23 Biggest Golden Globes Snubs and Surprises

Golden Globes Nominations 2016 Snubs and
Courtesy of Warner Bros./Disney

For once, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association may have actually restored order to awards season. After SAG announced its baffling nominations on Wednesday, which snubbed many of the perceived frontrunners, the Golden Globes nominees on Thursday were not as shocking. Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”), Matt Damon (“The Martian”), Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”) and Will Smith (“Concussion”) all made the cut for the Jan. 10 dinner that tends to pack in as many A-list celebrities as possible.

The Golden Globes are selected by less than 100 foreign journalists and photographers who don’t overlap with Academy voters, but they are often a reliable predictor of who will be nominated—and possibly win—the Oscars. The big winners this morning were “Carol,” which landed more nominations than any other film (with five), and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which picked up surprise nods in best picture drama and director (George Miller). On the TV side, the Globes continued to distinguish themselves from the Emmys by recognizing a raft of newcomers (like streaming series such as Netflix’s “Narcos” and “Master of None,” Hulu’s “Casual” and Amazon’s “Mozart In the Jungle”) and snubbing traditional favorites (sorry, “Homeland,” “Mad Men,” “Downton Abbey” and “Modern Family”).

Here are the 23 biggest snubs and surprises.

SNUB: Johnny Depp, “Black Mass”
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association loves Depp so much, he’s landed 10 Golden Globe nominations over his career (in 2010, he was a double nominee for “The Tourist” and “Alice in Wonderland”). But for some reason, they weren’t moved by his gritty performance as Whitey Bulger in the Warner Bros. gangster movie. The fact that Will Smith was snubbed for the SAG and Depp for the Globe could help boost Leonardo DiCaprio’s chances of winning the best actor Oscar for “The Revenant,” since he received nominations from both groups—making him the official frontrunner in the category.

SNUB: The cast of “Spotlight”—Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams
Despite its position as an awards season frontrunner, which received nominations for best picture drama and director (Tom McCarthy), the entire cast of “Spotlight” was snubbed at the Golden Globes. Perhaps it’s the result of a decision to campaign the ensemble in the supporting categories, causing Keaton and Ruffalo to cancel each other out. This has been a bad week for Keaton, who also didn’t receive a SAG nomination, which casts doubt on the early season prediction that the “Batman”/”Birdman” star would finally win an Oscar.

SNUB: Tom Hardy, “The Revenant”
The $135 million epic directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu earned four nominations at the Globes, including best picture, director and actor (Leonardo DiCaprio). But, sadly, the Hollywood Foreign Press didn’t make room for Hardy, who helps carry the film as fur trapper John Fitzgerald in one of his best screen performances. If he wants to be considered for an Oscar nomination, he’ll need to start campaigning.

SNUB: Tom Hanks, “Bridge of Spies”
After losing out on a SAG and Globe nomination, Hanks will probably be sidelined at the Oscars as well. Although Academy voters are said to like the Steve Spielberg thriller set during the Cold War, the actors race is too competitive this year with DiCaprio (“The Revenant”), Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”), Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”), Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”) and Smith (“Concussion”), who all received Golden Globe nominations.

SNUB: Jacob Tremblay, “Room”
Though “Room” made a strong showing for best actress (Brie Larson), script and picture, the Hollywood Foreign Press couldn’t find room in the best supporting actor category to recognize its scene-stealing 9-year-old star.

SNUB: Meryl Streep, “Ricki and the Flash”
It looks like this will be the rare year without Streep at an awards show. Despite her record-setting 29 Golden Globe nominations and eight wins, she wasn’t able to eke into the best musical/comedy category for playing an aging rocker in the Jonathan Demme-directed film.

SNUB: Robert De Niro, “The Intern”
De Niro’s performance in the Nancy Meyers crowd-pleaser is tailor-made for the Golden Globes’ musical/comedy category. However, voters gave his spot to Al Pacino in the Bleecker Street comedy “Danny Collins.”

SNUB: Elizabeth Banks, “Love and Mercy”
Although Paul Dano made the Golden Globes short list for his performance as a young Brian Wilson, Banks wasn’t so lucky for playing his wife.

SNUB: Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”
The Globes tend to favor big movies stories over character actresses, but Rampling’s lack of love from the SAG and Hollywood Foreign Press means she’ll have to campaign extra hard to get on the Academy’s radar for her performance as an elderly woman who comes to the terms with the truth of her marriage.

SNUB: Blythe Danner, “I’ll See You in My Dreams”
The scene where Danner gets high in this Sundance indie is hysterical enough for her to deserve recognition in the best actress in a comedy. But instead, the Globes awarded the AARP slots in the category to Maggie Smith (“Lady in the Van”) and Lily Tomlin (“Grandma”).

SNUB: The “Mad Men” farewell
The Globes haven’t nominated AMC’s landmark drama in the series category since 2011, but any hopes HFPA voters might feel sentimental and hand the show a sentimental sendoff nom were dashed this morning. However, star Jon Hamm did pick up his sixth Globe nomination for playing Don Draper. (He won back in 2008.)

