Oscar Watch: How the Golden Globes Affect Nominations

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The Golden Globes handed out its trophies last night and now the question has arisen: What does it mean to the potential Oscar nominees? The nominees for the 2012 Academy Awards will be announced January 24. Which films that took home Golden Globes can expect to see their odds increased by their victory at the annual Hollywood Foreign Press Association gala?

George Clooney in The Descendants

First and foremost, The Descendants got a huge bump last night with its victory as Best Motion Picture, Drama. We all knew that George Clooney was the front-runner for Best Actor, but by beating out Hugo, The Help, The Ides of March, Moneyball and War Horse, it inched closer to front-runner status for Best Picture at the Oscars.

But, and this is a huge but, by definition its chances to win are muddled by the fact that the front-runner currently is The Artist. That film won Best Comedy/Musical at last night’s fete and The Descendants' victory in the Drama category does nothing to squelch that.

The Golden Globes always throw a wrench in the prediction process by separating its films into Musical/Comedy and Drama. As such, the list of the best pictures of the year reaches 12 films. One thing is for sure, year after year, and that is that the winners for Best Comedy/Musical and Best Drama will see themselves nominated for Best Picture when those nominations are announced. Movie Fanatic does not think that The Descendants' victory at the Globes does anything to hamper The Artist’s moniker as the favorite.

What the Globes did accomplish is give us a clear picture of who the favorites are in the acting categories, specifically Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Meryl Streep (what are her Top 10 movies?) won for The Iron Lady and Octavia Spencer took home the Best Supporting Actress trophy for The Help and therefore, those two are your Monday morning front-runners. Although Michelle Williams won for Best Comedy or Musical Actress for My Week with Marilyn, she hardly puts a kink in the armor that is Streep’s march to a third Oscar.
Octavia Spencer in The Help

Now, with Best Actor, we think Clooney is still a lock to take home the Oscar. But, The Artist’s Jean Dujardin is without a doubt still in the running. He won for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical, and will likely have to settle for second place come Oscar time.

One person who saw their Oscar chances suddenly jump is Madonna. By winning the Best Song for her Masterpiece from W.E., she has surely inched her way into the Best Song category for Oscar and may even increase her chances for beating any one of the animated films that usually win for Best Song at the Academy Awards.

The same can be said for Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin. The Best Animated Film winner at last night’s Golden Globes can now be officially ordained the front-runner to win the category at the Oscars.

The victory of Martin Scorsese, who won for Best Director for Hugo, actually muddles things when it comes to the Best Director race for the Oscars. He certainly deserves the nomination, and we think a win, but where that puts Spielberg for War Horse (or Tintin), Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris) and George Clooney (The Ides of March) is anyone's guess. In the weeks after the nominations are announced, we suspect a front-runner will emerge, but for now, the Best Director winner at the Academy Awards is up for grabs.

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