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Awards Season

Does a Golden Globe Promise Oscar Success?

Does a Golden Globe Promise Oscar Success?
Photo Source: AP Photo/ Chris Pizzello

Certainly two of the most recognizable awards shows—and two of the most glamorous—in the entertainment industry, the Golden Globes and Academy Awards are household names. But in terms of film awards season races, how much does one mean in relation to the other? How do they differ?

Unlike the Oscars, the Golden Globes honor both TV and film and split most of their film categories into two: Comedy/Musical and Drama. Known as a looser, more festive night of festivities, the Golden Globes are hosted by and decided on by a relatively small voting poll, the Hollywood Foreign Press. Compared to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which numbers close to 6,000 members and consists of many peers of nominees in each category, the Golden Globes are a more exclusive affair.

How they are linked? The Golden Globe Awards, because of their historically glitzy visibility, give actors, producers, and distributors alike a chance to put their work in front of those who will cast votes for the same season’s Oscars, which usually closes voting only days after the Golden Globe ceremony.

READ: ‘The Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ Lead 75th Golden Globe Nominations

The tendency for Golden Globe results to correlate to Academy results varies from awards season to awards season. Below we’re presenting a breakdown of the relationship between these two voting bodies over the last few years.

Best Picture: Since 2009 the Academy has increased the nominees in its Best Picture category from five to a maximum of ten, and almost all the nominees for Golden Globes’ top Best Motion Picture Drama prize have gone on to receive an Oscar nomination. In 2016 and 2012 the drama Golden Globe nominees and the Oscar for Best Picture paralleled exactly, and in all the other years all but one of the former went on to garner a nod in the latter. Three films over that span took home both accolades: 2011’s “Argo,” 2012’s “12 Years a Slave,” and last year’s “Moonlight.”

As expected given the Academy’s reputation for favoring serious dramas, the Golden Globe Motion Picture Award for a musical or a comedy doesn’t share as strong a correlation. For 2016 only one film, “La La Land,” made both lists, while 2015, 2014, 2012, and 2011 shared two film nominations a year; only once did they share a winner, in 2011’s “The Artist.” Other years have ranged from four shared nominees to none.

Since 2009, over the Golden Globes’ dual categories and the single Oscar category, there were four shared winners in total, meaning 50 percent of Oscar winners in the last eight years first received the Golden Globe: not a guarantee of Oscar success, but it helps a film’s chances.

Best Director: Four of the last 10 Golden Globe Best Director winners went on to take home the Academy Award in the same category. Damien Chazelle of “La La Land,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu of “The Revenant,” and Alfonso Cuarón of “Gravity” earned both awards in 2016, 2015, and 2013, respectively, but we don’t see another shared winner until we go back to the 2008 awards show darling “Slumdog Millionaire” and Danny Boyle.

Best Actor: The Academy Awards and the Golden Globes have a solidified predictive relationship in the leading male category, with only one Academy Award-winning actor not winning a parallel Golden Globe for his performance. However that star, Sean Penn, who won the 2008 Oscar for his performance in “Milk,” did receive a Golden Globe nod. Eight of the shared actors were honored in the Drama category, with only one in the Musical or Comedy iteration of the Best Actor Award: 2011’s Jean Dujardin, for “The Artist.”

Best Actress: Similar to the Best Actor correlation, the Golden Globe for Best Actress also creates a decidedly well-paved path to Oscar success. Over the last decade, nine of the Oscar winners for Best Actress in a Leading Role won a Globe for their performance in the same year, three for a Musical or Comedy and six for Drama. In the only misstep between the two awards, Kate Winslet won the leading Golden Globe for her 2008 performance in “Revolutionary Road,” and then the Oscar for her performance in “The Reader” (for the latter, she earned a second Globe statue). 

How will the relationship between globe and golden man fare this year for the films of 2017? Check in with Backstage’s awards coverage to find out!

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