When awards strategists for “A Star Is Born” asked the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. to place the film in the group’s drama categories, it was widely seen as a bid to be viewed in a more prestigious light.
But maybe they just wanted to win.
This year, the real action at the Globes is over on the movie comedy side, where “The Favourite,” “Vice” and “Green Book” (and, who knows, maybe “Mary Poppins Returns”) will battle in a race that’s too close to call.
But call it I must. Here’s an early stab at predictions for key categories at the Jan. 6 ceremony, co-hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg.
MOTION PICTURE DRAMA
The nominees: “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “A Star Is Born”
And the winner is: “A Star Is Born.” The HFPA has long loved movies with a song in their heart, and Bradley Cooper’s remake of a remake of a remake (of a remake) ticks off all the boxes: star power, box office, strong reviews and a lot of great music.
Unless: More voters prefer “Radio Ga Ga” to Lady Gaga.
LEAD ACTRESS, MOTION PICTURE DRAMA
The nominees: Glenn Close, “The Wife”; Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”; Nicole Kidman, “Destroyer”; Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”; Rosamund Pike, “A Private War”
And the winner is: Lady Gaga, for all the reasons why “A Star Is Born” will win motion picture drama plus the off chance that she can squeeze past Leonardo DiCaprio again when she walks to the stage.
Unless: Much is made of the fact that Close has never won an Oscar, despite six nominations. But she has won two Globes, negating the “give the woman her due” narrative. No way Gaga loses.
LEAD ACTOR, MOTION PICTURE DRAMA
The nominees: Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”; Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”; Lucas Hedges, “Boy Erased”; Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”; John David Washington, “BlacKkKlansman”
And the winner is: Malek gets the slight edge over Cooper here for a showstopping performance that makes a bad movie almost watchable. (Almost.)
Unless: Cooper prevails as “A Star Is Born” runs the table, cementing its status as the Oscar front-runner.
MOTION PICTURE COMEDY/MUSICAL
The nominees: “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite,” “Green Book,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” “Vice”
And the winner is: “The Favourite.” This is the night’s toughest category to call. The HFPA loved “Green Book” enough to nominate its director, Peter Farrelly, over a number of deserving people, including “Favourite” filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos. And “Vice” earned more nominations than any other film. But “The Favourite’s” blend of wicked comedy and tragic drama feels tailored to HFPA voters’ sensibilities.
Unless: It’s “Green Book.” They nominated Farrelly! C’mon!
LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY/MUSICAL
The nominees: Emily Blunt, “Mary Poppins Returns”; Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”; Elsie Fisher, “Eighth Grade”; Charlize Theron, “Tully”; Constance Wu, “Crazy Rich Asians”
And the winner is: Colman has captured most of the critics groups’ prizes. But Blunt has captured … wait for it … people’s hearts. Plus she’s in a musical, and I’ve told you how the HFPA feels about that sort of thing.
Unless: Colman is deservedly crowned, riding the momentum of critics groups wins in Los Angeles and New York.
LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY/MUSICAL
The nominees: Christian Bale, “Vice”; Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Mary Poppins Returns”; Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”; Robert Redford, “The Old Man & the Gun”; John C. Reilly, “Stan & Ollie”
And the winner is: With a leading six nominations, “Vice” figures to win something, and Bale’s deep dive into Dick Cheney figures as the most natural spot.
Unless: Mahershali Ali seems a sure bet for supporting. Maybe Mortensen, a four-time nominee, hoists a trophy too.
TV DRAMA SERIES
The nominees: “The Americans,” “Bodyguard,” “Homecoming,” “Killing Eve,” “Pose”
And the winner is: The HFPA’s mercurial TV tendencies are the stuff of legend — or madness. Shows and performances win one year and are discarded the next. The rule of thumb: Go with the shiny new thing. (Sorry fans of “The Americans.”) So here, that’d be “Homecoming.”
Unless: “Killing Eve” could just as easily win too. A trophy would serve as a rejoinder to Emmy voters who failed to nominate the show for its addictive first season.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV DRAMA SERIES
The nominees: Caitriona Balfe, “Outlander”; Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”; Julia Roberts, “Homecoming”; Keri Russell, “The Americans”
And the winner is: Oh. Again, it’s between “Homecoming” (Roberts) and “Eve” (Oh). Look for the HFPA to once again beat the Emmys and reward the co-host of this year’s show.
Unless: Roberts wins her fourth Globe (and first since "Erin Brockovich”). They love her!
LEAD ACTOR IN A TV DRAMA SERIES
The nominees: Jason Bateman, “Ozark”; Stephan James, “Homecoming”; Richard Madden, “The Bodyguard”; Billy Porter, “Pose”; Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”
And the winner is: Score another one for “Homecoming” for James’ breakout turn as a veteran wrestling with survivor’s guilt.
Unless: I could also see Tony-winner Porter adding another letter to his EGOT résumé for his portrayal of Pray Tell, the charismatic ball emcee on “Pose.” As the season progressed, the character’s story took a devastating turn, and Porter dove into the pain.
TV COMEDY SERIES
The nominees: “Barry,” “The Good Place,” “Kidding,” “The Kominsky Method,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
And the winner is: “Maisel” won last year. The last time a show repeated in this category? “Glee” in 2010. (Musicals!) Let’s go with Chuck Lorre’s winning, personal comedy “The Kominsky Method.”
Unless: You’d think Bill Hader’s brilliant “Barry,” but that’s so early 2018. Maybe “Kidding”? Carrey earned great reviews playing the Mister Rogers-like educational TV host.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV COMEDY
The nominees: Kristen Bell, “The Good Place”; Candice Bergen, “Murphy Brown”; Alison Brie, “GLOW”; Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”; Debra Messing, “Will & Grace”
And the winner is: Brosnahan. Tina Fey was the last actress to win back-to-back honors in this category. Is Mrs. Maisel as grand as Liz Lemon in the eyes of the HFPA? We’ll soon find out.
Unless: First-time nominee Bell busts through for the wise and winning “The Good Place.”
LEAD ACTOR IN A TV COMEDY
The nominees: Sasha Baron Cohen, “Who Is America?”; Jim Carrey, “Kidding”; Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”; Donald Glover, “Atlanta”; Bill Hader, “Barry”
And the winner is: Douglas. Five years after his last Globe win (playing Liberace in “Behind the Candelabra”) and 15 years after being honored with the group’s Cecil B. DeMille award, Douglas will return to the winner’s circle again for his expert work in “Kominsky.”