Oscar 2012: Golden Globes Predictions
By Tom Houseman
December 14, 2011
There is a scene in the film Remember the Titans when Coaches Boone and Yoast are watching film of their upcoming opponents, and Yoast mentions that every team has certain predictable patterns... all except for the team that they would play in the State Championship game. I bring up this scene not just because Remember the Titans is an awesome movie (it really is, though), but because this description can be just as easily used to describe the various awards during Oscar season.
All of the major precursors have patterns, actors and types of films they like to nominate over and over again. Everybody who follows the race knew that, no matter how bad the reviews were, that J. Edgar was going to end up on the National Board of Review's Top 10 list, just because the NBR creams themselves every time Clint Eastwood so much as has a bowel movement. That's just one easy way to better predict any precursor, knowing from which wells they continually love to draw.
So what about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group behind the Golden Globes? Well, to put it in the most delicate way possible, they're a bunch of whores (putting it any less delicately would require several expletives, and this is a family site). The HFPA seems to have two goals every year: to be as relevant to the Oscars as possible, and to get as many celebrities as they can to come to their party. Last year was a particularly extreme example of this second goal in action. Did anybody really think that the HFPA really loved Red and The Tourist? No, but we all knew that by nominating those films, it was more likely that big stars such as Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren would make appearances at the Golden Globes.
So yes, there are certain actors who, once the Globes decide they love them, will repeatedly get nominated there even for their lesser work. That's why Angelina Jolie has six Globe nominations to two Oscar nominations, and why Jim Carrey, who has never been nominated for an Oscar, has been nominated for the Globes six times and won twice. That being said, the HFPA have to make sure they're taken seriously, so they won't be nominating Carrey for Mr. Popper's Penguins. But their choices are always amusing, and always a good predictor of what films and actors have the best chance at the Oscars. You keeping up with me so far? Then let's get to the categories.
Best Motion Picture - Drama
In the weird world of the Globes, the prestigious Oscar bait dramas don't have to worry about the comedies or musicals stealing the spotlight. That means that every big Oscar film that gets good reviews is going to find a home here. The Descendants and War Horse are a given, and while The Help tried to convince the HFPA that it's a comedy to boost its chances of winning Best Picture*, it also has a spot reserved for it here. Beyond those three there are the films trying to keep a low profile and the films trying to get as much attention as possible. The Globes like two kinds of dramas: the prestigious kind, and the cool kind. Moneyball is neither of those, and I don't see it doing well here, whereas The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is exactly the kind of cool film the HFPA will love. I suspect Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy will have its love stolen by Dragon Tattoo, but the HFPA does love Brits. I suspect Drive will be too violent and weird for their tastes, and Margin Call and The Ides of March (although both have plenty of big stars) will be too topical, but they're definitely still in the running. Could Harry Potter sneak in here en route to an Oscar nomination? Highly unlikely, as the HFPA is most likely to view it as a “kids' film,” but if it has enough support, it could make it, especially if Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close turns out to be a dud.