The Unpredictable Golden Globe Awards

DECEMBER 30, 2019
Signs advertising the Golden Globes.
The Golden Globe Awards at the Beverley Hilton Hotel

The Golden Globe Awards are the first major honors given out during awards season and are known for having a more relaxed atmosphere than the Oscars and Emmys. Before the ceremony on January 5, find out what sets the Golden Globes apart from other Hollywood award shows.

The first Golden Globes

In 1943, the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association (now known as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association or the HFPA) was founded to connect American films with foreign audiences. In an effort to boost the group’s reach, the twenty-three founding journalists created the Golden Globe Awards as a rival to the Oscars. During a 1943 luncheon at the 20th Century Fox lot, awards were given out to films The Song of Bernadette, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and Watch on the Rhine. In the following years, more awards were added and the ceremony was moved to various hotels around Los Angeles.

Today, the Globes are routinely held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel where more than twenty-five awards are presented in both film and television. Television became part of the ceremony in 1955 when I Love Lucy, The American Comedy, and Davy Crockett won their first trophies. It’s now common for fourteen film and eleven television awards to be handed out during the broadcast.

Path to the Oscars

Since the winners are announced shortly before Academy Award ballots are due, the Golden Globes can be an important part of the Oscar race. A win, noteworthy speech, or other standout moment on the broadcast may help sway undecided Academy voters in a film’s favor. On the flip side, if a film is nominated for, but is completely shut out of wins, it is usually taken as a bad sign for its Oscar chances.

If someone wins a Golden Globe, it doesn’t automatically make them an Oscar favorite. The Globes are known for throwing in surprise nominations, often for critical or commercial darlings that are overlooked in other ceremonies. These wins don’t always indicate award success down the line for the recipients.

Nominations and wins

Golden Globe nominations and awards are voted on by about ninety members of the HFPA. In order to become a member, a journalist must primarily live in Southern California, be paid to create entertainment related content for foreign publications, be sponsored by two active members of the HFPA, and pay a $500 initiation fee. By comparison, the Academy Awards are voted on by over seven thousand entertainment industry professionals.

For films and TV shows to be eligible for a Globe, they must be released during the calendar year and meet certain requirements based on their category. The HFPA also gives two honorary awards, the Cecil B. DeMille Award for those who have made a significant impact in the film industry, and the newly created Carol Burnett Award for contributions to television.

Meryl Streep holds the record for most overall (both film and TV) nominations with thirty-four and has taken home the trophy eight times. She was also honored with a Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2018. For 2019, Marriage Story has the most film nominations with six, followed by The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with five. In the TV categories, Chernobyl, The Crown, and the Central Casting Los Angeles cast Unbelievable lead the pack with four nominations each.

The 77th Golden Globe Awards hosted by Ricky Gervais will air on January 5, 2020 on NBC. This year eleven Central Casting productions are nominated, including Unbelievable, Dead to Me, The Politician, The Morning Show, and The Kominsky Method cast in Los Angeles; Pose, Ramy, Russian Doll, Fosse/Verdon, and Living with Yourself in New York; and On Becoming a God in Central Florida cast in Louisiana. Be sure to tune in to cheer on our productions!

For more on awards season, check out our articles How Film Festivals Influence the Oscars and A History of Hollywood’s Biggest Night.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

Article Category:

Hollywood History