Golden Globes Movies: Winning Films Enjoy The Taste Of Victory, But Does It Really Help Oscar Chances?

If anyone thought the Golden Globes results were going to add any clarity to the topsy-turvy atmosphere that has so far characterized this year’s Oscar race,  forget it. In a week that has offered crushing disappointment and major highs to just about every serious contender, the Globes mixed it up Sunday but cleared up no questions about who is emerging as a frontrunner in one of the tightest and most interesting Academy Award contests in years. No one can figure this one out yet, and if they say they can, ask for proof because it just simply doesn’t exist. Yet.

On the other hand, one thing on which everyone seemed to agree was that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler knocked it out of the park as hosts and the show moved along in style. One former producer of an Academy Awards show sitting in the audience told me afterwards, “if I were an Oscars producer this year I would be worried. This was a very good show”.

Voting for Globes was in before the Academy Award nominations were announced on Thursday and before it was known the Acad’s directors branch had snubbed Argo director Ben Affleck while the rest of the Academy offered the film seven nominations. His directorial victory at Wednesday’s  Critics Choice Movie Awards and subsequent Best Picture win along with the same two wins at Sunday’s Golden Globes seriously suggests something is amiss. Nothing will really be known until the entertainment guilds start weighing in beginning with the Producers Guild on January 26 followed closely by SAG the next night. If both of those industry bellwethers also go big for Argo then Best Director nomination be damned, Argo could have unstoppable momentum. If they offer up the same mixed results we have gotten so far then the questions about where this race is heading will intensify making for a very suspenseful end of season. In fact many are already saying Affleck’s snub  could actually help the film down the line even leading to a DGA win for him on February 2. Certainly after the rollercoaster week he’s had, Affleck could not have been in a better mood holding one of two Globes he won tonight at the Warner Bros/ In Style After Party at the Beverly Hilton. He talked of all kinds of scenarios going forward but clearly feels his chances are looking up. “I’m not talking about me here since I am clearly out of the Oscar directing race but I think this could mean it is very good for our film as Best Picture and that’s what I am most excited about,” he told me.

Warner Bros Marketing Guru Sue Kroll was also clearly pumped  by the Globe results. “I think our film really deserves this and tonight’s Globes just confirms it,” she said indicating the studio’s support is likely to increase to levels even beyond what they have done to date.  Warners launched a major re-release Friday in anticipation of multiple Oscar nominations the day before.

The big shocker for many in the room was the relatively poor showing of Lincoln which many Hollywood Foreign Press Association voters I spoke with Saturday night felt was the one to beat. Instead it only grabbed the Best Actor – Drama stauette for star Daniel Day-Lewis but was otherwise shutout of the film’s leading 7 nominations. However Dreamworks pulled off the biggest show-stopper of all at the Globes when the director himself reportedly convinced Former President Bill Clinton to appear on the show and present the clip for Lincoln. “What better way for a clip about President Lincoln to be presented than by a President himself?” said one person close to the film. The whole idea was kept under tight raps. Dreamworks head Stacey Snider confided to me that the company was on severe lockdown in order to keep the secret from leaking out. It didn’t and that is a real credit to this Lincoln team as well as HFPA members who didn’t spill the secret even if they knew.

As for the other winners there was a bit of a surprise when Supporting Actor winner  Christoph Waltz’s name came out the envelope so soon afer he won two years ago  for Quentin Tarantino’s Ingorious Basterds but that category of veteran stars was a tossup just as it is expected to be at the Oscars.  Anne Hathaway on the other hand was expected to win for her Supporting turn in Les Miserables and she did. There were no major surprises in the Comedy/Musical races with frontrunners Hugh Jackman of Les Mis  and Jennifer Lawrence of Silver Linings Playbook  grabbing the gold. Silver Linings was in a fierce contest for Best Picture Musical or Comedy against Les Mis  but the latter with three awards overall leading all films was just too strong to overcome. This is the Foreign Press and their tastes likely run more strongly to something with the international flavor of  Les Mis  than the smaller American comedy /drama of Silver Linings. Same might be said of Argo with its setting against the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis  over the All-American Lincoln. Dramatic acting awards for Lincoln’s Daniel Day-Lewis was completely expected as was Jessica Chastain’s award for Zero Dark Thirty , both repeating their victories earlier in the week at the Critics Choice Movie Awards.

The Globe results cap a remarkable week in the awards season where every contender seemed to find a  reason for cheer or disappointment but no film was knocked out . This is still a wide open race and if the final results of the Golden Globes did absolutely nothing to cement a front runner , it also kept hopes high for just about every one of the top contenders which include Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, Les Miserables,  Life Of Pi, Lincoln, Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty and Foreign Language Film winner Amour which all got something Sunday night. “For those who like certain movies this evening just reinforced for them why they liked them.  And it has also emphasized why this is such a great year overall for movies, ”  said Universal Pictures Chairman Adam Fogelson when I saw him at the hopping Universal after-party for the big Les Miserables victory leading all films in total wins.

The Globes can no longer be taken as a completely reliable bellwether of Oscar fortunes, and that has probably never been truer than this year but none of these winners are turning their back on it and it gives a little important momentum just when it is needed, particularly for Argo and Les Mis. But it is significant to note that neither Best Picture winner at the Globes has a corresponding Best Director nomination at the Oscars, a confounding turn of events that reminds of the year when both Sweeney Todd and Atonement took the top two Picture honors in 2007, the year the Globes was knocked off the air due to the Writers strike.  Neither went on to much at the Oscars. But still these wins for Argo and Les Miserables keep these big major studio hopefuls in the game just when they needed it most. Now it is on to to the Guild awards where this race may finally get some real clarity.

