When you see the Golden Globe winners unveiled this Sunday night, don't be too surprised if you see them again soon – at the Oscars.
That's because the Golden Globe has often acted as a crystal ball revealing who'll snag academy gold next and maybe even helping them to get it.
Take, for example, the Best Actor race. Over the past 20 years, only three times did the eventual Oscar champ fail to win one of the two Globe races. In 2008, Sean Penn ("Milk") got trounced by Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler"). In 2002, Adrien Brody ("The Pianist") lost to Jack Nicholson ("About Schmidt"). In 1997, the Globes failed to nominate Oscar choice Roberto Benigni ("Life Is Beautiful").
Results are similar for Best Actress, but comparison gets tricky because Kate Winslet won for "The Reader" in the supporting slot at the Globes instead of lead as she did at the Oscars. However, she also claimed the lead actress Globe for "Revolutionary Road" that same year so let's count this case as Globe-Oscar agreement. Otherwise, the two awards disagreed only twice. In 1995, Oscar champ Susan Sarandon ("Dead Man Walking") lost the Globe to Sharon Stone ("Casino") and, in 2001, Halle Berry ("Monster's Ball") ceded to Sissy Spacek ("In the Bedroom").
In recent years, the Globe has failed to foresee the Oscar victor for Best Picture as impressively as it did in the more distant past. Over the past decade, the kudos agreed on only four Best Pictures: "Argo," "The Artist," "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King." The Globes didn't even nominate Oscar champ "Crash."
However, historically speaking, more than 60% of Oscar's Best Pictures won at the Globes over all.
What's the reason for the overlap? Why are the Globes so good at forecasting the Oscars?
Theories vary, but this one is highly likely – it's the Oscar Voters Are Really Sheep Theory. Academy members may be smug Hollywood titans who love to think of themselves as independent mavericks, but, in fact, they're really just obedient sheep who dutifully follow along when other awards start chasing after "Slumdog Millionaire" or Daniel Day-Lewis.
The other possibility is that all of the films and stars chosen by both awards are really – egads -- the best of their year, but there's no fun in that theory, so let's drop it.
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