Golden Globe Winners vs. Oscars: The 2011 Update!


The 2011 Golden Globes have come and gone and did so without much surprise. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is lockstep with everyone else and The Social Network is the clear front-runner. In fact, things are so boring this year I’m not even sure an article such as this is necessary as I update the numbers comparing the Golden Globe Award winners with the Oscar winners. Do the Golden Globes even matter when it comes to predicting the Oscar winner? Does anything at this point?

To help answer those questions I bring you the latest update to my “Globes vs. Oscars” column, the sixth installment of this feature in fact (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010).

This will take a look at how the past 26 years of Golden Globe winner history compared to the Oscars. I hope I’ve managed to make it somewhat interesting considering the circumstances…

Best Lead Actor and Actress
Actor: 16 of the last 26 Globe winners won the Oscar
Actress: 20 of the last 26 Globe winners won the Oscar

Last year the acting categories were pretty much all sewn up. Even Sandra Bullock winning for The Blind Side became a foregone conclusion by the time the Oscars came around. As far as the lead categories go this year the only way I can imagine the Globes and Oscars not lining up would be if they go a different way than last night’s selection of Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) for Best Actor.

On the women’s side it seems to have boiled down to a race between Annette Bening (The Kids are All Right) and Natalie Portman (Black Swan) and with both of them winning last night that category is likely to line-up unless the Academy decides to deviate entirely. Nicole Kidman perhaps? Lesley Manville? Is it possible the Academy at large could possibly be so unique as to not become just another one of the sheep?

When it comes to these two categories the ladies line-up far more often than the men, which means we shouldn’t be surprised that of the two the men’s side is the slightly more interesting.

Best Supporting Actor and Actress
Supporting Actor: 15 of the last 26 Globe winners won the Oscar
Supporting Actress: 13 of the last 26 Globe winners won the Oscar

Even though the Globes and Oscars lined up last year with Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) and Mo’Nique (Precious) there still isn’t a lot the two have in common. The men’s side finds common ground with the Oscars only 57% of the time and only 50% of the time with the women. This year the supporting actor category is almost assured to match up with Christian Bale (The Fighter) winning at the Globes last night and the clear front-runner for the Oscar. However, will the Supporting Actress category be able to jump the 50% mark?

Melissa Leo won the Globe last night for her role in The Fighter and gave what was arguably the best speech of the night, something I believe will help her chances at the Oscars. Leo faces the obvious competition in Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech), Mila Kunis (Black Swan) and her The Fighter co-star Amy Adams. However, there are folks that would love to see Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom) take the Oscar home and what about Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)? Steinfeld is obviously the lead in True Grit but she’s being pushed in the Supporting category and that film has done gangbusters at the box-office. Is anyone paying attention?

Best Director
17 of the last 26 Globe winners won the Oscar

Last year the HFPA handed the award to James Cameron for Avatar and it immediately planted a seed of doubt in people’s minds. Was it possible the Academy would ignore the opportunity to award the first female the Best Director Oscar? Short answer… No. However, will the Academy ignore the female contingent this year?

After last night’s Golden Globe Awards, The Kids are All Right star Mark Ruffalo was quoted saying, “I would just like to say to the Academy members – why don’t you grow a pair and vote for Lisa Cholodenko as well?” Female directors, including Cholodenko, Sofia Coppola (Somewhere) and Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone) have been pretty much ignored this awards season, a year after Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) was the first female to take home the Best Director Oscar.

Of course, this is all a long lead in to saying, yeah, David Fincher (The Social Network) will probably win the Oscar the same as he won Best Director at the Globes last night, but if you’re interested in the moments the two shows didn’t align over the last 26 years have a look at the list below and see if you can find any precedent for why Fincher may not win:

  • The Globe went to James Cameron (Avatar) and Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) took home the Oscar in 2010.
  • The Globe went to Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men) took home the Oscar in 2008.
  • The Globe went to Martin Scorsese (Gangs of New York) and Roman Polanski (The Pianist) took home the Oscar in 2003.
  • The Globe went to Robert Altman (Gosford Park) and Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) took home the Oscar in 2002.
  • The Globe went to Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Steven Soderbergh (Traffic) took home the Oscar in 2000.
  • The Globe went to Milos Forman (The People vs. Larry Flynt) and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) took home the Oscar in 1997.
  • The Globe went to Oliver Stone (JFK) and Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) took home the Oscar in 1992.
  • The Globe went to Clint Eastwood (Bird) and Barry Levinson (Rain Man) took home the Oscar in 1989.
  • The Globe went to John Huston (Prizzi’s Honor) and Sydney Pollack (Out of Africa) took home the Oscar in 1986.
Best Picture
18 of the last 26 Globe winners won the Oscar

Just like Best Director last year, the HFPA went with Avatar over The Hurt Locker and the gap between the top prize at the Globes and Oscars widened slightly. Last year the Academy and the Globes differed on both Best Picture and Best Director. Any chance it happens two years in a row?

First off, I think we can all agree last night’s Best Picture (Comedy/Musical) winner, The Kids are All Right, will be nominated but isn’t among those being considered for an Oscar Best Picture win. If Brokeback Mountain can’t beat Crash I don’t think Kids will be able to pull off a surprise win from behind. The Academy has already exhibited their issues with films involving gay relationships so until they’re able to catch up with the rest of us let’s turn our attention to The Social Network, the film that apparently everyone loves to the point of unanimous decision. (What a joke.)

Throughout the award season there’s been one film that’s been said could knock Network off its pedestal, but The King’s Speech hasn’t been making many strides toward bucking the system. The Fighter stands an outside chance should it continue to rack up acting wins and perhaps take Best Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, but for now I think we can just line up the Social Network producers and hand ’em the Best Picture Oscar right now.

So there it is, the nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 25, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater with the big show taking place on Sunday, February 27. I will once again be live and updating with a live diary and winners as they happen and if you weren’t with us last night you can check out the 2010 Golden Globe winners here and my live blog of the event here.


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