This time last year, we kicked off our annual Golden Globes predictions with a warning: The Golden Globes are impossibly hard to predict. And we didn't even know the half of it: From labeling Get Out a comedy to snubbing Twin Peaks almost entirely, this year's suite of nominees is wild even by the the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's already screwy standards.
But the best way to chart the Globes – and any awards slate, really – is to treat them like a dog show and judge the contestants by the standard of the breed. The question isn't What's the Best Picture of the year? It's: Which picture is the most like what the Hollywood Foreign Press Association considers the Best Picture of the year? You check behind the ears, you examine the haunches, you watch the gait and you take your best shot. Consider the following predictions our attempt to prognosticate the Globes' "Best in Show” selections when host Seth Meyers helps unveil them this Sunday. Woof!
Best Picture, Drama
Call Me by Your Name
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
WILL WIN: In one of the tightest, most intriguing categories of the year, the Best Drama battle appears to be a two-way match-up between Steven Spielberg's Real-News paean The Post and Guillermo del Toro's aquatic-fantasy romance The Shape of Water. The Globes tend to reward cinematic weirdness over the just-the-facts approach; consider 2016's victory of the feverish survival saga The Revenant over Spotlight. With that in mind – and considering it received more nominations than any other movie – we'll give Water the win.
SHOULD WIN: Rapturously received and heavily favored for Oscar season, Call Me By Your Name's romance seemingly failed to move Globes voters, who also snubbed writer-director Luca Guadganino. He and his movie deserve better.
ROBBED: Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread was a phantom menace in this category; Mudbound got stuck in the mud; and Jordan Peele's Get Out got nominated as a comedy even though its subject matter is no laughing matter.
Best Picture, Musical or Comedy
The Disaster Artist
The Greatest Showman
WILL WIN: We'll just quote from the Globes' own rules: "Dramas with comedic overtones should be entered as dramas.” Whatever you say, guys! Despite Matt Damon winning Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for the freakin' Martian, it's a battle of not-really-comedies in this increasingly chaotic category: Get Out (a horror movie), Lady Bird (a coming-of-age tale) and I, Tonya (a biopic that's only a comedy in the sense that, like, GoodFellas is). With none of those three films' directors getting a nod, we're sailing through uncharted territory here. Lady Bird shares near-universal acclaim with Get Out, but it was released more recently, and our hunch is that this is enough to give it the edge.
SHOULD WIN: If you believe award shows should reflect the zeitgeist, then there's no denying that Get Out struck an Exorcist-level cultural nerve with its combination of racial politics, pitch-perfect performances and old-fashioned horror chills.
ROBBED: Kumail Najiani's autobiographical story of love and illness The Big Sick seemed like a natural fit for this category. So ... where is it?
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World
Steven Spielberg, The Post
WILL WIN: Despite the prominence of The Post, the absence of a runaway favorite here suggests the award will favor internationalism. Between del Toro and Nolan, we expect The Shape of Water to build up a head of steam and take the category.
SHOULD WIN: Ridley Scott did yeoman's work to rescue All the Money in the World from the unfortunate presence of Kevin Spacey. But even so, you don't need to be a Christopher Nolan fan to respect the scope of his vision for his World War II epic.
ROBBED: Jordan Peele for Get Out, Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird, Luca Guadganino for Call Me by Your Name, Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread, Dee Rees for Mudbound – you could put together an entire Best Director slate from the directors who weren't nominated.
Best Actor, Movie (Drama)
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Tom Hanks, The Post
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel Esq.
WILL WIN: In a bizarre category – where the majority of nominees appeared in films that didn't receive any of the 10 available Best Picture slots – we expect Gary Oldman's prosthetically enhanced performance as British bulldog Winston Churchill to conquer.
SHOULD WIN: This is one of those situations where the Best Actor category includes the best actor: Daniel Day-Lewis.
ROBBED: Call Me By Your Name's Armie Hammer is the most obvious omission from this category – though he gets a Best Supporting Actor nomination, because the world makes very little sense.
Best Actor, Movie (Musical or Comedy)
Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes
Ansel Elgort, Baby Driver
James Franco, The Disaster Artist
Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
WILL WIN: As bizarre as it sounds, Hollywood polymath James Franco is most likely going to win Best Actor for playing outsider-art weirdo Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist. You're tearing us apart!
