Golden Globes Nominations: 18 Biggest Snubs and Surprises

'Emily in Paris' & 17 Other Golden Globes Snubs & Surprises
Courtesy of Netflix

The Golden Globes never stick to a script, but this year they couldn’t keep their regular calendar date because of COVID-19. The annual A-list dinner typically kicks off the year in the first weekend of January (with the guest list mapped out in December). But the 78th ceremony was pushed back to late February, with (virtual) hosting duties to be carried out by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler — from different coasts. And the nominations were only announced Wednesday morning, nearly two months later than usual.

Will celebrities still be drinking from their homes? It’s anyone’s guess what a Zoom awards show organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will look — or feel — like. But even during these uncertain times, the Globes are still a launching pad for prestige movies and TV series on the long march to the Oscars or Emmys. (The eligibility window of this year’s contenders includes films released from Jan. 1, 2020 through Feb. 28, 2021, the date of the ceremony, though the television eligibility window remained unchanged.)

The biggest winner from today’s nominations: Netflix. On the movies side, two of the streaming giant’s films lead the pack of contenders: “Mank,” David Fincher’s drama about the screenwriter of “Citizen Kane,” picked up six nominations; and “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Aaron Sorkin’s drama about a court case following protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, scored five nominations.

Meanwhile for TV, Netflix up another 20 nominations, including six for the fourth season of “The Crown” (which basically saw its entire cast get nominated — Olivia Colman, Emma Corrin, Josh O’Connor, Gillian Anderson and Helena Bonham Carter). The dark money-laundering drama “Ozark” also picked up notable noms: its first-ever drama series, alongside acting ones for Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and Julia Garner.

The Golden Globes are voted on by the HFPA, a group of 89 international journalists. (See the full nominations list here.)

Here, Variety breaks down the 18 biggest snubs and surprises.

SNUB: Meryl Streep

There’s apparently a first time for everything. Meryl Streep, the most celebrated human being in Golden Globes history with 32 nominations over her career, was snubbed twice — for her comedic turns in “Prom” (as a Broadway diva) and “Let Them All Talk” (playing a cranky novelist on a cruise ship with her two best friends).

SNUB: Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”

The veteran actor has received rave reviews and picked up early precursor awards (including best actor from the National Society of Film Critics) for playing a Vietnam War veteran in Spike Lee’s drama. But “Da 5 Bloods,” which came out on Netflix over the summer, was completely shut out by the Golden Globes.

SNUB: Ben Affleck, “The Way Back”

Playing an alcoholic basketball coach in “The Way Back,” Affleck starred in one of the few movies to open in movie theaters 2020. Given the Globes’ track record of nominating movie stars for gritty turns, he was considered a favorite to score a nomination in the best actor race. But the category was too competitive with Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”), Gary Oldman (“Mank”) and Tahar Rahim “(The Mauritanian”).

SNUB: Steven Yeun, “Minari”

The lead actor of A24’s Sundance darling didn’t make it into the best actor lineup either. The HFPA made the bizarre decision to have “Minari” contend in best foreign language film, even though it was a U.S. production.

SNUB: Zendaya, “Malcolm and Marie”

She won an Emmy for “Euphoria,” but Zendaya has yet to be nominated for a Golden Globe. After the HFPA mysteriously snubbed her last year for her buzzy HBO series, they also overlooked her this year for the Netflix black-and-white drama “Malcolm and Marie.”

SNUB: Kate Winslet, “Ammonite”

The Golden Globes love Kate Winslet, who has been showered with 11 nominations over her career. But she wasn’t among this year’s best actress nominees for playing a lesbian paleontologist in the period drama “Ammonite,” which probably means she’ll be sitting out of the Oscars race too.

SNUB: Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You”

Michael Coel’s limited series, inspired by the events of her own life, was beloved by critics and viewers, as one of the best reviewed TV shows of 2020. Yet the HFPA somehow failed to celebrate it, completely shutting it out of all categories.

SNUB: “Bridgerton”

The Regency-era drama and first Shondaland script show at Netflix became the streamer’s biggest TV hit after it premiered on Christmas Day. But unfortunately, it didn’t connect with the HFPA — as the show and its actors failed to pick up any nominations.

SNUB: “Dead To Me”

After a second season that picked up Emmy noms for Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini (and the best comedy series), “Dead To Me” felt like a frontrunner for a television musical or comedy series nomination. But it was left off the ballot completely this year.

SNUB: “What We Do in the Shadows”

The quirky FX comedy about a group of vampires living in Staten Island scored surprise comedy series Emmy love in September, but was shut out at the Globes. This may have been a case of the HFPA liking to get there first and celebrate a show before any others can. Since the Television Academy already did it, the members moved on to more freshman fare in the category, such as the aforementioned “Emily in Paris,” as well as Apple TV Plus’ “Ted Lasso” and HBO Max’s “The Flight Attendant.”

SNUB: Uzo Aduba, “Mrs. America”

Two-time past Globes nominee Aduba seemed a likely candidate for her third after portraying real-life political leader Shirley Chisholm in FX on Hulu’s limited series, “Mrs. America.” Instead, though, the lone representative of that series scoring a Globes nominee was Cate Blanchett in the limited series/TV movie actress race for her portrayal of the polarizing conservative Phyllis Schlafly.

SNUB: Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett, “Lovecraft Country”

Misha Green’s adaptation of Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel picked up a television drama series nomination, but neither of its lead actors scored individual acting nominations, despite each delivering master classes in pushing through years of pain and trauma to love and sacrifice for family.

SURPRISE: Emerald Fennell, for directing “Promising Young Women”

After years of bad press for not nominating any women directors, the Globes nominated three women for best directing of a motion picture — a first. Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman), Regina King (“One Night in Miami”) and Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”) became the sixth, seventh and eight women directors in history to receive the nod — joining a group that includes Barbra Streisand, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Ava DuVernay and Kathryn Bigelow.

SURPRISE: James Corden, “The Prom”

Even though he received terrible reviews for “The Prom,” James Corden managed to get a nomination for Ryan Murphy’s musical extravaganza. And he was the only person to do so from a cast that includes Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman.

SURPRISE: Tahar Rahim, “The Mauritanian”

The breakout French actor, best known for “a Prophet,” proved to be a surprise nominee in the best actor in a drama race for playing Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay. And Jodie Foster was nominated for best supporting actress for portraying his defense attorney. Expect the film to continue to continue to pick up momentum this awards season, as more voters discover the late breaking release from STX Entertainment.

SURPRISE: Kate Hudson, “Music”

The biggest curveball of the morning? Kate Hudson landed a nomination for “Music,” an upcoming musical movie directed by Sia that has most people haven’t heard of — or seen.

SURPRISE: “Emily in Paris”

Although some predicted that Lily Collins would get a nomination (which she did), the Darren Star TV series also proved to be tres chic with the HFPA. “Emily in Paris” was nominated for best TV musical or comedy series, beating out some favorites — including “Dead To Me” and Hulu’s “Ramy” — to sneak onto the ballot this year.

SURPRISE: Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”

OK, let’s be honest: The actors who portrayed Princess Diana and Prince Charles were both going to be locks for a nomination. But it was a surprise that they ended up in the lead television drama acting categories, rather than supporting — categories in which Netflix had originally told Variety they were going to campaign for them. Things really are moving fast these days and category confusion shows no sign of slowing down. Now, Corrin is up against her co-star (and HFPA favorite) Olivia Colman, while O’Connor is in a category with Al Pacino.