The Envelope: Who will Golden Globes voters go for this year? Not necessarily the biggest stars

Shoot, Caitriona Balfe could snare a Golden Globes nod for her work in “Outlander.” Her popular time-travel romantic fantasy is also gaining momentum in the drama series category.

Shoot, Caitriona Balfe could snare a Golden Globes nod for her work in “Outlander.” Her popular time-travel romantic fantasy is also gaining momentum in the drama series category.

(Neil Davidson / Starz)

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?

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An early look at the favorites for this year’s nominations, to be announced Dec. 10:




“The Revenant”

“Bridge of Spies”


“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.


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.


Cate Blanchett, “Carol”

Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”

Brie Larson, “Room”

Carey Mulligan, “Suffragette”

Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”

Bubbling under: Emily Blunt, “Sicario”; Charlize Theron, “Mad Max: Fury Road”; Angelina Jolie, “By the Sea”

Analysis: In the past, Jolie would be a sure thing here, both for her star power and the European art film ambitions of her movie. But with “By the Sea” on the margins, both commercially and critically, we think voters will reward another A(ish)-lister like Theron or Blunt or go with Rampling for her turn as the devastated wife in the upcoming marital drama “45 Years.”



“The Martian”


“The Big Short”


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.”


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.


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.”


“Game of Thrones”


“House of Cards”

“Downton Abbey”


Bubbling under: “The Man in the High Castle,” “Better Call Saul,” “Narcos,” “Mad Men,” “Blood Line,” “The Good Wife,” “Mr. Robot,” “The Affair”

Analysis: HFPA voters like to beat the Emmys to the punch by rewarding first-year shows. There’s no shortage of choices this year, but we suspect they might circle back to “Outlander,” the popular time-travel romantic fantasy series that gained momentum during the second half of its initial season.


Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”

Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”

Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”

Terrence Howard, “Empire”

Sam Heughan, “Outlander”

Bubbling under: Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”; Clive Owen, “The Knick”; Dominic West, “The Affair”; James Spader, “The Blacklist”; Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”; Kyle Chandler, “Bloodline”

Analysis: Will Hamm be given a proper send-off? He’s no sure thing in a crowded category that could feature a number of first-timers like Heughan and Howard.


Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”

Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”

Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”

Caitriona Balfe, “Outlander”

Bubbling under: Claire Danes, “Homeland”; Ruth Wilson, “The Affair”; Priyanka Chopra, “Quantico”; Melissa Benoist, “Supergirl”

Analysis: Wilson won last time, but might find herself pushed out in favor of Henson and Balfe. And while “The Good Wife” has seen better days, we’ll never bet against Margulies until the show actually leaves the air.



“Orange Is the New Black”


“Silicon Valley”

“The Last Man on Earth”

Bubbling under: “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Jane the Virgin,” “Blunt Talk,” “Master of None,” “Modern Family,” “Scream Queens,” “The Grinder,” “Girls,” “Louis”

Analysis: Did “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci forget to wash his hands one year before posing for the obligatory pictures with each and every one of the HFPA’s 82 voting members? Asking because somehow, some way, “Veep,” one of television’s most celebrated comedies, has never been nominated in this category.


Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth”

Patrick Stewart, “Blunt Talk”

Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”

Rob Lowe, “The Grinder”

Bubbling under: Louis C.K., “Louie”; Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”; William H. Macy, “Shameless”; Dwayne Johnson, “Ballers”; Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”; Thomas Middleditch, “Silicon Valley”

Analysis: Look for lots of turnover here with four newcomers — Forte, Stewart, Ansari and Lowe — joining the last winner, Tambor.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”

Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”

Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”

Bubbling under: Constance Wu, “Fresh Off the Boat”; Jamie Lee Curtis, “Scream Queens”; Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”; Taylor Schilling, “Orange Is the New Black”; Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”

Analysis: It’s possible that voters might want to bring Poehler and Falco back for one final salute, but we suspect the pair of “Grace and Frankie” legends will prove more alluring.

Follow me on Twitter @GlennWhipp


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