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Rotten Tomatoes Predicts the 2021 Golden Globe Winners!

Check out our predictions for who will win – and who should win – in all the major categories at this Sunday's awards.

by and | February 23, 2021 | Comments

Judas and the Black Messiah

(Photo by Glen Wilson /© Warner Bros. )

The Golden Globes will be handed out on Sunday, with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association honoring 2020’s best film and TV — according to them, anyway. And, whew, it’s gonna be quite the evening – and not just for the glitz, glam, and speeches.

The pandemic, with its shuffled release dates and changes to eligibility for various awards ceremonies, already made this year a different beast for the HFPA’s night of nights, but a slew of controversies have also colored the 2021 Globes. First came criticism after the organization decided that Minari, the American film with mostly Korean dialogue, would compete in the “foreign” category; then came the noticeable snubbing of multiple projects featuring Black creatives and casts on nominations morning. And then, just a week out from the ceremony, the L.A. Times dropped a bombshell investigation into the makeup (zero Black journalists are members) and ethics of the 87-member group. You can read the full piece here.

Recommended: The Full List of Nominations for the 2021 Golden Globes
Recommended: Vote for the Winners In Our Online 2021 Golden Globes Ballot

Yet the show will and must go on, in virtual form this year, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting from opposite sides of the country (and no doubt re-writing their material to address recent controversies even as we speak). And while some in the industry will snigger at and maybe even avoid the ceremony, it’s hard to deny its significance as on one of the biggest dates on the awards season calendar, both in (potentially) reshaping the Oscars race and giving TV networks and streamers some new marketing juice, and in its standing as one of the most widely-viewed awards ceremonies of the year.

If you’re going to be viewing the Golden Globes, and perhaps wanna beat your buddies on a ballot, we’ve got you covered with our choices for who’s likely to win on the big night (and those who we feel truly deserve to win). Our experts – Jacqueline Coley for film and Debbie Day for TV and streaming – take into consideration everything from industry buzz and the tastes and historical leanings of the HFPA, to our Tomatometer and Audience Scores, to read the tea leaves and place their bets. How right will they be? Bookmark this page for Sunday night and find out.

Check out our picks for the Golden Globes winners, and let us know who you think will be a win in the comments.

Film | Television


FILM


Best Motion Picture – Drama

Frances McDormand in Nomadland

(Photo by © Searchlight Pictures)

What will win?

What should win?
In a battle between Nomadland and The Trial of the Chicago 7, it’s a bit of a toss-up on who deserves it. However, the wanderlust drama starring Frances McDormand is one of the few studio films in competition this season, which we think is enough to tip the scales in its favor just for the sake of balance. Both worthy selections, but it’s hard to argue with Nomadland’s more than 100 wins this awards season thus far.


Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

What will win?

What should win?

Hamilton. The HFPA did some – let’s call them interesting – calculations to justify including Hamilton here rather than with the other made-for-TV films and limited series (a ridiculously competitive category). We’d have to think they performed such leaps of logic for a reason. Plus, if Hamilton wins, we might get another incredible acceptance speech from Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda – always a good time and even better television. Oh, and yes: Hamilton is very, very worthy.


Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

(Photo by David Lee/Netflix)

Who will win?

Viola Davis

Who should win?

Viola Davis. This is a bit of a wild card category, as none of the nominees have really run away with things so far this awards season. We could make a compelling argument that all have a right to win. All have snagged several prizes this season, but we are betting on Davis’ transformative turn as the larger-than-life Mother of the Blues, Ma Rainey, deservedly winning out. The notoriously finicky HFPA apparently raved about the film – particularly Davis’s performance.


Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

(Photo by David Lee/Netflix)

Who will win? 

Chadwick Boseman

Who should win?

Even without the tragedy of his death, Chadwick Boseman was winning – as he should.


Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy 

I Care A Lot

(Photo by Seacia Pavao / Netflix)

Who will win?

Rosamund Pike

Who should win?

Bucking the general thinking here, we have gone with an upset. With a small voting body, the Globes are highly unpredictable – so when Pike cut a nomination, we suspected it was due to how much the HPFA enjoyed the film and her darkly hilarious performance as a scheming care assistant. If you want to win your ballot, you have to give room for at least one surprise and we think this is where to do it. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm‘s Maria Bakalova is the odds-on safe bet, but bumping her to lead instead of supporting is a quizzical choice and hard to put up against Pike, who carried an entire movie under that fierce bob. Besides, where’s the fun in playing it safe?


Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy 

Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm

(Photo by © Amazon)

Who will win?

Sacha Baron Cohen

Who should win?

The HFPA really likes Sacha Baron Cohen. He is nominated three times this year and four times previously – it really comes down to where the group wants to honor him? Immersing himself in character for hours – with the burden of that thick and hilarious accent – to pull of Internet-shaking ruses… it’s hard to argue he’s not deserving.


Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture

Amanda Seyfried in Mank

(Photo by Netflix)

Who will win?

Amanda Seyfried

Who should win?

This is a complicated choice. Maria Bakalova should win here – she does give a supporting performance – but she’s in the Lead category so… As the David Fincher black-and-white drama has little hope of winning in the other categories, this is the best place for the Globes voters to show the tale of Citizen Kane‘s prickly screenwriter some love. And Seyfried is very, very good in the film.


Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture

Who will win?

Daniel Kaluuya

Who should win?

Better late than never. Coming on late in the season, Daniel Kaluuya turn as Chairman Fred Hampton of the Chicago Black Panther Party has quickly emerged as a late-season frontrunner in this category. Leslie Odom Jr. – who has snapped up many of the prizes thus far for playing Sam Cooke in One Night In Miami – would also be a logical choice, but after snagging his second GGs nomination in just four years, we’re giving it to the Get Out star who more than deserves to take home the prize.


Best Director – Motion Picture

Nomadland

(Photo by Joshua Richards, 20th Century )

Who will win?

Chloé Zhao

Who should win?

In case you haven’t been keeping score, Zhao, the director of Marvel’s upcoming Eternals, has swept the major directing prizes this season. It would beyond shocking if she came up short here, and we don’t think she should or will… but the one name that could unseat her would be Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7.


Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Aaron Sorkin on the set of The Trial of the Chicago 7

(Photo by Netflix)

Who will win?

Aaron Sorkin

Who should win?

In a category with more than a few glaring omissions, the film that should win is arguably not even among the nominees. Soul, One Night in Miami, Never Rarely Sometimes Always would all be welcome and worthy additions to this group, with all of them being heavily favored nominees for the Oscars ceremony in April.


Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

What will win?

What should win?

Minari. We love Another Round, and it would be a worthy winner, but this is yet another category where the HFPA might look to do a bit of damage control. Selecting Minari as the winner could go a long way to lowering the temperature on the controversy surrounding their “Foreign Language” classification of the film. Need a quick brush up on that controversy? The dialogue for Minari is spoken in mostly Korean, with only 30% in English, a ratio which relegated this 98% Certified Fresh American immigrant story to a foreign category. That raised some questions about a double standard: Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, which featured similar language ratios, was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama in 2010.


Best Motion Picture – Animated

Soul

(Photo by Pixar)

What will win?

What should win?

Apple’s Wolfwalkers has a real chance to upset Pixar’s long-running dominance of this category, but with Soul‘s additional nomination for Best Score, we’re thinking the HFPA favors Pete Docter and Kemp Powers’ jazz-filled tale.


Best Original Score – Motion Picture

What will win?

What should win?

Soul. With two nominations this year (Mank, Soul), it would be strange for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross not to take home the prize for Best Score. As it is assumed they are taking home a statue no matter what, Soul – a win for which would also honor Stephen Colbert’s bandleader Jon Batiste, who did the incredible jazz orchestrations – is the preferable option.


Best Original Song – Motion Picture

One Night in Miami cast

(Photo by Amazon Studios)

Who will win?

“Speak Now” – Leslie Odom Jr. and Sam Ashworth

Who should win?

Leslie Odom Jr. was our out-of-the-gate front-runner for Best Supporting Actor in every major contest earlier this year – but all that changed when Daniel Kaluuya recently joined the race with rave reviews, replacing the Hamilton alum as frontrunner there. Still, having Odom Jr. on stage to accept an award would be a great TV moment to tune in for, something every awards show is cognizant of this year, and this could be the category that gets him there.


TELEVISION

Best Television Series – Drama

Who will win?

Who should win?

The Crown’s fourth season was spectacular in the same way that the unraveling of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage was a spectacle. The series will and should win for its portrayal of that drama, as well as the one unfolding at 10 Downing Street.


Best Actress – Television Drama

Queen Elizabeth II (OLIVIA COLMAN) in The Crown season 4

(Photo by Des Willie/Netflix)

Who will win?

Olivia Colman

Who should win?

Emma Corrin was compelling in her role as Princess Diana in The Crown season 4 and Colman is certainly deserving, but Laura Linney should top this list for her strong, multi-layered performance in an emotional season 3 of Ozark. Colman should be recognized at least once this year; she’s also nominated for a Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.


Best Actor – Television Drama

The Crown S4 - Prince Charles (JOSH O CONNOR)

(Photo by Des Willie/Netflix)

Who will win?

Josh O’Connor

Who should win?

