They Shoot Oscar Prognosticators, Don't They?:
Globes Boost Usual Suspects

By J. Don Birnam

December 13, 2016

Haven't I seen you several places before?

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The Hollywood Foreign Press announced the nominations for the Golden Globes ceremony yesterday, and while most of the expected names showed up, there was a pleasant surprise or two here and there. La La Land, of course, leads the pack with seven nominations, but Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea remain hot on its tail. I suspect, as do most, that behind they shall remain from now through the final moments at the Dolby in February.

Expected Players: La La Land, Moonlight, and Manchester by the Sea

The three films that have won the top prizes from critics' groups ranging from the NYFCC to LAFCA and the National Board of Review had strong showings here, each of the three receiving Picture, Director, Writing, and some acting nods. Those three will continue to dominate the precursor awards - all three should get a SAG ensemble nod - but it is clear which one is ahead right now: the one with the seven nominations.

Biggest Globes Losers: Silence, Arrival, Sully

Meanwhile, three movies that have made various lists, including the Critics' Choice and the National Board of Review top ten, got completely or almost completely shut out here. It is hard to know when Clint Eastwood is going to be a hit with this group, and the same goes for Martin Scorsese, but perhaps these are accidents of schedule. Don't forget that Wolf of Wall Street and American Sniper both did rather poorly with the HFPA, only to land Best Picture nominations when all was said and done.

Still, late releases continue to do poorly with precursors, which may affect their overall Oscar chances.

Arrival, meanwhile, seems more hurt, as it's been around and clearly curried little favor. That said, they do not seem to like Denis Villeneuve's work that much, whereas the Academy has proven itself more resilient. Still, the futuristic film is in trouble.


Biggest Globes Winners: Lion, Hacksaw Ridge, Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals is clearly the biggest surprise here - with writing, directing, and acting nods from the Globes. It is also the least likely to transform that into Oscar gold, as the tastes of the groups seem divergent enough to prevent that.

It is hard to tell, meanwhile, whether Lion's success here is a sign of things to come or if it's a Harvey Weinstein induced fluke. Still, with Picture and acting nods, it has to be taken seriously. The same goes for Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge, which has wowed some critics and got Picture, Writing, Directing and Acting nods here, something only the three main contenders managed to do. Other than a potential upset by Garfield, I can't see it winning Globes or above-the-line Oscars, but it will be a contender to do so.

Early Globes Predictions

When it comes to picking winners, some categories are cleaner than others.

Best Supporting Actress

This is an interesting race that seems to be shaping up in Viola Davis's favor, but you cannot count out Naomie Harris and Michelle Williams. The latter has a devastating “Oscar” type scene, while Davis has a couple that seem more staged. That said, Davis is criminally overdue for an Oscar (though she has Globes, which may make them less inclined here). Past winners Nicole Kidman (Lion) and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) are happy to be here but will not add another Globe to their total.

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