Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result? It’s 2021, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has once again filled me with equal parts joy, confusion, and rage for the umpteenth year in a row.
At face value, the 2021 Golden Globe nominations might seem divergent from past patterns: Many first-timers were nominated, including Kaley Cuoco for her performance in The Flight Attendant, and new best drama contenders include Lovecraft Country and The Undoing. That’s great, but expected—excellent new shows should be nominated. That’s the point of an awards show!
What remains starkly the same is the lack of true grit from the HFPA. They’ll undoubtedly expect a pat on the back for nominating three women in the best director category, after shutting them out entirely for the past six years. It’s fantastic that One Night in Miami‘s Regina King, Promising Young Woman‘s Emerald Fennell, and Nomadland‘s Chloe Zhao all earned nods. It’s something akin to progress; it should be celebrated. But this is what happens when some of the most visionary minds in Hollywood are repeatedly disrespected: The wins become so incremental, the awards so vacuous, that they seem to lose their power entirely. It’s difficult to celebrate these moments when they’re too little, too late.
What’s equally frustrating is the signal these nominations send. The Golden Globes are, ostensibly, meant to represent the best in film and television. But Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You, one of the most universally praised shows in recent memory, received not a single nod. Neither did Spike Lee’s acclaimed Da 5 Bloods. Lovecraft Country‘s stupendous performers earned no acting nominations. The Arkansas-set, American-directed Minari was excluded from the Best Picture category due to an HFPA rule that states a film can’t be nominated if more than 50 percent of its spoken dialogue is not in English.
If the Golden Globes aren’t representing what’s truly the best in film and television, that makes them boring at best, obsolete at worst. But don’t take my word for it. Twitter’s plenty unhappy, too.
Let’s start with those snubs, shall we?
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Ah, and then there’s the particularly egregious nomination of Emily in Paris for Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy. Folks, we can all appreciate the escapist absurdism of a young American pretending she knows how to fix a French company’s social media with cute pictures of croissants, but really—this is the best we can offer?
The biggest question from today’s announcement: When will we decide it’s time to stop paying attention to these awards, as they continually prove their disconnect from reality?
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