Is there a Globe/Oscar disconnect?

Is winning the Golden Globe for Best Picture actually the worst thing that could have happened to Avatar? For years, people have trumpeted the Globes as reliable foreshadowers of the eventual Academy Award winners. And in the lead-acting categories, they have a decent track record as of late (last year being the exception, as Mickey Rourke won over Sean Penn). But in the Best Picture race, that hasn’t been true recently. Take a look at the Golden Globe winners of the last five years:

2009: Slumdog Millionaire & Vicky Cristina Barcelona
2008: Atonement & Sweeney Todd
2007: Babel & Dreamgirls
2006: Brokeback Mountain & Walk the Line
2005: The Aviator & Sideways

As you can see, only once in the last five years has one of the Globe winners (Slumdog, of course) gone on to take the Oscar as well. Meanwhile, the HFPA failed to acknowledge No Country for Old Men, The Departed, Crash, and Million Dollar Baby. Heck, Crash wasn’t even nominated for the Globe.

When you think about it, it’s silly to even expect the Globes and the Oscars to mirror each other—there’s absolutely no overlap between the voting bodies at all. One award is decided on by fewer than 100 quirky foreign journalists, and the other by more than 6,000 professionals in the film industry. And now, with The Hurt Locker picking up the Producers Guild prize, it’s certainly possible that they’ll have different winners this year as well. As of today, I’m still feeling an Avatar win for picture and Locker for director, but at this point, anything seems possible.

Image credit: Avatar: Weta

Comments (188 total) Add your comment
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  • t.g. pierson

    Yes in 2005 Crash was not nominated for best picture drama at the golden globes, Brokeback Mountain took home the prize and that was the year that The Golden Globes got it RIGHT!!!!

    • mike

      No, it wasn’t nominated for best picture at the golden globes. It was nominated for a screenplay and supporting actor for Matt Dillon, but that was all.

      • awesome

        The biggest Oscar tragedy was easily Star Wars. How could a big box office hit with such an impact on EVERY SINGLE FILM that has been released since lose to Annie Hall? I have a bad feeling about this Oscar race and that 30 years from now, people will wonder “If Avatar was such a great movie and had such a big impact, why did it lose?”

        P.S. Saving Private Ryan was the seconded biggest Oscar crime in my mind.

      • Gregory

        Am I the only person who finds errors in Saving Private Ryan? I strongly dislike the framing devices used in the narrative. That old man standing at the grave is dramatic overkill. So corny.

        Shakespeare in Love shouldn’t have won, but its win was not the greatest Oscar tragedy for me. That would be the year Ordinary People won instead of Raging Bull. Hands down.

      • a

        Shakespere in Love was harly a perfect movie. If I almost fall asleep during it, then it is certainly not worthy of any Best Picture prize

      • bend

        Ugh, I’m so tired of hearing Saving Private Ryan diehards bitch about that Oscar.
        Also, Shakespeare in Love was a better film.SPR was great and Spielberg deserved his Oscar for it, but it SIL was a perfect film.

      • Cate

        I agree TJ! I have seen both movies several times. Saving Private Ryan will stand the test of time, while in 50 years people will look back on Shakespeare in Love and wonder what they were thinking…

      • Gretchen

        I agree w/ you TJ – SPR was a much bigger disappointment for not winning than Brokeback.

      • TJ

        The greatest tragedy in Oscar history is Saving Private Ryan vs. Shakespeare in Love….horrible decision.

        I honestly didn’t have much problem with Crash winning over Brokeback Mountain….none of the nominees that year were particularly appealing.

      • readDipShit

        Read what he said dude. I agree with t.g. pierson.

    • t.g. pierson

      Im a stupid idiot

  • Entertainment2u-Twitter

    I always dig your thinking, Dave. Definitely an interesting year with the ex husband and wife up against each other for best director and film honors!

