Based on past comments, I know not everyone agrees with my assessment that there's been an emerging competition between the Golden Globes and Academy Awards. But while it's obvious the Hollywood Foreign Press Association frequently awards respect to more deserving international stars over domestic ones, we can see some evidence this year that they're also drawing a line of battle in awarding certain American filmmakers and stars. Such is the case in the Golden Globes awarding Kathryn Bigelow a directing nomination for "Zero Dark Thirty" while the Oscars deliberately didn't.
We're already seeing plenty of excuses and explanations for that diss ranging from Oscar politics to an ostentatiously chauvinistic academy. Regardless, the real reason may be simple competitiveness. It only seems obvious that the Academy Awards would have a bit of an envy streak with the Golden Globes now that the Globes have compounded the luster of the Oscars in more recent years.
The unfortunate part of that equation is that the Oscars have to end up answering to the Golden Globe nominations, if perhaps even influencing decisions. Now that there's exactly a month of time for Oscar academy member voters to be influenced by what the HFPA thinks is cinematically worthy, the results are beginning to look calculated. Is it possible the Oscar academy conjectured Kathryn Bigelow had a good chance to win at the Golden Globes and made the Oscars stand alone with their own headlines?
It shouldn't be any secret why Oscars would want to distinguish themselves from the Globes when being in concert with one another makes for apathetic audiences at Oscar time. Just look at the headlines drawn last Thursday when Globe nominees Ben Affleck and Bigelow were snubbed at the Oscar nominations show. Those were mentioned at everybody's first breath to draw up drama that the show wants and needs from audiences.
Yes, I know this sounds like someone manipulating the entire voting spectrum at the Academy Awards. And, yes, we know when voting is done that results should be random. Nevertheless, let's keep in mind we don't really know what goes on in the voting process considering how secretive that and so many other procedures are in Hollywood.
Even a voting consensus can still bring an intended result based on the Oscar academy wanting the show to stand on its own legs. A very distinguishable headline would read that Kathryn Bigelow won for Best Director at the Globes and the Oscar Best Director went to Steven Spielberg for "Lincoln." Or, if Spielberg wins director at both the Globes and the Oscars, the Globes nomination process for Bigelow and Affleck will still stand as enough of a divide.
There's truth to the notion that "Lincoln" will mostly sweep the Golden Globes tonight, including Best Picture for Drama. When there's that much consensus internationally over a movie, we can finally see a rare product that turns off all Globes and Oscar wrestling. Take note, though, that it's extremely rare and we should enjoy it while it and the bonds forged by Spielberg are still around.
However, let's not tune out the possibility of a shocking surprise or two. The Golden Globes will dig itself into that old Oscar pit if Bigelow wins Best Director without winning Best Picture Drama. The Globes have learned how to straddle the line of offbeat compromise during times so many great movies release all at once.