Can Golden Globes rescue ‘Argo’s’ Oscar hopes?

Out of the 18 experts predicting the Golden Globes at Gold Derby, 11 pick “Lincoln,” thus giving it a comfy lead, but I am among the five naysayers who believe “Argo” will win Best Drama Picture and even Best Director.

Balloting for the Globes closed last Wednesday before the Oscars snubbed Ben Affleck. We all know how star struck those members of HFPA can be. Affleck is just the kind of dashing Hollywood hipster they usually adore and he and producer George Clooney, I hear, have been wooing them aggressively behind the scenes. What happens if it triumphs at the Globes?

Many award pundits will pooh-pooh the result as one more case of the Globes getting it wrong – just as they failed to predict the academy’s Best Picture six times in the past eight years. But I believe Globe victories for Best Picture and Director can revive the Oscar hopes of “Argo,” helping to contribute to a growing tide of sympathy and defiant support as Hollywood rallies to Affleck’s wounded side.

Last night, while discussing “Argo’s” recent victory at the Critics Choice Awards, one of Gold Derby’s editors said to me, “Hmmm … isn’t it interesting that ‘Lincoln‘ led the Critics Choice Awards with a record number of nominations, but only won three awards? Could we be overestimating ‘Lincoln’ at the Oscars, too?”

Yes, possibly, and that’s why I haven’t changed my Oscar prediction, still betting on “Argo” to win Best Picture there. I have a hunch it’s going to win DGA or PGA, maybe both. If it doesn’t, I still have time to switch my prediction to “Lincoln,” but for now I sense something odd going on. All of us “experts” need to concede the possibility that everything – how we usually predict these derbies – may be different this year because of the change in the Oscar voting calendar. In the past, the Oscars followed all of the other awards, usually rubber-stamping the results. Now they’ve jumped ahead of a few awards in the early part of the derby and we see significant differences in the list of nominations. Winners are still picked in late February, though. Voters may return to their old pattern of rubber-stamping previous winners and we won’t see it coming because we are reading too much into tea leaves within the nominees.

Let us not forgot that there was one example of a film winning Best Picture at the Oscars without its director getting nommed: “Driving Miss Daisy.” Another exception could occur this year if Affleck prevails at the Globes and gives the performance of his life at the podium.

See Gold Derby’s latest racetrack odds on the Globes here.

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