The Golden Globes have long been considered a strong indicator of which films are likely to challenge for the top honors at the Oscars. They are chosen by about 80 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and then handed out on the 11th of January. Given that the Oscars take place on the 22nd of February, the buzz generated by a film winning a Golden Globe can help shape the field. Not to mention the fact that the front-runners gain valuable momentum. Now a Golden Globes nomination does not always lead to success at the Oscars. For example, the last time a movie that grabbed a GG for best drama and an Oscar for best picture was in 2003. But it has always been considered a good sign to earn that GG nomination. So for films that are hoping to win at the Oscars this year, a Golden Globe would be a great sign that they are to be considered a strong favorite to win. Now that we’ve gotten all of the boring stuff out of the way, lets get to the nominations, and what that could mean for this years race to Oscar town!
We are a movie site, so lets keep it to the movies. So who got the most nominations? Brad Pitt and his upcoming adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1922 short story about a man who ages in reverse, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Button is part of a 3 way tie for the most nominations with 5. The other two films tied with button are Frost/Nixon and Doubt. But Hollywood insiders are pegging Benjamin Button as the early favorite. It also received 8 nominations for the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s annual awards. Here are the categories Button was nominated in: Best Motion Picture-Drama, Best Performance by an actor in a motion picture-Drama, Best Director, best screenplay, and best original score. So if all of this is a precursor to Oscar success, Benjamin Button is on its way to a big night in February!
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button will face some stiff competition this year, so lets look at those competitors and their Golden Globes nominations. The first film that probably comes to everyone’s mind would be The Dark Knight. That was the biggest film of the year, it made the most money, it was the most talked about film no question. If Button got 5 nods, TDK would surely be in second place with 4, right? Wrong! Despite it’s massive box office success this year, TDK only received1 nomination. And it should be no surprise what the nomination was for. Heath Ledger earned a posthumous nomination for his legendary (that’s right, I said legendary!) performance as the Joker. Best Supporting actor was the only category TDK was nominated for. You would think, considering all the success and all the buzz, with so many people talking about this film maybe they would have gotten a couple more. Personally, I would suggest a best picture-drama and a best director for Christopher Nolan. At the very least, and I think most critics would agree with this, the film was good enough to rise above it’s genre to be a truly great film. So why the lack of respect from the Globes? Not sure, but awards season expert Tom O’Neil of the LA Times doesn’t seem to think that the lack of respect from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will affect TDK too negatively come Oscar time.
“Whether The Dark Knight was the best movie of the year is a subject of debate, but it was certainly the movie of the year. It was the most talked about, the one that mattered most, the one that made the most.”
All that said, O’Neil warned that the big studio movies like TDK and Benjamin Button could easily be upset by smaller budget films. So lets dive into those. Well, the sure bets seem to be the uplifting and emotional films like Slumdog Millionaire and Milk. Both are seen by O’Neil as sure bets for best picture nods at the Oscars. How did they do at the Golden Globes? Well, there are 5 between them. But one of them, Slumdog, has 4 Globes compared to Milk’s 1. What about the big time Globe’s? Slumdog was nominated for Best Picture and Milk is up for a Best Actor. For obvious reasons, the emotional pictures are strong contenders. Everyone loves a good story. And these two movies sure deliver a feel good story. Milk is Gus Van Sant’s biopic of trailblazing gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk. It features Sean Penn as Harvey, a performance that earned him the Globe nomination. Slumdog Millionaire is Danny Boyle’s love story about a boy seeking to escape poverty in Mumbai by appearing on the Indian version of “Who wants to be a millionaire.”
So we have covered the supposed “heavy hitters” for the Oscars race, but there is always a chance that some of the critically acclaimed films could come back into contention. Some of the “underdogs” in the race to Oscar Town include Revolutionary Road starring former Titanic co star’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. That film received4 Globe nominations but for whatever reason is not being considered a serious Oscar contender. Then there is Ron Howard’s adaptation of the stage play about former President Richard Nixon’s series of interviews with British journalist Sir David Frost, entitled Frost/Nixon. If you’ll remember I mentioned earlier that this film was a part of the 3 way tie for most Globe nominations. And we can’t forget about Doubt, starring Oscar winner and suddenly big box office draw Meryl Streepas a Catholic nun locked in a duel witha priest played by fellow Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman. As I mentioned earlier, Doubt was part of that 3 way tie for most nominations. And you can’t discount a dramatic film with a cast like that.
So the announcement of Golden Globe nominee’s has certainly given us plenty to talk about this coming awards season. Should we trust the signs that the Globes have shown us so far? Is Benjamin Button going to be a runaway winner at the Oscars? Personally, I have to say that with so many films getting buzz right now, the Oscar wealth will be spread out rather evenly. There shouldn’t be one runaway winning picture this year. There have been plenty of really good films this year. But how many of them really separated themselves from the pack? How many movies have proven themselves to be “special?” That’s exactly why I think that there will not be many multiple award winners this season. If “expert” testimony means anything to you movie fans, here it is. Lew Harris, a consulting editor withHollywood.com, seems to think the awards season will be “pretty chopped up” with the awards being spread evenly across multiple films. Andit must be nice for all of these smaller budget films to be gaining at least a little Oscar buzz. With so many good movies this year, we should really consider ourselves lucky if we have this problem next year. It really is a great time to be a movie fan!
For a complete list of the Golden Globes nominations this year, click here!
And remember, the 66th annual Golden Globes ceremony is scheduled for January 11th, 11 days before the Oscar nominations are announced. As always, we’ll keep you posted movie fans!