Tomorrow, on the 16th, we’ll discover who’s been nominated for an Oscar in 2014. But 3 days ago, the award season has started with the Golden Globes and Hollywood enjoyed the annual warm-up gig. So, if we’re looking at the Oscar Predictions, let’s take a look at the biggest party in Hollywood and see what we can learn about the Oscars from Golden Globe winners.
The Globes give out the best picture awards, one for drama and one for musical or comedy. Last year, the globes correctly forecast the Oscar winner by picking Argo for best drama. The year before The Artist mimed its way to a best musical or comedy victory at the Globes, and it, too, went on to win the best picture Oscar. But before that, the Globes’ predictive powers hit a two-year cold stretch, when Oscar champions The Hurt Locker and The King’s Speech lost to Golden Globe drama favorites Avatar and The Social Network, respectively.
So, how well do the Golden Globes predict the Academy Awards? If you are interested in math-based predictions, I’d like to introduce Ben Zauzmer, who is a big fan of the Oscars, as well an applied-math major at Harvard College. For the past two years, he has predicted the Oscars using nothing but math, calling 75 percent in 2012 and 81 percent in 2013. So, to answer this question, we will do a little math.
Can a movie win the Oscar for best picture without getting a Globe nomination?
According to Zauzmer, the relationship between Golden Globe nomination number and Oscar success can be expressed by the following equations:
Oscar = 0.06 Golden Globe Drama +0.85
Oscar = 0.31 Golden Globe Musical/Comedy -0.61
Which means that the more Golden Globe nominations a movie gets, the more likely it will achieve Oscar success.
If we look at the 2014 Golden Globe nominees, even though Gravity, a drama, only earned four nominations, it is still in better shape than American Hustle or Nebraska, comedies that earned seven and five nominations, respectively. On the other hand, no one is sitting as pretty as 12 Years a Slave, a drama that picked up seven nominations.
Even if a Globe win is no guarantee of an Oscar win, there is still a reasonable chance that a movie that wasn’t nominated for a Globe can sneak onto the list of Oscar nominees. It’s worth remembering that the Golden Globes are voted for by a maximum of 93 foreign journalists working in Los Angeles – which means that about 25 votes might secure you a win. Compare that to the almost 6,000 members of the Academy who vote for the Oscars and realize that any predictions based on who won what at the Golden Globes must be taken with a healthy pinch of salt.