The Oscar Warrior: What the Globes Mean for Oscar Night

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That’s all she wrote for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual awards party–you can see all the winners and check out our live blogging of the show here— and some might be wondering where that leaves some of the frontrunners and how the Globes may or may not help a movie, filmmaker or actor’s chances either of getting a nomination or winning on Oscar night. Well, it won’t do much of anything for nominations since the Oscar ballots deadline has already passed, which was partially the purpose of moving the Oscars up earlier to avoid the influence of other awards on Academy voters.

It was a really good night for Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist, which won the “Best Picture – Comedy or Musical” award, as well as honors for actor Jean Dujardin and for its original score. Hazanavicius himself didn’t win the “Best Director,” losing to veteran Martin Scorsese for his direction of Hugo. That certainly seemed to set up a possible upset in the “Best Picture – Drama” category, but that went to Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, which also won the “Best Actor” award for George Clooney.

The Golden Globes don’t have a terrific track record for either Director or Best Picture winners going onto win on Oscar night with Fincher winning the Golden Globe last year for The Social Network, but losing Oscar night to The King Speech‘s Tom Hooper. James Cameron beat former wife Kathryn Bigelow at the Globes, but lost to her on Oscar night. Julian Schnabel was another director who won a Globe for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, but only received an Oscar nomination for his direction. The win by Scorsese does give him a boost, though it may be likely that the mostly foreign press that vote for the Globes went with the more familiar name rather than an unknown French director.

In the last ten years, only three movies that won the Golden Globes award for Best Picture – Drama went on to win the Best Picture at the Oscars, those being Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind. Many of the other winners got nominated but didn’t win, but the Golden Globe win does give a nice much-needed boost to Payne’s film, and Clooney’s win (his second this week) puts him in line as frontrunner to win SAG and probably the Oscar as well.

So let’s look at The Help, which won three awards at the Critics Choice Movie Awards earlier this week, but only Octavia Spencer was honored tonight for her supporting role while Viola Davis lost in the “Best Actress” category to her good friend Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady. Streep received her eighth Golden Globe tonight, her last two wins being in the “Comedy/Musical” category. Since we still think Viola Davis stands a good chance at winning the SAG award and The Help could win Best Ensemble, Streep may still be fighting a losing battle, but her memorable speech and Harvey Weinberg’s desire to win every Oscar may make a big play in the next month. Viola Davis’ Critics Choice speech was much stronger than Streep fumbling through hers, which might make all the difference for Academy voters.

The Animated Feature win for Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin may help its chances against Gore Verbinski’s Rango.

We may have a couple more things to add in the next week, but the next big announcement is the Oscar nominations proper on January 24.