The Golden Globes air tomorrow, Sunday, January 16th at 8 p.m. ET — have you filled out your ballot? For those of you who think the show is all about fashion faux pas or the flubbing of lines, we've compiled a handy primer to savvy you up a bit. Don't forget to log on tomorrow and follow our live commentary during the show!
Who's responsible for Golden Globe nominations and votes?
That'd be the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — a group of 90 international journalists who report on the U.S. film industry. The HFPA represents over 55 countries outside the U.S., and new membership admittance is restricted to five per year (with MPAA accreditation and yearly clip submissions required to maintain status). Every awards show has its own exclusive voting base — therefore, the Globes' viewpoint is unique in that its nominations and winners are chosen by foreign journalists.
For means of comparison, examples of voting pools for a few other key awards shows include: SAG Awards (Screen Actors Guild members only), Independent Spirit Awards (eligible only for productions with budgets of $20 million or less, chosen by previous Spirit Awards nominees, Film Independent and Independent Feature Project Members), The BAFTAs (6,500 members of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts — 5,000 in the U.K. and 1,500 in the U.S.), The Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars — governed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which boasts over 6,000 film artists and professionals), and various guild awards (such as directors, producers, actors — all voted on by folks enrolled in and exemplifying the specified skill sets pertaining to each guild).
The skinny: A Golden Globe win means you've been honored by critics. A BAFTA win means you've been commended by authorities in the U.K. A SAG win awards folks within the Screen Actors Guild. An Independent Spirit Award highlights how very much one can do with a small budget, as decided upon by experts in the Independent filmmaking world. A Guild win means you've been chosen by a professional with the same expertise as you. An Academy win means you've been recognized by a mixture of various colleagues (actors, directors, editors, writers, producers, etc).
Fun facts from Globes past
The most Globes won by a film: five — shared by "Doctor Zhivago"(1966), "Love Story" (1971), "The Godfather" (1973), "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1976) and "A Star is Born" (1977)
Most career Globes wins by a female: seven — Meryl Streep
Most career Globes wins by a male: six —Jack Nicholson
Youngest winner of a Golden Globe: 9-year-old Ricky Schroeder, Best New Star of the Year for "The Champ" (1980)
Oldest winner of a Golden Globe: 80-year-old Jessica Tandy, Best Actress for "Driving Miss Daisy" (1990)
Most individual Globe nominations: 25 for Meryl Streep and 22 for Jack Lemmon
Most nominations in one year: Jamie Foxx in 2005 (for his turns in "Ray," "Collateral" and "Redemption")
The only film to win all five major Globes categories (Best Motion Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, Screenplay): "One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest" (1976)
How do the Golden Globes differ from the Academy Awards?
The Globes honor achievements in 25 categories — 14 for motion pictures, 11 for television. The Academy Awards (Oscars) honor achievements in 24 categories, all film-centric. The Globes separate movie nominations by Comedy/Musical and Drama, while the Oscars pool all cinematic subject matter together.
Additionally, the ceremonies themselves offer polar opposite atmospheres. The Globes are more relaxed, with attendees grouped at tables where they're served food and champagne (this has made for some very interesting — albeit inebriated — occurrences and acceptance speeches). The Oscars are more formal, seating guests side-by-side in a theater without food or drink service.
Does winning a Golden Globe mean an Oscar is next?
The odds of winning an Oscar are a bit of a science, usually dependent upon the results of many of the season's major awards shows (such as the SAGS, BAFTAs and the various guilds). The Globes have historically been known to predict Academy Award winners, though there have been key upsets in previous years. Check out RopeOfSilicon's handy roundup of the past 25 years of Globes/Oscar winners to get an idea of the odds.