Golden Globes 2021 Nominations, Surprises, and Snubs Including Minari


In these strange and unprecedented times, it’s comforting to have familiar rituals to fall back on. Though many of our favorite traditions have been curtailed by COVID, from Super Bowl parties to holiday travel, there’s one winter habit that’s completely unchanged this year: getting good and mad at the Golden Globe nominations.

Though awards season is operating on a weird and delayed schedule this year, the ceremonies will still take place, and this morning’s Globe noms marked the official beginning of the circuit. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association came through with a selection of nominees that include plenty of worthy contenders—alongside picks so random (and undeserved!) you can only scratch your head. Here are the biggest surprises and most outrageous snubs from the 2021 nominations.

Snub: I May Destroy You & Michaela Coel

This omission is so egregious that “snub” doesn’t even cover it. Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You was arguably the best show of 2020, a wholly original and dizzyingly bold chronicle of a young woman trying to rebuild her life after a sexual assault. In the era of Peak TV, it’s rare to feel as though you’re watching something genuinely new, and that feeling permeated every frame of this searing, surprising show. Leaving the show out of the Best Drama category is bad enough, but for Coel to miss out on a nomination for either acting or writing is outrageous.

Snub: Jurnee Smollett (Lovecraft Country)

HBO’s Lovecraft Country did earn a nomination for Best Drama Series, but none of its actors were recognized for their work. Jurnee Smollett, whose breakout lead performance as Letitia Lewis anchored the series, is the strangest absence of all, particularly since she was widely tipped for some much-deserved recognition.

Surprise: Emily in Paris

Look, we all hate-binged Emily in Paris, we all enjoyed the memes, we all understand the show’s frothy appeal. But to name it one of the five best dramas of the year is straight batshit.

Snub: The supporting cast of Mrs. America

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, since nominating the movie star while ignoring everybody else is an extremely Golden Globes move. But FX’s miniseries about conservative firebrand Phyllis Schlafly was stacked from top to bottom with extraordinary, nuanced performances from a largely female cast, including Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm, Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem, and Margot Martindale as Bella Abzug—all of whom deserved a nod.

Surprise: A welcome spotlight moment for female directors

In the 77-year history of the Golden Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has nominated a grand total of five female directors. In 2018, Natalie Portman memorably called out the ceremony onstage for its lack of female directing nominees. And this year, the HFPA took notice, nominating three women in its Best Director, Motion Picture category. One Night in Miami’s Regina King earned a well-deserved nod, as did Promising Young Woman’s Emerald Fennell and Nomadland’s Chloé Zhao.

Snub: Black directors and performers in the Best Drama category

It’s baffling how many superb films made by Black directors—and starring Black talent—were omitted from the Best Drama category, despite performances from those films recognized in the acting categories. Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah, George C. Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Regina King’s One Night in Miami (which earned her a Best Director nom) were all absent from Best Drama. All five of the nominated movies focus mostly on white characters.

Snub: Minari

Lee Isaac Chung’s acclaimed drama about a Korean family who move to Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s has been widely tipped as an awards frontrunner this year. Unsurprisingly, the internet was furious when the Globes placed the film in the Foreign Language category rather than Best Drama. Thanks to a controversial HFPA rule, Minari is ineligible for Best Drama because a majority of its dialogue is in a language other than English—and according to Chung, the movie’s distributor chose to enter it in the Foreign Language category rather than Best Drama. So while this may not meet the technical definition of a snub, it’s still a disappointment.

Surprise: James Corden

Asked to guess which member of The Prom‘s star-studded cast would be nominated for a Globe, most smart pundits (and honestly most regular people) would probably have put their money on Meryl Streep. But instead, it was Corden’s widely panned performance that earned the sole acting nomination for Ryan Murphy’s splashy musical dramedy.


