The festive fun may be over, but there is still plenty of sparkles and shine in the air as awards season kicks-off tonight with the Golden Globes.

The winners are chosen by 93 non-American journalists based in LA and are seen as an important precursor to the Academy Awards. This year is a real mixed bag, with no one film or TV show striking out ahead of the pack while a few underdogs are riding low that could just rise to the top. 


While we are keeping our fingers crossed for Saoirse Ronan, who gives an outstanding performance in Little Woman, we have also picked out some of our other favourites who we would love to see pick up a gong tonight. 

Booksmart
The funny, charming, unsung hero film of 2019, Booksmart was a cinematic delight and deserves to be recognised this awards season.

Olivia Wilde made her feature film directorial debut with this coming-of-age treat, which has a 97% Rotten Tomatoes rating, and despite absolutely knocking things out of the park, she didn't receive a Golden Globe nomination, which is a real shame.

Booksmart
Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever in Booksmart

On Sunday night, the film's chance of Golden Globes glory lies with its solitary nomination for star Beanie Feldstein who is in the running for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Feldstein, who was a scene-stealer in Lady Bird alongside Saoirse Ronan, is nominated alongside Cate Blanchett (Where'd You Go, Bernadette), Awkwafina (The Farewell), Emma Thompson (Late Night) and Ana de Armas (Knives Out).

Sinead Brennan
 

Andrew Scott
Despite stiff competition from Kieran Culkin's scene-stealing performance in the excellent Succession and Stellan Skarsgård's turn in the brutal-but-brilliant Chernobyl, there really is only one winner of the Best Supporting Actor TV gong at this year's Globes, and it's got to go to our very own Andrew Scott.

Andrew Scott
Andrew Scott in Fleabag

For years, the Dublin actor has been quietly carving out a stellar career in TV, film and on the stage, perhaps most noticeably as the joyfully Machiavellian mastermind Moriarty in Sherlock, but his role as the Hot Priest in the second season of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag has rightfully brought his profile to a whole new level.

His performance, at times frustratingly opaque, dazzlingly empathetic and, well, downright hot, rightfully has caused a stir. If one word could sum it up, it would be: Kneel.

Sarah McIntyre
 

Christian Bale
He is up against extremely stiff opposition for the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama from the likes of Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) and Adam Driver (Marriage Story) – but Christian Bale was simply outstanding in Le Mans '66.

The film has a different title in the USA (the more straightforward Ford v Ferrari) and arrived with very little fanfare when it was released earlier in the year, but director James Mangold's follow-up to 2016's Logan is a superb piece of story-telling, boasting some excellent performances.

Le Mans 66
Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Le Mans 66

Bale is the standout in this tale – based on a true story - of motors and driving ambition and hits every scene in top gear. He plays Ken Miles, a blunt and arrogant Englishman who's stunning behind a steering wheel.

Bale's best hope is that the vote is split between the much-hyped Phoenix and the irresistible Driver, and he romps home ahead of the much-fancied duo.

John Byrne
 

Jennifer Aniston
It's 17 years since Jennifer Aniston won a Golden Globe for her performance as Rachel Green in Friends. Despite Olivia Coleman being the hot favourite to pick up her third Golden Globe, thanks to her seamless takeover as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown, Aniston’s powerhouse performance in The Morning Show deserves the accolade. (Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Drama)

Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston in The Morning Show

The Morning Show is a glossy, gripping and sophisticated drama filled with top-notch performances from several A-List stars (including Steve Carrell and Reese Witherspoon)| but Aniston is the standout star. She plays Alex Levy, who is the co-anchor of an American morning talk show, whose career is thrown into jeopardy when her co-host Mitch (Carrell) is accused of sexual misconduct. With Mitch out and their numbers waning, the top TV execs see this as an opportunity to give the show an overhaul and dump Alex in the process - but she outsmarts them and brings in the scrappy and yappy Bradley Jackson (Witherspoon) before they have a chance to make any moves.

Aniston is at the top of her game in The Morning Show, utterly convincing as a woman who is both crushed and fuming at Mitch’s betrayal. She executes the well-written script with depth, exuberance and nuance and is truly deserving of any awards that come her way for this role.

Suzanne Keane

Pain and Glory

Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar's 21st feature, Pain and Glory (Dolor y Gloria) is nominated in the Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language category. Its lead actor, Antonio Banderas is nominated in the Best Actor (Drama) category, up against the formidable Jonathan Pryce in The Two Popes, Joaquin Phoenix (Joker),Christian Bale (Le Mans '66) and Adam Driver (Marriage Story)  

Pain and Glory is Almodóvar's most autobiographical film yet and like many of his movies, it moves us with many reflective passages and profound encounters. The more sentimental and indeed straightforward Chinese diaspora movie, The Farewell, which has a strong American element, and indeed use of the English language in its screenplay, will offer a strong challenge.