O’Connor’s portrayal of Prince Charles was certainly riveting, but Bob Odenkirk was sublime in Better Call Saul season 5, which is Certified Fresh at 99% on the Tomatometer. Take episode 8 (“Bagman”), which follows Jimmy on an ill-fated roadtrip to Mexico that devolves into an overnight hike through the desert with Mike (Jonathan Banks). The Emmy-nominated episode and the storyline’s continuation in the also Emmy-nominated episode 9 (“Bad Choice Road”) served as a showcase for Banks as much as for Odenkirk, who inhabits the skin of Jimmy/Saul down to the last sun-crisped cell.


Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Schitt's Creek

(Photo by ©CBC / courtesy Everett Collection)

Who will win?

Who should win?

The big question in the comedy categories is if the HFPA will follow the Emmys in honoring Schitt’s Creek and the Pop series’ actors. We’re betting they’ll split their support to spread the love around in that HFPA way, but Schitt’s Creek will get the big honor – as it should.


Best Actress – Television Musical or Comedy

Catherine O'Hara in Schitt's Creek, s6

(Photo by Pop)

Who will win?

Catherine O’Hara

Who should win?

With the revelations on the HFPA’s relationship with Emily In Paris hitting before voting concludes, we’re expecting the membership to exercise more restraint in the final round of voting, ensuring that neither the series nor its star Lily Collins will receive awards. The situation makes it one less person competing against O’Hara, who will and should win for her portrayal of unhinged Rose family matriarch, Moira.


Best Actor – Television Musical or Comedy

Nicholas Hoult in The Great

(Photo by Ollie Upton/Hulu)

Who will win?

Nicholas Hoult

Who should win?

As part of the Emmys’ “Schitt’s Sweep,” Eugene Levy received the top comedy actor prize – and he should probably win here too – but the HFPA is a different organization. Ramy Youssef took the prize last year, but we expect the HFPA membership to woo Hoult with a prize for his performance in The Great. Huzzah!


Best Miniseries or Television Film  

Who will win?

Who should win?

With its collection of auteur films – that auteur being Steve McQueen of 12 Years a Slave fame – Small Axe feels somewhat out of place competing against the likes of The Queen’s Gambit, Unorthodox, Normal People, and The Undoing. It’s here, though, and matches The Queen’s Gambit’s 97% Tomatometer score. We think Netflix is going to win this particular streaming war for the phenomenon that was The Queen’s Gambit; though the Amazon Prime Video title may deserve it for its heartfelt storytelling experience.


Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film

Who will win?

Anya Taylor-Joy

Who should win?

Despite facing off against big names Cate Blanchett (Mrs. America) and Nicole Kidman (The Undoing), and powerful performances from relative newcomers Shira Haas (Unorthodox) and Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People), Taylor-Joy reigns supreme in this category for her performance as chess prodigy Beth Harmon; she will and she should win — that is, unless HFPA members get star struck by either Blanchett or Kidman.


Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film 

Mark Ruffalo in I Know This Much Is True

(Photo by HBO)

Who will win?

Mark Ruffalo

Who should win?

We’ve said it again and again, Ruffalo took on two very different and equally challenging roles in I Know This Much Is True and deserves to prevail (as he did at the Emmys) for doing twice the work even if the overall series wasn’t a critics’ favorite.


Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film

The Crown S4 - Margaret Thatcher (GILLIAN ANDERSON)

(Photo by Des Willie/Netflix)

Who will win?

Gillian Anderson

Who should win?

After two back-to-back Emmy wins, the HFPA was finally convinced to nominate Ozark’s Julia Garner, who is indeed deserving for her role as Ruth Langmore, but this year she has the misfortune of competing against Anderson’s remarkable transformation into The Crown’s Margaret Thatcher. Emmy winner Annie Murphy, of Schitt’s Creek, has a hard road against those two powerful dramatic performances.


Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film

Small Axe

(Photo by Amazon Studios)

Who will win?

John Boyega

Who should win?

It’s an awards season high crime that Better Call Saul isn’t represented (in Jonathan Banks or Giancarlo Esposito) and that Ozark’s Tom Pelphrey was also overlooked, despite his extraordinary performance as Wendy Byrde’s bipolar brother, Ben. The supporting categories too broadly encompass both drama and comedy, leaving Boyega — who shines in a lead role as Leroy Logan in “episode” Red, White and Blues true story — to face off against Dan Levy for Schitt’s Creek, which is just absurd. We expect Boyega to take the award, though Levy should win for comedy.

Film | Television


The 2021 Golden Globe Awards, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, will air live on NBC on Sunday, February 28, 2021, at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST. 

Thumbnail image: PHIL BRAY/NETFLIX © 2020, Glen Wilson /© Warner Bros., Seacia Pavao / Netflix

Are you as obsessed with awards as we are? Check out our Awards Leaderboard for 2020/21.


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