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An early look at who's likely to win Golden Globe Awards

Wonder who will take home a Golden Globe in 2015? Glenn Whipp offers his predictions

The last two years, Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. members have added a new wrinkle to the Golden Globes: respectability.

Where are the wacky, celebrity-worshiping choices of yesteryear?

What will the babysitter whom Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt reserved for the ceremony night be doing instead?

GOLDEN GLOBES 2015: Full coverage | Top nominees | Complete list | Presenters | Ballot

We don't know. But we do have predictions for this year's by-the-book slate of nominees.

MOTION PICTURE DRAMA

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

And the winner is: "Boyhood." The HFPA likes to put a stamp on the award season before Oscar voters have their say, so look for it to go with Richard Linklater's celebrated landmark.

Unless: Harvey Weinstein's minions know how to earn Globe nods, but taking the actual award has proved elusive recently. ("The King's Speech" lost to "The Social Network," for instance.) But if there's an upset, look for Weinstein's "The Imitation Game" to prevail.

LEAD ACTOR MOTION PICTURE DRAMA

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

And the winner is: Redmayne. Veterans tend to win here, as is the case with the film academy, but Redmayne's turn as Stephen Hawking contains all the elements of a winner.

Unless: Cumberbatch, not exactly an old-timer himself, wins his first Globe.

LEAD ACTRESS MOTION PICTURE DRAMA

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

And the winner is: Moore. Two lead nominations (she was also tapped for "Maps to the Stars") indicates a clear consensus that she's had a very good year.

Unless: It's hard to imagine a path for anyone but Moore. Bank on it.

MOTION PICTURE MUSICAL OR COMEDY

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

And the winner is: "Birdman." It scored the most nominations of any movie, signaling strong across-the-board support.

Unless: Voters' love of musicals (the HFPA gave "Les Misérables" the picture prize over "Silver Linings Playbook") leads to an upset for "Woods."

LEAD ACTOR MOTION PICTURE MUSICAL OR COMEDY

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

And the winner is: Keaton. Again, the HFPA clearly loves "Birdman." Should he nail his acceptance speech (make 'em laugh, Michael!), this will provide a nice boost for his Oscar chances.

Unless: Fiennes finds the podium after five nominations. We're guessing he says something urbane.

LEAD ACTRESS MOTION PICTURE MUSICAL OR COMEDY

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

And the winner is: Blunt. Adams has the highest profile of the nominees, but she just won last year for "American Hustle." Blunt has a long history with the HFPA (she has five noms and one win), and we have a hunch she'll prevail for the better-known movie.

Unless: Adams repeats.

TV DRAMA SERIES

The nominees: "The Affair," "Downton Abbey," "Game of Thrones," "The Good Wife," "House of Cards"

And the winner is: "House of Cards." With the exception of last year's valedictory salute to "Breaking Bad," the HFPA likes to be ahead of the curve with its TV awards. But "The Affair" hasn't made good on its early debut-season promise, leaving the door open for another loopy, contrived drama.

Unless: HFPA didn't bother watching "The Affair" after, say, its sixth episode.

LEAD ACTOR IN A TV DRAMA SERIES

The nominees: Clive Owen, "The Knick"; Liev Schreiber, "Ray Donovan"; Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"; James Spader, "The Blacklist"; Dominic West, "The Affair"

And the winner is: Spacey. This is his eighth nomination, and he's still waiting for a win. If the HFPA lauded him for "Casino Jack," enough voters must like him enough to finally give him a trophy.

Unless: Owen wins his second Globe for Steven Soderbergh's critically acclaimed series.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV DRAMA SERIES

The nominees: Claire Danes, "Homeland"; Viola Davis, "How to Get Away With Murder"; Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"; Ruth Wilson, "The Affair"; Robin Wright, "House of Cards"

And the winner is: Davis. She lost to Streep in 2012 when voters preferred Meryl's Thatcher over Davis' dignified housemaid in "The Help." Time to make good.

Unless: Wright repeats in a big night for "House of Cards."

COMEDY SERIES

The nominees: "Girls," "Jane the Virgin," "Orange Is the New Black," "Silicon Valley," "Transparent"

And the winner is: "Transparent." "Orange Is the New Black" would be the safe pick, but, again, the HFPA likes to reward the newest of the new. Plus, "Orange" lost last year to "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." It faces a tougher test against Amazon's celebrated, big-hearted series.

Unless: "Orange" does win, with Globe voters rewarding both it and "Cards" on a banner evening for Netflix.

LEAD ACTOR IN A TV COMEDY SERIES

The nominees: Louis C.K., "Louie"; Don Cheadle, "House of Lies"; Ricky Gervais, "Derek"; William H. Macy, "Shameless"; Jeffrey Tambor, "Transparent"

And the winner is: Tambor. Playing a divorced dad transitioning to living life as a woman, Tambor delivers what is, inarguably, the performance of the year. The television academy will repeat the honor in the fall.

Unless: Tambor decides to withdraw his name from consideration.

LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV COMEDY SERIES

The nominees: Lena Dunham, "Girls"; Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"; Gina Rodriguez, "Jane the Virgin"; Taylor Schilling, "Orange Is the New Black"

And the winner is: Rodriguez. Louis-Dreyfus may be an Emmy magnet, but she's never been a big HFPA favorite and hasn't won for "Veep." That leaves the door open for newcomer Rodriguez.

Unless: The HFPA finally makes up for lost time and brings Louis-Dreyfus onstage.

glenn.whipp@latimes.com

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