Last year when writing up this column the Oscar nominations had not yet been announced. I'm not sure how much of a difference that makes in looking at the numbers and searching for a winner, but I will say with Ben Affleck (Argo) having now won Best Director at the Critics' Choice Awards and the Golden Globes, just imagine the announcement of those Oscar nominees and not hearing Affleck's name now. The bewilderment over his absence before he won back-to-back major awards was nothing compared to what it would be if the Oscars were announced this Thursday instead of last.
Last night's two big winners were Argo and Les Miserables, neither of which were necessarily the first that come to mind when talking about Oscar front-runners as after the nominations most of the attention was focused on Lincoln and it's leading 12 nominations followed by Life of Pi and the Weinstein-backed Silver Linings Playbook. However, with Argo winning Best Picture (Drama) and Best Director and Les Miserables winning Best Picture (Musical/Comedy) and Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman winning Best Supporting Actress and Best Actor (Comedy/Musical), both films have now stepped up in the spotlight.
As I have done for the last several years, today I offer my eighth installment of my "Globes vs. Oscars" column (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) and we'll take a look at the past 28 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.
Last year both Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) won the Golden Globe and then went on to win the Oscar and over the last 28 years the winning percentage in these categories is pretty good. The Globes offer up two contenders that have a shot, doubling the chances for a match and this year is unlikely to be any different.
Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) won Best Actor (Drama) last night and he has long been considered the favorite for the Best Actor Oscar and I'm not sure there are many out there that believe he's going to lose. Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables) is likely his closest competition at this point, but while he may be the "closest", it's a distant second.
For Best Actress it isn't as clear cut as to who will win, but last night's winners -- Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) -- are certainly the two most likely winners. Personally I still believe Lawrence will take the statue home. Why? Well, she sort of hinted at it last night during her acceptance speech when she said, "Harvey, thank you for killing whoever you had to kill to get me up here today." Harvey will definitely put in the work, but this is going to be a close race all the way.
Unlike last year, this year's Supporting categories aren't entirely predictable. Last year to bet against Christopher Plummer (Beginners) or Octavia Spencer (The Help) would have been foolish and this year Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) is just as much a lock for the Oscar as Daniel Day-Lewis, but what about that Supporting Actor category?
Over the last 28 years the Supporting Actor winner at the Golden Globes has matched the Oscar winner 60.7% of the time, but over the last five years that percentage is a 100% match with winners such as Plummer, Christian Bale (The Fighter), Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds), Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight) and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men).
In a bit of a surprise, Waltz won Best Supporting Actor last night for the second time at the Globes for his role in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. His competition was virtually the same as it will be at the Oscars, though at the Globes he was also competing against fellow Django star Leonardo DiCaprio. No such competition exists at the Oscars where DiCaprio was not nominated, instead replaced by Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook) who is in the running for his third Oscar win.
Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) has long been considered the Supporting Actor front-runner, but he has definitely slipped in recent weeks. With Waltz winning at the Globes and Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master) winning at the Critics' Choice it would seem those two have climbed into front-runner status for the Oscars, but I'm not quite ready to count out Jones or even De Niro, which turns this into a four horse race.
Well, I said it at the outset, Ben Affleck (Argo) wasn't nominated for an Oscar so despite his Globe and Critics' Choice win, there won't be a sweep of the major awards for the young helmer whose Oscar will surely come soon enough. As far as the Globes are concerned, recent history shows they aren't exactly the best barometer for predicting the Oscars anyway.
Just below I've listed the recent discrepancies between the Globes and Oscars for this category.
- The Globe went to Martin Scorsese (Hugo) and Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) took home the Oscar in 2012.
- 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.
Right now I still see Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) in the driver's seat for Best Director at the Oscars, but considering he's yet to win a major precursor, all eyes will be on those Directors Guild Awards on February 2 to see who wins. If you haven't yet checked out this year's DGA nominees, you can do so right here... Affleck is among them.
The Globes have a decent percentage when it comes to matching with the Oscar winner, but as of late they have only matched up four times in the last ten years, twice in the last eight.
I'm sure most of you would love to say Argo is the Best Picture front-runner after its Globe and Critics' Choice wins, but as I said last night, only three films have ever won Best Picture without a Best Director nomination and the last time was Driving Miss Daisy in 1990. Before that you have to go back to the very first Oscar awards and Wings and then 1932 with Grand Hotel. I'm not saying Argo doesn't have a chance, but I am saying history isn't in its favor.
Les Miserables certainly got a little bump from last night's win and the race is now looking like it has five very strong contenders with Lincoln, Life of Pi, Les Misérables, Silver Linings Playbook and Argo. A case could be made for every single one of them, which means we may actually have some fireworks once the Oscars come around this year and that final envelope is opened.
In addition to that, I will continue to update my Oscar predictions up until February 24 and you can always find those here. I am also tracking all the major precursor winners in my Oscar Overture and be sure to keep up-to-date with what is coming up next with my Awards Calendar, which tells us the next major awards to be handed out are the Producers Guild Awards next Saturday followed by the Screen Actors Guild Awards next Sunday, January 27. We will be live-blogging the SAGs as well so be sure and join us then.