- “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” won the big prize at Sunday’s Golden Globes.
- If that was a shock to you, the Globes has a history of surprising wins.
- But having a Golden Globe doesn’t mean you are a lock to win best picture on Oscar night.
If you stayed up to watch who won the big prize at the Golden Globes Sunday night, you might have done a quick Google search of the winner: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.“
The surprise best drama in a motion picture win for director Martin McDonagh’s darkly comedic tale about a mother (Frances McDormand) who buys three giant billboards to voice her frustration toward the local police seeming to do little to solve her daughter’s murder, beat out favourites like “The Shape of Water” (which had the most nominations of the night), the epic “Dunkirk,” and Steven Spielberg’s “The Post.”
But what does this mean for its chances Oscar night?
Though the Golden Globes is one of the major nights of awards season, as it’s aired on NBC and all the big buzzed-about movies are in the running (in both the drama and musical/comedy categories), if you dig a bit deeper you’ll find that the Globes don’t often mesh with the Academy Awards.
The night is held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), journalists affiliated with publications outside of the US but who cover the movie and TV industry in Hollywood. It’s an organisation that only has around 90 members, and that’s the first big red flag. The decisions are from a small collection of people, compared to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences – which vote for the Oscars – that has over 6,000 members.
Then there’s the HFPA’s history of winners.
The Golden Globes has become known for two things: watching your favourite stars drink too much and then have to get up on stage to accept an award (it’s one of the few events during awards season where the audience is given food and drinks), and the surprise winners.
In fact, “Three Billboards” won a bunch of surprising awards on Sunday. Before the big prize, Frances McDormand won the best actress prize and Sam Rockwell won best supporting actor.
But the “Three Billboards” dominance is simply the latest surprise in Globes history.
Just last year, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Nocturnal Animals”) beat out eventual Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) for best supporting actor. Going further back, in 1997 “Evita,” the musical starring Madonna as Eva Perón, beat out popular titles “Jerry Maguire,” “The Birdcage,” and “Fargo.” And then there’s 1989 when three actresses tied to win the best actress in a drama prize – Jodie Foster (“The Accused”), Shirley MacLaine (“Madame Sousatzka”), and Sigourney Weaver (“Gorillas in the Mist”). A three-way tie! Only at the Golden Globes.
In the last 10 years, the Globes and Oscars have only chosen the same winner in its best drama/best picture category four times. Compare that to the Screen Actors Guild Awards (which has around 130,000 active members). Its outstanding cast in a motion picture award has meshed with the Oscar’s best picture six times in the last decade.
This isn’t to diminish the achievement by “Three Billboards” and Fox Searchlight, which released it. The movie, along with McDormand and Rockwell, will be in the running when Oscar nominations are announced January 23. And fans of the movie will be happy to know the Globes and the Oscars both chose the big winner last year: “Moonlight.”
But if the win came as a shock to you last night, trust us, that’s a common occurrence on Globes night and historically it’s not a major factor when the Oscars come around.
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