The Nominees

Best Motion Picture – Drama

  • The Father
  • Mank
  • Nomadland
  • Promising Young Woman
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7

    Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

    • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
    • Hamilton
    • Music
    • Palm Springs
    • The Prom

      Best Director, Motion Picture

      • Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
      • David Fincher, Mank
      • Regina King, One Night in Miami
      • Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7
      • Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

        Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama

        • Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
        • Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
        • Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
        • Frances McDormand, Nomadland
        • Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

          Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

          • Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
          • Kate Hudson, Music
          • Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit
          • Rosamund Pike, I Care a Lot
          • Anya Taylor-Joy, Emma

            Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture

            • Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
            • Olivia Colman, The Father
            • Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian
            • Amanda Seyfried, Mank
            • Helena Zengel, News of the World

              Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama

              • Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
              • Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
              • Anthony Hopkins, The Father
              • Gary Oldman, Mank
              • Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian

                Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

                • Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
                • James Corden, The Prom
                • Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
                • Dev Patel, The Personal History of David Copperfield
                • Andy Samberg, Palm Springs

                  Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture

                  • Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
                  • Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
                  • Jared Leto, The Little Things
                  • Bill Murray, On the Rocks
                  • Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami

                    Best Screenplay, Motion Picture

                    • Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
                    • Jack Fincher, Mank
                    • Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7
                    • Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton, The Father
                    • Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

                      Best Original Score, Motion Picture

                      • Alexandre Desplat, The Midnight Sky
                      • Ludwig Göransson, Tenet
                      • James Newton Howard, News of the World
                      • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Mank
                      • Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste, Soul

                        Best Original Song, Motion Picture

                        • “Fight for You,” Judas and the Black Messiah
                        • “Hear My Voice,” The Trial of the Chicago 7
                        • “Io Sì (Seen),” The Life Ahead
                        • “Speak Now,” One Night in Miami
                        • “Tigress & Tweed,” The United States vs. Billie Holiday

                          Best Motion Picture, Animated

                          • The Croods: A New Age
                          • Onward
                          • Over the Moon
                          • Soul
                          • Wolfwalkers

                            Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language

                            • Another Round
                            • La Llorona
                            • The Life Ahead
                            • Minari
                            • Two of Us

                              Best Television Series, Drama

                              • The Crown
                              • Lovecraft Country
                              • The Mandalorian
                              • Ozark
                              • Ratched

                                Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy

                                • Emily in Paris
                                • The Flight Attendant
                                • The Great
                                • Schitt’s Creek
                                • Ted Lasso

                                  Best Limited Series, Anthology Series or a Motion Picture made for Television

                                  • Normal People
                                  • The Queen’s Gambit
                                  • Small Axe
                                  • The Undoing
                                  • Unorthodox

                                    Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Drama

                                    • Olivia Colman, The Crown
                                    • Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
                                    • Emma Corrin, The Crown
                                    • Laura Linney, Ozark
                                    • Sarah Paulson, Ratched

                                      Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy

                                      • Lily Collins, Emily in Paris
                                      • Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant
                                      • Elle Fanning, The Great
                                      • Jane Levy, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
                                      • Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek

                                        Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

                                        • Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America
                                        • Daisy Edgar-Jones, Normal People
                                        • Shira Haas, Unorthodox
                                        • Nicole Kidman, The Undoing
                                        • Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit

                                          Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Supporting Role

                                          • Gillian Anderson, The Crown
                                          • Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
                                          • Julia Garner, Ozark
                                          • Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
                                          • Cynthia Nixon, Ratched

                                            Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Drama

                                            • Jason Bateman, Ozark
                                            • Josh O’Connor, The Crown
                                            • Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
                                            • Al Pacino, Hunters
                                            • Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason

                                              Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy

                                              • Don Cheadle, Black Monday
                                              • Nicholas Hoult, The Great
                                              • Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
                                              • Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
                                              • Ramy Youssef, Ramy

                                                Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

                                                • Bryan Cranston, Your Honor
                                                • Jeff Daniels, The Comey Rule
                                                • Hugh Grant, The Undoing
                                                • Ethan Hawke, The Good Lord Bird
                                                • Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much is True

                                                  Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Supporting Role

                                                  • John Boyega, Small Axe
                                                  • Brendan Gleeson, The Comey Rule
                                                  • Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek
                                                  • Jim Parsons, Hollywood
                                                  • Donald Sutherland, The Undoing

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