Random Thoughts: The 2021 Golden Globes Nominations


Well, we finally made it. Following a year of COVID-19 that saw numerous delays and so much industry uncertainty, cinema has finally reached the height of its awards season (well sorta). It kicks into gear with the Hollywood Foreign Press unveiling its Golden Globe nominations. It’s been a bizarre year for movies and it’s reflected in the nominations (announced this yesterday). So as I’m prone to do, here are a few Random Thoughts about this year’s batch.

  • Let me go ahead and get this out of the way. The Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category is easily the worst of the bunch. In all fairness I haven’t seen “Music”, but the rest leave me scratching my head. Three (“Borat”, “Palm Springs”, “The Prom”) range from blah to bad. “Hamilton” is a play, not a movie (yes, I know that’s debatable). I’ll be rooting for Patel.
  • BUT the HFPA did a much better job on Best Motion Picture – Drama. Three of the five nominees made my person Top 10, one just missed it. I can go with that.
  • And a big tip of the hat to the HFPA for mostly nailing the Best Director category. With the exception of Sorkin (whose film wasn’t bad but wasn’t great), a strong case could be made for each of the nominees. And three women? Thumbs up.
  • Not trying to pile on Sorkin, but I can think of several directors I would have rather seen. Nolan, Chung, Vinterberg, Kore-eda, Kaufman, Reichardt just to name a few.
  • And let’s give a big hand to Regina King. What a debut. While her film barely missed my Top 10, “One Night in Miami…” is terrific. Maybe it should have found it’s way in the Best Picture – Drama list?
  • As usual I’m woefully ignorant of the Animated category. I did like “Soul” so there’s that.
  • Nothing for Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods”. I’m actually okay with that. It’s a good movie but a flawed one. And I know there were some hoping for a DelRoy Lindo nomination. He’s good, no doubt about it. But for me his performance grew bigger and bigger until he sucked the air out of so many scenes. Not so much his fault as the direction.
  • The HFPA got it right with Chadwick Boseman. They nominated him for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (the right choice). They didn’t nominate him for “Da 5 Bloods” (also the right choice).
  • Speaking of that Best Actor – Drama category, I haven’t seen Tahar Rahim (no screener, boooo) but the rest are really good. And while I doubt he’ll win, the award should unquestionably go to Anthony Hopkins. Talk about career-best work in a career full of career-best work.
  • Man I would have loved to see Mads Mikkelsen nominated. Outside of Hopkins it was the best performance I saw last year.
  • Back to “Borat”, I can’t help but wonder if in a normal year the movie wouldn’t even be in the discussion. “Subsequent Moviefilm” starts strong but then strangles on its own gimmickry. Far too much feels staged this time around. And Baron Cohen for Best Actor – Musical or Comedy? Pass.
  • And wasn’t James Corden excoriated for his performance in “The Prom”? Just asking.
  • I really like the Foreign Language category. In fact two of the nominees should be in the Best Picture – Drama group. But I know….RULES. Still it’s great to see the HFPA showing love for “Another Round” and “Minari”. Both are among the 2020’s best movies. “La Llorona” is another one worth seeing. I wish “The Truth” would have made it but oh well.
  • Speaking of “Minari”, it finds itself in such a weird place. It’s considered a USA film just like many in the Best Picture categories. But because of a goofy rule that reads “Motion pictures that qualify for the Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language award also qualify for awards in all other motion picture categories except Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy” it doesn’t get consideration for the more prominent awards.
  • One more “Minari” gripe (sorry, I love the film), no Supporting Actress nomination for Youn Yuh-Jung who many considered a frontrunner.
  • I do like that Colman and Seyfried gor Supporting Actress nominations. Both were superb. And I really liked Close who was the best thing about an otherwise mediocre “Hillbilly Elegy”. Zengel was really good but I’m not sure if she’s among the five best.
  • Riz Ahmed everybody!
  • The Best Actress – Drama category has three of the best performances of the year PERIOD, male or female. Vanessa Kirby, Carey Mulligan, and of course Frances McDormand should absolutely be there. Viola Davis was good but her character was stuck one gear for the entire film.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer for “French Exit”? I love it. More on that film in a few days.
  • “Mank” did a little better than I expected. Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Original Score. Fincher and company had a good morning.
  • Chloe Zhao is such a talent. Does she nab both Best Picture – Drama and Best Director. I kinda think she might.
  • Ok, I knew “Tenet” wasn’t going to get anything (it did get a nomination for Best Score), but consider this my obligatory defense of what I felt was the best movie of the year. Thanks for listening.
  • That Supporting Actor category is pretty rich. Rooting for Bill Murray for “On the Rocks” and wouldn’t have a problem with a Leslie Odom, Jr. win. The other three are a little shakier.
  • And quite a morning for Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross who were nominated for TWO original scores (“Mank” and “Soul”). I think by now everyone knows these guys have immeasurable musical talent.