SNUB: Lena Dunham, “Girls”
HBO’s Brooklyn dramedy may no longer be the youngest, hottest show around but it had never missed out on a Globes series nom … until this year.

SNUB: “True Detective” Season 2
After four noms last year, the divisive second installment of HBO’s anthology series fired blanks with Globe voters this year. Cracking the limited series field was a longshot, but recognition for stars Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn or Rachel McAdams wasn’t out of the question. SAG voters ignored it too. Your move, Emmys.

SNUB: Veteran shows like “Downton Abbey,” “The Good Wife” and “House of Cards”
“Mad Men” wasn’t the only Emmy nominated drama left out in the cold. PBS’ “Downton Abbey,” CBS’ “The Good Wife,” Netflix’s “House of Cards” were all Globe drama series nominees last year, but not this year. Unlike the Emmys, the Globes actually like to nominate freshmen series and these veterans were shoved aside to make way for newer, buzzier, fare like USA’s “Mr. Robot” and Netflix’s “Narcos.”

SNUB: “The Affair”
The defending champ of the Globes’ drama category was left out in the cold for a second season that has earned even stronger critical reaction than its first. Ditto its leading lady (and last year’s Globe winner) Ruth Wilson. Acclaimed supporting player Maura Tierney did manage a nom in an even tougher category to crack.

SNUB: “Better Call Saul”
Oddly, the Emmys’ only freshman nominee — AMC’s “Better Call Saul” — was also left out by HFPA (although star Bob Odenkirk landed a nom). But the Emmy snubbed “Empire” made the Globes’ cut.

SURPRISE: “Mad Max: Fury Road” continues its awards season streak
After winning the National Board of Review and picking up several high-profile prizes from critics’ groups, “Mad Max: Fury Road” continues its march to the Oscars. Its nominations for best picture drama (over “Brooklyn”) and best director for George Miller shows that the Warner Bros. summer tentpole has staying power.

SURPRISE: Mark Ruffalo, “Infinitely Polar Bear”
This Sundance dramedy, where Ruffalo plays a father battling bipolar disorder, barely registered at the box office. However, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association somehow liked it enough to nominate Ruffalo in this film, perhaps to make up not finding room in the best supporting actor category for his performance in “Spotlight.”

SURPRISE: Lady Gaga, “American Horror Story”
No offense to Gaga’s glam turn as a vampy seductress on the most gonzo installment to date of FX’s anthology series “American Horror Story,” but awards buzz for her work hasn’t exactly been deafening. It’s classic Golden Globes to nominate her—since her attendance at the show will made headlines and bring in viewers.

SURPRISE: The inclusion of streaming series “Casual” and “Mozart In the Jungle”
Streaming is the new cable. That’s especially evident in the Globes’ comedy series category where four of the six nominees (Hulu’s “Casual,” Amazon’s “Mozart In the Jungle” and “Transparent” and Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black”) hail from digital outlets (and the other two, “Silicon Valley” and “Veep” are available on streamer HBO Now). The recognition is extra meaningful for “Casual” and “Mozart,” smaller shows that can use the attention.

SURPRISE: The “Outlander” sweep
Many pundits expected Starz’s splashy sex-fueled international sci-fi romance to land a nom or two from the HFPA in its first at bat last year, but nada. Now it’s up for three big awards (best drama, actress and supporting actor) for the second half of its first season.

SURPRISE: Rachel Bloom, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”
Like last year’s pioneering nominee for The CW, “Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez (also nominated again this year), charming “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” star Bloom scored a major nom for a net that usually struggles to get awards attention.

SURPRISE: Eva Green, “Penny Dreadful”
There was a lot of buzz around Green’s bold turn on Showtime’s period horror show “Penny Dreadful” last year, but she didn’t land a nom. That made it extra surprising to see her turn up this year.

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  1. John Watson says:

    It’s absolutely inconceivable how fudged up the 73 GGs were. RG was almost the only honest thing there. I don’t blame the winners but I do blame the HFPA for not recognizing and nominating true gems. WTF guys? I hope all of you get the flu.

  2. Paul Romani says:

    “A bad week for…”. Ha ha. These actors don’t live and breathe on the whims of the Hollywood Foreign Press. If they get nominated, great. If they don’t, that’s the HFP’s loss. We all know people like Tom Hardy, Michael Keaton, etc. deserve at least a nomination. Look at Leo D’Caprio when it comes to the Oscars for the same situation. C’est la vie.

  3. Kevin says:

    Evan Peters plays such a fully realized character this season on AHS. The nuances of his midatlantic accent and bravado is genius. Why is no one but me ticked he was snubbed!?

  4. Take Will Smith off of that list and install Tom Hardy.

  5. Mally says:

    Fargo in my opinion is the best this year. Everyone delivered. Black actor on Fargo (don’t know his name Woodbine or something) did a great jo. yet Lady Gaga??? Heck I can think of other actors on that show that deserves a nom… Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, the mother on Bates Motel. They invite Gaga cause she is going to put on something stupid.

