5 Times the Golden Globes Got it Right (and the Oscars Didn't)


Three reasons to be excited for the Golden Globes: 1.) Tina Fey may give a speech; 2.) Ricky Gervais may enjoy the longest broadcast chucklefit since Ed McMahon left the air; 3.) Every once in awhile, the Golden Globes award the right people and the Oscars don't. Join us for a stroll into Golden Globe past, where it turns out the HFPA sometimes -- sparingly, mind you -- executes better judgment than AMPAS.

Crash wasn't even nominated for the Globes' Best Picture (2005).

2005: The year Oscar felt like betraying everyone. Brokeback Mountain was the odds-on favorite to win top honors (and it took Best Director), but Paul Haggis's overblown After School Special about racism, "multidimensional" characters, and a staircase-beleaguered Sandra Bullock nabbed the crown in the eleventh hour. The Hollywood Foreign Press had the good sense to award Ang Lee's gorgeous drama and the Bernie-Taupin-penned original song "A Love That Will Never Grow Old." Oscar favored "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp."

Sigourney Weaver won Best Supporting Actress for Working Girl (1988).

1988: The year Oscar decided Sigourney Weaver would just keep losing. Ellen Ripley was nominated for two Academy Awards in '88, for Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl. While she won the Golden Globe for Working Girl, she lost the supporting Oscar to a woman the Hollywood Foreign Press didn't even mention -- Geena Davis in The Accidental Tourist. Pardon me, Oscar: Katharine Parker was the handsomest antagonist ever to wear a giant vermilion blazer and scare the hell out of the nation's administrative assistants. Respect.

Tom Cruise beat Michael Caine for Best Supporting Actor (1999).

Michael Caine's performance in The Cider House Rules is heartfelt, but no one could've imbued Magnolia's Frank T.J. Mackey with unhinged zeal like Tom Cruise. While many felt the insane part marked a departure for Tom Cruise, I'd say it's the first time we saw the dimpled maniac channel everything in his being.

Bruce Springsteen's "The Wrestler" Wins for Best Original Song (2008).

Slumdog Millionaire ruined all suspense before the Academy Awards its year, dominating every ceremony in its trajectory and setting itself up for a predictable Oscar triumph. One category it shouldn't have owned was Best Original Song, where Bruce Springsteen's searing "The Wrestler" took home the prize at the Golden Globes. Come Oscar season, the tune didn't even earn a nomination, and Slumdog's hokey anthem "Jai Ho" picked up the hardware.

Rosalind Russell won five Golden Globes -- and zero Academy Awards.

And finally, the most unforgivable slight of all: Roz Russell's career teems with fascinating, unforgettable roles -- Hildy Johnson in His Girl Friday, Lavinia in Mourning Becomes Electra, and the titular powerhouse of Auntie Mame. None of them earned her an Oscar, and Hildy wasn't even worth a nomination (though Premiere magazine listed it at #28 in its admirable list of 100 Greatest Movie Performances). In fact, Russell was on the losing end of one of Oscar's strangest surprises: She was favored to win for Electra but lost to Loretta Young in The Farmer's Daughter. Oscar attempted to compensate by awarding Russell the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1972, but the years of oversight sting just the same.


  • Justin Hamaker says:

    Occasionally the Globes will get something right. But they also get things very wrong - for instance The Tourist being nominated in the Musical or Comedy category this year.
    In reality, it's all subjective and mostly about what has people talking.

  • OldTowneTavern says:

    The Golden Globes also chose Sense and Sensibility over Braveheart (The Oscars really have issues with Ang Lee, don't they?). They also gave Peter O'Toole three Best Actor awards, which still isn't enough, but it beats the Oscars' zero. And they've also seen to it that Meryl Streep has won more Best Actress awards than Hilary Swank.
    They do a lot of things right. However, they will always be sunk by two words: Pia Zadora. That broadcast is like a bad one night stand that leaves you with an unshakeable STD and has the nerve to still send you Christmas cards.

  • Joe says:

    Springsteen's 'The Wrestler' wasn't eligibile for an Academy Award because it doesn't play during the film, only over the end credits. The Globes must have different rules.
    Shame too because 'tis a great song.

  • OldTowneTavern says:

    I just checked that Premiere magazine list, and nowhere on it is Elizabeth Taylor for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (I honestly had no idea she could act until I saw that movie) or... and this is truly unconscionable... Olivia de Havilland for The Heiress. Surely, this was some sort of mixup. Surely! And frankly, I saw the test reel of Robert De Niro for the role of Sonny in the original Godfather (that the studio passed on!) and that deserves to be here too.

  • Louis Virtel says:

    Still, ridiculous. The bigger crime, of course, is that the replacement winner was "Jai Ho."

  • KevyB says:

    Wow, I have to say... HORRIBLE list! LOL. While Rosalind Russell's lack of Academy Awards is beyond ridiculous, the rest is not universally agreed upon. I thought Crash deserved its award and that Brokeback Mountain is little more than a love story between two wussy-assed losers. (I couldn't have been the only one to react to Heath Ledger's fondling dead Jake's shirt with a Nelson-like HAHA!) I would've given the Oscar to Geena Davis too, simply for being the only enjoyable thing about Accidental Tourist. Tom Cruise should never win an award for ANYTHING, as he plays a variation on a theme in every movie he's ever done ever in the history of everness. EVER. And Bruce Springsteen writes the same song over and over again and, seriously, yuck.
    Why do people give so much weight to ANY awards? Neither the Oscars nor the Golden Globes bothered to award Alfred Hitchcock ANYTHING (except bullcrap honorary awards). It's funny how the man who has FOUR films on AFI's Top 10 Mystery Films couldn't even get Academy Award nominations for three of them, including the Number ONE Vertigo!

  • ffff says:

    "a love story between two wussy-assed losers"
    You're really tuned into the nuances of cinematic storytelling, aren't you? It's no wonder you prefer the delicate, subtle touch of a film like _Crash_.

  • SunnydaZe says:

    To be fair, it IS hard out here for a pimp. Yo.

  • trilby says:

    The only ones of these I agree with are Rosalind Russell (OBVIOUSLY) and "Crash." As others pointed out, "The Wrestler" song wasn't eligible, and "Jai Ho" totally fulfills the ideal criterion for a "Best Song" winner -- it reflects the spirit and tone of the film it represents. Tom Cruise was great in "Magnolia," but that supporting actor category that year was amazingly tight. All of them were excellent, and I don't think the Oscar voters couldn't been knocked for picking any of them (well, maybe Michael Clarke Duncan, but maybe not.) Same goes for Sigourney Weaver vs. Geena Davis; Sigourney's career has had more staying power, but Geena was never better than she was in "Accidental Tourist."
    I feel like a good list could be put together for this category, but this isn't it!

  • parker says:

    Didn't 'Jai Ho' also play over the end credits?

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  • Ben says:

    Sure, Crash was awful, but Brokeback did suck, let's be honest. It was a movie of the week that just happened to come along at exactly the right moment. A memorable milestone, but in no way a memorable movie.

  • sosgemini says:

    It was so elligable. It just didn't score a high enough (8.5) score to qualify for nomination. The same thing that happened to Prince's Globe winning Happy Feet song and this year's Diane Warren Globe winner. Oscar really needs to fix it's Best Song rules. They suck!!!

  • Philip says:

    It was memorable. Heath Ledger's performance should have gotten him every accolade that year. Instead it went to someone imitating (and a good job of it) a personality. Brokeback Mountain was not a movie of the week but a movie that will be remembered not only for its ground-breaking subject (for a movie of this caliber) but of its performances that will withstand the test of time.