Entertainment: HBO's "Watchmen" "When They See Us" Go Unseen by Globes Nominators
The Golden Globes are known for their surprises—they’re an essential part of the brand at this point, so much that the awards keep asking Ricky Gervais to come back and host. And while the 2020 Golden Globe nominations themselves might not be as surprising as whatever happens during the awards show on January 5, there are a few detours from the awards-season narrative we’ve been telling ourselves for months. Read ahead for why The Two Popes,Cate Blanchett, the cast of Succession, and many more nominees or snubs took us by surprise this morning.
And Here Are the All-Male Directing Nominees
Natalie Portman is going to have to apply pressure again, isn’t she? This year the Globes once again opted to nominate an all-male slate of directors, snubbing worthy contenders like Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), and Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers). Why? Great question! It’s the continuation of an embarrassing tradition at the Globes, which, like the film Academy, have only nominated a handful of female directors over the years; Kathryn Bigelow here, Sofia Coppola there. Barbra Streisand is still the only woman to ever actually win the award, picking up the statuette in 1984 for Yentl.
Cynthia Erivo Shakes Up the Best-Actress Race Yet Again
When Lupita Nyong’o won the New York Film Critics Circle’s best-actress prize for her searing dual performance in Us, she emerged as a serious contender in a best-actress field that’s had one ironclad front-runner (Renée Zellweger) for months, and a lot of uncertainty beyond that. But at the Globes it was Cynthia Erivo, the star of the Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet, who joined the four presumed other locks in the field. Our own Mark Harris has already written about the dangerous and false assumption that there are four actresses of color competing for a single slot in the field, alongside four white actresses who are assumed to be in. But the Globe nominations are only going to keep that narrative going. In the meantime, congratulations to Erivo, who also earned a nomination for her song “Stand Up” from Harriet. Could she follow in Lady Gaga’s and Mary J. Blige’s footsteps and be both an acting and an original-song Oscar nominee in the same year?
And Speaking of Best Actress…
The absence of Lupita Nyong’o for Us is just astounding. She played both Red and Adelaide as so distinctive yet so obviously connected that our minds melted trying to understand which was which—a performance few can forget. It’s depressing that the Globes did, along with the rest of the awards-season voters. The New York Film Critics Circle awarded her best actress for the performance, but she has been missing from most of the season’s lists. Maybe it’s due to the dismissal of the horror genre as serious filmmaking, but anyone who watched Jordan Peele’s film and didn’t feel moved, unsettled, or challenged wasn’t paying close enough attention. The tragic and grim story of Red and her “family” is not easy to watch, nor is their terrorizing of their doppelgängers in the Wilson family, but it’s impossible to look away. Unless, apparently, you’re in the HFPA.
Cate Blanchett’s Wild Card Nomination
Remember those times the HFPA nominated Eddie Murphy_ for The Nutty Professor, Hugh Jackman for Kate & Leopold, and Burlesque for, well, being Burlesque? We had familiarly W.T.F. aftershocks upon hearing Cate Blanchett’s nod for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for her work in the already forgotten Where’d You Go Bernadette?. Granted, Blanchett is always deserving of awards recognition. But it was surprising to see the Oscar-winning actress garner her 10th nomination for a literary adaptation that bombed at the box office and left critics unimpressed. Blanchett’s nomination did, however, round out one 2020’s most beautifully random Golden Globes categories. Blanchett’s divine competition includes Ana de Armas (Knives Out), Awkwafina (The Farewell), Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart), and Emma Thompson (Late Night).
Did They Even See Little Women?
Sure, the answer is yes—Saoirse Ronan earned a best-actress nomination for her starring role as Jo March. But Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed adaptation was otherwise shut out of the Golden Globe nominations, making Gerwig yet another female writer and director left out of the male-heavy lineup. Are strong reviews and gorgeous period detail not enough for the Globes anymore? Maybe it’s just in keeping with tradition: The 1994 Little Women got three Oscar nominations, but nothing from the Globes.
Pesci, Pacino, but No De Niro
The HFPA clearly adores The Irishman, bestowing the gangster epic with five nods, including best director (Martin Scorsese), best drama, and best screenplay (Steve Zaillian). However, while both Joe Pesci and Al Pacino crowded the best-supporting-actor category, lead star Robert De Niro was snubbed from lead actor.