SHOULD WIN: Daniel Kaluuya portrayed the mounting terror of a horror-movie protagonist as well as any actor in decades. It's a shame his trophy will reside in the Sunken Place.
ROBBED: Call us crazy, but perhaps someone from an actual comedy should have been nominated?
Best Actress, Movie (Drama)
Jessica Chastain, Molly's Game
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Meryl Streep, The Post
Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World
WILL WIN: In a duel between The Shape of Water's designated ambassador in the category, Sally Hawkins, and Three Billboards' sole genuine heavyweight, Frances McDormand, we'll favor the Globes' oddball approach and go with Hawkins.
SHOULD WIN: All of the actors in this category are tremendously skilled performers; it really comes down to who you personally favor, and in that light we're McDormand/Williams people.
ROBBED: In a world where Deadpool earned Globes nominations, is it so wrong to think that the magnetic presence of Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Last Jedi deserves recognition?
Best Actress, Movie (Musical or Comedy)
Judi Dench, Victoria & Abdul
Helen Mirren, The Leisure Seeker
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes
WILL WIN: Saorise Ronan. 'Nuff said.
SHOULD WIN: Saorise Ronan. 'Nuff said. (Well, almost 'nuff: Margot Robbie, too.)
ROBBED: Would it be so unreasonable for Regina Hall, star of actual comedy Girls Trip to have snagged a nomination? And hey, if Get Out somehow counts as a comedy, why not include Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot as well?
Best Supporting Actor, Movie
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Armie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
WILL WIN: This one seems like a "here, have your award” situation for national treasure Willem Dafoe.
SHOULD WIN: It's an odd year where you could foresee wins for any of the other four nominees. Personally, we'd drop the Hammer.
ROBBED: If Get Out is in serious contention, Bradley Whitford's insufferable faux-liberal deserves recognition. Jonathan Banks and Rob Morgan, TV vets each, put in memorable turns in Mudbound as well.
Best Supporting Actress, Movie
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
WILL WIN: As if to demonstrate just how fluid the quality boundaries are between television and film these days, the frontrunners for this category are The West Wing's Allison Janney and Roseanne's Laurie Metcalfe. It's a tough call, but our coin toss goes to Janney.
SHOULD WIN: Maybe we just have a soft spot for musicians gone legit – but Mary J. Blige, man!
ROBBED: Allison Williams was as perfect a villain in Get Out as anyone since Ruth Gordon in Rosemary's Baby.
Best TV Series, Drama
Game of Thrones
The Handmaid's Tale
This Is Us
WILL WIN: To paraphrase Bruce Wayne, Globes voters are a superstitious, cowardly lot. After anointing The Crown over worthy competition last year as a nod to our collective norms, expect voters to join the #Resistance and crown The Handmaid's Tale this time around.
SHOULD WIN: As usual, Game of Thrones aimed highest and hit hardest.
ROBBED: Where to begin? The Americans, Better Call Saul, Halt and Catch Fire and, most flagrantly, The Leftovers are all all-time-great series that the Globes have seen fit to circumnavigate.
Best TV Series, Musical or Comedy
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Master of None
Will & Grace
WILL WIN: This is wild: The only series reappearing from last year's suite of nominees is Black-ish. Your guess is as good as ours, but this certainly seems like a sign it's a favorite.
SHOULD WIN: Go Black-ish, the most thematically ambitious of the bunch.
ROBBED: The final season of Girls, critical darling The Good Place, Better Things, Broad City, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Silicon Valley, Insecure, Veep ... seriously, it's easier to list the shows that weren't nominated than the ones that were.
Best TV Limited Series or Movie
Big Little Lies
Feud: Bette and Joan
Top of the Lake: China Girl
WILL WIN: Big Little Lies has the star power and the critical acclaim in the most perplexing Globes category of them all.
SHOULD WIN: Fargo, hands down. It's a season of television that speaks directly to our current predicament without ever lecturing us about it.
ROBBED: Never in the history of television award ceremonies have shows been as badly neglected as Twin Peaks: The Return and The Young Pope. The latter is a contender for the all-time surreal greats right out of the gate; the former was crowned as "the most groundbreaking TV series ever” by this very publication. Ignoring these shows makes the Globes a goofy joke, to be honest, though we're happy to laugh along as long as we can.
Best Actor, TV (Drama)
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
WILL WIN: Sigh. I they are going to nominate Freddie Highmore for The Good Doctor, they're going to award Freddie Highmore for The Good Doctor. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.
