Breaking down the Golden Globes: What this means for the Oscars

For the first time in a while, it seems like the Golden Globes has a chance to shift the tide in the Best Picture Oscar race. Historically, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s big show has served, at best, as an indicator for which film currently carried the most momentum and, at worst, as a glitzy, booze-fueled kick-off to awards season. Let’s just say at this point, Ben Affleck’s directing snub could be the best thing to happen to “Argo’s” chances for Best Picture.

As a side note: I’ll only be focusing on film since the Emmys are a long ways away and my abysmal three-out-of-seven Golden Globe TV predictions means I should probably stick to movies (11 out of 13, woo!).

 

Best Motion Picture

Comedy/Musical winner: “Les Misérables”

Drama winner: “Argo”

“Lincoln” carried the brunt of the Best Picture momentum coming into the Globes, but “Argo’s” Best Drama and Director wins could very well shake the prestige drama’s chances at Oscar gold. There’s still chatter over Affleck’s surprise omission from the Oscar’s directing category, so the political thriller could go for the Best Picture gold as compensation. Had the snafu not occurred, this could still easily be Honest Abe’s game. “Argo’s” win would’ve simply been the HFPA succumbing to the glamour of its international, Hollywood-centric plot (especially compared to boring, old American history). This is the *Hollywood* *Foreign* Press Association, after all.

Meanwhile, “Life of Pi” appears to have become the maid of honor in this race – widely admired but firmly settled in as this year’s second-choice selection. Ah, Ang Lee: always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

 

Best Actress

Comedy/Musical winner: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Drama winner: Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”

This is shaping up to be the hardest-to-call race of the season. A fun “the more you know” fact: this year’s Best Actress race features the oldest nominee ever (Riva for “Amour”) and youngest (Wallis for “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” bumping Lawrence to third-youngest nominee for “Winter’s Bone” two years ago). The Globes awarded Lawrence for Comedy/Musical and Chastain for Drama, with Watts languishing at a distant second for the Thai tsunami disaster flick “The Impossible.”

By separating the two frontrunners into different categories, there’s no real way to determine who emerged on top. Each already has one previous Oscar nom under her belt (Chastain received a supporting nod last year for “The Help”). Lawrence has quite a following from her cred on the indie film circuit as well as for her popular turns in “The Hunger Games” and “X-Men” reboot. The Oscars may shy away from “Zero Dark Thirty” due to controversy. Remember, the Academy is notoriously allergic to any kind of edginess – check their decision to award Best Picture to “Crash” over “Brokeback Mountain” in 2005 and “The King’s Speech” over “The Social Network” in 2010. Both years’ losers had previously snagged Golden Globes for Best Drama. However, they may offer “Zero Dark Thirty” some consolation with Oscar gold for leading lady Chastain.

 

Best Actor

Comedy/Musical winner: Hugh Jackman, “Les Misérables”

Drama winner: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”

I mean, any nominee whose name isn’t Daniel Day-Lewis shouldn’t even bother showing up come February 26. I haven’t seen a Best Actor race this locked down since the last time Day-Lewis won, back in 2007 for “There Will Be Blood.” He and “Amour” for Best Foreign Language Film category are the surest things this year.

 

Best Director

Golden Globe winner: Ben Affleck, “Argo”

With the highest-profile contenders out of the running (Affleck, along with previous winners Tom Hooper and Kathryn Bigelow), it’ll be interesting to see who steps out as a frontrunner. Quvenzhané Wallis may be the youngest Best Actress nominee ever, but some dispute that at that young an age (Wallis was only six years old during shooting), it’s more about charisma rather than talent, alleging that her nominated performance is largely thanks to a good director. However, “Beast’s” Zeitlin should probably just be grateful for being included. Critics lauded “Life of Pi’s” Lee for filming an “unfilmable” movie, while Spielberg is probably the biggest name in directing, like, ever. I’ll wait until the Directors Guild Awards, but this could boil down to a faceoff between Lee and Spielberg.

 

Best Supporting Actress

Golden Globe winner: Anne Hathaway, “Les Misérables”

Hathaway smartly played it humble during her Golden Globes acceptance speech. No one likes an arrogant winner. Then again, Melissa Leo managed to pull off a supporting win for “The Fighter” two years ago despite running those ludicrous vanity ads (she published glossy glamour shots of herself, asking voters to “Consider” her). That aside, if Hathaway doesn’t make a major blunder between now and February 26, sweet Oscar gold will almost certainly be hers.

 

Best Supporting Actor

Golden Globe winner: Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”

This is the one major movie category I gaffed on. I figured the HFPA would be seduced by a superstar like DiCaprio. They’ve always been big suckers for celebrity – recall Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp’s acting nods for “The Tourist.” Anyways, Waltz has momentum now, but this category is packed with pretty strong contenders. At this point, the only one I’d count out is Arkin (“Argo”).

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