It's that time of the year again as awards seasons gets underway in earnest, where we dust off the crystal ball to speculate on who'll be hoisting a winner's statue or who will be fake smiling through gritted teeth for the cameras.

The first 'biggie' of the year are the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night, which are always considered a good bellwether of Oscar success. However the maverick tendencies of the Hollywood Foreign Press which decide the awards (last year's Best Comedy or Musical was The Martian for crying out loud) means some categories are notoriously difficult to call. Having said that....

Best Picture, Drama

Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

Who Will Win: Moonlight. A darling of the awards circuit so far, this coming of age drama about a young gay black man hits all the correct emotional notes and a win would be nice counter to the complaints over the lack of diversity that dogged awards season last year.

Outside Bet: Hell or High Water was one of the best movies of last year and this modern-day Western would be a worthy winner

Best Picture, Comedy or Musical

20th Century Women, Deadpool, Florence Foster Jenkins, La La Land, Sing Street

Who Will Win: La La Land. Put away your betting slip as this is as close to a dead cert as you will find

Outside Bet: Honestly there isn't one. Sing Street proudly flies the Irish flag here and did incredibly well to get nominated. Another year might have seen the charming Florence Foster Jenkins pull through

Best Actor, Drama

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Joel Edgerton, Loving

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

Who Will Win: Casey Affleck delivers the performance of his career in this emotional drama where he plays a reluctant new parent to his teenage nephew.

Outside Bet: Viggo Mortensen delivered one of the best and nuanced performances by an actor last year and deserves an Oscar nod. Don't rule out voters favourite Denzel Washington though either.

Casey Affleck considers his winner's speech

Best Actress, Drama

Amy Adams, Arrival

Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Ruth Negga, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Who Will Win: Sorry Ruth but Natalie Portman looks to have this in the bag for what many are saying is a career-best performance. We've seen the movie and think she's sublime in the role as the former US First Lady

Outside Bet: Isabelle Huppert's steely performance in Paul Verhoeven’s rape-revenge thriller has been wowing critics since its debut at Cannes. It might be a tad outré for Oscar voters however the Hollywood Foreign Press are different bunch altogether

Best Director

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals

Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Who Will Win: Damien Chazelle can probably start practising his speech now as his dazzling tribute to Hollywood has been delighting audiences and critics since its debut at Toronto.

Outside Bet: Kenneth Lonergan would have a great claim on this award for his delicate handling of the emotionally-wrought Manchester By the Sea if it wasn't La La Land's year. Tom Ford's movie might just be a tad too clinical to earn the plaudits.

Best Actor, Musical or Comedy

Colin Farrell, The Lobster

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Jonah Hill, War Dogs

Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool

Who Will Win:: Hugh Grant. There we said it. His delightful and warm turn opposite Meryl Streep where he more than held his own (no mean feat) by rights should propel him to his first win since 1995 when he was rewarded for his trademark role as a lovable and foppish Brit in Four Weddings and Funeral.

Outside Bet: Colin Farrell. He won before for In Bruges and why not again? Ok the darkly surreal tone of The Lobster might not have been to all voters taste but the Fareller was excellent and deserves his place on the list.

La La Land dancing all the way to the winner's podium

Best Actress, Musical or Comedy

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 Will Win: Emma Stone should easily walk away with it as this crowd pleasing role is bound to have swayed the hearts and minds of most voters.

Outside Bet: Annette Bening is acting royalty and puts in a great performance here. If there's a view that La La Land is already going home with enough gongs then she might have a chance.

Best Screenplay

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water

Who Will Win: We're going for Taylor Sheridan here. A brilliantly observed and well paced movie that was arguably one of the best in 2016.

Outside Bet: Tom Ford could get a look in here. Sure it's an adapted screenplay (from the novel Tony and Susan) but it's a stunning achievement by the fashion designer turned movie-maker

Hell or High Water: could it win Best Screeplay?

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins

Dev Patel, Lion

Aaron Taylor Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

Who Will Win: Mahershala Ali by all accounts will take home the gong on the night. The powerful drama has been steadily picking up awards all season and recently bagged a win for Best Ensemble at the Critics Choice Awards. As mentioned already, last year's diversity controversy should give voters pause for thought and nudge them in his direction.

Outside Bet: Jeff Bridges was outstanding as the world weary sheriff in Hell or High Water and giving him the award would be no injustice whatsoever.

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Who Will Win: Viola Davis already has a cabinet full of awards but she should start clearing some space. Expect an Oscar nomination to follow in the coming weeks

Outside Bet: Michelle Williams may only be in a few scenes but her performance makes her a very strong contender in what is one of the toughest acting categories.

Viola Davis is hotly tipped for her role in Fences

John O'Driscoll