Golden Globes cement Best Actress Oscar race as a Natalie Portman-Annette Bening showdown

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In the lead-up to the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes are usually a pretty good indicator of who is on the road to Oscar glory. While the prizes are handed out by two entirely different voting bodies — the Globes come from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a collection of foreign journalists who cover the American movie industry, and the Oscars are awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a collective of over 6,000 film professionals (actors, directors, writers, etc.) — more often than not, if an actor or actress wins the Globes’ lead dramatic acting prize, they go on to score the Oscar.

This year, however, both of the leading contenders for the Best Actress Academy Award — Annette Bening and Natalie Portman — took home Globes. In stark contrast to years past, a comedic performance is in very real contention for Academy’s top acting prize, and since the Globes separate drama and comedy in the lead acting categories, all the Globes did was confirm something we already knew — that this year’s Best Actress race is pretty much a showdown between Bening (for ‘The Kids Are All Right’) and Portman (for ‘Black Swan’).

It’s never a sure thing, of course, but the Globes do have a pretty good batting average when it comes to accurately predicting who will take home an Oscar. Only once in the last 10 years has the eventual Best Actress Oscar winner not also won a Globe. (The exception came in 2002, when Sissy Spacek took the drama prize for ‘In the Bedroom’ and Nicole Kidman won the musical/comedy award for ‘Moulin Rouge,’ while Halle Berry went on to win the Oscar for ‘Monster’s Ball.’)

Most often, the Globes’ Best Actress (Drama) winner is the one who takes home the big prize. Seven of the nine Globe winners who went on to win the Oscar won in the drama category, while the two musical/comedy winners — Reese Witherspoon (‘Walk the Line’) and Marion Cotillard (‘La Vie en Rose’) — won for dramatic performances in what the HFPA determined were musicals.

WATCH: Natalie Portman’s acceptance speech from the Golden Globes

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