“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” just won three Golden Globes, more than any other film: Best Film Comedy/Musical, Best Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt) and Best Screenplay (Quentin Tarantino). Those happen to be the exact three awards that “Green Book” won last year. Normally I’d look at something like that as a coincidence, but “Green Book” won that exact same trifecta at the Oscars, and it’s a trio of wins that have become surprisingly common in recent years.
“Green Book” won those three Globes, and it also won those three Oscars: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) and Best Original Screenplay (Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie and Peter Farrelly).
Before that “Moonlight” (2016) won in the same three fields: Picture — supporting acting and writing — when it claimed the top prize, Best Supporting Actor (Ali won for that too) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney).
And before that “12 Years a Slave” (2013) achieved the same magic hat trick: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o) and Best Adapted Screenplay (John Ridley).
None of those three films were the biggest winners of their respective nights. “Slave’s” awards haul was eclipsed by “Gravity” (seven Oscars). “Moonlight’s” total was outdone by “La La Land” (six Oscars). “Green Book” was just shy of “Bohemian Rhapsody” (four Oscars). But there’s something about those three Oscar fields in the years since the academy expanded Best Picture and now uses a preferential ballot to decide the winner in that top category.
There’s not quite enough data to call it a trend, per se. Best Picture winners “Birdman” and “Spotlight” didn’t win for supporting acting, and “The Shape of Water” didn’t win for supporting acting or writing, though all three of those films were nominated in those fields. But it’s a statistic we might want to keep an eye on.
The main difference in the case of “Once Upon a Time,” though, is that if it’s strong enough to win those three key categories, it’ll probably win more below the line too, for its production design, editing, cinematography, costumes, makeup and hairstyling and sound, or some combination thereof.
Do you think there’s something to these particular categories that unlocks a Best Picture front-runner nowadays, or is it just happenstance? Either way, do you think “Once Upon a Time” is the Oscars front-runner?
Be sure to make your Oscar nominee predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on January 13. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.