So...I threw the phrase "Avatar micro-sweep" around, and it's sort of true. It took two, which is about as much of a sweep as a film can have at the Globes (funny thing of it is, both Up and Crazy Heart also took two, though neither film was even nominated in the two biggest categories). You are never going to see a movie take more than 4, and that rarely happens. For Avatar to haul in Best Pic and Best Director is significant for the Globes...which are pretty insignificant in their overall influence, try as they might to position themselves as the foremost influence/predictor of the Academy Awards.
I say it every year, and I will say it again this year: they are not.
In fact, year after year, the significance of the Golden Globes begins to slowly but surely erode, as they begin to fully realize their place as the Year's Biggest Dinner-and-Drink Party, where they ignore the minutiae of the Oscars and look at the glossy big picture, honoring stars and popular pictures in a way that even the Oscars would never dare. The Globes are a glorified People's Choice Awards.
The other trend I notice, year after year, is very interesting. As their influence continues to shrink (as if it was ever significant to begin with), the Globes seem to serve more as a solidifier of the year's already-formulated trends. Thus, the Avatar win and the Cameron win, since the film jumped in the race as soon as it screened late in the game, Jeff Bridges winning for Best Actor, also after jumping into the game late, another Mo'Nique win (and with the most memorable acceptance speech of the night, she further locks in that Oscar win, reversing any negative feelings about her with two genuine, tearful minutes), The White Ribbon taking Foreign Language film, that Crazy Heart song you can't get out of your head winning Best Song, Christoph Waltz taking Supporting Actor for Basterds...on and on. Up winning Animated Feature...duh. Meryl Streep winning Best Actress for Julie & Julia...duh. And just because it happened to be in the "Comedy or Musical" category means nothing...she is the Oscar frontrunner (on the other hand, Sandra Bullock's win for The Blind Side owes a debt to Madame Streep for taking her business to the comedy category, as she wouldn't have won otherwise).
For anyone in the Oscar prediction game, the Globes are the best Yes Man one could possibly imagine. These winners likely reassure what most critics and pundits were thinking would most likely happen. Now, thanks to the Golden Solidifiers, the trends are set and so, too, are most predictions. After the 10-film Best Picture race at the Oscars was intended to "shake things up," this season has suddenly become the most overtly predictable Oscar season in years. Thanks, Globes. My job just became a lot easier.
So...another Globes show done. Big stars, popular winners...same old same old. Fun enough, but not real satisfying. Soon the guilds will announce their winners (analysis coming soon), and then come the Oscars. Nominations will be announced February 2nd, when we will find out if James Cameron saw the shadow of his next Oscar.