Awards Analysis 2016: The Golden Globes

The 73rd Annual Golden Globes, hosted by Ricky Gervais in Los Angeles tonight, will provide the year’s first significant shake-up in the Oscar betting markets. The Oscars themselves don’t take place until February 28th, but before those little golden men are handed out we can expect numerous twists and turns in the main categories.


The film industry awards calendar is historically a game of two halves. By New Year the majority of critics’ groups have already chosen their winners and a consensus has started to take shape with the films/actors enjoying most success gaining the early momentum. After the Golden Globes comes a sequence of more respected presentations from the industry guilds – directors, producers, actors, writers, cinematographers, editors etc all have their own awards ceremonies. Crucially, these are the people whose collective votes will determine the Oscar results, not the film critics who have already had their say.

We will cover the Oscars more thoroughly in the near future, but for now the focus is on the Golden Globes and highlighting a couple of key categories that represent some value in the context of Oscar betting.

Best Picture

The Golden Globes split its best picture nominations into two groups – Drama and Musical/Comedy. The likely scenario is that ‘Spotlight’ wins Drama and ‘The Big Short’ wins Musical/Comedy. The latter film has managed to generate good momentum in recent weeks and previously long Oscar odds have now shortened to best price 3/1 at the time of writing. If things go as expected at the Globes, ‘The Big Short’ will be an even bigger short when the Oscar markets respond and may even position itself as frontrunner for the big prize.

Best Director

This is where things start to get tricky. The Globes are quite happy to award best picture to one film and best director to another, creating a split that is comparatively rare at the Oscars. This year should be no exception and because ‘The Big Short’ is likely to be rewarded for best film (Musical/Comedy) over closest rival and highly praised ‘The Martian’, it will be no surprise to see the latter’s director, Ridley Scott, pick up the Globe in this category. Alternatively, if ‘The Martian’ wins best film (Musical/Comedy) then expect to see George Miller giving an acceptance speech here for his brilliant direction of ‘Mad Max Fury Road’.

At the time of writing Ridley Scott is best price 3/1, third favourite for the Oscar with George Miller 8/1, fifth favourite.

Best Supporting Actor


It will be hard for the Globes to resist handing this to Sylvester Stallone. His return to form as Rocky Balboa in ‘Creed’ is an unexpected delight and is genuinely awards worthy. If, as expected, he wins here and is included in the Oscar nominations announced on January 14th, his current odds of 4/1 will feel like real value.

Best Supporting Actress


Alicia Vikander is not only nominated here for her role as an A.I. robot in ‘Ex Machina’, but also in the best actress category for her role opposite Eddie Redmayne in ‘The Danish Girl’. Best actress, however, will be won by Brie Larson who has so far proved virtually unbeatable this awards season, leaving the door open in supporting actress for Vikander to be recognised in her breakthrough year.

Because of the two performances there is some ambiguity surrounding Oscar category placement, however, ‘Ex Machina’ is undisputedly a supporting role and BAFTA’s recent agreement in their own nominations should point to the Oscars doing the same. Vikander is currently best price 8/1 to win the Oscar and 4/1 to win the BAFTA – prices that will become significantly shorter if she takes home the Globe.

As mentioned, we will follow up with a more detailed Oscars article but in the meantime we’d love to hear the views of any Sofabet film buffs!

7 comments to Awards Analysis 2016: The Golden Globes

  • Shell

    Some really shady results last night… (Mozart in the Jungle… cough)
    The HFPA voters may be a corrupt bunch but they definitely kept it interesting.
    Do you think Spotlight and The Big Short winning zero globes is a meaningful indicator for Oscars?

  • Sagand

    The Revenent is a dead certain for the Oscar (and Bafta) now. The last film to win no Globes and go on to win best picture was Crash (the biggest upset in modern Oscar history) in 2005.

    Not only due to the Globes but there are plenty of industry awards have weighed in too. (The Revenant received nominations from the art directors guild, the producers guild, the editing guild and cinematography guild). The only meaningful nomination it has missed is the writing guild and if you have seen the film it is understandable as it is light on both plot and dialogue.

    (Spotlight missed the editing guild the last best picture to do so was Driving Miss Daisy in 1989)

    Spotlight is favourite for Bafta now (it shouldn’t be) but it only got three nominations in total at Bafta. It missed director, the last time a film won Bafta without a director nomination was Educating Rita in 1983. Whereas The Revenant was nominations leader and they owe AGI for not going with Birdman last year.

    (Carol is the Oscar equivalent of fanwank, The Big Short is too comedic to be taken seriously and Bridge of Spies is respected but not loved.)

