Entertainment

12.12.13

15 Golden Globe Snubs and Surprises: No Oprah, No Jon Hamm, and More

Where’s the love for Oprah in The Butler? And only one nod for Orange Is the New Black? See the Golden Globe nominations—and what this all means for the Oscars.

We’ll have to wait one more month to see pals Tina Fey and Amy Poehler tear up the Beverly Hilton Hotel, but Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana, and Aziz Ansari announced the nominees for the 2014 Golden Globe Awards early Thursday morning at 5:15 am PT.

The event, now in its 71st year, will be broadcast live by NBC on the evening of Jan. 12, 2014, and see the ever-unpredictable Hollywood Foreign Press honor the best in film and television. On the film side, 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle led with seven nominations apiece, while in television, the Showtime drama Homeland was completely shut out.

And, while there weren’t too many laughably bad inclusions this year like the Johnny Depp/Angelina Jolie stinker The Tourist or the musical Burlesque (which was allegedly nominated because a bunch of members of the HFPA were bused to a free Cher concert)—no Johnny Depp for Lone Ranger?!?—there were still plenty of surprises… and snubs.

See the full nominee list here.

MOVIES

1. Snub: Oprah Winfrey and Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Distributor Harvey Weinstein has a very good track record with the HFPA, and yet, the historical drama Lee Daniels’ The Butler—say that five times fast—was completely shut out of the nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor-Drama (Forest Whitaker), and, last but certainly not least, Best Supporting Actress (Oprah Winfrey). The Oprah snub is the most puzzling, really. As Gloria Gaines, the alcoholic, two-timing wife of White House butler Cecil Gaines, Oprah is at once shocking vulnerable and resolute. The actress is seen by most awards pundits as one of the front runners for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar (along with 12 Years A Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o) and, in a ceremony that’s become notorious for nominating A-list stars in mediocre pictures to pad their guest list, the powers that be have, for whatever reason, decided to overlook a global icon. It’s especially shocking considering the film cleaned up at the SAG Awards, receiving nominations for Best Ensemble, Best Actor (Whitaker), and Best Supporting Actress (Winfrey). Perhaps the story was too U.S.-centric for foreign audiences.

2. Surprise: Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

The star of The Wire and Pacific Rim delivers one of the finest turns of his career as the amateur boxer/lawyer-cum-freedom fighter Nelson Mandela in the biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Idris Elba nails down Mandela’s voice and, despite some regrettable aging makeup, sort of looks the part. Still, Elba’s performance—and the problematic film, as a whole—had received very little awards buzz prior to the Golden Globe announcements. Nonetheless, Mandela is one of the great leaders of our time, and the recent passing of the South African anti-apartheid crusader no doubt factored in here.

3. Snub: The Wolf of Wall Street

Perhaps the film screened a bit too late for the HFPA? The film doesn’t come out until Christmas, but it screened in late November for voters in the Hollywood Foreign Press. And, while the randy Martin Scorsese film still received nominations in the categories of Best Actor in a Motion Picture—Drama (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Best Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy, it was snubbed in most of the major categories, including Best Screenplay (Terence Winter), Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill, as DiCaprio’s smarmy boy Friday), and Best Director (Scorsese). Perhaps, in addition to screening late, it was a bit too “American” for foreign audiences, or a bit too scandalous, containing everything from midget-tossing to coke-fueled orgies. Then again, it was also one of the best years in movies in a long time, so perhaps there were just too many nominees to choose from.

4. Surprise: All the Love For Rush

Rush made my list of “The Most Overlooked Movies of the Year” because, while director Ron Howard’s Formula One racing drama is a helluva fun time, it grossed a paltry $27 million in North America. The film, which dramatizes the real-life rivalry between F1 racing stars Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl), a cold, calculating Austrian, and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth), a dashing, hard-partying Brit, deserves some awards attention, but no one expected it to be nominated for Best Motion Picture—Drama (over the likes of Blue Jasmine, Saving Mr. Banks, and Lee Daniels’ The Butler). It also received a Best Supporting Actor nod for Bruhl for his stunning turn, although that was a bit more expected following his SAG nomination. Then again, the Europeans are crazy for F1, and the film grossed more than twice its domestic total ($63 million-plus) abroad.

5. Snub: Best Supporting Actor

There were a few minor surprises in the Best Supporting Actor category, namely the aforementioned Bruhl for Rush and Barkhad Abdi as a Somali pirate in Captain Phillips. But they were both just nominated for SAGs, so it’s less of a shock. The biggest news in this category were the snubs, including previous nominees Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street, Tom Hanks’s turn as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks, and Harrison Ford for 42. Now, Ford isn’t expected by most pundits to nab an Oscar nod, but it seemed like a classic “star power choice” from the HFPA. Nonetheless, they went with the lesser known actors Bruhl and Abdi instead. Good for them.