SHOULD WIN: Sterling K. Brown should have won for The People v. O.J. Simpson, but Globes voters instead decided to toss trophies to basically anyone in The Night Manager. Bob Odenkirk was the best of this bunch, but Brown has paid his dues for sure.
ROBBED: Justin Theroux in The Leftovers, Lee Pace in Halt and Catch Fire, James Franco in The Deuce, Kit Harington in Game of Thrones – in one helluva year for television, this list goes on and on.
Best Actor, TV (Musical or Comedy)
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Kevin Bacon, I Love Dick
William H. Macy, Shameless
Eric McCormack, Will & Grace
WILL WIN: As the sole representative of the Will & Grace franchise, Eric McCormack is the odds-on favorite here.
SHOULD WIN: There would be no Master of None without Aziz Ansari. Period.
ROBBED: Ted Danson in The Good Place is the silver fox of our hearts.
Best Actor, TV (Limited Series or Movie)
Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies
Jude Law, The Young Pope
Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks
Ewan McGregor, Fargo
Geoffrey Rush, Genius
WILL WIN: Kyle MacLachlan did not endure the torments of the Black Lodge for nothing. His tri-partite performance as Mr. C., Dougie Jones and Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks' triumphant return is pantheon-worthy.
SHOULD WIN: MacLachlan takes it, though only the strength of Twin Peaks would be enough to overcome the pure glam power of Jude Law's star turn in The Young Pope.
ROBBED: The Globes love The Crown. So why don't they love Matt Smith as Prince Philip?
Best Actress, TV (Drama)
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Claire Foy, The Crown
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce
Katherine Langford, 13 Reasons Why
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale
WILL WIN: The Globes love the veneer of sociopolitical protest – in that light, Elisabeth Moss is an all but irresistible choice.
SHOULD WIN: From start to finish, The Deuce would have been a mere novelty project – Vinyl meets Real Sex – if it weren't for Maggie Gyllenhaal.
ROBBED: The absence of Carrie Coon for The Leftovers is insane. Kerry Bishé and Mackenzie Davis did stuff in Halt and Cath Fire's final season that's impossible to forget, while Emilia Clarke's turn as the Mother of Dragons on Game of Thrones is the stuff of pop-culture legend.
Best Actress, TV (Musical or Comedy)
Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Alison Brie, GLOW
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Issa Rae, Insecure
Frankie Shaw, SMILF
WILL WIN: As the latest entrant into the category, Rachel Brosnahan's soul-bearing perfomane as one Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will carry the day.
SHOULD WIN: For pure watchability, our vote goes to Issa Rae.
ROBBED: Lena Dunham may be an Internet scapegoat, but her role as the lead girl in Girls is unimpeachable.
Best Actress, TV (Limited Series or Movie)
Jessica Biel, The Sinner
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan
Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies
WILL WIN: Nicole Kidman, superstar.
SHOULD WIN: Nicole Kidman, superstar.
ROBBED: Carrie Coon and Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Fargo, Diane Keaton in The Young Pope, Laura Dern in Twin Peaks – honestly, it's a bit embarrassing to have to spell this stuff out.
Best Supporting Actor, TV
David Harbour, Stranger Things
Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette and Joan
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
David Thewlis, Fargo
WILL WIN: International appeal will tilt the scales in favor of Scandinavian god Skarsgard.
SHOULD WIN: David Thewlis hit the peak of his long and storied career of playing sleazeballs with Fargo's vulture capitalist V.M Varga, a villain of our time.
ROBBED: Where, pray tell, is Christopher Eccleston's wild Reverend Matt on The Leftovers, Everett McGill's Big Ed Hurley on Twin Peaks and Javier Camara's Monsignor Gutierrez in The Young Pope?
Best Supporting Actress, TV
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid's Tale
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies
Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies
WILL WIN: This one's going to Dern as a make-good for her whole wild, wonderful year, from the Black Lodge to a galaxy far, far away.
SHOULD WIN: Dern. She deserves to win something.
ROBBED: Alexis Bledel left it all on the line in The Handmaid's Tale – so, for that matter, did Sherilyn Fenn, Sheryl Lee, and Grace Zabriskie on Twin Peaks. And none of Game of Thrones' core performers made the cut despite carrying the season. Winter can't come fast enough.