    I’ll weigh in on the acting races later.

  • Some unexpected results from the HFPA, few would have predicted Kate Winslet who has won multiple acting Globes in recent years, their love for her is shameless – a very similar case with Jennifer Lawrence.

    The Revenant is not the type of film that suits a preferential ballot, the best picture voting system at the Oscars, it is respected but not loved. There is also a strong sense that the HFPA are making up for last year where director Iñárritu was overlooked, only to go on and win the DGA and Oscar. BAFTA did the same thing in 2015 and may also decide to reward The Revenant this time around. The telling factor will be who wins the DGA – if Iñárritu wins for a second consecutive year it will be very difficult for Oscar not to oblige after a potential Globe, DGA, BAFTA hat-trick. However, another DGA win is unlikely (look out for Ridley Scott) and The Revenant’s only above the line gold may well be for Leonardo DiCaprio.

    Regarding winning zero Globes, it’s not a good result but it shouldn’t cause too much concern – The Hurt Locker is a good example of a film that won no Globes but went on to win big at the Oscars, including film, director, screenplay and editing. Because Spotlight has been overlooked in some guilds, you would have to say its chances have been most damaged by not winning the Globe and it is now a very soft Oscar favourite. The Big Short remains a strong contender and I will be paying close attention to how it fares when the PGA decide their winner on January 23rd.

    There was a lot of love in the room for Stallone, and he delivered a humble and endearing speech – if he’s Oscar nominated on Thursday that train will be difficult to stop.

    Here’s a good article that discusses the Golden Globes in relation to the Oscar race:

  • Sagand

    Too much is made of the preferential ballot rewarding consensus choices. Everyone said Birdman wasn’t the type to do well on a preferential ballot until it won PGA and Oscar (losing the non-preferential at Bafta, Globes and Critics Choice). The truth is you only need 50%+1 it doesn’t matter if the 49% hate it; a majority wins.

    It isn’t just The Revenant’s strength but everything else’s weakness.

    Ridley Scott doesn’t win the DGA. The DGA is a better predictor of Best Picture than Best Director, The Martian isn’t in that race. It was shutout of SAG for no good reason and missed Bafta Best Picture (as well as international AACTA (the Australian academy)). There is no precedent of a director winning on being purely overdue.

    Spotlight has been weak everywhere. It was going to be an acting film until SAG snubbed it’s supporting actors and Globe snubbed the whole cast. People said it had a chance in editing until Ace Eddie snubbed it (followed by the Bafta editing chapter), it had a chance in director then Bafta snubbed McCarthy.

    The Big Short is the only possible upset. Adam McKay (Anchorman director) is big weakness for the film. Only four films have ever won Best Picture after the director wasn’t nominated at the Globes. (Crash, Driving Miss Daisy, Chariots of Fire, The Sting). The Director’s branch of the academy are bigger snobs than Bafta or DGA it’ll be difficult for Adam McKay to get a director nomination that’ll be a big test on Thursday. I think if it was going to win Best Picture it should have got contemporary costumes nomination or Art Direction guild nominations.

    I agree not too much should be read into Steve Jobs’ screenplay and supporting actress wins. The Globes love Sorkin and have nominated every screenplay he has ever written. And I think the pull of the Leo / Winslet Titanic reunion was just too strong.

  • Great to see your first ESC 2016 posting Daniel on Sofabet…looking forward to the next four months…..a for Globes and Oscars, I never got why Spotlight was and remains favourite for best film. It’s got so many newspaper office interiors and genuinely needs “opening out” as a spectacle. I think Mark Rylance is a shoe-in for best supporting actor for Bridge of Spies at the BAFTAS and possibly Oscars. But that film may be like last year’s “Boyhood”…loads of nominations but then next to no gongs. Love to see Saoirse Ronan win for Brooklyn, but think she will lose out to Brie Larson. The Martian deserves something, possibly best Director, but “Revenant” will be the big winner….Leonardo and also best film I think. Best indie film and not on any lists,alas “Grandma”…and best foreign film for YEARS, was “Relatos Salvajes”….(Wild Tales.) In fact, that last one is my fave of 2015-2016 by far.

  • Sagand

    The Big Short won the PGA (Producers Guild of America) this has matched with the Best Picture winner for the last 8 years. There’s still some doubt in my mind as basically this is the finance guys voting for a film about finance.

    But if The Big Short is going to win it has to win three awards (that’s the minimum a modern Best Picture wins) it takes Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay the third has to be either Best Director (available at 3/1) or Best Editing (available at 5/1).

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