The Oscars venue for 2019, the Dolby Theatre (Photo: Eric Ji on Unsplash)

Awards Season: who will take home Golden Globes and Oscars?

It’s showtime … almost! As we head into the new year, Hollywood’s brightest stars are preparing to celebrate the best films of 2018.

The Golden Globes are set to launch the movie awards season, with nominations being announced on Friday (December 7) Australian time. These will give movie fans an idea of which films and stars are favourites to take home golden Oscar statuettes.

We’ve already seen some award favourites hit Australian cinemas. The fourth remake of A Star is Born, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, is a frontrunner for the three main awards: Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress. The historical period film The Favourite, starring Emma Stone and Olivia Coleman, will be released on Boxing Day but has already received high praise.

The Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, with Ryan Gosling and directed by Oscar winner Damien Chazelle, is also tipped to be nominated for Best Picture. A surprise pick could be Steve McQueen’s heist film Widows. The thriller film features a stellar cast in what has garnered rave reviews. Other films to keep a close eye on include Roma, Green Book and If Beale Street Could Talk.

While the Oscar nominations won’t be announced until late January, entertainment writer Andrew Bucklow says history could be made with the nominations.

Roma could be the first ever Netflix movie to be nominated for Best Picture.”

Movie critic and chief writer on movie website Reel Dialogue, Russell Matthews, has listed his top picks for the Best Actor and Best Actress awards. “These are not necessarily my favourites of the year, but my predictions are based on the Academy’s and Golden Globes’ history,” he says.

“For Best Actor, the top five could be Christian Bale (Vice), Robert Redford (The Old Man & the Gun), Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born), William Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate) and Ryan Gosling (First Man).

“For Best Actress, Glenn Close (The Wife), Viola Davis (Widows), Lady Gaga (A Star is Born), Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns) and Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) may round out the category.”

The Academy announced today (December 5) that its Oscars host will be comedian and actor Kevin Hart.

In August this year, the Academy announced it would introduce an award for Outstanding Popular Film. The news sparked lively debate about which films might be categorised as best film or most popular. The idea was scrapped a month later.

“The ‘popular film’ category came and went quickly,” notes Matthews. “The Academy tends to choose films that seem to be commentating on society at the time, which does translate to the popular films at times, but not always. The Golden Globes tend to put more stock in the popularity of a film than the Academy.

“The Oscars tend to operate as an insiders’ club of the film industry, while the Golden Globes have a broader base of selectors and go for more of a global feel.”

The biggest box office hit of 2018 was Black Panther. The popular Marvel comic film has been seriously considered as a Best Picture contender.

“Could Black Panther be nominated?” asks Matthews. “Yes, but the biggest challenge is its release date. Few films released in the early part of the year get nominated. It is not uncommon, but it is the exception opposed to the norm. It will come down to Disney’s campaign for it to be nominated, while Marvel is planning a big push this year, so we shall see.”

Buzzfeed Australia’s lifestyle editor, Jemima Skelley, says there has definitely been a rise in popular films being nominated for cinema’s highest honour. This was seen last year with the coming-of-age movie Lady Bird.

“Personally, I think it’s people finally starting to get over the outdated notion that widely popular films equal low quality and not as prestigious.”

In terms of Australian hopefuls, Bucklow says it may come down to one of the country’s past Oscar winners. “Our best chance of picking up a nomination in one of the main categories is probably Nicole Kidman. Hopefully, she’ll get a gong for her role in Boy Erased which was written and directed by fellow Aussie Joel Edgerton.”

The Golden Globes will air on Monday, January 7. The Oscars will follow a month later on Monday, February 25.

With the Globes’ split genre categories of drama and comedy/musical, these nominations will be shortlisted under one category come the Academy Awards. – @livsilk