"; Saoirse Ronan, "Brooklyn"; Alicia Vikander, "The Danish Girl"

And the winner is: The "Carol" actresses split the vote and Larson wins for her heart-rending turn in "Room."

Unless: Globes favorite Blanchett, a nine-time nominee and three-time winner, adds another trophy to her case.

MOTION PICTURE MUSICAL OR COMEDY

The nominees: "The Big Short," "Joy," "The Martian," "Spy," "Trainwreck"

And the winner is: Many Globes voters aren't thrilled with "The Martian" being placed here. That creates an opening for "The Big Short," which mixes comedy and tragedy, the type of combo the group has been drawn to over the years.

Golden Globes 2016: Complete list of nominees

Unless: Enough members love "The Martian," no matter its genre, and want to reward it here.

LEAD ACTOR, MOTION PICTURE MUSICAL OR COMEDY

The nominees: Christian Bale, "The Big Short"; Steve Carell, "The Big Short"; Matt Damon, "The Martian"; Al Pacino, "Danny Collins"; Mark Ruffalo, "Infinitely Polar Bear"

And the winner is: Pacino and Ruffalo star in movies nobody's seen. Bale and Carell figure to siphon each other's support. That leaves Damon, who carries "The Martian" for long, solo stretches.

Unless: Carell takes his second Globe on a big night for "The Big Short."

LEAD ACTRESS, MOTION PICTURE MUSICAL OR COMEDY

The nominees: Jennifer Lawrence, "Joy"; Melissa McCarthy, "Spy"; Amy Schumer, "Trainwreck"; Maggie Smith, "The Lady in the Van"; Lily Tomlin, "Grandma"

And the winner is: The HFPA loves Lawrence, but the group seems so-so on "Joy," giving it only two nominations. We'll go with Schumer, both for her work and the suspicion that the Globes would like to get in her good graces so she'll agree to host next year.

Unless: A third Golden Globe for Lawrence! (Yay?)

TV DRAMA SERIES

The nominees: "Empire," "Game of Thrones," "Mr. Robot," "Narcos," "Outlander"

And the winner is: Coming nine months before the Emmys, the HFPA loves to plant the flag for new shows, going so far as to give this prize to Showtime's soapy "The Affair" this year. We like USA's unsettling cyberworld drama "Mr. Robot" to be next year's newbie darling.

Unless: Voters want to reward "Empire," which premiered too late to be considered last time.

LEAD ACTOR IN A TV DRAMA SERIES

The nominees: Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"; Rami Malek, "Mr. Robot"; Wagner Moura, "Narcos"; Bob Odenkirk, "Better Call Saul"; Liev Schreiber, "Ray Donovan"

And the winner is: Malek. Yes, we're going all in on "Mr. Robot" and Malek for making a paranoid, morphine-addicted hacker into a hoodie-wearing hero for our troubled times.

Unless: The HFPA decides to send Hamm, who, best as we can recall, never wore a hoodie on "Mad Men," out in style.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV DRAMA SERIES

The nominees: Caitriona Balfe, "Outlander"; Viola Davis, "How to Get Away With Murder"; Eva Green, "Penny Dreadful"; Taraji P. Henson, "Empire"; Robin Wright, "House of Cards"

And the winner is: Tough call between Balfe, Emmy winner Davis and Henson. Let's lean toward Irish actress Balfe, "Outlander's" time-traveling nurse, as voters go global.

Unless: The HFPA wants to honor "Empire" somewhere, and there's no better spot than this.

COMEDY SERIES

The nominees: "Casual," "Mozart in the Jungle," "Orange Is the New Black," "Silicon Valley," "Transparent," "Veep"

And the winner is: The HFPA hasn't repeated itself in this category since the heyday of "Glee," but "Transparent" remains the buzziest nominee of the group.

Unless: Voters shop Amazon for another winner and go with the charming "Mozart."

LEAD ACTOR IN A TV COMEDY SERIES

The nominees: Aziz Ansari, "Master of None"; Gael Garcia Bernal, "Mozart in the Jungle"; Rob Lowe, "The Grinder"; Patrick Stewart, "Blunt Talk"; Jeffrey Tambor, "Transparent"

And the winner is: Again, this isn't the Emmys. The Globes like to spread the wealth year to year. That discounts the chances of reigning champ Tambor, giving the edge to Bernal, "Mozart's" impulsive, kooky conductor.

Unless: You could make a case for any of the other nominees, though, unlike Bernal, their shows weren't nominated. That probably sets up Tambor as a possible back-to-back victor.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV COMEDY SERIES

The nominees: Rachel Bloom, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"; Jamie Lee Curtis, "Scream Queens"; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"; Gina Rodriguez, "Jane the Virgin"; Lily Tomlin, "Grace and Frankie"

And the winner is: You want to know something weird? Louis-Dreyfus, a veritable viking at the Emmys, has never won a Golden Globe for "Veep." Of the group, she's the only one from a nominated series. That gives her an edge, I suppose, though I wouldn't be surprised to see the popular Tomlin take the stage instead.

Unless: It is indeed Tomlin. You know she'd give a great speech.

glenn.whipp@latimes.com

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
A version of this article appeared in print on December 29, 2015, in the Entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Global intelligence file - THE GOLD STANDARD | GLENN WHIPP" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
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