In the meantime, we ask, is Pain and Glory Almodóvar's greatest film yet? I suspect many of us who sit and watch a new Almodóvar film  - with the exception of the shallow farce, I'm so Excited (Los Amantes Pasajeros) - must find themselves asking that question. Julieta, for instance, was equally strong.

Pain and Glory - Asier Etzeandia as Alberto and Antonio Banderas as Salvador

The protagonist in this instance is one Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas), a film-maker whose creativity has effectively dried up. His greatest success was the movie Sabor (Taste), a cult classic released some 30 years previously. But other than that, nada.

The star of Sabor was Alberto Crespo (Asier Etzeandia) who lives in isolation behind a locked gate in a remote Spanish village. Both director and actor have not seen each other since the film premiere. Salvador believed that Alberto had not portrayed the part he had written with the correct lightness - Alberto was doing heroin at the time, and the director believed that he had brought an unsuitable heaviness to the performance.

But, hey, it's water under the bridge and director and actor team up again with enthusiasm following a furtive approach by the director and a thawing of the ice between both individuals. All of which spurs a hugely engaging review of the director's life so far - his boyhood, his conflicted relationship with his mother, a lover from the past, and much more.

How much of it is directly about the life of Almodóvar, one may muse? It doesn't hugely matter, take it for what it is, cinematic genius.

Paddy Kehoe

The nominees in full:

Best Motion Picture - Drama 

1917 
The Irishman 
Joker 
Marriage Story 
The Two Popes

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story 
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women 
Charlize Theron, Bombshell 
Renée Zellweger, Judy

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Christian Bale, Le Mans '66 (Ford v Ferrari)
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory 
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
J
onathan Pryce, The Two Popes 

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Dolemite is My Name
Jojo Rabbit
Knives Out
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 
Rocketman 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Ana de Armas, Knives Out 
Awkwafina, The Farewell 
Cate Blanchett, Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Beanie Feldstein, Booksmart 
Emma Thompson, Late Night 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Daniel Craig, Knives Out
Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Taron Egerton, Rocketman
Eddie Murphy, Dolemite is My Name 

Best Motion Picture - Animated
Frozen 2 
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World 
The Lion King
Missing Link
Toy Story 4

Best Motion Picture - Foreign Language
The Farewell
Les Misérables
Pain and Glory
Parasite
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture 
Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Annette Bening, The Report
Laura Dern, Marriage Story 
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers 
Margot Robbie, Bombshell 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture 
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood 
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 

Best Director - Motion Picture
Bong Joon Ho, Parasite 
Sam Mendes, 1917
Todd Phillips, Joker 
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story 
Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won, Parasite 
Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 
Steven Zaillian, The Irishman 

Best Original Score - Motion Picture 
Alexandre Desplat, Little Women 
Hildur Guđnadóttir, Joker 
Randy Newman, Marriage Story 
Thomas Newman, 1917 
Daniel Pemberton, Motherless Brooklyn 

Best Original Song - Motion Picture 
Beautiful GhostsCats Music by: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Taylor Swift Lyrics by: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Taylor Swift 
I'm Gonna Love Me Again, Rocketman Music by: Elton John Lyrics by: Bernie Taupin 
Into the Unknown, Frozen 2 Music by: Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez Lyrics by: Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez 
Spirit, The Lion King Music by: Timothy McKenzie, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Beyoncé Lyrics by: Timothy McKenzie, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Beyoncé 
Stand Up, Harriet Music by: Joshuah Brian Campbell, Cynthia Erivo Lyrics by: Joshuah Brian Campbell, Cynthia Erivo 

Best Television Series - Drama
Big Little Lies
The Crown 
Killing Eve
The Morning Show
Succession 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama 
Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Olivia Colman, The Crown 
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve 
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies 
Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama 
Brian Cox, Succession 
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Rami Malek, Mr Robot
Tobias Menzies, The Crown 
Billy Porter, Pose

Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy 
Barry
Fleabag 
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel 
The Politician 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy 
Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel 
Kirsten Dunst, On Becoming a God in Central Florida 
Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll 
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy 
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader, Barry 
Ben Platt, The Politician 
Paul Rudd, Living with Yourself 
Ramy Youssef, Ramy

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television 
Catch-22
Chernobyl 
Fosse/Verdon 
The Loudest Voice
Unbelievable 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television 
Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable
Joey King, The Act
Helen Mirren, Catherine the Great
Merritt Wever, Unbelievable
Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television 
Christopher Abbott, Catch-22
Sacha Baron Cohen, The Spy
Russell Crowe, The Loudest Voice
Jared Harris, Chernobyl 
Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television 
Patricia Arquette, The Act
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown 
Toni Collette, Unbelievable
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
Emily Watson, Chernobyl

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television 
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Andrew Scott, Fleabag 
Stellan Skarsgård, Chernoby
Henry Winkler, Barry