6. Surprise: Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine

Now this was really unexpected. Hawkins hadn’t received much awards buzz prior to the Globes announcements for her turn as Ginger, the flighty sister to Cate Blanchett’s titular woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown in Blue Jasmine. And yet, she nabbed a Best Supporting Actress nomination over the one and only Oprah. Now, this is the Hollywood Foreign Press we’re talking about here, and Hawkins is a Brit while Oprah’s, of course, American, but Hawkins is also incredibly well-liked within the acting community for being one of the kindest thesps around. Plus, she and the Globes have a bit of history. She won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy in 2009 for her turn as Poppy, a cheery teacher in Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky—that is, before being cruelly excluded from the list of Oscar nominees.

TELEVISION

7. Surprise: Monica Potter, Parenthood 

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the television side—and the one responsible for TV critics skipping through the streets this morning—was Parenthood star Monica Potter’s inclusion in the (totally random) Best Supporting Actress category. No performance on television last season was as heartbreaking, nor as graceful and dignified, as Potter’s, as her character battled cancer on the NBC family drama. Joining her in the category is another welcome surprise: Nashville’s sparkplug scene-stealer Hayden Panettiere, who, though she was nominated last year, saw her show’s buzz all-but die this season. Her performance, however, remain the ABC soap’s highlight.

8. Snub/Surprise: No Homeland or Mad Men 

Last year’s three big drama winners—Homeland for Series, Claire Danes for Actress, Damian Lewis for Actor—weren’t even nominated this year. Some would say this is a snub. The Showtime drama still is wildly popular and has recently produced a stellar string of episodes. Plus, it’s the kind of prestige series that voters seemingly rubber stamp nominations for, especially after showing so much love for it in the past. But there’s a (very) vocal camp who thinks this season has been uneven, at best, and maybe even horrendous, making its shut out perfectly deserved...if a little surprising. This is also the second year in a row that the Globes excluded Mad Men from the Best Drama race. It wasn’t a bad season for Mad Men, per se, but there’s no denying that this year’s group of nominees deserved mentioning more. Maybe the “silly” Golden Globes deserve more credit for taste than we give them!

9. Surprise: Corey Stoll, House of Cards 

Aside from Robin Wright’s haircut and Robin Wright’s wardrobe, Corey Stoll’s devastating performance on House of Cards was the reason to watch Netflix’s debut original series. (That, and to alternately delight in and cringe at Kevin Spacey’s I-do-declare accent.) Stoll didn’t manage a nod at the Emmys or SAG Awards, but it’s a treat to see him with the Supporting Actor nod at the Globes.

10. Snub: Orange Is the New Black 

No new series was as exciting this year as Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black. No new series was as surprising as Orange Is the New Black. No new series was as good as Orange Is the New Black. Yet despite checking all three of the boxes that should’ve made the breakout hit candy for Golden Globes voters, the series only eked out one nom, in Best Actress, Drama for Taylor Schilling, which was very deserved. Still, it’s a shame that the series didn’t join Netflix brethren House of Cards in Best Drama Series, or that any the prison’s worth of stellar supporting actresses—Kate Mulgrew, Taryn Manning, Uzo Adoba, Danielle Brooks, Laura Prepon, Natasha Lyonne—didn’t find their way into the eclectic group of Globe nominees.  

11. Surprise: The Good Wife 

It shouldn’t be a surprise that The Good Wife got so much love Thursday morning (Best Series, Actress for Julianna Margulies, and Supporting Actor for Josh Charles). The series is having its best season yet, and is by far the best drama on broadcast television and maybe even better than those more cable series, too. But the show, perhaps because it’s older, in its fifth season, or because it’s a CBS procedural and less sexy than its pay-cable competition, keeps getting snubbed by awards organizations. That it’s back on the Globes’ radar, at least, is excellent news. 

12. Surprise: New Shows (Brooklyn Nine-Nine!)

It hasn’t been a great year for new shows. No freshman series can really say it achieved the two tenants of breakout success: big ratings and big buzz. But despite the lackluster nature of TV’s new class, a few made it into the big races, and deservedly so. Fox’s constantly-getting-better Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a fun addition to the Best Comedy race, as is Andy Samberg in the Best Actor category. He’ll be competing against Michael J. Fox for The Michael J. Fox Show. Fox’s show may have fizzled fast, but there’s no denying the charm of his performance. On the drama side, James Spader breaks into the Best Actor category for his bravura scenery chewing on The Blacklist. Showtime’s new shows also scored big, with Ray Donovan winning nods for stars Liev Schrieber and Jon Voight and Masters of Sex breaking in Best Drama and Best Actor for Michael Sheen.  

13. Snub: The Cast of Modern Family (Except Sofia Vergara) 

Modern Family may be aging. The writing may be lacking a bit of the zip that won over audiences initially, but the show still has the strongest comedy ensemble on TV. Because the Globes funnel all the supporting actors on television—comedy, drama, and miniseries—into one category for men and one for women, only Sofia Vergara made it in this year.  

14. Surprise: Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black 

The most impressive performance on television is actually the most impressive ten performances on television, as Tatiana Maslany seamlessly plays nearly a dozen identical clones on Orphan Black, each with its own distinctive personality and character. Now that she won the nomination, don’t be surprised if Maslany wins the Best Actress statue in January, too.

15. Surprise: Parks and Recreation

Last year, the Globes nominated Smash for Best Comedy or Musical and snubbed Parks and Recreation. The injustice has been undone.