The Golden Globes: Do They Have Any Effect on The Oscars?

By January 11, 2016

The short answer: not really.

But they’re still fun to watch, right?

In all seriousness, fellow cinephiles, The Golden Globes have their place and the awards season wouldn’t be the same without them. They don’t have a lot of influence, however, for a number of reasons. First, because the awards season is a bit shorter than it used to be. Several years ago, the Oscar Ceremony got moved up to late February/early March, so the voting period also had to be moved up. This year, voting for the Oscar nominations ended on Friday, January 8…two days before the Golden Globes ceremony. So last nights winners came too late to affect the votes of Academy members (though that’s not to say they may not influence voters once they have to decide on the winners…theoretically, it could happen).

It mostly comes down to who is voting, though. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association contains approximately 90 members (mostly journalists) who represent 55 countries around the world.

Their Mission Statement:

 – To establish favorable relations and cultural ties between foreign countries and the United States of America by the dissemination of information concerning the American culture and traditions as depicted in motion pictures and television through news media in various foreign countries;

 – To recognize outstanding achievements by conferring annual Awards of Merit, (Golden Globe® Awards), serving as a constant incentive within the entertainment industry, both domestic and foreign, and to focus wide public attention upon the best in motion pictures and television;

 – To contribute to other nonprofit organizations connected with the entertainment industry and involved in educational, cultural, and humanitarian activities;

 – To promote interest in the study of the arts, including the development of talent in the entertainment field through scholarships given to major learning institutions.

To put it another way, the HFPA’s mission is to make sure the rest of the world likes and wants American movies to play in their countries. The best way to do that? Put on a show (though, to give credit where credit is due, their philanthropic work is commendable and their aim is a good one: to bring together cultures through art, in this case film and television).

And so we have the Golden Globes, and last nights 73rd annual show was, as usual, a little heartwarming, a little head scratching, and yet, overall, fairly entertaining.

Breaking Down The Show

The big takeaways from last nights ceremony:

Ricky Gervais pretty much committed Globes suicide…

Getting bleeped is the new crying?

Denzel Washington can now officially just ditch his last name (oh and could his wife be any cuter?)

Eva Longoria and America Ferrara should be the new BFFs we’re talking about (though I still heart Amy Schumer!)


Ok, back to being serious. The winners list contained a number of surprises that could possibly reverberate through the awards season, the most obvious being all the love for The Revenant. I have to say, even though one would be wise to expect the unexpected at The Globes, I was truly surprised that The Revenant beat out Spotlight…a movie that portrays journalism in a positive light seemed like a shoo-in for the HFPA. This win may not change as much as people would expect, though. As I mentioned before, the Oscar nominees have already been determined and the The Revenant is not guaranteed a nomination for Best Picture. Going in, it’s been considered a “bubble” movie that may or may not make the cut. Winners Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Leonardo DiCaprio, however, do seem like locks in their respective categories. Bottom line? It’s entirely possible the Globes may, at the very least, convince academy voters to check out The Revenant if they haven’t already, and IF it makes the Best Picture list, it’s odds of winning went up a bit.

the-revenantThe two winners from last night that have the strongest odds of being repeated at The Academy Awards are Brie Larson’s win for best Actress in a Drama for Room, and Sylvester Stallone’s win for Best Supporting Actor for Creed. Stallone’s win was one of the most emotional moments of the night as he got a standing ovation and thanked his character, Rocky Balboa, for inspiring him all these years (side note: he did in fact thank his director, Ryan Coogler, as well, but the band was stingy last night in playing people off the stage…Stallone should have taken a page from Ridley Scott’s book and told them “screw you!”).  Though he has been getting attention from most of the critics associations and other awards groups, Stallone did not get a nomination from SAG (the Screen Actors Guild) so there was a slight shadow of doubt cast on whether or not he’ll make the cut at the Oscars. We’ll know, one way or the other, on Thursday, but I’d say he’s got a very good shot, and if Academy voters are at all feeling nostalgic or sentimental, he’ll win.

596862269TM00033_73rd_AnnuaThe two awards given last night that shouldn’t be taken as indicators of what will happen at The Oscars went to people involved with Steve Jobs, writer Aaron Sorkin and supporting actress, Kate Winslet. Don’t get me wrong, I think Winslet is one of the greatest actresses working today, but there’s no way her performance (with her Polish accent appearing/disappearing throughout the film) outmatched Alicia Vikander’s in Ex Machina, Jane Fonda’s in Youth, or Rooney Mara’s in Carol (who could very likely be placed in that category for The Oscars). But Winslet is a worldwide name, who is beautiful and eloquent (can’t say she didn’t give a great speech!) – the stuff the HFPA loves.  There is certainly a possibility that Sorkin could continue winning for adapting Steve Jobs, but there is a sense of Sorkin-fatigue in the industry. He has incredibly stiff competition from Charles Randolph and Adam McKay (The Big Short) and Phyllis Nagy (Carol).

Since the Globes separate nominees into two categories: drama and comedy/musical, I should mention the winners of the latter categories. Though it won for Best Motion Picture and Best Actor, Comedy or Musical, The Martian (go ahead, shake your fist in anger or make a sarcastic joke about this film being a comedy…I’ll wait…you good? Ok), there isn’t much chance either will win the big prize on Oscar Sunday. Matt Damon gives one of the best performances of his career, but the race for Best Actor is surely going to be a battle royale between Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) and Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), and though The Revenant may end up putting some pressure on frontrunner Spotlight for Best Picture (again, if it makes the short list), I think The Martian is still likely to be people’s #3 or #4 choice on their ballots (behind The Big Short, as well, which has increasingly gained momentum, despite not winning anything last night). As for Jennifer Lawrence winning for Joy…well, what did you expect? She’s still Hollywood’s darling and even if the film wasn’t great, her performance as Joy Mangano was definitely the highlight. Yes, it would have been one hell of a coup if Amy Schumer had won (I was secretly rooting for that), but the chances were never great. Whether or not Lawrence makes the cut this Thursday remains to be seen, but her star power could win the day for a nomination. On the other hand, if she does get nominated, her odds of beating Brie Larson (Room), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) or Cate Blanchett (Carol) aren’t good.

Say what you will about The Golden Globes, love them, scoff at them, rail against the injustice of them…they are the opening salvo into Awards Season, and they always do it with lots of glitz and glamour (Lady Gaga won…that’s sort of The Globes in a nutshell). Their influence, as far as The Oscars go, isn’t strong, but it’s nonetheless fun to compare as we sit in anticipation for what the rest of the season will bring us.

Make sure you check back for more awards coverage — right here on GeekNation.

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Rachel Cushing
Rachel is a television editor by day and either a Jedi knight, vampire slayer, or elvish warrior by night. In between she makes time for movies, movies, and more movies (plus a few books, television shows, and then…more movies). When she’s supposed to be sleeping, she writes about movies as well, both here on and on her own blog. Tweet her @RachelJCushing