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To butcher a joke from Schitt’s Creek, March sees the start of everyone’s favourite season… Awards Season. As the first of the major televised awards shows, the Golden Globes are always useful to gauge which films have connected with industry members over the last year. And in typical Globes fashion, the 2021 nominations have thrown up a lot of talking points. Here’s a breakdown of the best and worst choices.
Best: The Director Lineup
Given the backlash to the lack of diversity in this category last year (Bong Joon-Ho and four white men), I had been hoping to see at least one woman make the best director line-up this time. Imagine my delight when three showed up. Chloé Zhao, Emerald Fennel, and Regina King became only the 6th, 7th, and 8th women to ever be nominated for this prize, which is crazy in itself. Anyone lucky enough to have seen Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, and One Night in Miami can tell you that they are truly three of the best films of the year and it’s great to see them rewarded for it.
As with any award show, there are bound to be snubs. Delroy Lindo missing for Da 5 Bloods is a real shame. Only one acting notation for One Night in Miami feels downright criminal. Perhaps more upsetting than who was left out, is who was chosen instead of them. Jared Leto for The Little Things is a very left-of-field choice, but when you consider that he was chosen instead of any of the supporting performers from Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom or One Night in Miami, it feels like a missed opportunity. Couple this with the fact that Michaela Coel’s brilliant I May Destroy You didn’t receive a single nomination, and there’s a very alarming trend to these nominations.
Worst: Golden Globe nominee James Cordon
The Golden Globes, perhaps more so than any other awards show, are renowned for pandering to Hollywood stars with their nominations. The HFPA is aiming to cram in as many famous faces as they can, in order to attract as much attention to their telecast as possible. It’s surprising then that when considering the star-studded cast of Ryan Murphy’s problematic The Prom, they passed on the likes of Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman and opted instead to nominate… James Cordon?
Anyone who has seen The Prom can tell you that Cordon’s performance is… offensive at best, and to see it included on any sort of ‘Best of’ list is frankly laughable. He’s in a stacked category, competing against the likes of Sacha Baron Cohen and Lin-Manuel Miranda, so has little chance of winning. But his inclusion is a timely reminder to never take the Globes too seriously.
Worst: The misplacement of Minari
The nomination that has been met with the most public outcry is the bizarre decision to nominate Minari for Best Foreign Language Film, and as a result, making it ineligible for all other categories. This even though Lee Isaac Chung is an American director, the cast are American actors and the characters are Korean people immigrating to… you guessed it, America. The nomination on the Golden Globes website even reads ‘Minari (USA)’. And yet, because most of the dialogue is delivered in the family’s native Korean tongue, the film has been labelled as ‘foreign’, despite being an American story. Having made the exact same mistake with Lulu Wang’s The Farewell last year, it’s clear that the HFPA need to rethink their voting process, which is continually letting great films down.
With the ceremony happening later tonight, let’s just hope the winners aren’t as questionable as some of the nominations.