The Golden Globe is usually a fairly good Oscar crystal ball. Over the past 30 years, the overlap of winners in the races for best picture and lead actor and actress has been about 65 percent (far less in the races for supporting acting and directing). The two sets of kudos have disagreed on best pic for the past three years, but the lead and supporting races went 3 for 4 last year and 4 for 4 one year earlier.
However, things may be very different this year. Now we may find out if the Globe itself wields such influence or the act of people accepting it.
Many Oscarologists like me believe that the Globe acceptance speech has chief impact. It's the winner's audition for Oscar night. When Hilary Swank ("Boys Don't Cry") and Jamie Foxx ("Ray") gave the performances of their careers at the Globe's podium, that certainly helped their trajectory toward the Oscar stage. Particularly Swank. She was in a tight race in 1999 with the star of the best-picture winner at both awards, "American Beauty" — Annette Bening, who proved her clout by winning SAG.
But this year there were no teary, joyous acceptance speeches to be seen on TV so dazzling that Oscar voters might be tempted to demand a repeat performance. This year there is only the news of who actually won. Will that be enough to help Julie Christie or Marion Cotillard to eclipse the fast-rising Ellen Page? Will this help Daniel Day-Lewis or Johnny Depp fend off the challenge of Hollywood's fave swashbuckling matinee star George Clooney? Will her Globe win help Cate Blanchett to fend off Amy Ryan in supporting?
Since we've seen such drastic disagreement in the best-pic races recently, most Oscarologists are poohing-poohing the wins by "Atonement" (which led with the most nominations — seven) and "Sweeney Todd." If neither is nominated in the Oscar high five, it will be the second time that both top Globe champs got shut out. These Globe wins can't have any affect on nominations since Oscar ballots were due the day before Globe winnahs were unveiled.