There’s been a lot of dish about the Golden Globes being the Academy Awards lite. But what if that conventional wisdom is just plain wrong? Tonight proved that the 85-member Hollywood Foreign Press Association may just be more on the ball than the 6,000-plus Academy members.
Who were the winners and losers – and how does that shape the race to the Oscars as the Academy members get down to their final voting between February 8th and 19th?
- Ben Affleck and “Argo”: Earlier this week the Academy snubbed Affleck, ignoring him for a best director nomination. Tonight industry insiders gave the actor-director-writer a standing ovation for his fast-paced Hollywood-and-hostage drama “Argo.” Add to that the huge love the film and director got at the Critics’ Choice Awards and maybe there’s a revolution happening. Affleck is out of the running for Oscar, but “Argo” may now be the frontrunner.
- Daniel Day-Lewis and Hugh Jackman: Day-Lewis looks to be the only sure-thing in “Lincoln.” He’s also likely to defeat rival Jackman, who won the musical/comedy category, during the Academy Awards.
- Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence: Tonight’s best actress (drama) win for Chastain and Lawrence’s emotional win for best actress (musical or comedy), was a triumph for both actresses, who are young, beautiful, talented and at the top of their game. But almost before they have time to wipe their mascara, the pair will be competing against each other as the frontrunners at next month’s Academy Awards.
- Anne Hathaway: The “I Dreamed a Dream” singer had a triumphant night, and she’ll probably be a repeat come Oscars.
- Another overall winner is “Django Unchained.” Tarantino’s revisionist Western doesn’t seem to be hurt by the N-word controversy, or the fact that Spike Lee is boycotting the film. It wasn’t altogether surprising that Christoph Waltz took the best supporting actor win, although I thought Leonardo DiCaprio would have claimed the prize. But Tarantino beating Tony Kushner’s “Lincoln” for best screenplay? Ouch! However, it could very well be that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has more love for Tarantino and “Django” than the Academy.
- “Lincoln:” President Bill Clinton's onstage endorsement of the presidential drama came a little too late, as it won only one of its seven Globe nominations. The drama is no longer a lock at the Academy Awards despite twelve nominations following its major underperformance at the Golden Globes. Particularly damning was frontrunner Kushner’s loss for best screenplay.
- “Silver Linings Playbook” showed surprising weakness with only one win for its lead actress Lawrence, and no love for star Bradley Cooper. Despite the comedy’s many Oscar nominations, it may find itself represented by Robert DeNiro in the best supporting category and director David O. Russell out in the cold despite his nomination for best director.
- “Zero Dark Thirty”: Boo-hoo for director Kathryn Bigelow, who might have showed the Academy that they were wrong, so wrong, by not nominating her for best director. The movie also lost out for best picture and screenplay, showing that it may not have the legs needed to beat the odds at the Oscars.
- While “Les Miserables” had a tremendous night with a best picture win and a nod to Hugh Jackman (in addition to Hathaway) this is likely the end of the awards road for the blockbuster musical.
With only six weeks to go to the Oscars, the race is anything but sure. After tonight, “Django Unchained” and “Argo” are on the rise, while “Lincoln” has stumbled, along with “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”