There were numerous surprises at the Golden Globes on Sunday night, so some of us may be scrambling to change our Oscar predictions before those nominations are announced on Thursday morning. But should we bow to temptation?
Remember, Globe winners were presented after voting for Oscar nominations ended last Friday (January 8). The voting for Oscar winners won't start until February 12, at which point the Globe results will have been eclipsed by various industry events (including the SAG, PGA and DGA Awards) that are typically much more reflective of the industry's tastes.
So these winners may not do much to change the momentum of the contest one way or another, but there might still be a few important takeaways.
The surprise wins for Best Drama Picture and Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu) don't necessarily mean that it's suddenly the frontrunner to win the Oscar. Remember that last year's Globe champs for Best Picture were "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Comedy/Musical) and "Boyhood" (Drama), but it was Inarritu's "Birdman" that ended up taking Oscar. Also, Inarritu's "Babel" won the Globe for Best Drama Picture in 2006 only to lose the Oscar to "The Departed."
But the Globe wins, coupled with strong showings at the PGA and BAFTA nominations, re-position the film as more than just the vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio's overdue Oscar. It suddenly looks like a player in all top categories.
The film seemed to be waning, with its Best Picture snub at the BAFTA Awards coinciding with the ascent of "The Big Short" at that and other awards events in recent weeks. Its Globe wins for Best Comedy/Musical Picture and Best Film Comedy/Musical Actor (Matt Damon) may prove to be the most controversial choices the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made this year (highlighting the organization's dubious category classifications to appease major studios), but its victory in the top races may reverse the perception that the film is no longer a major awards player, and perception matters.
Few films have risen as high and fallen as hard as "Steve Jobs" this awards season. The once mighty Oscar contender has missed key nominations throughout the season, including Best Ensemble at the SAG Awards, Best Picture at the PGA Awards and Best Drama Picture at the Globes too, but its two victories (Best Screenplay and Best Film Supporting Actress for Kate Winslet) demonstrate that we shouldn't count it out of all races just yet. Aaron Sorkin's victory for Best Screenplay, over Oscar-frontrunners "Spotlight" and "The Big Short," may be especially meaningful.
Losing the Golden Globe for Best Picture doesn't necessarily mean this journalistic drama is dead in the water at the Oscars. Many films have won the top Oscar without winning the top Globe. However, it's far less common for a film to win the Best Picture Oscar without winning any Globes. In the last 25 years, only two films have pulled off that feat: "Crash" (2005) and "The Hurt Locker" (2009).
But take heart, "Spotlight" camp. "The Hurt Locker" lost the exact same three categories as "Spotlight" (Drama Picture, Director and Screenplay) but won all three of those prizes at the Oscars anyway, plus three more for good measure.
"The Big Short"
The momentum for this Wall Street satire has been building with Best Picture nominations from the PGA and BAFTA Awards and a Best Ensemble bid from SAG. We thought it had built enough steam to take Best Comedy/Musical Picture over "The Martian," but instead it lost all four of its nominations. As mentioned above, it's rare to win the top Oscar without winning any Globes, but given this year's Globe schedule its shutout, like "Spotlight's," will have no bearing on the Oscar nominations, so this could just be a momentary bump in the road.
She had two chances to win Golden Globes, and in the Best Film Supporting Actress category many of us thought she would prevail for "Ex Machina" after her other performance in "The Danish Girl" was bumped to the lead race along with her chief rival, Rooney Mara ("Carol"). That fact that Vikander lost both has to make us wonder whether she could end up like Scarlett Johansson in "Lost in Translation" (2003): campaigned in supporting for a lead performance, which divided her support enough for her to miss out on an Oscar nomination entirely.
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"The Revenant"; "The Martian": Fox
"Spotlight": Open Road
"The Big Short": Paramount