Monday, January 11, 2016

Golden Globes Recap: Does last night's unpredictable show change the Oscar race?

So, that happened.

The Golden Globes are notorious for being one of Hollywood's most unpredictable award shows, and last night.......well, last night was something. From the start, nothing went as planned. It was one surprise after another before a final upset that sent shockwaves through the entire Oscar race. I had a 50% success rate with my predictions last night, demonstrating the total insanity that occurred. But does any of this matter? Will the results of the Golden Globes change how the Academy votes? Do the opinions of a group of journalists matter all that much? I don't think so. Or more like I don't hope so. But despite the wild finish and the typical futility of the Globes, there is still some importance held in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's decisions. So here are a few important takeaways from last night's show.

-The Revenant and The Martian were the big winners of the Golden Globes

Before last night, The Revenant was mostly an also-ran- a gritty revenge drama that would win some technical awards and finally get Leonardo DiCaprio his Oscar. After last night, it's a different story. Alejandro G. Inarritu's brutal survival tale took home three Globes (the most of any film), winning for Best Actor, Best Director, and most importantly, Best Picture- Drama, defeating the heavily favored journalism flick Spotlight. Where did this come from? I honestly couldn't tell you. The response to Inarritu's film has been mostly positive, but there have been many who were left unsatisfied by the intense film (I personally was not a very big fan of the film- review soon). Does this mean that it's the Best Picture favorite? I don't know. The Grand Budapest Hotel and Boyhood were the winners for Best Picture at the Globes last year, so let's not hold too much in this victory. And Inarritu's own Babel won Best Drama in 2006 before losing to The Departed. However, The Revenant is definitely a film to keep an eye on.

Despite the Best Director loss to Inarritu, Ridley Scott's The Martian emerged as one of the big winners last night, taking home the Best Actor award for Matt Damon and Best Picture- Comedy (the butt of many jokes last night). The Martian has faded a little bit with the emergence of The Big Short, but could it still be a big contender? I think so. Unlike The Revenant, The Martian has a sense of fun and humanity which will be easier for most Academy members to digest. It's still not the front-runner, but it took a step in the right direction last night.

-What happened to Spotlight and The Big Short?

Going into last night, most prognosticators expected that the Globes would cement the front-runner status of Tom McCarthy's Catholic scandal drama Spotlight and Adam McKay's financial crisis comedy The Big Short. Somehow, both films walked away empty-handed. They lost the screenplay award to Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs script (a deserved win, but a bizarre one), Spotlight lost the director award to The Revenant, Christian Bale and Steve Carell both fell to Sylvester Stallone, and neither film won their respective Best Picture category. Does that mean that these films are in trouble?

I think that The Big Short is safe. Birdman lost Best Picture at the Globes last year before going on to win the Oscar, so I don't think it's the end of the world that The Big Short didn't win. It has some other important competitions coming up and it has been a factor on every end-of-year list. However, this is a huge hit for Spotlight. If the group of journalists didn't vote for the journalism movie, who will? That's a question that will be very important over the coming weeks.

-Is Steve Jobs a contender?

It didn't get a nomination for Best Picture at the Globes, but Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs cleaned up last night. Kate Winslet took home the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance as Joanna Hoffman, and Aaron Sorkin won for his sharp screenplay. Does this mean that we'll see a surprising amount of love for Steve Jobs on Thursday when nominations are announced? Maybe. A Best Picture nomination seems like a stretch, but we could definitely see 5 or 6 nominations for the masterful film. And Winslet is definitely a leading contender in her category, despite the stiff competition from Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alicia Vikander.

-DiCaprio, Larson and Stallone are the clear favorites

The acting categories last night were pretty much the only predictable thing about the whole show. It looks like Leonardo DiCaprio will finally get his Oscar, as he took home the Best Actor in a Drama award last night for The Revenant. In addition to that, Sylvester Stallone is emerging as the sentimental favorite for his 7th turn as Rocky Balboa in Creed. And finally, Brie Larson solidified her status as the front-runner in the Best Actress category after a win last night. Those three should stay the same going into Oscar night. I can't see any of that changing.

-Where do we go from here?

The DGA nominations are revealed tomorrow, but Oscar nominations are announced on Thursday. From there, we'll get a better picture of the race and where it stands. SAG awards follow two weekends from now and the race will continue to evolve from there. It was a crazy night and I can only guess that it's gonna get crazier from here. This is slowly turning into one of the most bizarre years in recent memory.

Come back soon for my final Oscar nomination predictions.

Image Credits: Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Forbes, Business Insider

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