Golden Globe Winners vs. Oscars: The 2012 Update!

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Golden Globe Winners compared to Oscars
Photo: Hollywood Foreign Press Association / AMPAS

UPDATE: The 2013 edition has been posted. Click here for the latest comparison of the Golden Globe winners vs. the Oscars.

The Descendants? Well, it means this race ain’t over yet and last night’s wins may not mean as much as you think they do, but we’re going to take a look at it anyway.

Today I offer my seventh installment of my “Globes vs. Oscars” column (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) and we’ll take a look at the past 27 years of Golden Globe winner history compared to the Oscars and see where last night’s winners may gain an edge and where they most likely won’t and we’ll begin with the lead acting categories.

Best Lead Actor and Actress
Actor: 17 of the last 27 Globe winners won the Oscar
Actress: 21 of the last 27 Globe winners won the Oscar

Last night George Clooney (The Descendants), Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn) took home Best Actor and Actress honors. Considering the Globes are afforded two chances to match up with the Oscars with their breaking things up into Drama and Musical or Comedy categories this raises the likelihood for an Oscar match. As you can see from the stats above, that’s just the case particularly in the Actress categories where 21 of the last 27 years the Globe winner has gone on to win the Oscar.

Eight out of the last nine years the Globe winner for Best Actress has gone on to win the Oscar and when you consider the one year the winners did not match was the year there was a bit of category confusion things look even better.

In 2009, Kate Winslet won the Best Actress Oscar for The Reader, a performance she was also awarded for at the Golden Globes, only in the Supporting category. So, in a way, it’s almost as if the Globes have matched up nine straight years, but does that mean Streep and Williams are the two front-runners? In short… no.

If you ask me, the race is clearly between Meryl Streep and Viola Davis (The Help) and the only thing that will have me saying Streep will win the Oscar over Davis will be a win for Streep at next Sunday’s SAG Awards. If Davis wins there it is off to an Oscar win and a deserved one at that. Sorry Michelle, you’re playing for third as far as I see it.

In the Actor category, over the last 27 years it hasn’t been as clear cut, but if you look at the last eight years you will see the Oscars and the Globes matched up seven times and considering the wins for Dujardin and Clooney last night I see a very good chance for another match this year as those two are the clear front-runners for Oscar’s Best Actor.

It certainly helps when the two major front-runners are split among the categories, which is likely one of the main reasons Dreamworks was pushing the HFPA to consider The Help for the Comedy/Musical category. They didn’t bite.

Best Supporting Actor and Actress
Supporting Actor: 16 of the last 27 Globe winners won the Oscar
Supporting Actress: 14 of the last 27 Globe winners won the Oscar

Octavia Spencer (The Help) and Christopher Plummer (Beginners) followed up their Critics Choice Awards wins with wins last night as well, but my oh my, look at those stats. Nearly 50% difference for the Supporting Actress category and the Supporting Actor category isn’t much better. Luckily for Spencer and Plummer they are the clear front-runners in both categories and history can be damned in this case.

After all, 11 out of the last 13 years the Supporting Actor race has matched up. Supporting Actress isn’t as kind recently, but six out of the last ten Globe winners have gone on to win the Oscar including a match the last two years for Mo’Nique (Precious) and Melissa Leo (The Fighter).

Best Director
17 of the last 27 Globe winners won the Oscar

So Martin Scorsese won Best Director last night for Hugo and he was also nominated by the Directors Guild, but just look at those stats and this isn’t a category like the ones mentioned above where things have been better in recent years. In fact only two out of the last five Golden Globe winners for Best Director also won the Oscar and only five out of the last ten. Those five, however, were all years where the Globes matched with the Directors Guild winner.

So maybe we’ll hear Scorsese’s name announced as the winner by the DGA on Saturday, January 28 and we can begin talking about him for Best Director, but based on recent history he may have been better off not winning.

Just below I’ve listed the recent discrepancies between the Globes and Oscars for this category.

  • The Globe went to David Fincher (The Social Network) and Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) took home the Oscar in 2011.
  • 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 27 Globe winners won the Oscar

So what about Best Picture? Well, right now I see the race for Best Picture between two films — The Artist and The Descendants — and those two films won last night at the Globes. Some will add Hugo to that list as a third possible contender. I also think The Help stands an outside chance. But if you’re wanting to make a bet you’re looking at The Artist and The Descendants and at this time the safe money is on The Artist.

However, recent history has been particularly unkind in this category. Only one time out of the last seven years has the Golden Globe winner matched up with the Oscar winner. That winner was Slumdog Millionaire. Of course, before that the Globes and Oscars matched up for eight straight years.

So what does this tell us? Well, it tells me exactly what I said above, The Artist and The Descendants are the front-runners, but there are a couple of films nipping at their heals and history tells us they have a legitimate shot.


So there it is, the nominations for the 2012 Oscars will be announced next Tuesday, January 24, at 5:30 a.m. PT with the big show taking place on Sunday, February 26.

Just as I did here.