Can The Golden Globes predict the Oscars?
Well, it’s that time of year again. Now that the Golden globes have come and gone, and the Oscar nominations are out, it’s time for people to start casting their ballots and placing their bets as to who is going to take home the Oscar this year. Now, if you’re anything like me, you see the Oscars as a way for celebrities and Hollywood to give each other a great big pat on the back. It doesn’t really mean anything to us little folk (unless of course you use it as a gambling outlet, in which case, my hat goes off to you).
Something that never escapes my attention, and I’m sure it hasn’t yours, is that the Golden globes and the Oscars seem to nominate the same things. Sure, they have the same categories, so why shouldn’t they nominate the same actors for the same performances, the same films, the same directors? I had always seen the Golden globes and the Oscars as a two tier system: if you get nominated for the first one, then you’re going to be a shoo-in for the second one. But after doing some research, I realized that this is not necessarily true. In fact, the people who nominate for the Golden globes and the people who nominate for the Oscars are two completely different groups (Foreign Press vs. Special Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, respectively). In addition to this, it doesn’t always work out for the winners of the Golden globes. Sometimes they take home the Oscar, sometimes they don’t.
This made me wonder: how accurate are the Golden globes at predicting the Oscar winners? I decided to take a look at the last five years’ worth of Golden globes and Oscars in the categories of Best Picture (Drama), Best Actress in a Drama, Best Actor in a Drama, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, to see what its accuracy is like. Here is what I found.
The Golden globes sort of remind me of my third grade teacher. She would always find any reason she could to try and reward us. While the Academy Awards present all the performances and films through the same lens, the Golden globes try to be a little more diplomatic. At the Oscars, there’s just the award for Best Picture. But at the Golden globes, they like to give those comedy films that normally wouldn’t stand a chance their own place to shine. The only problem is, it’s very rare for a comedy to win an Oscar. Your best bet of finding an Oscar winner in your Golden Globe nominations is to look at the Best Picture drama category.
When looking for an Oscar winner, aim for the most emotional. The Golden globes seem to be about finding those movies that everyone loved and most people saw, while the Oscars are about those movies that almost nobody saw, but the ones that did will remember it forever. Movies like The Social Network in 2010, and Avatar in 2009, and even Atonement in 2007 were enough for the Golden Globe crowd. The Oscars, however, aimed for the heart. The King’s Speech was the winner in 2010, The Hurt Locker in 2009, and No Country for Old Men in 2007. The only film to satisfy both committees in the last five years? Slumdog Millionaire in 2008.
If you’re looking for an edge in the Best Actor category, you may be better off rolling dice. Only three of the winners in the last five years won both the Golden Globe and the Oscar: Daniel Day-Lewis in 2007, Jeff Bridges in 2009, and Colin Firth in 2010. It’s also worth noting that in the last five years, only one of the Golden Globe winners in the Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy went on to win Best Actor at the Oscars: that winner was Jean Dujardin in 2011’s The Artist.
Now here is a category where everyone seems to agree. I would be interested to see what the ratio of men to women is on both of the councils that decide the nominations. If you’re looking for as close to a “sure thing” as you can on your ballot this year, pick the Golden Globe Best Actress winner as your Oscar winner. Since the year 2000, there have only been three times where the Golden Globe winner hasn’t gone on to win an Oscar. In fact, in 2008 Kate Winslet was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work in Revolutionary Road. She went on to win the Best Actress Oscar, but it wasn’t for Revolutionary Road. It was for her work in a film called The Reader. If you’re looking for the Golden Globes to be a reliable prediction machine for the Oscars, you’re not going to get much better odds than the Best Actress category.
When it comes to picking the Best Director Oscar, your best bet is to find out who directed your choice in the Best Picture category. In the last five years, every film that won in the Best Picture category also won in the Best Director category. Interestingly enough, this rule does not apply to the Golden globes. Only three out of the five pictures in the last five years won both the Golden Globe for Best Picture and Best Director. (What’s even more fascinating is the fact that somehow the Academy Awards missed out on nominating Ben Affleck this year. Someone else see the movie Argo and tell me that this is a serious miscarriage of justice).
Another point of contention between the two award shows is the fact that the Golden globes don’t break up their screenwriting awards. Whether you wrote the script from scratch or adapted a novel, it doesn’t matter. At the Globes, the nomination is one in the same. In order to make the Golden globes awards work to your advantage, you would have to know your source material. The best way to win in the Best Screenplay category at the Golden globes? Make sure your source material is a novel.
In looking at the last five years’ worth of best screenplay winners at the Golden globes, all but one of them went on to win in the best adapted screenplay category (and the only reason for this is because it was the original screenplay of Midnight in Paris, and it went on to win at the Oscars anyway). This gives me the impression that the foreign press is more like the typical viewer, the kind that says “What? You mean there was a book before this?”. If you’re looking for a win in your Best Adapted Screenplay category, all you have to do is this: check and see who won the Golden Globes Best Screenplay award. If it was based on a book, then it’s sure to win in the Best Adapted Screenplay category at the Oscars.
So, if you’re looking to beat your friends on your Oscar party ballot, maybe these tips and tricks will help. Of course, it’s worth keeping in mind that Hollywood can be a very fickle thing. Hawk Koch and the rest of the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are no exception. Especially when you consider the slight against Ben Affleck or the fact than Gran Torino was never nominated for any Oscars. I guess we’ll just all have to drown our sorrows in what’s shaping up to be a fantastic summer of blockbuster films, none of which will ever attract the Golden globes or Academy Awards attention, much less get a nomination. And you know what? That is okay with me.
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