How The Golden Globes Can Help You With Your Oscars Betting

Posted on January 8, 2020 - Last Updated on January 9, 2020

Many consider the Golden Globes to be the real kick-start of the movie awards season. There is a week to go before the Academy announces the Oscar nominations. 

With the Golden Globes still fresh in our minds, we might as well take a look at what the Globes can tell us about who will be up for the Academy Awards next month.

In the Golden Age of Hollywood, it was commonplace for the two awards shows to line up on most of the major categories. In the 21st century, though, many of the Globes’ and Oscars’ categories are getting more and more disparate.

The key to success is considering more than the Globes and Oscars.

With the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations out for actors, taking stock of how the Globes, SAGs, and Oscars have compared over the past 25 years can give you a head start on figuring out the front-runners in the six major Oscars betting categories. 

You can also impress your friends with your knowledge at your Oscars viewing party.

Best Actress is your best bet

If there was one lock at the Golden Globes yesterday, it was that Renee Zellweger was going to win a Globe for Judy

If there is anything close to a lock when it comes to betting trends between the Globes and Oscars, it is that we know one of the 10 women nominated in the two Best Actress categories will win an Oscar, too.

The only time the Best Actress Oscar winner won without a Best Actress Globe nomination came in 2008 when Kate Winslet won for The Reader.

This data point comes with a big old asterisk, though.

First, Winslet was not only nominated but won the Best Supporting Actress for The Reader at the Golden Globes. She was nominated for the same role at the Oscars but put in the Best Actress category instead.

Even more interesting, that year, Winslet won the Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama Globe as well; she just did so for the film Revolutionary Road.

Globe winners need a SAG nomination, too

Looking at the past winners at the Golden Globes, it is likely we can narrow down potential winners from 10 to two. Winslet aside, only three winners of the Best Actress Oscar did not also win the Globe.

Those were Susan Sarandon in 1995, Frances McDormand in 1996, and Halle Berry in 2001. The other 21 winners received both the Globe and the Oscar. Of those, 15 won in the Drama category, while six were in Musical or Comedy.

So, that means the women to beat appear to be either Zellweger or Awkwafina, the first-ever woman of Asian descent to win a Best Actress Golden Globe. Really though, Zellweger looks like the lone front-runner here.

With the strange Winslet year in 2008 excepted, the Best Actress winner was also nominated for a SAG award every year since the awards show started 25 years ago.

Best Actor will be a Golden Globes nominee

Like Best Actress, it is safe to say the Best Actor field is down to the 10 men nominated in the two Globe categories.

In the past 20 years, the only Oscar winner who won without a Globe nomination was Roberto Benigni for Life Is Beautiful in 1998.

Honestly, the field is down to the five men in the Drama category.

In general, the Oscars hate rewarding comedic performances. That is especially true when it comes to leading men.

The only three Oscar winners to come from the Musical or Comedy Globe category were Jamie Foxx for Ray, a dramatic musical biopic, and Jack Nicholson for As Good As It Gets in 1997, and Jean Dujardin for The Artist in 2011.

Keep your eye on the Drama winners, not the comedians

This year’s winners of the Golden Globes, Taran Egerton for Rocketman and Joaquin Phoenix for Joker, appear to be the men to beat. 

Like Foxx, Egerton benefits from the fact that his performance, while musical, is a dramatic role.

Both men are nominated for SAG awards as well, which is another prerequisite to winning. If one of them ends up winning at the SAG Awards as well, they are odds-on favorites to win the Oscar, too.

In the 25 years that the SAG Awards have been around, the Globes and SAGs had the same winners 19 times. All 19 of those men went on to win an Oscar, too.

Best Supporting Actor has room for upset potential from veteran favs

It is not surprising that the lead categories correlate more often than the supporting Globes’ winners because they have twice as many shots to get it right.

With the supporting categories, though, like the Oscars, the Golden Globes do not divide based on drama, musical or comedy.

Still, when it comes to the race for Best Supporting Actor, there is a reasonable chance the winner at the Globes is going to be the winner at the Oscars. 

Of the past 25 Best Supporting Actor Oscar winners, 16 won the Golden Globe as well. All but two were nominated for a Golden Globe.

In both instances, the winners were veteran older actors with long careers but no Academy Awards. One was James Coburn, who won for Affliction in 1998. The other was Alan Arkin, who won for Little Miss Sunshine in 2006.

Brad Pitt topped a stacked category of industry veterans at the Golden Globes, but this remains one of the tighter races of the year just because of the talent involved, including Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Tom Hanks, who are all such heavy hitters.

A SAG win could all but secure the Oscar for Pitt

Anthony Hopkins was the only Globes’ nominee not to earn a SAG Awards’ nomination, too. 

Instead, the Actors Guild gave a nod to Foxx in Just Mercy. Of the 12 times that SAGs and Golden Globes picked the same winner, the person won the Oscar all but once. 

