Could Black Panther's Golden Globes Nomination Lead To Acknowledgement From The Oscars?

‘Black Panther’ nabbed a nomination for the Golden Globe award for Best Motion Picture – Drama, and that’s a big deal.  While it’s not a foolproof system, the Golden Globes can predict the nominations and winners of the Academy Awards/Oscars, the highest accolade in the film industry.  The Golden Globes are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, while the Academy Awards are determined by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

A Golden Globe nomination or even a win, doesn’t guarantee the same for the Oscars, but there is a healthy average to support the idea that there is overlap.  Looking at the last 20 years, here are the number of instances where a Golden Globe winner went on to win an Oscar in the same major category:

  • Best Picture: 11/20
  • Best Director: 12/20
  • Best Actress: 17/20
  • Best Actor: 12/20
  • Best Supporting Actress: 11/20
  • Best Supporting Actor: 13/20
  • Best Screenplay: 15/20

With the Golden Globes, the Picture, Lead Actor and Actress are split into two divisions, Drama and Musical/Comedy, but the Oscars lump them together.  Similarly, the Academy Awards offers Screenplay awards for Original and Adapted, whereas the Golden Globes don’t.

In the past, comic book movies have been viewed the same as ‘Transformers’ or ‘The Meg’, lowbrow guilty pleasures, not art.  But things are starting to change.  Last year, the Golden Globes honored Guillermo del Toro as Best Director for ‘The Shape of Water’, while the film itself won the Academy Award for Best Picture.  It’s not a comic book movie, but it is definitely genre, and genre pictures tend to be looked down upon as well.  ‘The Shape of Water”s strong showing bodes well for actual comic book movies.

Last year, Warner Brothers launched an expensive campaign to get ‘Wonder Woman’ recognized, while 20th Century Fox did the same for ‘Logan’, but neither were nominated in the big categories, with the exception of ‘Logan’ scoring a Best Adapted Screenplay nod at the Academy Awards.  That alone was a significant step forward.  (Unfortunately, it lost to ‘Call Me by Your Name’.)

The only time a comic book movie won in a major category was in 2009, when Heath Ledger received Best Supporting Actor for his role as The Joker in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, but it was a posthumous award.  Ledger died before the film’s release and had previously been nominated for Best Lead Actor in 2005 for ‘Brokeback Mountain’ but lost to Phillip Seymour Hoffman in ‘Capote’.  Not to take anything away from Ledger’s performance, but many voters likely voted his way because it was their last chance to honor him.

‘The Shape of Water”s success and ‘Logan”s nomination are all steps in the right direction.  The Academy has also made a conscious effort to bring in more young and diverse voters, all of which could turn the tide away from the stuffy, dated reputation that it has garnered over the years.

‘Black Panther’ has already won awards from more public entities like the People’s Choice Awards, but those have little bearing on the Golden Globes or Oscars, which are voted on by those in the industry.

‘Black Panther”s Golden Globe acknowledgment doesn’t mean an automatic nod by the Academy.  It doesn’t help that it was only nominated for Best Picture – Drama, with no additional recognition for directing, writing or acting.  It could be seen as a token gesture made to appease the masses who might have been outraged if it had been completely snubbed.  But it’s a positive step.

The Golden Globes will be handed out on January 6, 2019.