The 71st Annual Golden Globes will air January 12 on NBC, and will be hosted by funny gals Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. While those two are basically reason enough to tune in, there are a few other reasons we think the show will be one to remember. It largely has to do with this year’s outstanding performances by actors in TV shows and movies, but there are 5 in particular we think worth checking out before the show. Read on for your Golden Globes cheat sheet!
1. The Wolf of Wall Street
If you haven’t seen Martin Scorsese‘s hedonistic romp through drug- and-sex-filled ’90s Wall Street, we highly suggest you catch it before the Globes. It’s kind of a known fact that Leonardo DiCaprio is the poster boy for Hollywood snubs (as is Scorsese), so winning is longshot, but he absolutely deserves it this time for his manic, magnetic portrayal of corrupt-but-likable stockbroker Jordan Belfort. See it now so you can shout at your TV when 77-year-old Bruce Dern wins for the black-and-white indie “Nebraska.”
3. Blue Jasmine
Two words: Cate Blanchett. No offense to Sandra Bullock—who’s probably going to win the Globe and the Oscar for floating around in space for two hours—but Blanchett’s tailor-made performance as a desperate fading Manhattan socialite in Woody Allen‘s film is one of the best persomances we’ve seen by an actress—maybe ever.
Orange is the New Black
Apart from it being a very good show, the real reason to watch it before the Globes is because when the nominations were announced last month, people were confused as to why quirky Netflix series was submitted as a drama, as opposed to a comedy (which—despite its prison setting—is indeed a light comedy.)
The show’s lead, Taylor Schilling, also scored a nom, and it also fell under the “drama” category. As the L.A. Times smartly pointed out: “How voters are going to judge [Schilling's] performance against those of her dramatic peers is anyone’s guess, especially when it is so clear that her sweetly oblivious and neurotic Piper belongs with the comedic nominees—Lena Dunham‘s Hannah, Julia Louis-Dreyfus‘ Selina and Edie Falco’s “Nurse Jackie.”
4. 12 Years a Slave
Because you’ll want to familiarize yourself with Chiwetel Ejiofor, who’s basically a lock for Best Actor at the Globes, the Oscars, and every other award in between. Also, because he’s the same guy from “Love Actually” who married Keira Knightly!
5. “Captain Phillips”
It’s worth seeing this Tom Hanks-helmed movie just for Barkhad Abdi, a Somalian immigrant who worked as a cab driver in Minneapolis before answering an open call for the Paul Greengrass flick. Not only is his nomination a true success story, but he earned it tenfold, with critics freaking out over his terrifying performance that stole every scene from Hanks.