What's The Difference Between The Academy Awards & The Golden Globes?

Photo: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal/Getty Images.
According to the unofficial holiday handbook, Christmas starts the day after Thanksgiving. On Sunday, January 5, the other important winter season unofficially begins: award show season. First stop? The 77th annual Golden Globes, hosted by Ricky Gervais.
Considering the vast majority of us aren’t nominated for anything (if you're wondering, here are the 2020 Golden Globe nominees), keeping up with Hollywood’s award season is a bit of an ask. There are multiple award shows, each with their own quirks, voting processes, and respective snubs and surprises. Amid the landscape of film awards season, two award shows stand out as being particularly prestigious (and fun to watch): the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards, known colloquially as the Oscars. Superficially, the award shows seem pretty similar: Winners are chosen, speeches are given, famous people wear sumptuous clothing. However, the Globes and the Oscars occupy very different places within the landscape of awards season. One is the start, one is the end — and we're here to parse their relationship.
When are the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards?
The next Golden Globes ceremony on January 5, 2020 It is often considered the start of awards season, though technically it’s preceded by some smaller awards shows. Historically, Golden Globes winners are hurtled straight into Oscar buzz territory. Why? The Golden Globes ceremony takes place a few days before Oscar nomination voting ends, influencing winners.
The Academy Awards closes out awards season by doling out the industry's most prestigious film accolades.
Who is hosting the award shows in 2020?
Ricky Gervais will host the 2020 Golden Globes, which will air on NBC. We still don't know who will host the Academy Awards, but my vote goes one.
What are the significant differences between the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards ceremonies?
The Golden Globes recognize excellence in both television and film, like an Emmys and Academy Award mash-up. In comparison, the scope of the Academy Awards is far more narrow — only films are eligible for awards.
The awards show also differ in mood. Compared to the straight-laced Academy Awards, the Golden Globes are a downright party. Over 75,000 glasses of free Champagne are doled out at each Golden Globes ceremony, lending to some memorable, free-wheeling speeches. In 2013, Quentin Tarantino spit out a mouthful of Champagne when Ben Affleck’s name was named best director, not him.
Who selects the winners?
The selection process between the award shows couldn’t be more different. The Golden Globes are selected by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which is comprised of about 90 journalists from 55 countries. Members of the HFPA can vote across categories. The “majority rules” system is used to choose winners, compared to the Academy’s preferential ballot system that determined Best Picture.
To briefly summarize a very complicated process, the winners on the Academy Awards are chosen by the approximately 7,000 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy is divided into 17 branches that cover each realm of the industry, from cinematography to acting. Members in each specific branch provide their top five choices for nominees in that field (though everyone can nominate a best picture). Once the arduous nomination process is over and the nominees are set, all members can vote for a winner in each category.
Why are the Academy Awards considered to be more prestigious?
It all comes back to the award show's voting body. Winners of the Academy Awards are selected by their peers, the highest honor. In comparison, winners of the Golden Globes are deemed worthy by film critics — experts, but outsiders nonetheless.
What do winners walk away with?
Aside from glory, you mean? The Golden Globes award is — surprise, surprise– a golden globe perched on a pedestal. Winners of the Academy Award take home a little gold man. As legend has it, in 1931, the Academy's Executive Secretary, Margaret Herrick, remarked that the statuette reminded her of her uncle, Oscar. And so, a nickname was born.

More from Movies

R29 Original Series