  • GOB

    I’m hoping for ANYTHING other than Avatar to win the Oscar. It can (and should) sweep the technical categories, but that is all it deserves. Precious, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds or even UP would be ok by me. Just please not Avatar.

    • BlackIrish4094

      Anything but Avatar is fine with me. So ridiculously overhyped. It’s a technical marvel but a great film (and certainly Cameron can’t be considered a great director for this film which is mostly CG) it is not. So sick of the hype, and I bet these avatar freaks were the same ones bitching about Twilight-Moms (who are definitely creepy) but it’s flip sides of the same coin.

    • KAH

      Totally agreed. I wouldn’t vote for Hurt Locker either actually (though it’s at least better than Avatar), I was too annoyed with the last chunk (Jeremy Renner, Vigilante? *groan*). At this point, for me it’s a tie between Up in the Air and District 9, with Basterds at #3.
      Bigelow would totally deserve best director tho, she did everything on her end about perfectly.

    • Mana

      I agree. I watched Avatar and I enjoyed it, it was a fun movie and a treat to look at. But the story was stale (a familiar storyline is fine, but you need to do *something* to change it up beyond pretty packaging) and the dialogue was so-so. Best picture should be about visuals *and* story, and in comparison to the competition Avatar fails at the latter.

    • Gazza

      I saw Avatar in 3D, and while was AWESOME to look at, and I love the actors, I walked out feeling a little underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, I can really appreciate James Cameron’s technical wizardry, but I knew pretty much what each character was going to say/do five minutes before they did (sigourney being the sometimes-exception). Sorry, but I don’t think I can bear to see it win best film at the Oscars.

      • Shane

        Technical awards, fine.
        Best Picture and other major categories, NO WAY.

    • amber

      I HAVE seen Avatar, and I agree. Up and Inglorious Basterds were both better. I have not seen the Hurt Locker yet, or Up in the Air. I thought that that movie had the momentum, but there seems to have been a shift in the last month or so. I feel like maybe people were distracted from the lack of story in Avatar by all the shiny things taking up screen time, glowing in the dark and in 3D. I think it’s a good movie. I enjoyed it. If I’m looking for something to take my three-year-old son to see, I know he’s going to love Avatar as much as he loved Up. But what I ask myself, when trying to think if it is best picture material, is this: Would Avatar have the same resonance without 3D? Without the blue screen technology? Without the glow in the dark effects? If Avatar wins, we are going to be whining about it for the next 19 years, like we have since basically the same movie (Dances With Wolves) beat Goodfellas in 1991.

    • Brooke

      Definitely. Looking good should not overshadow the unoriginal screenplay and not-super-noteworthy acting.

    • Leslie

      GOB – I agree with you 100%! I haven’t seen Avatar yet because my friends who have say it’s basically Pocahontas / Dances with Wolves with blue people/aliens. In addition, most reviews I’ve read say the story is lacking. I think James Cameron is a tech genius and I really love the Terminator series, however, I recently watched A Night to Remember and was absolutely shocked at how much Cameron ripped off that movie for his Titanic. He bascially added better effects and Jack & Rose. I believe a best picture winner should truly be a best picture – meaning a compelling story and excellent acting – not just flashy effects and a ripped off storyline.

      • Chris

        I *have* seen Avatar, and agree with most of what Leslie posted, and confirm what her friends told her. Best Technical achievements? Absolutely. Best movie, actors, screenplay, etc? Not so much.

      • Matt

        Most of Shakespeare’s works did not have completely original themes or stories, but that doesn’t detract from their brilliance. This “originality” argument is far more hackneyed than anything in Avatar.

      • L

        Well your friends are right, but visually I found it worth the money, and unless you have a giant screen tv at home I would see it in the theatre. It’s quite a spectacle. Bit long tho.
        *When comparing it to other movies(something you cannot do as quickly or easily with the other poss. nominees) don’t forget Ferngully people!
        I just wish there was a movie that’d come out of nowhere and be nominated. Anybody got any faves that haven’t even been mentioned?

