The movie stars occupy the tables closest to the stage, but it’s their television counterparts who often provide the Golden Globes with the evening’s most memorable moments. This year, look for Issa Rae and Donald Glover to deliver. Those predictions and others follow:
Motion picture, drama
The nominees: “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “Lion,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Moonlight”
And the winner is: It’s a toss-up between the two critically acclaimed, deeply felt indies — “Manchester” and “Moonlight.” Kenneth Lonergan’s drama is more traditionally structured and sports a brand-name cast. “Manchester” is the (slightly) safer pick.
Unless: It’s “Moonlight,” which feels more like a movie of the moment. (I’ll probably go back and forth half a dozen times with this category between now and the ceremony.)
Lead actor, motion picture drama
The nominees: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”; Joel Edgerton, “Loving”; Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”; Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”; Denzel Washington, “Fences”
And the winner is: More love for “Manchester,” with Affleck taking yet another prize.
Unless: The HFPA still likes movie stars, particularly in this category, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Washington win his third Globe. One factor that may hurt: The group just gave him a lifetime honor last year.
Lead actress, motion picture drama
The nominees: Amy Adams, “Arrival”; Jessica Chastain, “Miss Sloane”; Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”; Ruth Negga, “Loving”; Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
And the winner is: Who can resist Jackie O? Portman takes her third Globe.
Unless: The HFPA’s European contingent pushes the legendary Huppert for her terrifying turn in “Elle.” (Trivia: Last time an actress not born in the United States, Great Britain or Australia won? Liv Ullmann for “The Emigrants” in 1973.)
Motion picture, musical or comedy
The nominees: “20th Century Women,” “Deadpool,” “Florence Foster Jenkins,” “La La Land,” “Sing Street”
And the winner is: With its song-and-dance numbers and nods to classic musicals, “La La Land” was practically laboratory engineered to burrow into the hearts and ears of the music-loving HFPA.
Unless: The message of “Florence Foster Jenkins” — do what you love, even if you stink at it — has a special resonance for some HFPA members.
Lead actor, motion picture musical or comedy
The nominees: Colin Farrell, “The Lobster”; Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”; Hugh Grant, “Florence Foster Jenkins”; Jonah Hill, “War Dogs”; Ryan Reynolds, “Deadpool”
And the winner is: Gosling. It’s going to be a big night for “La La Land.”
Unless: Globes voters pick this spot to go rogue and reward “Deadpool’s” transgressive raunch.
Lead actress, motion picture musical or comedy
The 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”
And the winner is: Stone. It’s going to be a really big night for “La La Land.”
Unless: They’re giving Streep an honorary career award. Why not a two-for-one deal?
TV drama series
The nominees: “The Crown,” “Game of Thrones,” “Stranger Things,” “This Is Us,” “Westworld”
And the winner is: “The Crown,” Netflix’s engaging Queen Elizabeth II chronicle, becomes the third straight new series to win this award.
Unless: Voters do a solid for NBC, the Globes’ longtime broadcast home, and reward the well-liked weepie “This Is Us.”
Lead actor in a TV drama series
The nominees: Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”; Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”; Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”; Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”; Billy Bob Thornton, “Goliath”
And the winner is: The HFPA digs Thornton, giving him five nods and a Globe over the years. His turn as the show’s disgraced lawyer is the kind of outsized performance that wins awards.
Unless: Not one of these shows was nominated for best drama series, which makes it hard to figure where voters’ hearts lie. A make-good for Malek? A dramatic welcome-to-the-club to the long-overlooked Rhys?
Lead actress in a TV drama series
The nominees: Caitriona Balfe, “Outlander”; Claire Foy, “The Crown”; Keri Russell, “The Americans”; Winona Ryder, “Stranger Things”; Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld”
And the winner is: Foy is their queen.
Unless: Fresh off a Critics Choice Award, Wood adds to her collection.
The nominees: “Atlanta,” “black-ish,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Transparent,” “Veep”
And the winner is: As with drama, the HFPA loves to ring in the new. FX’s brilliant “Atlanta” is the worthy beneficiary.
Unless: All those good things the HFPA has heard about “Veep” over the years makes them finally salute it.
Lead actor in a comedy series
The nominees: Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”; Gael Garcia Bernal, “Mozart in the Jungle”; Donald Glover, “Atlanta”; Nick Nolte, “Graves”; Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
And the winner is: “Atlanta” auteur Glover should have a couple of speeches ready for the show.
Unless: Bernal repeats for the continued brilliance of “Mozart.”
Lead actress in a comedy series
The nominees: Rachel Bloom, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”; Sarah Jessica Parker, “Divorce”; Issa Rae, “Insecure”; Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”; Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”
And the winner is: This category has produced some of the show’s best moments the past couple of years with exuberant acceptance speeches by Rodriguez and Bloom. Look for Rae to keep that fire burning.
Unless: The HFPA can’t resist the prospect of giving another Globe to Parker, a four-time winner for “Sex and the City.”