While it’s true that Pacino has the showier role and Pesci wows with a subtler performance, De Niro is the glue that holds it all together (not to mention, he’s the titular Irishman here) and a huge movie star to boot—everything the HFPA loves. Instead he was bumped out in favor of front-runners like Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), and Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), as well as seemingly more touch-and-go competitors like Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari) and Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes, a film that was a stealthy Globe favorite—more on that below).
The Two Popes Finally Becomes a Contender
We (well, at least one of us) have been warning you since the Toronto International Film Festival in September that The Two Popes is a stealth powerhouse, a crowd-pleaser built around two strong performances and, let’s be honest, the undeniable appeal of two popes. Not one, but two! Popping up at the Golden Globe nominations in the best-drama, best-screenplay, and two acting categories for stars Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins,The Two Popes made a real showing of strength. How will that translate to the rest of the field? Totally unclear—Pryce remains locked in a viciously competitive best-actor field, and Hopkins will have to fend off Willem Dafoe, a recent Academy favorite, in supporting actor. But the screenplay nod for Anthony McCarten at the Globes, where all screenplays are considered together unlike at the Oscars, is a feather in the film’s cap. The SAG Award nominations on Wednesday will reveal a lot more. In the meantime, viva il papas.
Still Not Enough Succession
Earlier this year the Emmys broke Succession fans’ hearts by nominating the show for best drama while snubbing the entire cast when it came to acting nominations. So I guess we should first express gratitude that at least the Globes have chosen to give Brian Cox and Kieran Culkin their due for best actor and best supporting actor, respectively. And yeah, the show also got a best-drama nod. But uh...what about Jeremy Strong? As Logan Roy’s favorite whipping boy, Strong turned in one of the most heartrending performances of the year. He played Kendall as simultaneously stoic and shattered, evoking the character’s vulnerability with every downcast look and cringe at another person’s touch. On the flip side, he also gave us one of TV’s most meme-able moments with the humiliating and hilarious “L to the O.G..” In other words: He deserved better.
The King in the North Is Here, but What About Those Queens?
It’s safe to say that the final season of Game of Thrones was a divisive one, but that didn’t stop the HBO show from cleaning up at the Emmys earlier this year. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, however, often has its eyes fixed on what’s new rather than honoring what’s endured, and so Thrones got almost entirely snubbed while shiny freshman and sophomore shows like Succession,Big Little Lies, and The Morning Show sucked up all the oxygen in the room. But the real surprise is that the lone nominee to sneak into the Globe nominations for Thrones is Kit Harington. While the onetime king in the north did have his best season this past year, it’s still a surprise to see him nominated with no trace of the Lannisters—Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj-Coster Waldau, and Lena Headey—any of the Stark sisters, tragic queen Emilia Clarke, or even season-stealer Gwendoline Christie. At least the women of Westeros can take comfort in the fact that there is heavy competition this year from several female-led prestige dramas, and that is a world Game of Thrones helped build.
Outrage for Moira Rose
This summer, Schitt’s Creekfinally got some Emmy nomination love from the TV Academy. But the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has presumably not seen the magic that are __Eugene Levy’s__Johnny Rose and Catherine O’Hara’s Moira Rose. Schitt Creek being shut out of this Golden Globes opportunity is particularly tragic for Moira, a washed-up soap actress who would have thrown herself at a voting body as notoriously, ahem, peculiar as the HFPA. After all, this is the woman who once declared her favorite season to be “awards.”
Guess They Didn’t See When They See Us
Jharrel Jerome’s Emmy victory might have been one of the most emotional moments of the night this fall, but it appears the Golden Globes will be a little different. Ava DuVernay’s emotional examination of the Exonerated Five was one of the most highly anticipated limited series of the year, and Jerome has been roundly praised for his performance—but on Monday morning, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association shut out the Netflix entry completely. At the risk of sounding harsh, it seems, shall we say, odd that Catch-22, which made relatively little noise this year, managed to get a nod over When They See Us, which, alongside HBO nominee Chernobyl, proved that the darkest corners of history can provide some of today’s most compelling dramas.
Hot Priest Gets His Due
When Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag dominated the night at the Emmys in September, it felt even more surprising that Andrew Scott hadn’t even been nominated for his performance as the Priest, whom the internet swiftly, and accurately, renamed Hot Priest. Now justice has been done, and Scott is nominated in the supporting-actor field for television. Because the Golden Globes put all supporting actors across television in one category, his competition is a truly hilarious range, from Succession’s Kieran Culkin to Barry’s Henry Winkler. Your guess is as good as ours in terms of who might prevail from that lineup, but after the Emmy snub, we imagine Scott is happy to be included at last.The