      • madd

        Actually, I’m pretty sure the basic story of Titanic has been found in tons of movies.

      • Susan

        Totally agree!

      • TJ

        You should probably stop listening to your friends.

      • Ian

        So because your friends didn’t like it, you don’t want it to win best picture? That’s dumb, frankly. I thought it was excellent. Sure, the story isn’t the most original thing I’ve ever seen, but were you against Pocahontas being an animated Disneyfied song fest, when it was based on an actual piece of history? And your comparison of of Night to Remember and Titanic, might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read, lol. He ripped it off? They’re both about the sinking of the Titanic! Are you saying he should have changed the name of the boat and had it hit something other than an iceberg? He added Jack & Rose….yeah, he did. That was the story. Other than that it was ABOUT THE SINKING OF THE TITANIC.

      • racefan111

        Please don’t comment on movies you haven’t seen. Avatar isn’t my best pic either, but at least I went to see it before judging.

    • ObiHave

      Agreed! Hurt Locker was a way better film. I can’t believe how quickly I was drawn into it. I predicted there would be Avatar backlash and I smell it coming.

  • Jonathan F.

    Crash not being nominated for Best Drama at the Globes is one of the many reasons the Globes are better than the Oscars.

    • Jp

      Crash should have been nominated for Best Comedy, because it is hysterical and overwrought!

      • KC

        “Crash” was only the most trite, badly acted, and badly cast piece of mainstream cinema I’d ever seen. I thought “Brokeback” was robbed! And if it were to be robbed, it should have been by “Capote.” (And, yes, I’m a straight female.)

      • Chris

        Oh come on, people really are just exaggerating how bad Crash was just because it won Best Picture. I actually really loved Crash. But still, come on, it really wasn’t a bad movie. Maybe it shouldn’t have won but I would hardly call it a bad movie. This overexaggeration stuff is so incredibly stupid.

      • DrChocolate

        Crash was vastly overrated, manipulative dreck. It stumbled over it’s own importance. The film carried a nose in the air superiority that talked down to it’s audience and relied on the same stereotypes it was decrying in order to get it’s “message” across. I’ve never felt more manhandled by a movie than I did when I saw Crash. Every movie nominated that year was better.

    • ……

      BBM fanboys are so predictable.

      • BlackIrish4094

        Crash was better than Brokeback but there are plenty of BBM fanboys as another poster mentioned.

      • Meier

        Capote should’ve beat them both.

      • madd

        It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t very good. The acting wasn’t as good as Brokeback Mountain’s cast- Matt Dillion and Sandra Bullock were really the only good ones. And it tries too hard to get it’s message across.

      • Tom

        Yes, terrible. A brazenly manipulative movie with at least two terrible scenes. Overwrought, stage-y mess. Hamfisted. A bad movie.

      • Kevin

        COME ON!! Terrible? Really?

      • Matt

        No, Crash was just a terrible film.

  • sarahp

    Avatar winning best picture at the Globes makes more sense than it winning Best Picture at the Oscars, in my opinion. It is an amazing movie to WATCH, but I don’t think that qualifies it for the best picture of the year. The storyline just wasn’t there for me. I hope it wins all sorts of technical awards, but I’ll be upset if it wins Best Picture or Best Director.

    • BlackIrish4094

      Especially director for a mostly CG movie, it’s ridiculous they would even think about nominating him. Isn’t that why the academy created an animation category after beauty and the Beast. Maybe we need a CG movie category, shouldn’t be in with the other films.

  • Morgan

    I really hope this year more than ever that there is a disconnect because Avatar simply doesn’t deserve a Best Picture Oscar.

  • DarkLayers

    The record was better before the most recent years:

    1995 Sense and Sensibility *Babe

    1996 The English Patient Evita

    1997 Titanic As Good as It Gets

    1998 Saving Private Ryan * Shakespeare in Love

    1999 American Beauty † Toy Story 2

    2000 Gladiator †Almost Famous

    2001 A Beautiful Mind † Moulin Rouge!

    2002 The Hours *Chicago

    2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King †Lost in Translation


    To the extent, this is a disconnect, it’s grown in recent years.

