Six Lessons From the 2015 Golden Globes (Analysis)

The Golden Globes winners won’t influence Oscar nominations, since the ballots are already in. Still, Sunday’s ceremonies offered some interesting insights into Oscar possibilities and into the state of this year’s awards race.

1. The big obvious winners Sunday evening were “Leviathan,” “Grand Budapest Hotel,” Michael Keaton, Richard Linklater and Eddie Redmayne. The reaction of the 1,200 people in the Golden Globes audience is a bigger Oscar clue than the Hollywood Foreign Press Association results. The HFPA has 80-plus voters and none is a member of the Academy, so their choices don’t necessarily reflect AMPAS. However, virtually everyone at the BevHilton Sunday was an industry member and their reactions showed widespread enthusiasm for those films and individuals.

2 The other big winners included “The Wedding Ringer,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and “Tomorrowland.” Because the Globes are telecast around the world, the ceremony is a great opportunity to plug current or upcoming films, via the nominations — and presenters. There were nice mentions for those films via presenters Kevin Hart and Colin Firth and footage from “Tomorrowland” in the George Clooney montage.

3. Sunday winners shouldn’t feel over-confident. Last year, Alex Ebert won for music score for “All is Lost,” but wasn’t even nominated for an Academy Award.

Popular on Variety

4. The actor, picture and director races are still up for grabs. Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne scored, but nothing is certain: There were at least five other contenders who could still land Oscar bids or even wins. However, Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore and J.K. Simmons seem unstoppable. Their Globe wins follow multiple prizes from critics, and it’s always good to have a reputation as a winner. As a bonus, all gave good acceptance speeches: humble, sincere, thoughtful. That’s always reassuring.

5. “Birdman” is looking good. A lot of recent awards talk has centered on the stalwart “Boyhood,” plus newer challengers like “Selma,” “American Sniper” and even “Nightcrawler.” But the screenplay win was a reminder that it’s more than a model of technical artistry and great performances. And one of the film’s themes is, “Even if you’re out of work for a long time, you still have talent and value as a human.” That concept hits home to everyone in the industry.

6. Despite all this handicapping, don’t read too much Oscar-ness into Sunday’s awards. The Globes have an erratic track record of predicting Academy results: Only four Globe best picture winners in the last 10 years also went on to Oscar wins. On the other hand, the vast majority of last year’s GG winners also won an Oscar — but even then, none was an off-the-wall or startling choice: Alfonso Cuaron, Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto, “Frozen,” et al. In an unpredictable year, like 2014, a lot of things can happen in the next six weeks. It’s been said before, and will be said again: The Globes are fun. Twenty years ago, when they returned to network television, the Globes touted themselves as Oscar omens. But they’ve taken on their own identity and some people love to complain about the long day, but people actually have a good time. And there were surprises, like the win for “How to Train Your Dragon 2” that kept up suspense. Plus, the references to world events from HFPA prez Theo Kingma, Jared Leto and George Clooney were brief and appropriate.

More Film

  • My Name is Baghdad

    Reel Suspects Acquires Berlinale Generation Title 'My Name is Baghdad' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Reel Suspects has acquired international sales rights to Caru Alves de Souza’s coming-of-age tale “My Name is Baghdad,” which will world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in the Generation 14 section. The film was produced by Manjericão Filmes and Tangerina Entretenimento. It follows a 17-year-old female skater named Baghdad who lives in a working-class [...]

  • My Salinger Year

    Berlin Film Festival to Open With Sigourney Weaver, Margaret Qualley Starrer 'My Salinger Year'

    The 70th edition of the Berlinale will open with Philippe Falardeau’s anticipated “My Salinger Year,” headlined by a powerful female duo, Sigourney Weaver and Margaret Qualley. Set in New York’s literary world in the 90’s, the coming-of-age story is based on Joanna Rakoff’s international bestseller and follows Joanna (Qualley), who leaves graduate school to pursue [...]

  • Bad Hair

    'Bad Hair': Film Review

    The year is 1989 and New Jack Swing is about to push black culture from the margins to the mainstream. The question for the black employees of Culture, the music TV station at the center of writer-director Justin Simien’s delightfully macabre horror-dramedy “Bad Hair,” is what image do they — and their white executive Grant [...]

  • Bad Hair

    Justin Simien's 'Bad Hair' is a Tribute to Exploited Black Women Everywhere, Director Says

    Deeply personal but indulgently campy, Justin Simien’s Sundance opener “Bad Hair” is a genre-blending horror show that the director said serves as a tribute to the struggles of black women. The mind behind  “Dear White People” staged the world premiere for the project at Park City’s Ray Theater on Thursday night, before a cast that [...]

  • Taylor Swift: Miss Americana

    'Taylor Swift: Miss Americana': Film Review

    Fly-on-the-wall portraits of pop-music stars used to be dominated by, you know, pop music. The life and personality and woe-is-me-I’m-caught-in-the-media-fishbowl spectacle of the star herself was part of the equation, yet all that stuff had a way of dancing around the edges. Now, though, it’s front and center. In “Taylor Swift: Miss Americana,” we catch [...]

  • Taylor Swift attends the premiere of

    Sundance Crowd Goes Wild as Taylor Swift Becomes Powerful Voice of Trump Resistance

    At the outset of the first screening of the documentary “Miss Americana” Thursday night at the Sundance Film Festival, it was clear at the outset that it was not necessarily Taylor Swift’s core audience filling the Eccles Theater for the premiere. The opening scene has Swift trying to write a song at the piano while [...]

  • wanda Imax China

    China Closes Thousands of Theaters in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

    China closed swathes of cinemas on Friday in response to the outbreak of novel coronavirus, which started in the city of Wuhan and has now killed 26 people. The closures come a day after the distributors and producers of the seven major blockbusters that had expected to launch from Jan. 25 cancelled their films’ releases. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content