They Shoot Oscar Prognosticators, Don't They?

Three Billboards Takes Oscar Lead After Globes Win

By J. Don Birnam

January 8, 2018

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The 75th Golden Globe Awards were quite political again, much like they were last year. This time around, rather than focusing exclusively on the President, they centered on the recent #MeToo movement and the #TimesUp slogan that was designed to raise awareness on sexual harassment issues. It was fitting, therefore, that the HFPA would make history by picking movies and shows all centered on women and gave the lead actress of each of these programs an award as well.

If you follow me on Twitter@jdonbirnam and Instagram @awards_predix you know that Three Billboards won Best Motion Picture – Drama, and netted awards for its Lead Actress Frances McDormand, the screenplay by director Martin McDonagh, and Best Supporting Actor for Sam Rockwell. Gary Oldman and Allison Janney also netted statuettes, for Best Actor Drama and Best Supporting Actress.

History Made: Female Driven Movies and Shows

But Three Billboards’ triumph was hardly the only one that fit this pattern. Lady Bird won Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, and its lead actress, Saoirse Ronan shared in the spoils. It has never happened that the Globes give the two Best Picture prizes to films to which they also gave Best Actress trophies. (James Franco was the other Comedy/Musical winner).

The trend was so pervasive that is spilled into the TV awards, where The Handmaid’s Tale, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Big Little Lies all won for Best Show in their categories as well as an acting award for their leads.

Three Billboards Fends Off Shape, The Post. Oscar Next?

Although The Shape of Water and The Post entered the night with the most nominations, Three Billboards bested both of them where it counts. Shape had to console itself with a Directing win for Guillermo Del Toro (your likely Oscar winner at this point) and a Score win for past-winner Alexander Desplat. The Steven Spielberg movie went home empty-handed.

Is it over? Not so fast. As I have mentioned, do not forget that the Globes just last year anointed La La Land their biggest winner ever, but the Academy went another way. And I do not need to remind you of years where movies like Avatar and The Social Network triumphed here only to see another movie past them across the finish line later. The Globes’ are indicative of the Hollywood mood but are not completely predictive.

Best of the Rest

To me, one of the biggest shockers was the Sam Rockwell win. They either really loved that move or else Willem Dafoe’s critics streak is over. Indeed, The Florida Project has done a lot better with critics than with the industry, so Dafoe could be in serious peril.

Other movies like Get Out, Dunkirk, and Call Me By Your Name also went home empty-handed, but are still very much alive as Oscar contenders. It is simply not advisable to read that much into the Globes, as fun as they are.

And what of Best Director? As Natalie Portman was reading the nominees, she blurted out that they were all men. Ouch. It was a highlight of the show and, surely, the Academy was paying attention. Will they nominate Greta Gerwig, or will they stick to their guns as they are wont to do?


Another important note was Gary Oldman’s. Again, while the critics had gone in one direction (Chalamet) it is entirely possible that the industry will reward the veteran. The bottom line is that we have an interesting race in all four categories and we will be looking to the SAG awards to provide some clarity.

Finally, Coco and In the Fade took trophies for Animated and Foreign Films. Oscars are likely next.

As for my predictions? I actually did pretty well all things considered. Seven out of 10 for the famously wacky Globes isn’t bad. I even predicted the I, Tonya/Lady Bird acting split, just not the right way. The Oscars are still a bit off, but for a year people have been calling unpredictable, the mass consensus was pretty accurate on the Globes. Is the unpredictability thing an illusion?

Full list of winners

Best Motion Picture - Drama
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Best Actress – Drama
Frances McDormand – Three Billboards

Best Actor – Drama
Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

Best Director
Guillermo Del Toro

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Lady Bird

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy
Saoirse Ronan - Lady Bird

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy
James Franco – The Disaster Artist

Best Supporting Actor
Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Over Ebbing, Missouri

Best Screenplay
Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Over Ebbing, Missouri

Best Animated Feature

Best Score
Alexander Desplat – The Shape of Water

Best Song
This Is Me – The Greatest Showman



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