And that’s all I got. I case you missed anything, here are all this year’s film nominees.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
The Father
Promising Young Woman
The Trial of the Chicago 7 

Best Picture – Musical or Comedy
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Palm Springs
The Prom

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 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 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 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 Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy)
Olivia Colman (The Father)
Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian)
Amanda Seyfried (Mank)
Helena Zengel (News of the World)

Best Supporting Actor – 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 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 Screenplay – Motion Picture
Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman)
Jack Fincher (Mank)
Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7)
Florian Zeller & Christopher Hampton (The Father)
Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)

Best Motion Picture, Animated
The Croods: A New Age
Over the Moon

Best Picture, Foreign Language
Another Round
La Llorona

The Life Ahead
Two of Us 

Best Original Score, Motion Picture
Alexandre Desplat (The Midnight Sky)
Ludwig Göransson (Tenet)
James Newton Howard (News of the World)
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (Mank)
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, & 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)
“Is Si (Seen)” (The Life Ahead)
“Speak Now” (One Night in Miami)
“Tigress & Tweed” (The United States vs. Billie Holiday)

21 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: The 2021 Golden Globes Nominations

  1. I appreciate your disillusionment with the list. Keith, I haven’t seen a lot of the movies on it, but the ones I have seen, I have to say that some of them are pure tripe compared to some of the other films I’ve watched from 2020 that aren’t mentioned anywhere here. I have to believe that the Golden Globes, along with the Academy Awards are pretty much a political sham and not based on quality cinema anymore — if they ever were!

    • It’s hard to say. I think there are elements of that in their decision-making but ultimately I don’t put a lot of weight into awards season. I just sit back and enjoy it for what it is. I do like the conversations around it (at least some of them) and I do like seeing good movies and good performances honored. But without fail there’s always some that leave me shaking my head.

  2. I wish Mads would’ve been nominated too. It irks me that Oldman is getting in for Mank when that was nowhere near an extraordinary performance. You should check out Wolfwalkers if you haven’t. I’m rooting for that in the animated field.

  3. I can’t abide Sacha Baron Doodah and the odious Borat character he created, makes me want to throw up. Even in The Chicago 7 he annoyed the heck out of me. I’m keeping fingers xt for Anthony Hopkins and Riz Ahmed though.

    • Rooting big time for Hopkins. I swear he gives one of the best performances of the last decade. I’m a fan on Ahmed’s performance too. Really glad he’s getting recognition.

    • I understand. Last year was such a wacky year for movies and I think a lot of people are still waiting to see a lot of these. I’m SO ready for a return to ‘normal’!

  4. The Golden Globes… the poor man’s Oscars/Emmys run by racist, xenophobic pedophiles. That’s what I think of the Golden Globes and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Let’s not forget… Pia Zadora and The Tourist.

      • The voters of an organization aren’t an entity. Even if you have evidence that there are GG voters who are racist, xenophobic pedophiles (by all means, share it), it wouldn’t mean everyone there is like that. Also, new voters join every year. You shouldn’t condemn current voters for decisions from the past. Besides, you know about the Pia Zadora thing because it became public. That means there’s no way that could happen again, because they know they would get caught again.

    • My Twitter feed has been hilarious. Some people get really worked up over this stuff. I always go in expecting them to mess it up. That way I can be surprised in the rare instances that they get it right. 😂

      • Yeah but I’m kind of in a pissed off mood over the stuff about Marilyn Manson as I’m just surprised at some of the things he did to women though I’m not surprised that ERW outed him and not surprised that Trent Reznor denounced him.

  5. ““Hamilton” is a play, not a movie (yes, I know that’s debatable).”
    I agree. Hell, they’re planning to make a proper film adaptation.

    “And wasn’t James Corden excoriated for his performance in “The Prom”? Just asking.”
    A lot of people said his performance is bad, but when they described their feelings, they were inadvertently talking about the casting (even though the movie was directed by a gay man whose projects usually showcase all kinds of diversity) and how the character was written (the actor from the Broadway version was way more effeminate). Honestly, in terms of acting (displaying emotions and such), James did a good job. Maybe not among the best of the year, but certainly not the worst.

    “Speaking of “Minari”, it finds itself in such a weird place. It’s considered a USA film just like many in the Best Picture categories. But because of a goofy rule that reads “Motion pictures that qualify for the Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language award also qualify for awards in all other motion picture categories except Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy” it doesn’t get consideration for the more prominent awards.”
    They do the same thing with animated movies and I actually prefer it that way. An award ceremony should either split categories by genre/format or have categories where everything/everyone is eligible. Having both kind of makes things redundant. The Grammys are arguably the worst example of this. You know, during the controversy, a lot of people accused the H.F.P.A. of being bigots (“So you don’t think a story about immigrants filmed in America chasing the American dream is American enough?!”) and I insisted that there’s a difference between “Best Foreign Film” and “Best Foreign Language Film.” THE FATHER was eligible for Best Motion Picture-Drama despite not being an American production because the actors spoke in English. I also pointed out that MINARI was still eligible in every other category and I expected it to get nominated for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor-Drama and especially Best Supporting Actress (based on what I’ve seen throughout the award seen). Not only did it not get nominated for anything outside Best Foreign Language Film, but they also nominated movies most people haven’t even heard of and/or weren’t as well-received by critics. Now it’s even harder to defend this decision.

    • Great point on “Hamilton”. It almost feels like they just want to tap into the plays in Normas success. Or maybe they’re just desperate to fill in the category. Regardless it doesn’t belong there and if you call it “a movie” then you open the door to a lot of other things that are not movies being categorized as a movie.

  6. The snub of Tenet just may be one of the worst of all-time. I’m no longer paying attention to the voting body of clowns who were grifted into their jobs. (Not that I also ultimately care that much about awards. I”m not a person to buy a DVD/Blu Ray because it says “Oscar-nominated for x” on the cover lol

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