Eddie Murphy looked poised to win for Dreamgirls in 2006 when Arkin staged the upset. Worth noting that Benicio Del Toro won a Globe and a SAG for his role in Traffic in 2000 before going on to win the Oscar, but the SAG Awards deemed it a lead performance.

If Pitt can also win a SAG, he will be in great shape to win. If the awards split, it is safe to guess that the Oscar will go to one of the two winners, though.

In 25 years, there have been four instances when the Oscar winner didn’t pick up either award.

We’ve already covered Coburn and Arkin. The other two were Kevin Spacey, who won for The Usual Suspects in 1995, and Mark Rylance, who won for Bridge of Spies in 2015.

Best Supporting Actress is the toss-up acting category

Best Supporting Actress is a category where the Golden Globes can’t offer us too much in terms of who will win the Oscar.

Like Best Supporting Actor, the Globes has picked the eventual Oscar winner 16 out of 25 times.

Twice, the Oscar winner failed to secure a Globe nomination. Marcia Gay Harden won for Pollock in 2000, and Catherine Zeta-Jones won for Chicago in 2002.

If you look at the SAGs, it is possible to paint a detailed picture.

Fifteen women won both the Globe and the SAG. Of those, one was Winslet in 2008, who ended up winning in a different category at the Oscars for the same role. Only one other did not win the Oscar, and that was Lauren Bacall in 1996 for The Mirror Has Two Faces.

At that time, four women won the Oscar despite picking up neither of the two benchmark awards. Juliette Binoche took the trophy for The English Patient over Bacall in 1996. 

Two years later, Judi Dench picked up an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love. Harden didn’t even get nominated for a SAG or Globe before winning in 2000. The most recent Oscar winner without a Globe or SAG was Tilda Swinton for Michael Clayton in 2007.

Laura Dern won the Globe for Marriage Story and is one of three women nominated for both the Globe and the SAG Awards; the other two being Jennifer Lopez and Margot Robbie. If she can win again at the SAGs, it would put her in good shape heading into Oscar season.

Best Director bettors better look to DGAs instead

While the Globes have accurately picked the Best Director winner the past four years running, its track record over the past 25 years is not stellar, with 15 out of 25 Globe winners also taking home the Oscar.

Sure, the win is a huge boost for 1917 and its director Sam Mendes, which hadn’t gotten much awards hype to this point. The Directors Guild of America is a much better forecaster of who might win the Best Director trophy.

What the Golden Globes can do is narrow down who the winners might be. In the past 25 years, the Best Director Oscar winner has not earned a nomination at the Globes only twice.

In 2002, Roman Polanski won for The Pianist after a Globes snub; then, the Coen brothers won in 2007 for No Country for Old Men without the key award either.

Getting a look at Best Picture is getting tougher for Globe winners

There are a couple of reasons to explain why the Globes used to be an effective predictor of Best Picture, but have not been as reliable as of late.

The first is the expansion from five Best Picture Oscar nominees to up to 10 potential films in 2009. With more films dividing the vote, it is simply a little trickier for there to be a consensus behind a single nominee.

The other significant change is the switch to a preferential ballot to determine the Best Picture winner at the Oscars. With the expanded ballot comes a different means of selecting Best Picture.

With several rounds of voting and voters ranking their films from top to bottom, it is much different from the Globes system, where voters simply pick their favorite.

Then, of course, there is the fact that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is just 90 members, compared with thousands voting for the Oscars.

Since the switch in how Best Picture works at the Oscars, the Golden Globes have pocked the winner correctly just 50% of the time, even coming from two categories for a potential winner. Going back through the past 25 years, the Globes have whiffed on Best Picture 10 of those years.

Expect a drama to prevail most of the time

Certainly, the winners at the Globes in Musical or Comedy and Drama are contenders, but they are far from front-runners.

In the case of the Best Musical or Comedy winner Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, it may be a favorite of voters, but it is in a category that has only produced four winners in the past 25 years.

Those were:

  • Shakespeare in Love in 1998
  • Chicago in 2002
  • The Artist in 2011
  • Green Book in 2018

What Once Upon a Time in Hollywood does have going for it that Green Book did last year is that neither film is a comedy, though they have humorous components.

Not being a straight comedy or a musical does mean a better chance of an Oscar success, as the Oscars overwhelmingly prefer a drama as the Best Picture winner.

All 10 of the Oscar winners who did not win at the Golden Globes were nominated in the Drama category. Then, of course, there are also the 11 films that won both Best Motion Picture Drama at the Globes and Best Picture at the Oscars.

With that in mind, if there is a front-runner to take from the Globes, it wouldn’t be the Quentin Tarantino film, it would be the Best Drama winner 1917, which also nabbed the Best Director award for Mendes.

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for WSOP.com. A graduate of Indiana University and USC, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.

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