    • Meier

      LOL Evita! Toy Story 2! Those Golden Globes are so goofy…

    • Nix

      I wonder how much this disconnect reflects the rate of disconnect between American concerns and global concerns.


    I really think Avatar will lose against the hurt locker…the thing is since is the highest grossing film ever of course it will be nominated for best picture.
    but hopefully it wont will…
    the dark knight was a better film and it wasn’t even nominated.
    of course this year we have ten films.
    by the way I think Crash only won, cos that year Munich was too controversial to win, Capote was not that popular, walk the line not the best film, terrible performances indeed.
    and crash with its racial predectible story too self indulgent it wasa like the political correct choice, since Academy voters seem to be too conservative to choose a film about a romance between too men. also I think Michelle Willimas got robbed cos she deserved the Oscar for her performance.
    anyway, if the hurt locker doesnt win, the other film with potential to do it is Inglorious BAstards, though I think BP and BD should go to the Hurt locker, and original screenplay to IB, with Avatar taking home all tech categories…….
    let’s see what happens cos Sandra Bullock which was great at the blind side is not the best performance of the year, but we all know how this industry works when it comes to awards ceremonies.

    • Mr. Know-It-All

      “Walk the Line” wasn’t nominated for Best Picture. You missed “Good Night and Good Luck”.

  • MB Munson

    Not just in the category of best picture are there problems, best actress these last years tells me that Hollywood is taking Meryl Streep for granted! So many nominations, but no recent win. This should be the year for Julie/Julia.


    exactly MB, it’s like that, she has been losing almost in a row. and it’s like voters are saying “o.k you are the best ever you know it, so we will only make you a nominee…let other win the trophy.
    But I do think even though is a comedy her performance was terrific. IO love Sandra Bullock I hillarious at the proposal, but I hope to see her win for a better performance.
    I also think Colin Firth performance at the single man is oscar worthy over Bridges.

  • Woot

    Dave WHY do you feel an Avatar for best picture!?!! Ugh that idea makes me so mad.

    • BlackIrish4094

      Agree! Pisses me off.

  • Lisa Simpson

    I’m always surprised when people take the Golden Globes so seriously. They’re chosen by a small bunch of drunk journalists who seem to choose based on either what they think “America wants” or what the Oscars will do. So they tend to be wrong most of the time.

    • jk

      Drunk journalists? Why do you say that? I’m assuming it’s because the guests at the Globes can drink while those at the Oscars cannot, but it’s still incredibly weird to infer that the HFPA voters are drunk when they cast their ballots.

  • Mary

    When will all you Avatar haters realize that your opinion is not all that matters. In fact it does not matter at all in determining who deserves a nomination or an oscar. You may not think Avatar is worthy but if the academy thinks it then you have to suck it up and respect the opinions others. The academy does not have to agree with you, even though some of you think you know more than the industry members in the academy. They may end up going with the Hurt Locker and though I would rather see 5 other movies including Avatar win over it, it is their decision, not mine. They don’t have to like what I want to win. Whatever movie wins in the end, Inglourious basterds is still the best of the year to me.

    • BlackIrish4094

      Mary, it does not deserve to win because it is mostly a CG ANIMATED movie. They gave animation it’s own category after Beauty and the Beast for that reason. You sound like one of those Avatar losers who wants to live on Pandora.

      • poop

        You’re retarded. I don’t even like Avatar and your reasoning was just stupid.

    • Maggie25

      Come on, it’s the same with Avatar lovers who insist that it is the best thing ever made and it better win or everyone is stupid etc. Nobody’s opinion here actually matters in terms of who wins in the end… I think you’re kind of missing the point of discussion.

