10 Things We Learned From The 2014 Golden Globes

If you're a salesperson of aspirin, raw eggs or hair-of-the-dog booze in Hollywood, today is a good day for you: it's the morning after the Golden Globes, otherwise known as the single most hungover day in the Hollywood calendar. The night that truly kicks off the two-month-long season of awards ceremonies, all leading up to the Oscars at the start of March, its reputation is as one that not many take seriously, but everyone treats as a bit of a party, with some gloriously decadent shenanigans taking place over the years.

You've seen the winners already, but what does it all mean? Well, in the grand schemes of things, not necessarily an enormous amount—the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, as we've said many times before, is an organization of about 90 members who don't necessarily overlap with the Academy's tastes. But it is useful both in terms of establishing or curbing momentum, and in letting the stars into the spotlight—a great speech at the Globes can make someone a frontrunner, a disastrous one can derail a campaign. So, with all that in mind, below you'll find ten things we learned from the Golden Globes last night, some relating to the Oscars, some not...

American Hustle

1. "American Hustle" still looks like the one to beat 
David O. Russell's film "American Hustle," or as Tina Fey so aptly renamed it, "Explosion At The Wig Factory," was the big winner of the night with three awards: Best Comedy/Musical, Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical for Amy Adams, and Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence. It wasn't quite a sweep—a Best Screenplay win would have completed that, but Spike Jonze got it as a consolation prize for "Her"—but it certainly continues to add to the narrative that the film is the current frontrunner. Obviously it had an easier ride here being in a separate category from its major competition, but nevertheless, the film's become a legitimate box office hit (crossing $100 million this weekend, with plenty of gas left in the tank) and has emerged as the compromise candidate, more entertaining than "12 Years a Slave," more old-school than "Gravity." That said...

12 Years A Slave

2. Best Picture remains a three-way race: "American Hustle," "Gravity" or "12 Years a Slave" could still win.
"American Hustle" might be ahead by a nose or two, but the Globes last night emphasized what an absurdly close race it's going to be, in what's shaping up to be the tightest contest in years. "American Hustle" might have taken three prizes, but the HFPA spread the love quite widely, with Best Drama going to "12 Years a Slave" and Best Director to "Gravity." Each have strong supporters, and each will be likely be represented very well with the Academy nominations (more than 7 nominations apiece, we reckon), which means that unless the Guilds line up behind one candidate in particular ('Hustle' is the only one nominated by the four major guilds, but a win from the DGA in particular would be a surprise), we're likely to be kept guessing for the next six weeks or so. 

Alfonso Cuaron Gravity

3. Alfonso Cuarón is certainly the Director front-runner, but it's not a sure thing just yet.
On first glance, one might assume that Alfonso Cuarón will be going home with an Oscar in a few weeks—he's won the lion's share of precursor awards so far, and has been positioned very much as the star. But that perhaps ignores a number of things, not least how stiff the competition is, and how badly the Globes match up in this category—only five times in the last ten years has the winner of the Directing Golden Globe won the Oscar, and only once in the last five years. In fact, last year's Golden Globe victor, Ben Affleck, wasn't even nominated for an Oscar, which hadn't happened since 1988. Cuarón's extremely unlikely to suffer the same fate as Affleck, but Steve McQueen and David O. Russell are hot on his heels—the former potentially being the first black filmmaker to win the prize, the latter a director who's had two nominations in three years and feels increasingly due for the win. Cuarón is the favorite certainly, but does that also hurt the film's chances? Many are predicting, as with last year, a rare split between Best Picture and Best Director with the Academy, and there's a sense that if people get behind Cuarón, it'd be as a consolation prize after voting for something else for Best Picture.

American Hustle

4. Amy Adams is looking good for an Oscar nomination...
Speaking of overdue, Amy Adams currently has four nominations (all in Supporting) without a win. That's not likely to be corrected this year, but whereas she once seemed like a dark horse for an Oscar nomination this year, a Globes victory makes it increasingly likely that she'll be picking up her first-ever Best Actress nod on Thursday. It's rare for the winner of the Best Comedy/Musical Actress Globe award not to be nominated (Sally Hawkins for "Happy Go Lucky" was the only one in the last decade to miss out), and though many had assumed Meryl Streep would be nominated again for "August: Osage County," the momentum's really dropped out of that one recently. Adams is in many ways the beating heart of "American Hustle," and with the film picking up so much steam and the actress delivering a touching and fiery speech (admonishing organizers for playing her off while talking about her daughter), she might even be Cate Blanchett's main rival for the win. That's a relative term, though, because...

Blue Jasmine

5. Cate Blanchett is going to win Best Actress, obviously.
We're afraid to say that, while there's plenty of suspense left in the Oscar races, Best Actress is absolutely not one of them: the precursor awards have pretty much lined up behind Cate Blanchett in "Blue Jasmine," and to be honest, the Australian star has seemed like the most viable winner since the film premiered in the summer. Had her competition—Sandra Bullock, Emma Thompson, Judi Dench, Streep and Adams—won a precursor or two, or done better with the critics' groups, we might have seen a closer race (we'd argue that the only person who might have really challenged her is Adèle Exarchapoulos, but the film hasn't been seen by enough people), but as it is, Blanchett is taking the statue home in March.