The wackiness of the Golden Globes can go two ways.
Some years, it’s refreshing and fun, rewarding small, new, provocative shows and big movie-star performances that snootier, buttoned-up voters for the Emmys and Oscars would ignore. Other years, it’s maddening, resurfacing arguments that the finicky and whimsical choices of a small, enigmatic organization notoriously susceptible to influence should be ignored completely. Welcome to such a year!
There were some things that were just so Golden Globes that happened: Big love for Netflix’s The Politician and Apple TV+’s The Morning Show, splashy, expensive shows that weren’t huge hits with critics. Of course they went gaga for The Two Popes and Joker.
Other things were more inexcusable, like a cringe-inducing myopia when it comes to diversity, with the Exonerated Five limited series When They See Us being snubbed completely, once again, no female directors or screenwriters nominated, and no film directed by a woman in the Best Picture race.
See the full list of nominees here, and our aggravated reactions below:
SNUB: When They See Us
The omission of Ava DuVernay’s searing and impactful series in Best Limited Series is a major yikes, especially with the glaringly middling Catch-22 and The Loudest Voice showing up instead. Emmy winner Jharrel Jerome getting shut of Best Actor is indefensible.
SNUB: Lupita Nyong’o and Alfre Woodard
Pundits have been smart making the point that, this year (and most years), it seems like in the Best Actress race three women of color have been pitted against each other for what seems like one slot in the category. With Harriet’s Cynthia Erivo getting in and Us’ Lupita Nyong’o and Clemency’s Alfre Woodard missing out, the Globes seem to be confirming that unfortunate theory.
SNUB: Female Directors
In a year where four major awards contenders were directed by women—Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers—it’s egregious that, once again, the category features all male nominees. Gerwig, especially, is a confusing slight from this year’s race.
SURPRISE: Joker in Best Director
That Todd Phillips scored a surprise Best Director nod for the lightning-rod Joker makes the Gerwig snub smart even worse.
SURPRISE: The Morning Show and The Politician
Again, maybe it’s not really a surprise that Globes voters would go for expensive, star-studded new series from major streaming services, one starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, the other from Globes favorite Ryan Murphy. But the impressive series that the respective Best Drama and Best Comedy nominees, neither of which earned critical raves, had to beat for those slots certainly make their inclusion worth talking about.
SNUB: Game of Thrones
The Globes have never been as high on the HBO series as the Emmys and, well, every other human in the world. But it still seems like a pointed middle finger to the show to not nominate its final season. Best Actor contender Kit Harrington is the final season’s only nomination.
SNUB: Veep and The Good Place
Speaking of final seasons, unlike Game of Thrones’ measly one nod, the swan songs of Veep and The Good Place were shut out completely.
SURPRISE: The Two Popes sweep
The crowded drama section of the Globes’ film categories left people wondering which of the films appealing most to straight white men—Ford vs. Ferrari, The Two Popes, Joker, Uncut Gems—would find their way in. While The Two Popes, a charming buddy comedy about the Catholic Church (yep), is something right up the HFPA’s alley, I don’t think anyone expected it, with four nominations, to rank among the biggest movies of the morning.
SURPRISE: Kathy Bates and Annette Bening in Supporting Actress
Conventional wisdom has had Scarlett Johansson for Jojo Rabbit and Florence Pugh for Little Women in the slots that Bates (Richard Jewell) and Bening (The Report) just nabbed at the Globes. The industry vets have a long history with the Globes, but so too does the Globes have a long history with young blond bombshell movie stars, so this is a bit of a surprise.
SNUB: Adam Sandler and Uncut Gems
The Safdie Brothers’ shot-of-adrenaline film has been a critical favorite thus far, but neither the filmmakers, the movie, nor Sandler got in today. Sandler, especially, with the perfectly packaged narrative of “massive comedy star and critical punching bag makes an unexpectedly great drama” seemed like a shoo-in.
Everyone’s favorite drama airing at the moment seemed destined to capitalize on that attention with the notoriously buzz-happy organization, but the series and performances from Regina King and Jean Smart went unnoticed.
SURPRISE: The Lion King in Best Animated Picture
This is less a surprise than it is really funny. After being confusingly branded a “live-action remake,” Disney’s second go at The Lion King lands itself in the animated race. Considering the film was basically a shot-for-shot recreation of the original using modern animation technique, even this nomination seems like a cheat.
SNUB: Robert De Niro and Noah Baumbach
Marriage Story and The Irishman, along with Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, scored the most nominations this morning, so it’s unusual that Marriage Story director Noah Baumbach didn’t grab the nod he was heavily predicted for. De Niro is also a surprising exclusion from Best Actor for The Irishman.
SNUB: Schitt’s Creek and This Is Us
Schitt’s Creek was the most nominated comedy series and This Is Us the most-nominated drama when Sunday’s Critics Choice Awards list came out, but both were shut out completely by the Globes. (When They See Us, which we’ve already mentioned, was the most-nominated TV show overall.)
SURPRISE: Rami Malek in Best Actor
I don’t think Rami Malek was on anyone’s radar for a potential Best Actor nominee for Mr. Robot, or that, frankly, that series is still on anyone’s radar at all. I toss this one up to Bohemian Rhapsody’s continued reign of terror.
SURPRISE: Unbelievable scores big
Finally, a great surprise! The superb Netflix limited series scored four nominations, including for all three of its main actresses: Kaitlyn Dever, Merritt Wever, and Toni Collette. The category placement for the three is bizarre (Dever and Wever are lead, and Collette is supporting), but, hey, we take what we can get!
- Not a single broadcast TV show earned a nomination.
- Sandra Oh, who won last year’s Best Actress prize is out, replaced by Killing Eve co-star Jodie Comer.
- Pose couldn’t muster a second consecutive Best Drama Series nod, but Billy Porter is back in.
- Booksmart couldn’t make it into Best Comedy Feature, but breakout star Beanie Feldstein gets her first nod (that co-star Katilyn Dever is a nominee too, just for Unbelievable instead, is very cute).
- The Kominsky Method? Sure.
- Little Women came up surprisingly short, with only a nod for Saoirse Ronan and its score.
- Meryl Streep gets her record-continuing 34th nomination for Big Little Lies.