      • Mako

        AVATAR will win the Oscar. Why? Because here in Hollywood – fingers have been pointed at the Academy lately about how out of touch they are with the mainstream audience – and their ratings keep dropping because of it. Watch… I bet AVATAR wins mainly because it’s the HIGHEST GROSSING FILM ever. That’s means more people will be happy when it wins than will not. There is always an Agenda at play when it comes to these things.

      • Mary @ Shamrock

        My last sentence. “They don’t have to like the film.” If anything is hurt is, it is your head.

      • Fred

        Damn, EW. When are you going to have some Limp Bizkit news? I’ve got nothing new to say anymore.

      • Shamrock

        LOL…getting all butt hurt because people don’t like Avatar.

      • Mary

        The point is a lot people are here are saying Avatar does not deserve to win based on their personal opinions and ignoring the fact that other people do like this film.
        GOB: “It can (and should) sweep the technical categories, but that is all it deserves”

        Leslie (who has not seen avatar): “I believe a best picture winner should truly be a best picture – meaning a compelling story and excellent acting – not just flashy effects and a ripped off”

        Morgan: “Avatar simply doesn’t deserve a Best Picture Oscar.”

        Who cares what all these people thinks merits an award. They are acting like they hold the standard and everyone who likes avatar is stupid or does not know what quality is. I haven’t seen any avatar lover who called said Avatar better win or everyone is stupid but if they are, then they fall into the same group of people who need to get over themselves and realize the voters are allowed to a different opinion and they need to respect it. They don’t have to like the film.

  • Shiny

    That disconnect goes back to Pia Zadora “winning” the best new artis award over the young cast members of Ragtime. The audible gasp as Pia Zadora received her award (purchased by her billionaire husband’s graft) was one of the most lurid pieces of television ever.

  • Luke

    Avatar doesn’t deserve Best Picture? Are you people high or something?? Have you seen the BO numbers? Have you seen the acclaim it has received? You people are still hung up on the “unoriginal” story?? LOL. Well, I got news for you. There are 1000s upon thousands of stories inspired by thousands of other stories.

    • BlackIrish4094

      Box office just confirms this country is filled with imbeciles. Avatar will never deserve a nomination in anything other than technical awards.

      • Two

        Your conclusion is of great value to us. It is pleasing to see that us people who have not yet seen this “Avatar” atrocity are laying down the line and most importantly saying no to those imbeciles that put this country to shame.

    • Juneau

      And BO dictates the best film of the year? By that reasoning, Transformers should be nominated. Just because a bunch of Avatards (aptly named) want to go and see a bunch of cool effects and see people die by the hundreds in the final battle scene (which looked like a violent Xbox game to me – and Cameron is supposed to be anti-war?), doesn’t mean the acting, writing, directing is the best this year has to offer.

      • BlackIrish4094

        Avatards!! Awesome!! First time I heard that one. Thanks Juneau (like Joe Juneau right?).

    • L

      Totally. I remember when The Dark Knight won in 2008, and am hoping for Transformers 2 to be stiff competition for Avatar at the Oscars this year.

      • plushpuppy

        HAHA best comment

    • Matt

      The acclaim is has received is less than the Hurt Locker – and since when did Box Office matter to the Oscars? The GG’s on the other hand…

      • R

        Box Office has always mattered to the Academy. The Hurt Locker would be the lowest grossing film to win Best Picture in over thirty years. Factor in inflation, it would be the least seen winner ever. This has been a poor year at the movies. All the top films have flaws of one kind or another. That is why none of the guilds can agree with each another. When people look back, Avatar will be the film most people remember from 2009. Oscar will probably concur… even if they do so reluctantly. I don’t see The Hurt Locker winning BP. If a film upsets Cameron’s, it would be Inglorious Basterds for no other reason than the weighted ballots being used this year.

      • Mary

        “The acclaim is has received is less than the Hurt Locker”

        Yes because critical acclaim means that much to the academy, which is why the nominated the reader over the Dark knight and Wall-E, Crash over Brokeback, Titanic over LA confidential etc.

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