  1. Why do I have a feeling the Academy will undergo another rule change next year to avoid another Afleck snub?

    The Oscars are turning out to be a joke and really makes it look out of touch with the general public. Is it any wonder why their ratings go down every year?

    1. Rule change? Simple! Ditch the absurd and convoluted 5 picks/1 vote system that frustrates voters and generates weird nominations and switch to a clearer points system (#1 choice = 5 pts, #2 = 4 pts, etc) or you can do even simpler and go for a 5 picks/5 votes systems. Such a change would ensure that nominations reflect real consensus within each branch of the Academy instead of passionate support from only a few voters. And also go back to 5 slots for best picture, the discrepancy of nominees between bp and the other categories, especially best director, is very disturbing.

    2. I think it’s simple. Since the Academy LOVES Spielberg they didn’t want someone who can actually beat him… therefore no nomination for the one that could.

  2. The main impact should be at the BO: Les Mis, ZD30, SLP, Lincoln and Django should all benefit from their strong showings at the Globes. But the Academy is well-known for its “lack of admiration” toward the HFPA and its tendency to take the opposite view. So the Globes results could be a very good thing for Lincoln. Now that Argo has been showered with trophies by the BFCA and HFPA, there is no longer any need for the Academy to make up for the alleged snub of Affleck in the director category.

  3. This was the best Globes in recent memory. I’d be surprised if the Oscars manages to match it in terms of humor, surprises and just a general feel-good vibe. I know the Globes are ridiculed, but you gotta give the HFPA props for putting on a damn fine show. Over to you, Oscar.

  4. The Golden Globes reflect there are few clear cut award winners this year. Cannot find fault with the Globes winners, and I am sure that there will be differences throughout the awards season.

    And, at the end of the day, this makes it more fun and interesting for the audiences while providing a bigger reason to watch.

  5. Why the need for clarity? So there are no surprises come Oscar time? I for one am not surprised by Lincoln– it is rather boring and I don’t think daniel day Lewis is that great to get an unprecedented third Oscar, so soon from his last much deserved win.

  6. Doesnt it reek of desperation for Spielberg and his handlers to have Bill Clinton introduce the film? It’s undignified. Without class.

    1. I was thinking the exact same thing. Nothing against Clinton, but sort of over the top. I’m not rooting for Argo to pull off an upset in February.

      1. I don’t know. I like Clinton and I loved “Lincoln” but this might rub Acad. voters the wrong way. It did me. It certainly doesn’t reek of desperation but it most certainly is not PR genius. If anything, it might turn out to be a horrible miscalculation.

    2. Having a former President of the United States introduce your film is “without class?” Are you kidding me? I see people post some pretty dumb stuff on here everyday, Robert, but that one? Wow. Just amazing. Obviously you are not a fan of Clinton, which is fine, but it’s not undignified. In fact, that was one of the more brilliant Oscar campaign moves I have ever witnessed. I don’t completely know quite how to feel about it because it does seem heavy handed, but it was not, in any way, “without class.”

      1. Without class is the wrong term, but it did seem a bit desperate to me as well. Like being way overdressed for a date and showing up with flowers AND chocolates. Just looks like you’re trying too hard.

  7. I don’t think it’s desperate, they are showing respect for Lincoln by having a President introduce it, someone who understands what it is to be a president.

    It seemed very classy to me, Clinton was always very good at controlling a room and Spielberg is a larger than life filmmaker and this went with that.

  8. What about the Golden Globe awards for television??

    Aren’t they also considered an indicator of what shows and stars might win Primetime Emmys??

    If so, the producers of “Homeland” and “Girls” might be getting lots of Emmy statuettes.

    1. The Golden Globes is chosen by 84 people. The Television Academy is made up of thousands. This will likely hurt GIRLS which is more of a fringe show than an honest hit.

  9. Although a tad overly snarky, I agree with Nikki on this one: a lot of strum and drang signifying nothing. Globes are decided by a handful of non-guild or association members who have no say or influence beyond their own HFPA show, which was very good, btw. Greatest value is for marketers who will trumpet GG wins in ads etc. as though the films had actually won something significant. The general public may be influenced to some extent but not knowledgeable AMPAS or Guild voters.

  10. Quentin Tarantino: “I actually feel more sorry for Ben Affleck. He really deserved it and I think we all thought he was going to get it, so I feel really sorry for him.”

    I wonder if Tarantino still feels sorry for Ben Affleck now that Affleck has won a Golden Globe for Best Director and Tarantino… didn’t?

  11. Globes were fun this year…

    Oscars fucked up (again) by not nominating Leo, Tarantino, Bigelow, and Affleck. Unbelievable.

  12. How could anyone think that it was classless to have a former President
    introduce Lincoln. Would you have been insulted if it had been any other living President. Lincoln is admired and his words quoted by most U.S. Presidents. As far as the film being boring, anyone viewing this film does need to have an attention span of more than 10 minutes. It is a truly great film about one of the most pivotalz times in our country’s history. Oh, and by the way, Daniel Day-Lewis is that brillant.

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