Who’ll be the big winners at Sunday’s Golden Globes? The short answer is this: several African-American actors, one Long Islander and just about everyone involved with the musical “La La Land.”
Of course, you never know with the Globes, which are handed out by the mercurial and mysterious Hollywood Foreign Press Association. If all goes as predicted, though, Sunday’s ceremony should be a crowd-pleaser. For starters, the films in contention include not just critical darlings but box office hits like Mel Gibson’s World War II drama, “Hacksaw Ridge,” and Marvel’s R-rated “Deadpool” — in other words, movies people actually saw. Unlike last year, when only two nonwhite actors were nominated, this year there are seven (and some look likely to win). Two hugely popular stars, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, both of “La La Land,” seem destined for acceptance speeches. And NBC’s cuddliest personality, Jimmy Fallon, will take over hosting duties from the prickly Ricky Gervais.
Throw in an expected win for the star of “Jackie,” Natalie Portman — a hometown hero from Syosset and a well-regarded actress overall — and you’ve got the makings of a feel-good night. Here are our predictions:
BEST MOTION PICTURE — DRAMA
“Hell or High Water”
“Manchester by the Sea”
SHOULD WIN “Moonlight.” Barry Jenkins’ acclaimed drama about a gay African-American growing up in Miami is a profound piece of work, beautifully acted and visually arresting.
WILL WIN “Moonlight.”
BEST ACTRESS — DRAMA
Amy Adams, “Arrival”
Jessica Chastain, “Miss Sloane”
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
SHOULD WIN Ruth Negga. As half of a persecuted interracial couple in 1960s Virginia, this little-known actress is the embodiment of stoic, Southern dignity. Turns out she’s from Ireland.
WILL WIN Natalie Portman. Her performance as Jacqueline Kennedy in the fragmented biopic “Jackie” earned near-unanimous acclaim. Portman should have an edge going into the Oscars.
BEST ACTOR — DRAMA
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Joel Edgerton, “Loving”
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”
SHOULD WIN Casey Affleck. Ben’s younger brother doesn’t seem to “act” so much as just “be.” As a lonely man forced to confront a painful past in “Manchester by the Sea,” he’s sublime.
WILL WIN Affleck, though keep an eye on Washington and Mortensen, highly praised actors who could pull an upset.
BEST MOTION PICTURE — MUSICAL OR COMEDY
“20th Century Women”
“Florence Foster Jenkins”
“La La Land”
SHOULD WIN “Florence Foster Jenkins.” This true-life screwball comedy about a tone-deaf opera singer was a bubbly, fizzy treat with just the right dash of poignancy.
WILL WIN “La La Land.” Since its premiere at the Venice Film Festival in August, this original musical has been widely touted as the year’s best movie. After this Globe, the best picture Oscar will surely follow.
BEST ACTRESS — 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”
SHOULD WIN Annette Bening. In “20th Century Women,” she’s pitch-perfect as an eccentric single mom in post-hippie California. Every word, eye-roll and twitch of her cigarette rings true.
WILL WIN Emma Stone. There’s no question she’s radiant as a wannabe actress in “La La Land.” She’ll score one of the movie’s many wins on Sunday.
BEST ACTOR — MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Colin Farrell, “The Lobster”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”
Hugh Grant, “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Jonah Hill, “War Dogs”
Ryan Reynolds, “Deadpool”
SHOULD WIN Hugh Grant. Decades into a career playing the adorable cad, Grant perfects the role in “Florence Foster Jenkins” as a doting yet philandering husband. He even steals the movie out from under Meryl Streep.
WILL WIN Ryan Gosling. Chalk up another win for “La La Land,” with Gosling taking home the Globe for his bittersweet performance as a love-struck jazz musician.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Viola Davis, “Fences”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”
SHOULD WIN Octavia Spencer. She’s a salty, sassy and crucial component in “Hidden Figures” as a self-taught computer programmer who contributes to NASA’s space-race efforts during the 1960s.
WILL WIN Viola Davis. As a long-suffering wife in the working-class drama “Fences,” Davis acts her heart out. It’s also a performance backed by a pedigree: The film’s source material comes from the esteemed playwright August Wilson.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Simon Helberg, “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, “Nocturnal Animals”
SHOULD WIN Mahershala Ali. In “Moonlight,” he takes an implausible role — a drug dealer with a good heart — and makes it utterly convincing.
WILL WIN Ali.
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Tom Ford, “Nocturnal Animals”
Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
SHOULD WIN Barry Jenkins. The vivid colors, evocative soundtrack and riveting performances of “Moonlight” all point to Jenkins as a new and exciting talent.
WILL WIN Damien Chazelle. Even non-fans of “La La Land” (there are a few) have to admit that the movie is visually spectacular and endlessly imaginative.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from “Trolls”
“City of Stars,” from “La La Land”
“Faith,” from “Sing”
“Gold,” from “Gold”
“How Far I’ll Go,” from “Moana”
SHOULD WIN “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” It embodies everything wrong with contemporary music — a pastiche of American funk and soul, IKEA-ized into particleboard by Swedish producers — but dang, it’s catchy!
WILL WIN “City of Stars.” This sorrowful ballad from “La La Land” will be part of the movie’s across-the-board sweep. If “La La Land” also takes home best score, it could be the night’s big winner with six Globes out of seven nominations.
Here’s where to watch on Sunday:
COUNTDOWN TO THE RED CARPET (4 p.m., E!)
1ST LOOK LIVE ON THE RED CARPET (6 p.m., WNBC/4) — Sara Gore hosts.
LIVE FROM THE RED CARPET (6 p.m., E!) — Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic interview arriving celebs.
GOLDEN GLOBES ARRIVAL SPECIAL (7 p.m., NBC/4) — Natalie Morales and Al Roker co-host.
74th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBES (8 p.m., NBC/4) — Jimmy Fallon hosts from the Beverly Hilton. (The ceremony will also stream live on nbc.com)
E! AFTER PARTY (11 p.m., E!)
1st LOOK: HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN NIGHT (12:30 a.m., NBC/4)