Golden Globes Thin the Oscar Herd: 'American Hustle' Suddenly in the Catbird Seat

Thelma Adams
Yahoo Movies

The 2014 Golden Globes have come and gone, and with them the hopes of more than a few of this year's Oscar contenders.

A host of films entered the Beverly Hilton ballroom as serious competitors in the big race, but only a few emerged with their chances intact.

The night was a total happy dance for "American Hustle."  The David O. Russell directed 70's period piece won three awards, and stayed strong. However, while"12 Years a Slave," took Best Picture Drama and Alfonso Cuaron won for Best Director for "Gravity," after being shut-out elsewhere in the awards those two films emerge as seriously weekend contenders.

(Related: '12 Years a Slave,' 'American Hustle' Win Big at the 2014 Golden Globes)

Jennifer Lawrence wins – and we are so not surprised. So, why was she shocked? "Why is it so terrifying," asked the "American Hustle" star and two-time Golden Globe winner. "It's obviously a good thing…don't ever do this again. It's so scary."

One of the more pleasant surprises was Amy Adams' win. It was a peak moment when the "American Hustle" star strode on stage in true seventies dress. She touched a real chord when she said, "I always cry when I'm not supposed to and then when a director asks me to cry, I can't cry. It truly sucks." Meanwhile, the real tears flowed when she talked about her start in the industry. The speech may leaves her flying high as we head into the Oscar countdown.

"Hustle's" one-two punch – particularly Adams' win over Streep – demonstrates the film's serious strength.  With that big ensemble, and all the love they express for director David O. Russell, he could be rising in the director category.

(Related: Golden Globes: Complete Winners List)

Showing more strength than  expected was the one-two punch of Jared Leto and Mathew McConaughey winning Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor in the dramatic category. While Leto has been in the lead in his race, this victory  jettisons McConaughey into the top five nominees come the Oscars.

Another surprise– and stepping in front of the "American Hustle ", "12 Years a Slave" train – "Her" took Best Screenplay for Spike Jonze.
As expected, Leonardo DiCaprio got a win from the Globes – but don't expect that to carry over to the Oscars since the Best Actor race is going to be the toughest of the field. His win doesn't necessarily push "The Wolf of Wall Street" forward – but it certainly doesn't hurt!
So, while "American Hustle" came out stronger, and "12 Years a Slave" and "Gravity" were weaker than expected, "Dallas Buyers Club" is on the rise. Meanwhile, on a sadder note for their prospects, "Inside Llewyn Davis" and "Nebraska" got absolutely no love from the HFPA.