Awards predictions are dumb. Except when screamingly obvious, no one has a clue what will win, and such coverage is blatant clickbait. Not that mere opinion pieces are much more useful, but at least you get to talk about the quality of people’s work — and point to those who may be flying under the radar. Here’s who/what we hope will win the 2015 edition of the Golden Globes this Sunday, and who/what would win out of those not nominated.
Best Picture, Drama
Should win: “Selma.”
Not only is Hollywood’s first Martin Luther King Jr. film incredibly relevant, it’s actually good — a thrilling look at the gruntwork of activism, not a bland valentine to a great man.
Should have been nominated: “Under the Skin.” Major awards bodies would never award an art-film “Species,” which is a shame.
Best Actress, Drama
Should win: Julianne Moore, “Still Alice.”
Oh man, is this the saddest movie: one where Moore at her most personable suffers mental deterioration via early Alzheimer’s. Not that it’s just a stunt.
Should have been nominated:Scarlett Johansson, “Under the Skin.”
ScarJo was definitely on fire this year, but she was never more movie star-ish and fearless as she was a chillingly blank-faced alien seductress.
Best Actor, Drama
Should win: Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler.”
There’s a lot of strong competition here, but the onetime Donnie Darko impresses most for his chilling (and very, very funny) embodiment of a driven freelancer as sociopath.
Should have been nominated: John Lithgow, “Love is Strange.”
Atypically cast as recognizably human, the great ham and villain used very little to convey deep recesses of pain and longing as his character was separated from his husband (Alfred Molina).
Best Supporting Actress
Should win: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood.”
Even ignoring the dedication of sticking with a character for 12 years, this is a real, thoroughly realized portrayal of maternal and ultimately existential angst.
Who should win overall: Elisabeth Moss, “Listen Up Philip.”
As a woman jilted by her jerk of a boyfriend (Jason Schwartzman), the now former Peggy Olsen nimbly and sometimes hilariously navigated the straits of the post-break-up life.
Should win: Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
It can be easy to take the eccentric Anderson for granted, but this is work that, even more than usual, is both highly amusing and bottomlessly melancholy.
Should have been nominated: Jonathan Glazer, “Under the Skin.”
This is simply some of the most exciting and hypnotic and deeply unusual filmmaking out there. — Matt Prigge
Best Picture, Comedy or Musical
Should win: "Birdman"
I'm not entirely sold on whether it's a comedy or not, but it's definitely a feat and well worth celebrating.
Should've been nominated: "Frank"
It's sort of a musical and sort of a comedy and completely awesome. The lack of Michael Fassbender giant papier-mache head in more "best of 2014" lists is a crime against the arts and crafts community and cinephiles everywhere.
Best Actor, Comedy or Musical
Should win: Ralph Fiennes, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Sure, everyone's all about Michael Keaton in "Birdman" this year, but Fiennes' finicky, philandering concierge easily outshines him.
Should have been nominated: Jesse Eisenberg, "The Double"
Maybe it's not fair competition, since he technically plays two roles, but Eisenberg deserves some recognition for this gem — and for the realization that he's a lot more attractive as a jerk.
Best Actress, Comedy or Musical:
Should win: Emily Blunt, "Into the Woods"
In an overstuffed ensemble that includes Meryl Streep, Blunt more than holds her own. And it gives me a chance to mention her equally awesome work in "Edge of Tomorrow." You really should see "Edge of Tomorrow."
Should have been nominated: Jenny Slate, "Obvious Child"
Slate should have gotten some Globes love just for starring in an abortion comedy. Isn't that like catnip to the Hollywood Foreign Press? Whatever, she's wonderful in it.
Best Supporting Actor
Should win: Edward Norton, "Birdman"
Sure, we have a sneaking suspicion that Norton is really just playing himself as the cocksure, self-centered Broadway thespian terrorizing Michael Keaton, but that doesn't mean he isn't still fantastic.
Should have been nominated: Song Kang-Ho, "Snowpiercer"
Basically, there should be more nominations from "Snowpiercer" in general, but if I have to pick one for this category, it's Song's turn as a curmudgeonly junkie engineer. Pass the kronol!
Should win: Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Let's hear it for Wes Anderson reaching peak Wes Anderson-ness. Because the results are an absolute delight -- and should warm the hearts of the Eurocentric HFPA.
Should have been nominated: Dan Gilroy, "Nightcrawler"
What do we have to do to get people to acknowledge the greatness of "Nightcrawler"? Cut the brakes to HFPA chief Theo Kingma's car and film the results? Because I'm willing. — Ned Ehrbar
Best TV Series, Drama
Should win:The Good Wife
Procedurals are supposed to settle into patterns and not evolve too much as they age. Luckily, this is not a concept that this show is familiar with. Years into its run, it's still one of the best dramas on TV, and its characters continue to grow in organic, compelling ways.
Should have been nominated:The Americans
Yep, this is on the list twice for "should have beens." We're sorry (but not really), we're just still struggling with the Hollywood Foreign Press nominating "Downton Abbey" instead of it.
Best actress in a TV series, Drama
Should win: Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Look, if your show transforms Thursday night TV, we think you deserve some credit for it. Plus, we're pretty sure Viola Davis is never not fantastic.
Should have been nominated: Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Which role out of the near-dozen that she plays on the show is she best in? All of them. Awards shows need to get over their ingrained distaste of so-called "genre" shows.
Best actor in a TV series, Drama
Should win: Dominic West, The Affair
Did you know the Emmys and Golden Globes never recognized West for "The Wire"? Let's fix that. His performance in this Hamptons mystery/thriller/drama/romance is a good place to start.
Should have been nominated: Matthew Rhys, "The Americans"
If nothing else, Rhys' wig work is phenomenal. The show skipped past the whole concept of the sophomore slump, and Rhys (and similarly under-recognized co-star Keri Russell) was a big reason why.
Best TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Funny, tragic, unusual, honest — the list of accolades you can throw at this show could go on forever. And probably will, considering how confident the first season is.
Should have been nominated:You're the Worst
Another in the long line of shows that people should be watching but aren't, this FX comedy is the best rom com on television, and its terribly behaved leads are some of the best antiheroes on TV.
Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Should win: Gina Rodriguez
We'd love to see an upset in this category over the more established stars, much like "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" had last year. And Rodriguez, an unknown before this show, is making a pretty big splash.
Should have been nominated: Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
The show has been through some upheaval lately, as longtime stars left, and newcomers had trouble fitting in. But McKinnon is a reliably confident, perpetually offbeat performer, and often the best part of otherwise forgettable episodes.
Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Should win: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
This would be a first: a man winning for playing a woman. But Tambor, an always welcome presence, is doing some of the best work of his career as Maura Pfefferman on the Amazon original.
Should have been nominated: Andre Braugher, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
OK, technically, he's a supporting actor on the show, but the Globes doesn't do that award. Braugher is surrounded by a bunch of goofy improvisers, and is still regularly the funniest part of the show, despite his more serious dramatic background. — Lisa Weidenfeld