Back in 1998, Gwyneth Paltrow didn't seem to have much hope of winning an Oscar for "Shakespeare in Love." She kept getting trounced at the early film-critics' awards by Cate Blanchett ("Elizabeth"), Fernanda Montenegro ("Central Station") and Cameron Diaz ("There's Something About Mary"), but she suddenly zoomed ahead of the pack when she prevailed at the Golden Globes and gave the performance of her career at the podium.
Paltrow mentioned two family members who were battling cancer and she wept as she thanked her dad "who's had a tough year and to my grandpa, who's having an even tougher year. Hang in there, grandpa!" When Oscar voters saw that, they wanted an encore at their own awardsfest. (Watch below)
When Ben Affleck looked so dignified winning Best Director at last year's Globes, all Hollywood rallied behind him and "Argo" ended up nabbing the Oscar for Best Picture. Just three days earlier, Affleck had been left off the list of Oscar nominees. Normally, that would doom his film with academy voters, but the Globes helped to change that. (Watch below)
Because that's what the Globes do best. If you look like a champ there, you can skate to easy Oscar victory later. Frankly, winning a Globe is your Oscar audition.
Hilary Swank, Jamie Foxx, Geoffrey Rush, Emma Thompson and many others all learned the same lesson and reaped the reward. Ditto Mel Gibson. "Braveheart" had little Oscar buzz before Gibson pulled off a surprising Globe victory as Best Director of 1995 and charmed viewers as he ticked off his thank-yous, adding, "My wife deserves a mention. Otherwise I'll have a Golden Globe mark on my head." Gibson went on to triumph at the Academy Awards where "Braveheart" reaped Best Picture.
Conversely, the opposite can be true as well: Screw up at the Globes and that may doom your Oscar hopes.
Back in 2005, Oscarless Annette Bening ("Being Julia") may have had a shot at stopping Swank ("Million Dollar Baby") from snagging a second academy crown, but she bored the Globes audience to tears with a rambling laundry list of thank-yous. (Watch below)
However, the worst flame-out was staged by Jim Carrey, a two-time Globe winner ("The Truman Show," "Man on the Moon") who's never even been nominated at the Oscars. Perhaps that's because of his "Truman Show" acceptance speech that was, granted, hilarious, but extremely undignified and loaded with Oscar and Globe insults: "It's going to be so hard to talk out of my ass after this …. but I'll manage, I'll manage. What a shocker. If you look back over some of my earlier dramatic work in films like 'Earth Girls Are Easy' and 'Once Bitten,' you might have seen this coming, but I really wasn't expecting it .… You know what this means, don't you? I'm a shoo-in for the Blockbuster Award. I'd like to thank my mother and father and the academy. No! I mean …I'm sorry! I was thinking of something else. Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press. I'll enjoy this very much -- down to the chewy chocolate center." (Watch below)
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Earliest Oscars Predictions Ever
Our Oscarologists are busy updating their predictions as they see more and more contenders. Make your early picks now -- click here -- and change them later as the derby heats up.