Monday, January 18, 2010

Golden Globe=Oscar? Not!

"Avatar" will not win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Write it down, set it in stone. It. Will. Not. Happen.

I say this with confidence despite the blockbuster film -- which is nearly at $500 million domestic, and $1.6 billion worldwide -- winning the Golden Globe for best drama last night.

Why? Because historically, the Golden Globes have been a poor predictor when it comes to the top award.

For Best Picture, I still say "Up in the Air" is unstoppable. And while the Globes may respect boffo box office, the Oscar voters still have enough self-respect to vote for the better film over the popular choice (most of the time).

Although I will say the supporting acting winners from last night -- Mo'Nique for "Precious" and Christoph Waltz for "Inglourious Basterds" -- will likely mirror who wins the Oscar on March 7.

Jeff Bridges winning for "Crazy Heart" is also a good bet for the Oscar. He's got some strong competition in the Best Actor category -- Colin Firth in "A Single Man" and George Clooney in "Up in the Air" -- but momentum for the four-time nominee seems to be building.

But I believe the other acting category winners in the Golden Globes won't take home the Oscar. In Robert Downey Jr.'s case, I don't think he should get a nomination for "Sherlock Holmes," which is a piece of puffery that he's not even all that good in.

Meryl Streep will get her 1,078th nomination for "Julie & Julia," and Sandra Bullock may squeak in with a nomination for "The Blind Side." But despite each winning a Golden Globe -- Streep for comedy, Bullock for drama -- Carey Mulligan from "An Education" remains the front-runner.

I also doubt James Cameron will take home the Best Director statuette. I think it's a race between Kathryn Bigelow for "The Hurt Locker" and "Up in the Air" man Jason Reitman.

"Up" winning the Golden Globe is probably an indication that it will prevail over "Fantastic Mr. Fox."

Among serious cinephiles, the Golden Globes are something of a joke. They're given out by an organization of dubious journalistic reputation that seems to exist solely for the purpose of staging the big red-carpet affair once a year.

I won't totally discount the influence of the Globes, though.

The nomination ballots for the Oscars close this Saturday, meaning there's a chance Academy voters could be influenced by Globe winners. It would be a shame if some of yesterday's winners -- I'm thinking of Bullock and Downey -- push out a more deserving nominee from the top acting categories.

But I just don't think Globe mojo will result in Oscar gold. If for no other reason, the Academy couldn't bear another spectacle of James Cameron labeling himself king of the world.

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