The cast, director and producer of
The cast, director and producer of "The Artist," winner of the award for best motion picture - comedy or musical, pose backstage at the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills (Reuters)

Sunday night saw George Clooney, Meryl Streep and The Descendants all take home the top prizes at this year's Golden Globes.

The Golden Globes has long been seen as a warm-up for the more prestigious Oscars, a good indicator of who will eventually collect the gongs at the biggest award ceremony of the wear the following month. But just how successful are the Golden Globes at predicting Oscar winners?

There was a time then the winners of the Golden Globes seemed to match up perfectly with the eventual winners of the Oscars. This was evident between 1993 to 2003, where the winners of one of two best film categories at the Golden Globes went on to achieve Oscar glory, with only 2004's Aviator - piped to the post by subsequent Oscar winner Million Dollar Baby - being the exception.

George Clooney poses with his award for best actor in a motion picure - drama for
rge Clooney poses with his award for best actor in a motion picure - drama for "The Descendants," backstage in Beverly Hills (Reuters)

But recently, the two ceremonies appear to go down different routes when deciding what has been the best film of the year. Only once in the past seven years have the two been in synch, with 2008's Slumdog Millionaire being the only film that the two ceremonies agreed on.

There is the suggestion that Oscar voters are purposely giving their vote in the Best Film category to films which did not receive get the Golden Globe nod so the whole ceremony is not seen as boringly predictable. This can definitely been seen recently with The King's Speech beating Golden Globe winner The Social Network, Hurt Locker over Avatar and Martin Scorsese's The Departed over Babel.

But if what the Golden Globes decide what the best film of the year not give an indication on what the Oscars will decide, the winners in the acting categories do.

Only one actor who picked up a Golden Globe for their lead performance in a drama for the past eight years has failed to go on to win an Oscar, with Mickey Rourke's performance in The Wrestler missing beaten to the Oscar by Sean Penn's Milk in 2008.

In the best supporting actor category, only Eddie Murphy's 2006 performance in Dreamgirls, for the first time since 1999, failed to pick up both an Oscar after clinching a Golden Globe (with rumours circulating that the Oscar voters did not want to give an award to Murphy who, at the time, was promoting Norbit, a film where Murphy appears in a fat suit dressed a woman). The 2006 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor went to Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine instead.

For an idea who will win the Oscar for Best Actress, the Golden Globes winners have been have perfect indictors since 1996, with Frances McDormand's performance the only one who failed to match her Oscar glory with a Golden Globe in either of the categories.

Meryl Streep, winner of best performance by an actress in a drama motion picture for her role in
eep, winner of best performance by an actress in a drama motion picture for her role in "The Iron Lady", poses in the photo room in Beverly Hills (Reuters)

So what does this year's Golden Globe winners tell who may pick up the accolades at the Oscars? Looking at the statistics, it seems a shoe-in that Meryl Streep will also pick up an Oscar for her role as Margret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, Christopher Plummer should now be favourite to also get an Oscar in the Best Supporting Category and George Clooney could go on to add a Best Actor Oscar to his mantelpiece.

As for best film? While The Descendants picked up best drama and The Artist won for best musical/comedy at the Golden Globes, we've see down the years that this no longer means either will achieve Oscar glory as they most prestigious award ceremony of the year looks to make sure people still flock to watch on February 26.