What do "Chicago" (2002), "Shakespeare in Love" (1998) and "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989) all have in common? Over the past 40 years, these are the only three Oscar champs for Best Picture that first claimed victory at the Golden Globes in the Best Comedy/Musical Picture race. For the first time in nearly a decade, that magic could strike again thanks to "The Artist."
By smartly entering the warm-hearted film in this Globes category instead of the Drama race, director Michel Hazanavicius got to bypass other Oscar frontrunners including "The Descendants," "Hugo," "The Help," "Moneyball," "War Horse" and "The Ides of March." While those films duked it out at the Globes for the bragging rights of Best Drama Picture, "The Artist" faced virtually no competition in the Comedy/Musical category.
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Now that the silent black-and-white film starring Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo has just secured a win in the top Comedy/Musical race at the Globes, its unstoppable awards momentum should likely carry it to the Oscar finish line. Our Editors, Experts and Users predict it to be the clear Oscar frontrunner with overwhelming odds of 6/5.
"The Artist" had already scored a handful of Best Picture critics prizes prior to Sunday's victory with the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., including those from the Critics' Choice Awards, New York Film Critics Circle, Boston Society of Film Critics and Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Assn.
Six films won both prizes in the first two decades of the category: "An American in Paris" (1951); "The Apartment" (1960); "Tom Jones" (1963); "My Fair Lady" (1964); "The Sound of Music" (1965); and "Oliver!" (1968). But since then, the Oscars have tended to reward more serious fare.
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Indeed, since "Chicago's" victory in 2002, five of the eight Globes' Comedy/Musical winners were all snubbed for the top Oscar: "Walk the Line" (2005); "Dreamgirls" (2006); "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (2007); "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" (2008); and "The Hangover" (2009).
Only three Comedy/Musical champs went on to be nominated for Best Picture -- "Lost in Translation" (2003); "Sideways" (2004); and "The Kids Are All Right" (2010) -- and none of these were ever a serious threat to win.
While the Comedy/Musical race at the Globes has only gone on to predict the Oscar winner a trio of times over the past four decades, the other top film race, Best Drama Picture, has a much more accurate prediction rate with 22 match-ups over the same time period. The past two years saw different films winning at each ceremony, making "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008) the last movie to score at both kudoscasts.