The 2018 Golden Globe Awards offered some clarity on the tight Best Actress race, with victories for Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”) on the comedy/musical side and Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) on the drama side. Left out in the cold was McDormand’s main rival and the critical favorite, Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”), who earlier this season was the favorite to win the Oscar, but is currently ranked third in our combined odds behind McDormand and Ronan.
Unlike nine years ago when she was snubbed at the Oscars after winning a Globe for “Happy-Go-Lucky,” Hawkins is a near lock for an Oscar nomination her moving mute performance in “The Shape of Water,” which may be the nomination leader. History, however, is not on her side for a win after her Globes defeat.
Since the Screen Actors Guild Awards began 23 years ago, only three women have gone on to win the Best Actress Oscar after losing the Globe: Susan Sarandon (“Dead Man Walking” ), Halle Berry (“Monster’s Ball” ) and ironically, McDormand herself for “Fargo” (1996). These three women have one thing in common: They all won at SAG, which has matched with the Oscars in this category 17 out of 23 times.
But even with SAG’s great correlation with Oscar, there are four actresses who lost the Globe, won SAG and still lost the Oscar: Jodie Foster (“Nell” ), Annette Bening (“American Beauty” (1999]), Meryl Streep (“Doubt” ) and Viola Davis (“The Help” ). All four lost to the Globe champs — Jessica Lange (“Blue Sky”), Hilary Swank (“Boys Don’t Cry”), Kate Winslet (“The Reader”) and Streep (“The Iron Lady”), respectively — though Streep’s defeat is slightly asterisked since Winslet won the Globe and SAG in supporting, and beat her at the Globes in lead for “Revolutionary Road.”
Needless to say, Hawkins will want to win the SAG to burnish her chances. She gives an emotional, bait-y performance that SAG usually responds to. What hurts her, though, is both “Three Billboards” and “Lady Bird” had stronger showings at SAG, with the casts making the cut unlike “The Shape of Water.” “Three Billboards” also snagged an additional surprise nomination for Woody Harrelson, while Hawkins’ co-star Octavia Spencer was snubbed. You don’t always need the overall film to contend to win an individual race; the last four leading lady winners Emma Stone (“La La Land”), Brie Larson (“Room”), Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”) and Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) didn’t, but they were also the undisputed frontrunners who weren’t in a close three-way race with rivals whose films made the shortlist.
SAG is also the awards body that is friendliest to older, respected industry vets like McDormand, who definitely won over more fans, and voters, with her rousing, empowering Globes speech. There was a lot of love in the room for McDormand Sunday night, and since we already know SAG likes “Three Billboards,” that might be enough carry her to a win. McDormand is in first place, according to our combined SAG odds, with Ronan in second and Hawkins third.
But if we’re going by history here, Hawkins can try to hang her hopes on one major SAG stat: No actress has won in lead twice there. Stats are broken every year, of course, but even if this one remains intact for another year, SAG voters still have another alternative in Ronan, not just Hawkins.
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.