What do the Golden Globes mean for the Oscars race?

Do we already know the big winners?

Awards season has now officially kicked off after the first bash of the year, the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards, took place last Sunday, Jan 5. A-list movie stars brushed shoulders with television favourites, and this year’s gongs were divvied out to Hollywood elite.

When it came to movies the big winner was Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which picked up the trophy for Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and Best Supporting Performance in a Motion Picture for Brad Pitt. Elsewhere 1917, Joker and Rocketman all came away with two wins each; but the question now is what do the Golden Globe winners mean for the Oscars?

Do the Golden Globes influence the Oscars?

Well, to consider that you need to look at the timeframe of the voting process for each awards ceremony.

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The Golden Globes are voted for by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association – a group of 90-ish global journalists based in Southern California. Each member is sent a ballot and a list of the films they can vote on, and they pick five favourites for each category, ranking them from 1 to 5. The ballots are sent in November, and the nominations announced mid-December. This year the Golden Globe Awards were held on January 5, 2020.

The Oscars, however, are voted for by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has about over 6000 members who are “motion picture professionals” from across the film making spectrum (including actors, directors, costume designers and casting directors). This year the Oscars voting began on January 2, and finished on January 7. Then the nominees are announced on January 13, and final voting opens on January 30.

So a lot of people would have submitted their choices for the Academy Awards before the Golden Globes winners had been announced, which means it’s unlikely that the Golden Globes would influence their initial nomination votes.

However, for the final Oscars voting The Golden Globes could certainly play more of a part. Perhaps a particularly memorable speech from a winner may make you vote for them. On the flipside, if voters feel disappointed because somebody ‘unworthy’ won they might make a point of picking somebody different.

Do the Golden Globes “predict” the Oscars?

Yes and no. In the past 10 years the Golden Globes have ‘predicted’ the Oscars Best Picture award five times out of 10; three times in the Best Motion Picture – Drama category (Argo – 2012, 12 Years a Slave – 2013 and Moonlight – 2016) and twice for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (The Artist – 2011 and Green Book – 2018). It’s hard to say whether these Golden Globes winners influenced the Oscars winners, or they just won at both because they’re all really good films. And also, given that the Golden Globes gives two best motion picture awards, it does make them predicting the Oscars winner that bit easier.

And in other categories, there seems to be even more crossover. According to Statista, between 1944 (when the Golden Globes began) and 2015, 54 times out of 72 (or 75% of times) the actor who won a Golden Globe for Best Actor also won the Oscar; and 50 times out of 72 (or 69% of times) the same actress won the gong at both ceremonies.

So what does this mean for the Academy Awards this year?

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Well honestly, it’s hard to tell. Looking at the past 10 years, 19 times out of 20 the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy were also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture (all bar The Hangover, which was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the Globes in 2009). This means at the very least, we can expect both Golden Globes’ Best Pictures winners 1917 and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. And statistically, it’s 50% likely that one of them will win.

Also looking at past years you could argue it’s 75% likely that Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) or Taron Egerton (Rocketman) will take home the trophy for Best Actor, and Renée Zellweger (Judy) or Awkwafina (The Farewell) to get the gong for Best Actress. And in the Best Director category, over the past 10 years we’ve seen the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards give the Best Director award to the same person 50% of the time, so Sam Mendes (1917) is definitely in the running to take home that trophy.

The discourse around this year’s Golden Globes also saw a lot of love for Parasite and its director Bong Joon-ho, which was snubbed from the Best Motion Picture categories, but did take home the award for Best Foreign Language Film; so this could also be a contender for Best Picture at the Oscars, as it’ll almost definitely be in the running (and let’s be honest, probably take home) Best International Feature Film. Bong Joon-ho could also be a contender for Best Director.

And there was a fair bit of backlash about Little Women not being nominated for either motion picture category, and this could remind voters to nominate it for an Oscar. Especially given the voting for the Golden Globes came before the film’s general release (and its huge box office pull over Christmas), and the stellar reviews from both critics and punters could change the Academy’s mind.

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