Before you even get to the pressing question – who will win? – you have to start with who made the cut and who did not. No Johnny Depp, no Michael Keaton, no Elizabeth Banks. Not even Tom Hanks, and we all know how the Golden Globes loves stars.
Carol one of the top Golden Globe Nominations
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Carol one of the top Golden Globe Nominations
Carol, The Big Short and The Revenant were the top Golden Globe film nominations while streaming services Netflix, Hulu and Amazon scored best on TV nominations.
That said, the nominated films for the award ceremony on Monday (Australian time) are all solid: Carol, The Big Short, The Martian, Trainwreck, The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road among them. But The Martian is nominated as a comedy – a comedy. Think about it. And there's no sign of Straight Outta Compton.
Television, always a slightly more shambolic and egalitarian enterprise, is more a mix of established players (Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, Orange is the New Black) and risky newcomers (Narcos, Mr Robot, Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent).
Australia has placed well: Cate Blanchett is nominated for best performance by an actress in a motion picture, George Miller for best director and Ben Mendelsohn for best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a series, limited series or motion picture made for television.
George Miller's win for Mad Max: Fury Road at the AACTAs. Photo: Getty Images
That last category, by the way, is also nominated for longest category name in an awards program, telecast, live variety, musical or comedy special.They're going to give that one away at the Emmys.
There are actually 25 categories in the Golden Globes, spread across both film and television. A full list of the categories and the nominated films and programs can be found here.
For the sake of brevity, we've kept the discussion to the key seven categories in film and television. Which leaves only one pressing question: who will win?
Ben Mendelsohn in Bloodline. Photo: AP
Best Motion Picture, Drama
Nominees: Carol, Mad Max:Fury Road, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight
It's a tight race but you can probably make an early carve off in Room; it's the only nominated film not also nominated for best director. Spotlight is generating all the noise, but the Globes voting body, the Hollywood Foreign Press, have made no secret of their affection for Mad Max: Fury Road.
Jacob Tremblay and Brie Larson (right) in Room.
Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Nominees: The Big Short, The Martian, Joy, Spy, Trainwreck
Category creep or just plain gaming the system, whatever your position The Martian doesn't belong here; it's a drama. Trainwreck is the film that comes into the race with all the noise, but The Big Short is the most solid comedy in the lineup, which leaves it the race favourite.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Nominees: Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl), Will Smith (Concussion)
Tough call, though Eddie Redmayne's performance is the standout, along with Bryan Cranston's turn in Trumbo. But there is nothing the Globes loves more than a bit of I-told-you-so with the Oscars, which leaves perennial Oscar oversight Leonardo DiCaprio a favourite to win.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Rooney Mara (Carol), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
Though Australia's favourite has to be hometown girl Cate Blanchett, there is a wave of momentum coursing through awards season which puts Brie Larson in the strongest position. If anyone will buck the trend it will be the Globes, but Larson has taken out enough best actress nods for Room to make her a safe bet.
Australia's favourite: Cate Blanchett as Carol. Photo: Wilson Webb
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Nominees: Christian Bale (The Big Short), Steve Carell (The Big Short), Matt Damon (The Martian), Al Pacino (Danny Collins), Mark Ruffalo (Infinitely Polar Bear)
Assuming Damon is a non-starter because of The Martian's odd placement in "comedy or musical" (it's a space survival movie set on Mars) then this belongs to Christian Bale, who played eccentric hedge fund manager Michael Burry with unrivalled brilliance.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Nominees: Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Melissa McCarthy (Spy), Amy Schumer (Trainwreck), Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van), Lily Tomlin (Grandma)
There are competing and unpredictable forces in play here, notably Maggie Smith's brilliance in The Lady in the Van and the Hollywood Foreign Press's noted affection for her. But 2015 was, unequivocally, The Year of Amy Schumer, which means she goes into this category leading the field by a country mile.
Best Director, Motion Picture
Nominees: Todd Haynes (Carol), Alejandro Inarritu (The Revenant), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Ridley Scott (The Martian)
Tough call from a fairly solid group of films, from an even more solid group of directors. Scott is the category's proper legend, and Inarritu comes to it with the most genuinely fascinating film, but it is Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road that is not just the most solid contender, but a very clearly authored, director's film.
Best Television Series, Drama
Nominees: Empire, Game of Thrones, Mr Robot, Narcos, Outlander
With several more established contenders (Better Call Saul, The Affair) not appearing, and Empire's moment having passed, Mr Robot is the logical standout here, a new series which dominated media chatter in 2015. The dark horse: Emmy winner Game of Thrones which could easily still win the day.
Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Nominees: Casual, Mozart in the Jungle, Orange is the New Black, Silicon Valley, Transparent.
Something of a mixed bag with only two real contenders: Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent. The former is only really emerging in its second season, and the latter, already a well-awarded hit, did that rare thing and turned in a second season which was stronger and more brilliant than its first.
Jeffrey Tambor as Maura Pfefferman in Transparent. Photo: Supplied
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees: American Crime, American Horror Story: Hotel, Fargo, Flesh & Bone, Wolf Hall
Though Fargo's first season was stunning its second was brilliant, but only just. And Flesh & Bone, while stunning, was dense and a little hard to penetrate. Which leaves us with Wolf Hall, a brilliant and confronting political thriller about the court of King Henry VIII.
Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series, Drama
Nominees: Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Rami Malek (Mr Robot), Wagner Moura (Narcos), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan)
Hamm would seem the sentimental favourite here, in the wake of Mad Men's final season, but you could be left thinking that all that sentimentality seemed such a long time ago now. Rami Malek is the actual favourite, the star of the year's small screen breakout hit.
Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series, Drama
Nominees: Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), Viola Davis (How To Get Away With Murder), Eva Green (Penny Dreadful), Taraji Henson (Empire), Robin Wright (House of Cards)
Eva Green as Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful. Photo: Supplied
A tight race, but perhaps not for the reasons you might immediately assume. Henson's Cookie in Empire is the noisy favourite but Empire's moment in the sun already looks like it has set, which perhaps leaves a well established favourite (Robin Wright) or a simply more solid performance (Viola Davis) in the strongest position.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Nominees: Aziz Ansari (Master of None), Gael García Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle), Rob Lowe (The Grinder), Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent), Patrick Stewart (Blunt Talk)
Gael García Bernal is the hot new entry to this category, in a year in which Mozart in the Jungle made a lot of media noise. Remember: the Golden Globes are voted for by journalists so media noise is a legitimate measure. But it's tough to go past Jeffrey Tambor in Transparent.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Nominees: Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Gina Rodriguez (Jane The Virgin), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the favourite, and Veep a well-established award winner, but the Globes are easily dazzled by a star and in that instance Jamie Lee Curtis was the best thing in an otherwise average show, and double-nominee Lily Tomlin a dazzling comedian whose lustre still sparkles.
Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
- Don't miss our live blog of the Golden Globe red carpet and award ceremony from 11am Monday.