Average Joe Predicts the 2017 Golden Globe Awards

In Brief: I hate predicting awards shows but duty calls and here’s my shot.

Jimmy Fallon hosts the Golden Globe telecast on Sunday on NBC. While Fallon is a funny guy and very popular, like Ricky Gervais last year, it’s going to take a Herculean effort to top the humor and fun generated a couple of years ago by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Fallon also faces other challenges. First, this is one of the dullest line-ups of movies in years. The year that was 2016 produced a few winners and quite a few losers but overall most movies sat in the nowhere category of blah.

Second, does anyone really care? The American public has grown weary of non-relatable movie awards telecasts. They flock to see top-grossing films like:

Captain America: Civil War
The Jungle Book
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Suicide Squad
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Jason Bourne
Central Intelligence
The Legend of Tarzan
Bad Moms
The Magnificent Seven

They have no clue about — and in some cases have never even heard of — pictures like Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, 20th Century Women, Florence Foster Jenkins, Sing Street, Loving or Elle.

These days the Golden Globes — like the Oscars — is more for the industry than the public. In the past people related to the two telecasts. Today they do not and relate better to the People’s Choice Awards and MTV’s movie awards show.

At least they focus on films the masses have seen. This seems to be lost of the Hollywood Foreign Press and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, both of whom keep wondering why fewer people are watching their telecasts.

Best Motion Picture — Drama

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Manchester by the Sea

I have three favorites. Hell or High Water is a great film that reminded me of No Country for Old Men and some early Coen Brothers offerings. The film’s story, pacing and acting can’t be beat. Hacksaw Ridge is the best, and most intense war film since Saving Private Ryan. Manchester By the Sea is deep, rich, brilliantly written, acted and edited character study.

The real battle here is between Manchester and Moonlight whose main character is a young black kid in a day-to-day battle over his sexuality. This is a toss-up and the Hollywood Foreign Press — and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, too — tend to love films with gay themes.

Moonlight does have momentum but the tide is going out and Manchester by the Sea takes the statue.

Average Joe Movie’s pick: Manchester by the Sea
Golden Globes pick: Manchester by the Sea

Best Motion Picture — Musical, or Comedy

20th Century Women
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land
Sing Street

I didn’t see 20th Century Women so it’s hard to make a completely educated pick. The other four films in this category are all terrific. I tabbed Deadpool as my favorite of the year as did many other critics and — as you’ll note below — would pick it as the winner in this category.

Average Joe Movie’s pick: Deadpool
Golden Globes pick: La La Land

Best Performance By an Actress — Motion Picture, Drama

Amy Adams — Arrival
Jessica Chastain — Miss Sloane
Isabelle Huppert — Elle
Ruth Negga — Loving
Natalie Portman — Jackie

Hard category to pick and all but Adams deserve the award. Loved the relatively unknown to American audiences Huppert in Elle and Negga in Loving. They’re wonderful but Portman managed to not just play former First Lady Jackie Kennedy, she became her.

Average Joe Movie’s pick: Portman
Golden Globes pick: Portman

Best Performance By an Actress — Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

Annette Bening — 20th Century Women
Lily Collins — Rules Don’t Apply
Hailee Steinfeld — The Edge of Seventeen
Emma Stone — La La Land
Meryl Streep — Florence Foster Jenkins

Bening is always very good. Streep? Again? Of course. And she’s pitch perfect as always. For me the real treasure is Steinfeld who bing-bongs through her movie at near manic speed throwing out some of the funniest lines of the year.

But Steinfeld had Woody Harrelson as her straight man and he’s just as funny. And why the hell didn’t someone notice him for a supporting actor nod. In a career full of great performances, this one is terrific.

Doesn’t matter, the multi-dimensional, impossible not to love Stone is superb and can’t miss.

Average Joe Movie’s pick: Steinfeld
Golden Globes pick: Stone

Best Performance by an Actor — Motion Picture, Drama

Casey Affleck — Manchester by the Sea
Joel Edgerton — Loving
Andrew Garfield — Hacksaw Ridge
Viggo Mortensen — Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington — Fences

Affleck will take home the award. He’s good but the two performances that really deserve it are those of Washington and Edgerton. The former is as good as he’s ever been. The little known Edgerton plays a simple man cast onto a grand stage. His inward, pained performance is incredible.

Average Joe Movie’s pick: Joel Edgerton
Golden Globes pick: Casey Affleck

Best Performance by an Actor — Motion Picture, Musical, or Comedy

Colin Farrell — The Lobster
Ryan Gosling — La La Land
Hugh Grant — Florence Foster Jenkins
Jonah Hill — War Dogs
Ryan Reynolds — Deadpool

I loved Grant’s manic balancing act in Florence Foster Jenkins. This is really good work and probably my favorite work of the category. Farrell’s desperation in The Lobster is also very, very good.

No one else, including Gosling who’ll win it, deserves to be here.

Average Joe Movie’s pick: Grant
Golden Globes pick: Gosling

Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role

Mahershala Ali — Moonlight
Jeff Bridges — Hell or High Water
Simon Helberg — Florence Foster Jenkins
Dev Patel — Lion
Aaron Taylor-Johnson — Nocturnal Animals

Give this one to Ali who is very good and actually not in Moonlight enough. He’s the best part of the film. Helberg’s deer-caught-in-headlights performance is the best. I’d also swap Woody Harrelson for Bridges who plays a caricature of himself in Hell or High Water. Make that swap and Harrelson wins it.

And what’s with Dev Patel as a supporting actor? His role in the so-so Lion is a lead part.

Average Joe Movie’s pick: Helberg
Golden Globes pick: Ali

Best Performance by Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Viola Davis — Fences
Naomie Harris — Moonlight
Nicole Kidman — Lion
Octavia Spencer — Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams — Manchester by the Sea

No need to discuss anyone else but Davis. This is the weakest category in a year full of weak offerings. I did love Spencer’s work in Hidden Figures but nothing tops Davis. Period. It’s the best acting by anyone in any category in 2016.

Average Joe Movie’s pick: Davis
Golden Globes pick: Davis

Best Director

Damien Chazelle — La La Land
Tom Ford — Nocturnal Animals
Mel Gibson — Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins — Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan — Manchester by the Sea

Chazelle takes it home and deserves it. His film — especially the creative and impossible to figure out how he did it opening sequence — proves that all that glitters can turn to gold.

The other film that rocked my world is Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge. This is an incredible piece of storytelling and filmmaking.

Best Screenplay

Damien Chazelle — La La Land
Tom Ford — Nocturnal Animals
Barry Jenkins — Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan — Manchester by the Sea
Taylor Sheridan — Hell or High Water

Great movies start with great writing. These five films are among the best written of the year.  The question now? Do the voters of the Hollywood Foreign Press go with the best writing or the most glitz? Hands down, Lonergan’s screenplay is the year’s best and Ford’s Nocturnal Animals isn’t bad either. You can make the same case for Jenkins and Sheridan.

That leaves Chazelle as the odd man out. Oddly, he’s very much in the running to win it but I’m hoping cooler heads prevail.

Average Joe Movie’s pick: Manchester by the Sea
Golden Globe pick: Manchester by the Sea

I didn’t see all of the animated films this year so I won’t make a guess.

Gary Wolcott has been a movie consultant for KXL since 2014. A lifelong fan of film, he’s been a film critic in radio, television and newspaper for 25-years. Wolcott catches a couple of hundred movies a year and he sees a great many of them so you don’t have to.

Got a movie suggestion or comment? Email him!



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