  6. katy says:

    i really liked Gaga’s acting !! shes was amazing tbh <3

  7. amed says:

    Lady Gaga was so Good !!! she desereved a nomn and hope she win

  8. cadavra says:

    It’s almost like they’re deliberately snubbing the broadcast networks, as if they’re trying to make some kind of point that only exists in their pea-brains.

  9. Deanna Cocozzelli says:

    to snub Sam Heughan was a disgrace to the Golden Globes. He and Caitriona Balfe are the reason why the show is such a hit. His acting should have gained him a nomination. Shame on you Golden Globes!

  10. IT 2 IT says:


    WHO asked for it?

    WHO needs ANY of it?

    Repeat – – -BULLLEH

  11. We can probably drop any Best Actor speculation right now. DiCaprio’s got it, and at this point he’s the only sure thing in the most wide open race in years.

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  13. KikiB says:

    SNUB: Sicario! The acting, cinematography and music were all absolutely stunning.

    • Laurel says:

      Martian did great box office, but my friends and I thought it was pretty boring and formulaic. Performances were appealing but nothing special. Don’t get the critical praise.

      • Greggan says:

        As a measure of the unimportance if the irrelevance of The GGS, Fox allowed The Martian to be nominated as a comedy.

  14. Paul J F says:

    What about Sicario and Emily Blunt in Sicario?

  15. Sam Heughan of Outlander not nominated??? Seriously, HFP, what were you thinking? His performance is central to the success of the show. How can the show be nominated, but not him?

  16. HPR says:

    The HFPA is a bunch of tacky journalists who get wined and dined all year — and don’t really deserve it. The nomination for Lady Gaga is baffling – she’s literally giving one of the most painfully wooden, affected performances – if you can even call it a performance – I’ve ever seen this side of Madonna acting.

  17. Anne says:

    They snubbed Kristen Stewart also and she’s amazing in Clouds of Sils Maria.

  18. Bill B. says:

    A number of film surprises, but as much as I hate to say it, these sometimes screwy awards make more sense than the SAG nominations. Biggest surprises to me were elimination of Depp, Bridge of Spies for picture, nobody from Spotlight and isn’t Love & Mercy a better picture than Spy?! Despite the nonsensical placement of that knee slapper, The Martian, in the comedy category, they placed a few performers in the categories in which they belonged unlike SAG (Mara, Vikander, Dano), though while I haven’t seen it, I wasn’t under the impression that Bale had the lead in The Big Short. I continue to be surprised by the appreciation of Kate Winslet and Helen Mirren as I don’t recall reading anything great about either one of them & I have read a few criticisms about both. Still, not bad, but I wouldn’t even touch commenting on the TV categories. There is so much TV these days, I don’t really know how anyone can even see everything, never mind choose among so much.

  19. Dex says:

    C’mon. The Streep, Hanks and DeNiro exclusions are no surprise. Just because they often land on the nominee list, yet were passed over this time–due to better performances–doesn’t mean they were snubbed.

  20. David Oliver says:

    The biggest snub isn’t even mentioned, Abraham Attah for Beasts of No Nation.

  21. MJ says:

    Maybe I’m the only one, but Bloodline was one of my favorite shows this year. Mendelson’s nom was well deserved, but I was expecting more.

  22. Miscanthus says:

    The Martian had noms in exactly the same categories the Revenant did. Picture, director, and actor. And don’t say it got hurt by the comedy nom – that’s the same category Birdman won BP from last year.

  23. Melissa Benoist: SNUB. And what the F is Wolf Hall, Narcos and Mozart in the Jungle?

  24. Ben A. says:

    I find the lack of Straight Outta Compton disturbing.

    But on the plus side, I’m so glad that Alicia VIkander got recognized for Ex Machina!

    • Mackie Messer says:

      I’m with you on that, Ben A. Straight Outta Compton was a surprise blockbuster and is more relevant to what’s going on today than any other nominated film, with the possible exception of Concussion.

    • Dex says:

      @ Ben A.
      You’re right and the “Compton” omission reveals just how out of touch the HPFA is. Then again, they nominated Johnny Depp for “The Tourist,” but failed to acknowledge his chilling performance in “Black Mass.” In other words, no reason to take the HPFA seriously.

  25. Karen W. says:

    SNUB: Supporting Actor, Jonathan Banks – Better Call Saul.

  26. Calling it says:


    • Ted says:

      I’d call him not getting recognized for Nightcrawler a snub, but Southpaw was such a contrived, trite piece of garbage that his performance didn’t matter.

      • Mackie Messer says:


        Agree strongly on both counts. Nightcrawler was brilliant on every level. Southpaw was cliché dreck.

  27. no offence…but Lady Gaga deserves all the nominee she’s got!

  28. Naomi Boak says:

    What about Jean Smart in Fargo? She was amazing.

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