BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo – Birdman
Graham Moore – The Imitation Game
Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl
This is by far the most fascinating category of the evening, simply because it could be just about any of these nominees that end up winning. In fact, the only one I’m comfortable with eliminating is The Imitation Game, which has merely taken one screenplay award thus far (from the Central Ohio Film Critics). Boyhood is not a likely winner here (it’s won two screenplay awards, one of which was a tie), but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen, especially if the film ends up being the favorite of the evening.
The battle here seems to be between Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Gone Girl, all of which have won multiple accolades throughout awards season. For the purposes of elimination though, I feel the need to point out that Gone Girl has not won a single award when the category has simply been “Best Screenplay” (i.e. original and adapted combined). However, Birdman and Budapest have both won several awards for Best Original Screenplay and overall Best Screenplay, making it a very tough category to call. When it comes right down to it, I lean towards Birdman for several reasons:
1. The film has the most nominations with seven, meaning the HFPA obviously really like it.
2. The film itself has been favored more elsewhere than Budapest.
3. The screenplay itself (and this may be injecting too much of my personal feelings into this, but so be it) is better written and far more intriguing than Budapest, which, while a decent film, is one of Anderson’s weaker efforts, so it would be rather surprising if this was the one he started winning major awards for.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Meryl Streep – Into The Woods
Emma Stone – Birdman
Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
Here we have another category that seems pretty locked up. Patricia Arquette has been highly-favored from the start, meaning that we’ll probably be seeing her win yet another award for her performance in Boyhood. Personally, I’d favor Emma Stone or Keira Knightley over her, but given that the odds are heavily in Arquette’s favor, it would be silly to bet against her.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
J.K Simmons – Whiplash
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
Returning to the theme of being nearly unstoppable, J.K. Simmons has dominated the Best Supporting Actor category ever since awards season kicked off a little more than a month ago. His brilliant performance in Whiplash has earned him accolade after accolade, making him a favorite for not only the SAG award, but for the Oscar as well. The Golden Globes will merely be another stop on his path to victory.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY/MUSICAL
Amy Adams – Big Eyes
Emily Blunt – Into the Woods
Helen Mirren – 100 Foot Journey
Julianne Moore – Maps to the Stars
Quvenzhane Wallis – Annie
This is another interesting category because we haven’t seen most of these nominees competing throughout awards season. I’d say it would be Julianne Moore for her incredible performance in the bizarre Maps to the Stars, but given that we’ll be seeing her name pop up again later on, I don’t think it’s likely that she’ll win here, nor do I think Wallis has a chance in hell of winning for the critically-abhorred Annie. Of the three nominees that remain, I believe that Emily Blunt has the best chance of winning for her outstanding performance as the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods. It’s perhaps the meatiest part in the musical and she absolutely knocks it out of the park, making it a pretty clear choice for the HFPA.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY/MUSICAL
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Bill Murray – St. Vincent
Christoph Waltz – Big Eyes
Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
With Birdman deemed a comedy by the HFPA, we find Michael Keaton moved over into this category, where he pretty much has no competition to stop him. Fiennes was outstanding in Budapest, but it’s been Keaton who has dominated the vast majority of Best Actor categories for his brilliant portrayal of a washed-up actor looking to become relevant again in Birdman, making this pretty much open and shut.