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Call­ing all film fans! There’s a crack­ing line-up for this year’s Golden Globes. Here are my per­sonal picks for the most hotly con­tested cat­e­gories, as well as a more re­al­is­tic tip.


Nom­i­nees: Hack­saw Ridge, Hell or High Wa­ter, Lion, Manch­ester by the Sea, Moon­light What I want to win: Lion This is the in­cred­i­ble true story of a five-year-old In­dian boy, Sa­roo, who in­no­cently gets on a train that takes him thou­sands of miles across the coun­try, in the op­po­site di­rec­tion to his home. He strug­gles on his own for some time be­fore he is adopted by an ador­ing Aus­tralian cou­ple and raised in Aus­tralia. As a grown man, equipped with shat­tered mem­o­ries of his fam­ily and Google Maps, he sets out to find home again. This film fol­lows a sim­i­lar for­mula to the cin­e­matic ge­nius that was Slum­dog Mil­lion­aire. It show­cases the harsh­ness of In­dia, past and present; it fea­tures an am­bi­tious, charis­matic though slightly naive main char­ac­ter and this char­ac­ter uses un­con­ven­tional means to achieve his goals. Like Slum­dog, it’s orig­i­nal, stir­ring and cap­ti­vat­ing both the­mat­i­cally and vis­ually and de­serves recog­ni­tion. Plus, you’ve got to see Ni­cole Kid­man with a mum ’do. What I think will win: Manch­ester by the Sea


Nom­i­nees: 20th Century Women, Dead­pool, Florence Foster Jenk­ins, La La Land, Sing Street What I want to win: La La Land Thank you cinema over­lords: Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are to­gether again! Mia (Stone) is an as­pir­ing ac­tor and Se­bas­tian (Gosling), a jazz mu­si­cian in mod­ern day LA, wait­ing for their big break and strug­gling hard in the mean­time. It’s pos­si­bly the most cliched sto­ry­line to come out of Hol­ly­wood – ever – but La La Land is def­i­nitely no cliche. It tack­les LA cliches and the “Ugh, a mu­si­cal,” stigma and pro­duces a piece of work au­di­ences are sur­prised they like, or love. For this, some crit­ics thank writer and di­rec­tor Damien Chazelle’s re­al­ist at­ti­tude to­wards mu­si­cals, jazz and LA. At one point Stone tells Gosling she doesn’t like jazz and it’s a sigh of re­lief to mod­ern au­di­ences; at least we don’t have to sit and pre­tend we care about jazz, we can just en­joy the movie. What I think will win: La La Land


Nom­i­nees: Casey Af­fleck, Manch­ester by the Sea; Joel Edger­ton, Lov­ing; An­drew Garfield, Hack­saw Ridge; Viggo Mortensen, Cap­tain Fan­tas­tic; Den­zel Washington, Fences Who I want to win: Casey Af­fleck Manch­ester by the Sea tack­les a cin­e­matic for­mula we’ve all seen be­fore: a child is thrust into the care of a childish adult against their will ( Big Daddy, About a Boy, Game Plan). Where it rises above the av­er­age is its abil­ity to ex­e­cute a fa­mil­iar plot and make it feel ut­terly orig­i­nal. Casey Af­fleck is a huge rea­son why Manch­ester by the Sea feels, maybe not shiny – it’s not a shiny kind of film – but def­i­nitely new. He por­trays an emo­tional numb­ness, which makes for some dark, awk­wardly funny ex­changes and cu­ri­ous an­tic­i­pa­tion for au­di­ences who ache to know what made him that way. Who I think will win: Casey Af­fleck


Nom­i­nees: Amy Adams, Ar­rival; Jes­sica Chas­tain, Miss Sloane; Is­abelle Hup­pert, Elle; Ruth Negga, Lov­ing; Natalie Port­man, Jackie Who I want to win: Jes­sica Chas­tain Jes­sica Chas­tain is amaz­ing and should win this cat­e­gory for just be­ing her, but there are other rea­sons. Miss Sloane is a po­lit­i­cal power­bro­ker in Washington DC – and she’s the best. She’s ruth­less, cun­ning and does what­ever it takes to win. That char­ac­ter must be so much fun to play and Chas­tain re­ally looks like she’s en­joy­ing her­self. Films that are US-cen­tric can some­times lose their appeal in Aus­tralia (think Money­ball, The Big Short, pres­i­den­tial films), be­cause we’re ei­ther not as fa­mil­iar with the sub­ject mat­ter or sim­ply not in­ter­ested. Chas­tain keeps the au­di­ence’s at­ten­tion in a tricky cat­e­gory (what even is po­lit­i­cal power­broking?) where a less charis­matic ac­tor might fail. Who I think will win: Natalie Port­man


Nom­i­nees: Colin Far­rell, The Lob­ster; Ryan Gosling, La La Land; Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenk­ins; Jonah Hill, War Dogs; Ryan Reynolds, Dead­pool Who I want to win: Ryan Gosling Method act­ing or role im­mer­sion isn’t un­usual for ac­tors in this league, but Gosling learnt pi­ano and tap­danc­ing so he wouldn’t need a hand or body dou­ble – that’s ded­i­ca­tion. Ei­ther that or he had it on his re­sume, got picked for the role and pan­icked Joey Trib­biani style (we’ve all done it). In all se­ri­ous­ness, while it would have been so easy for Gosling to coast through life as a dreamy rom-com reg­u­lar, he went all out for this one and it shows. Who I think will win: Ryan Gosling – La La Land


Nom­i­nees: 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 Who I want to win: An­nette Ben­ing Set in 1797 Santa Bar­bara, 20th Century Women is the story of Dorothea Fields, a mum in her mid-50s who en­lists the help of two young, re­bel­lious women to help bring up her awk­ward pubescent son. Ben­ing as Dorothea Fields is cool, free-spir­ited and prone to whip­ping out lines of ca­sual wis­dom: “Won­der­ing if you’re happy is just a great short­cut to be­ing de­pressed.” Who I think will win: Emma Stone

The in­cred­i­ble retelling of a true story, Lion is nom­i­nated for Mo­tion Pic­ture Drama.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone charmed au­di­ences in La La Land.

An­nette Ben­ing and Billy Crudup in 20th Century Women.

Casey Af­fleck in Manch­ester By The Sea.

Natalie Port­man in Jackie.

Jes­sica Chas­tain, Miss Sloane.

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