2021 Golden Globes Predictions: Who Will Win in Every Category

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It's that time again: Time to put on a blindfold and throw a dart at a board covered in photos of the biggest stars of film and television. Wherever it lands will predict this year's Golden Globes winners. Fun fact: that's also how the HFPA votes!

We're only joking, of course, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a notoriously unpredictable bunch -- look no further than this year's nominations -- so predicting who they'll award a Globe requires as much logic and reason as it does pure chaos. But that's our job as ET's resident awards prognosticators, so below, we offer up our best guesses in each and every category.

As for who actually wins, that will be announced on Feb. 28 during a bicoastal telecast hosted by Tina Fey from the The Rainbow Room in New York City and Amy Poehler from The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, with the nominees appearing from around the world.

Best Motion Picture - Drama

Mank
Netflix

The Father
Mank
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Who will win: Mank

My biggest swing on the film side might just be in our first category: My initial, gut instinct says the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will pick the movie about Hollywood. But then my eyes are drawn to a Nomadland or a The Trial of the Chicago 7, and those do seem like sounder bets. But I keep going back to Mank -- a prestige drama from a Globe-winning director starring a Globe-winning actor, not to mention the most-nominated film of this year -- so that's my prediction, and I'm sticking to it.


Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama

Carey Mulligan
Focus Features

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Who will win: Carey Mulligan

Davis and McDormand have already won their Globes -- and recently, back-to-back in 2017 and '18 -- so I expect the HFPA will look to anoint somebody new. And considering how much the voting body appears to love Promising Young Woman, I expect that somebody will be Mulligan, who was only Globe-nominated once before more than a decade ago. Promising young woman, indeed.


Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama

Chadwick Boseman
Netflix

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian

Who will win: Chadwick Boseman

Boseman became a first-time Globe nominee posthumously this year, and he's likely to earn his first win, too, for his indelible work in Ma Rainey. It would be a performance of a lifetime even if he hadn't gone too soon, and this will be his first of many wins to come. If any of his fellow nominees were to spoil, my money would be on Ahmed, but I anticipate the HFPA will cast their votes for Boseman, as they should.


Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Hamilton
Disney+

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Hamilton
Music
Palm Springs
The Prom

Who will win: Hamilton

The Globes tends to prefer their dramedies -- with an emphasis on the drama -- over musicals or comedies but considering this year's crop of nominees are all actually the latter, it'll likely go to Hamilton over Borat. It's already an 11-time Tony Award winner and GRAMMY winner, why not toss a Golden Globe onto the pile? That said, if the HFPA wakes up and chooses violence, brace for the shock of all shocks when Music is announced as the winner.


Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Borat
Amazon Studios

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Kate Hudson, Music
Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit
Rosamund Pike, I Care a Lot
Anya Taylor-Joy, Emma

Who will win: Maria Bakalova

Borat's prospects become much longer shots after the Globes, save for Bakalova, who appears to have what it takes to make it all the way to the Oscars. A win here, with a charming acceptance speech from the Bulgarian newcomer and first-time Globe nominee turned first-time winner, will be welcomed face time as the race gets tighter moving forward. Taylor-Joy, meanwhile, has a Globe waiting on the TV side.


Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Borat
Amazon Studios

Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
James Corden, The Prom
Lin Manuel-Miranda, Hamilton
Dev Patel, The Personal History of David Copperfield
Andy Samberg, Palm Springs

Who will win: Sacha Baron Cohen

That's his and hers Globes for Borat 2. It would be naïve to not hedge our bet with a disclaimer that Lin Manuel-Miranda could spoil here, but there's a lot of love for SBC this year -- he's also nominated in Supporting Actor -- and I predict it will pay off here. Which would be the second time the HFPA has awarded him for playing Borat. (He won his first Globe in 2007 for the original.)


Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

Amanda Seyfried
Netflix

Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman, The Father
Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian
Amanda Seyfried, Mank
Helena Zengel, News of the World

Who will win: Amanda Seyfried

Seyfried may have stumbled on the road to an Oscar nomination -- with an eyebrow-raising snub from SAG -- but she is still firmly the frontrunner here, a first-time nominee making the transition to serious thespian and who better to crown her first than the HFPA? I'm guessing this category will be the one that shakes up the most by Academy Awards time, so a win here will be key to Seyfrield maintaining her pole position.


Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

Daniel Kaluuya
Warner Bros.

Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
Jared Leto, The Little Things
Bill Murray, On the Rocks
Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami

Who will win: Daniel Kaluuya

From the same voting that nominated Aaron Taylor-Johnson in this same category in 2017 and then... awarded him the Globe, comes the Jared Leto nomination of 2021 that no one saw coming. With Leto's burgeoning Oscar campaign all but inevitable at this point, could the HFPA send this his way? I'm still predicting this is Kaluuya's to lose, for his portrayal of Black Panther Party revolutionary Fred Hampton.


