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Golden Globes make Oscar outcomes even more uncertain

affleck berry globes 660 AP.JPG

The Golden Globe Awards came and went, offering a few surprises and adding increased uncertainty to what may be the most unpredictable Oscar race in recent memory. 

Here’s the status of Hollywood’s gold derby after Sunday’s big event.

BEST PICTURE: Watch out 'Lincoln,' here comes 'Argo'

Most observers had expected “Lincoln” to take the Globe, but I boldly predicted on Fox News just hours before the ceremony that “Argo” would probably triumph. As I explained, the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the group that votes on the Golden Globes) are international in nature. They loved “Argo” and its foreign setting, which was cleverly complemented by a Hollywood subplot. Sure, “Lincoln” led with the most nominations. But voters were less familiar with the American history it explored, and found much of the film difficult to follow. “Argo” now appears to have a real chance to defeat “Lincoln” at the Oscars. The upcoming Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild and Producers Guild Awards will be telling. If “Lincoln” wins at least two of these contests, it can regain its frontrunner status. If “Argo” wins two, the Oscar race is as good as over.

BEST DIRECTOR: It's Spielberg's to lose

I confidently projected that Ben Affleck would take this prize because of both the overall support for “Argo” and lack of excitement over Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” The Golden Globe ballots were due before the Oscar nominations were announced, so Affleck’s surprising snub had no impact. The one-time “Good Will Hunting” star actually won his first Globe fifteen years ago for penning that very script with friend Matt Damon. He now has a bookend. With Affleck out of the Oscar race in the field, it appears that this is Spielberg’s race to lose. If the Directors Guild Award trophy goes his way, he’s probably safe. If Affleck wins again, his only Oscar threat is a possible upset by Ang Lee for the widely admired “Life of Pi.”

BEST ACTOR: And the Oscar goes to Daniel Day-Lewis

Daniel Day-Lewis was virtually assured of winning the Globe for his astonishing portrayal of the sixteenth president, and he did. It now seems impossible for anyone other than him to claim the Best Actor Oscar. His fellow nominees are all superb, but Day-Lewis is on his way to becoming the first three–time champion in this category.

BEST ACTRESS: It's Chastain and Lawrence neck and neck

I predicted that Jessica Chastain in “Zero Dark Thirty” and Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook” would both win Globes, paving the way for a showdown at the Oscars. That’s exactly what’s happened. The Screen Actors Guild outcome will be important. However, I still feel that neither has really strong support, and an upset by a dark horse is a very real possibility. Expect this one to go down to the wire.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: DeNiro by a nose

I’ll admit that I was quite surprised by the victory of Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained,” since he just won the Globe and Oscar three years ago for another Quentin Tarantino film, “Inglourious Basterds.” My sense is that the race will likely be decided at the upcoming SAG Awards. The top contenders in that group are previous winners Robert De Niro in “Silver Linings Playbook” and Tommy Lee Jones in “Lincoln.” My money is on De Niro – at least for now.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: And the Oscar goes to Anne Hathaway

Most pundits saw this as a chance for Anne Hathaway to rehearse her Oscar speech next month. She did just that, adding a nice touch by thanking fellow nominee Sally Field for “being a vanguard against typecasting.” Perhaps the speech was just a little long, but it was almost as emotional as her “I Dreamed a Dream” rendition which earned her this overwhelming awards buzz. While “Les Miserables” won’t win Best Picture or Best Actor, Hathaway’s Oscar dream is all but certain to come true.

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