People often overstate the predictive power of the Golden Globes when it comes to the eventual Academy Award winners. After all, there’s no overlap between the voting bodies. But to sit in the Beverly Hilton ballroom during the Globes ceremony, where many of the attendees are Oscar voters, is to get a feel for how some races may be shifting (or not). Here’s an update on the biggest Oscar races and how the Globes just may have shaken things up. By the way, I was utterly useless in my predictions, guessing only seven of the 14 winners correctly. Nothing short of embarrassing! Meanwhile, three of you—Mark, PhilE, and Voula Mentzelopoulos—got an impressive 10 out of 14 right.

Best Picture

After losing to The Hurt Locker at Friday’s Critics’ Choice Awards, Avatar needed to make up some ground, and it certainly did, winning Best Drama and Best Director at the Globes. True, the reception in the room was a bit lukewarm, but I still talked to several Academy voters who have the film high on their ballots. Not a scientific polling by any means, but with Up in the Air relegated to an adapted-screenplay win at two big ceremonies in a row, it’s looking more and more like an Avatar vs. Hurt Locker showdown for picture and director. But let’s also discuss The Hangover. After landing on the AFI top 10, picking up a Writers Guild nomination, and winning Best Comedy at the Globes over five-time nominee Nine and two Meryl Streep movies, could the raunchy comedy really displace something like the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man for one of the 10 Best Picture slots? At this point, I’d give it the same odds as Star Trek.

Best Actor

It was certainly a race between George Clooney and Jeff Bridges. That Bridges received the heartiest standing ovation for any Globe winner means the Hollywood community isn’t just loving his performance in Crazy Heart, but that they’re also looking at this like a career-achievement award. After four losses at the Oscars, he may just get the big trophy after all.

Best Actress

They tied at the BFCAs, and now Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock picked up Globe wins. Everyone will now say it’s between the two of them for the win, and they’ll be right. The Globes were Carey Mulligan’s best shot at a victory; she and Gabourey Sidibe will now need to be content with a nomination. (And I hope they will be!)

Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress

Christoph Waltz and Mo’Nique were locks before last night, and they’re even stronger locks now.

Follow me on Twitter (@DaveKarger) for the rest of the awards season.

Image credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

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