Best Director – Motion Picture

Chloe Zhao
Searchlight Pictures

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
David Fincher, Mank
Regina King, One Night in Miami
Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

Who will win: Chloé Zhao

The Globes made history this year by nominating a majority of female directors, and the HFPA will make good on that promise with a win for Nomadland's Zhao, an indie auteur who is quickly becoming Hollywood's most sought-after filmmaker. She will become only the second woman to ever win the Globe for Best Director, joining Barbra Streisand, who won in 1984.


Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Aaron Sorkin
Netflix

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
Jack Fincher, Mank
Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Florian Zeller, Christopher Hampton, The Father
Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

Who will win: Aaron Sorkin

While Sorkin is doing steady work to make himself known as much as a director as screenwriter -- earning his first directing nod at the Globes -- I expect he'll nevertheless win his third Globe here. Still, and this might be more manifesting than predicting, I could also see a world in which the HFPA makes the less-expected choice and doubles down on their love for Promising Young Woman with a win for Fennell.


Best Motion Picture – Animated

Soul
Pixar Animation Studios

The Croods: A New Age
Onward
Over the Moon
Soul
Wolfwalkers

Who will win: Soul

When in doubt, the Oscars go Disney and Pixar. But the Globes have tended toward more adventurous picks from other studios in recent years, which bodes well for a critically lauded gem like Wolfwalkers, which I'm pegging as a possible underdog this awards season. Still, Soul was just as beloved and made history for Pixar, so I'm keeping it as the frontrunner here.


Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

Minari
A24

Another Round (Denmark)
La Llorona (Guatemala/France)
The Life Ahead (Italy)
Minari (USA)
Two of Us (France / USA)

Who will win: Minari

The same archaic rules that kept The Farewell out of the Best Picture race last year (to say the least of the likes of Parasite and Roma in recent years) are at play once again with Minari, with the HFPA relegating the film to the foreign language race because it contains more than 50 percent non-English language dialogue. As such, it will win here, but it's high time the Globes updated their eligibility guidelines.


Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Alexandre Desplat, The Midnight Sky
Ludwig Göransson, Tenet
James Newton Howard, News of the World
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, Mank
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste, Soul

Who will win: Soul

The HFPA loved Reznor and Ross' work this year to the tune of dual nominations, pitting them against themselves, so then it becomes a tossup of whether voters preferred the music of Mank or Soul. The latter should come out on top, since the score is so integral to the movie and moreover, it gives voters a chance to also award the prodigious Batiste.


Best Original Song – Motion Picture

"Fight for You" from Judas and the Black Messiah
"Hear My Voice" from The Trial of the Chicago 7
"Io Si (Seen)” from The Life Ahead
"Speak Now" from One Night in Miami
"Tigress & Tweed" from The United States vs. Billie Holliday

Who will win: "Speak Now"

One Night in Miami won't go home completely empty-handed. A win here not only tips its hat to King's feature debut, but also to Leslie Odom Jr., the sole actor from the film to make it into the acting fields. While he may not win in Best Supporting Actor, he'll collect a trophy for "Speak Now," which he performs and wrote with Sam Ashworth.


Best Television Series – Drama

The Crown
Netflix

The Crown
Lovecraft Country
The Mandalorian
Ozark
Ratched

Who will win: The Crown

The Crown is the clear favorite to take home a second Golden Globe, following its inaugural win in this category in 2017. After introducing Emma Corrin's Princess Diana into the mix this past season (and Olivia Colman's continued brilliance as Queen Elizabeth), it's difficult not to put the British drama on another pedestal altogether. Could there be spoilers? Of course. Being unpredictable is what makes the Globes interesting. Look for The Mandalorian or Ozark to crash the party.


Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama

Emma Corrin
Netflix

Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Emma Corrin, The Crown
Laura Linney, Ozark
Sarah Paulson, Ratched

Who will win: Emma Corrin

It's a battle between Elizabeth and Princess Di here, and since Colman won a Globe for her performance as the Queen last year, the HFPA will likely award newbie Corrin with her own statuette.


Best Actor in a Television Series – Drama

Jason Bateman
Netflix

Jason Bateman, Ozark
Josh O'Connor, The Crown
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Al Pacino, Hunters
Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason

Who will win: Jason Bateman

Could this be the year Bateman wins his first dramatic Globe? The actor, who previously won for Arrested Development in 2005, has been nominated every season for his work on the Netflix series, but Bateman's yet to clinch the win for whatever reason. And he's by no means a lock this year -- competing against the likes of Rhys and the legendary Al Pacino -- but there's enough momentum right now for Bateman to finally come out on top. (Especially considering the upcoming season of Ozarkwill be its last.)


Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Schitt's Creek
Pop TV

Emily in Paris
The Flight Attendant
The Great
Schitt's Creek
Ted Lasso

Who will win: Schitt's Creek

And the Schitt's Creek celebration continues! The beloved series swept the Emmys in September, and I'm predicting it will win the Globes' top comedy category, too, as it approaches the awards season finish line. This category shouldn't produce any real surprises.


Best Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Kaley Cuoco
HBO Max

Lily Collins, Emily in Paris
Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant
Elle Fanning, The Great
Jane Levy, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
Catherine O'Hara, Schitt's Creek

Who will win: Kaley Cuoco

It's a bit astonishing that it took years for Cuoco to land her first acting nomination, but while she never broke in for The Big Bang Theory, the Globes couldn't resit her arresting performance as a flight attendant gone off the deep end. She has worthy competition in fellow first-time nominee Levy and icon O'Hara, but I'm putting all my eggs in Cuoco's basket to take home her first -- and well overdue -- Golden Globe.


Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Jason Sudeikis
Apple TV+

Don Cheadle, Black Monday
Nicholas Hoult, The Great
Eugene Levy, Schitt's Creek
Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Ramy Youssef, Ramy

Who will win: Jason Sudeikis

What better time to recognize the lovably affable Ted Lasso? Apple TV+'s surprise hit wormed its way into people's hearts, led by a refreshingly delightful performance from Sudeikis as the uber-positive, kindhearted coach of a struggling football club. So, he's my pick to win, but if I know anything, it's never count out a Schitt's Creek star this awards season, nor a past Globes pick like Youssef.


Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

The Queen's Gambit
Netflix

Normal People
The Queen's Gambit

Small Axe
The Undoing
Unorthodox

Who will win: The Queen's Gambit

Double nominee Anya Taylor-Joy had a big year with Emma and The Queen's Gambit, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that Netflix's limited series is the odds-on favorite to win this category. Could the Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman-starring The Undoing or Normal People swoop in for an unexpected win? Absolutely, but don't count on it. (The odds of a Normal People victory feel especially slim considering the HFPA completely snubbed Paul Mescal.)


Best Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Anya Taylor-Joy
Netflix

Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America
Daisy Edgar-Jones, Normal People
Shira Haas, Unorthodox
Nicole Kidman, The Undoing
Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen's Gambit

Who will win: Anya Taylor-Joy

Here's where Taylor-Joy will win her Globe. A breakout star of last year, her quietly captivating portrayal of an orphan struggling with addiction as she embarks on a quest to be the best chess player in the world, rightly became the talk of the town. Taylor-Joy's uncanny ability to convey even the most subtle of moods through her expressive face throughout The Queen's Gambit is reason enough to give her the award.


Best Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Mark Ruffalo
HBO

Bryan Cranston, Your Honor
Jeff Daniels, The Comey Rule
Hugh Grant, The Undoing
Ethan Hawke, The Good Lord Bird
Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True

Who will win: Mark Ruffalo

If there's one thing the HFPA appreciates, it's an A-list actor playing dual roles. That's exactly what Ruffalo does in HBO's limited series -- and he pulls it off, playing identical twin brothers, one of whom suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. If that's not primed for a Globe win, we don't know what is.


Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Gillian Anderson
Netflix

Gillian Anderson, The Crown
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Julia Garner, Ozark
Annie Murphy, Schitt's Creek
Cynthia Nixon, Ratched

Who will win: Gillian Anderson

The Globes love actors playing real people, and Anderson's performance as Margaret Thatcher was truly remarkable. While co-star Bonham Carter or recent Emmy winner Annie Murphy could give her a run for her money, I expect Anderson has it in the bag.


Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

John Boyega
Amazon Studios

John Boyega, Small Axe
Brendan Gleeson, The Comey Rule
Dan Levy, Schitt's Creek
Jim Parsons, Hollywood
Donald Sutherland, The Undoing

Who will win: John Boyega

A standout of Steve McQueen's five-part Amazon series, Boyega is my frontrunner to take home his first career Golden Globe. He's not without stiff competition, as the supporting categories lumps all TV performances together, and recent Emmy winner Dan Levy, still riding high on Schitt's Creek's Emmys domination, is Boyega's biggest threat here.


The 2021 Golden Globes will air live on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on NBC. Until then, stay tuned to ETonline.com for complete Golden Globes coverage.

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