Some unexpected wins at the Golden Globes change the race leading up to next month's Academy Awards.
By Kevin P. Sullivan
Most people will tell you that they only care about the Golden Globes because of what the list of winners says about the Oscars. While the Globes aren't historically the best predictors of Academy Award winners, they do often give a signal of where things are, heading into Oscar night.
This year was no different, but don't expect people to be erasing their picks from their Oscar ballot just yet.
Here is what this year's Golden Globe winners tell us about the Oscars.
This year's awards season has been marked by a lack of front-runners in most categories. Even with the dozens of critic organizations that have already awarded their year-end prizes, going into Globes night, no one performance or film stood out as the one to beat. (The closest one to a sure bet is Christopher Plumber for "The Beginners.") Until Sunday, three men could have realistically been considered favorites for Best Actor: Brad Pitt, Jean Dujardin and George Clooney. Since "The Artist" skated by on a questionable comedy categorization, both Dujardin and Clooney took home Golden Globe statues and landed themselves at the front of the Oscar pack. This is essentially the end of Pitt's Oscar run this year.
Best Actress Award Is Up for Grabs
Most analysts had considered Viola Davis the clear favorite to win Best Actress, but her loss Sunday night to the reigning queen of award shows Meryl Streep signals a change in the tide. The two actresses were neck and neck for the category, but lukewarm to negative reviews for "The Iron Lady" began to hurt Streep's chances just weeks before award season got into full swing. Since "The Help" was generally considered a better film, Davis got the vote of confidence from many over the often-nominated Streep. Though she had been considered one of the favorites going into the Golden Globes, Streep's victory is somewhat of an upset and proof positive that the Best Actress race is far from decided.
"The Descendants" vs. "The Artist"
These are the two films that have fought again and again for Best Picture awards for the past weeks, but the Globes did not offer any great insight for the Oscars. "The Descendants" and "The Artist" both took home the Best Picture award for their respective categories, despite the latter actually being a drama. The only thing we know for sure now is that these are the two films vying for Best Picture, with the "The Artist" maintaining a definite lead. Many considered "Hugo" a contender, and Martin Scorsese's win for Best Director gives some validity to those claims, but for all intents and purposes, any film that isn't "The Artist," "The Descendants" or "Hugo" should throw in the towel now.
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