Netflix Dominates 2021 Golden Globes Nods


Golden Globe nominators pulled David Fincher’s sleepy “Mank” and the revenge-driven “Promising Young Woman” deeper into the Oscar race on Wednesday, while embracing female directors, reacting somewhat coolly to Black ensemble films and, as ever, sprinkling honors on a wide range of stars, from first-timers to living legends.

The Golden Globes have always been a peculiar ritual. The statues are awarded by a clandestine group of foreign journalists, only 89 of whom vote. Top prizes are split into dramatic and comedic categories, often in confounding ways. Rather bizarrely, foreign-language films are not allowed to compete for the most prestigious awards.

This year, however, the surreal nature of the affair has been heightened by a pandemic-era question: The Globes are actually happening?

Almost every film in contention has been released online or is still awaiting release. Many cinemas have now been closed for 11 months.

The black-and-white “Mank,” a tale of Old Hollywood, led the nominations with six, including one for best drama. It will compete against “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “Nomadland,” “The Father” and, in a surprise, “Promising Young Woman.”

Shut out of the best drama race was the Netflix critical favorite “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” although Globes voters recognized the lead performances by Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis. In general, films with primarily Black casts did not receive as many nominations as awards handicappers had expected, and Spike Lee’s war drama “Da 5 Bloods” was completely snubbed. (His children, Satchel and Jackson, will serve as Golden Globe Ambassadors, a job that traditionally involves politely shooing winners off the stage.)

Competing for best comedy or musical of the year will be “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” “Hamilton,” “Palm Springs,” “The Prom” and — out of nowhere — “Music,” a coming video-on-demand film by Sia about a young woman on the autism spectrum. Sia’s film, which has been contentious among advocates for those with autism, focuses on a low-functioning teenager being cared for by her newly sober, drug-dealing sister (played by Kate Hudson, who was nominated for best actress in a comedy or musical).

Notable acting nominees included the fast-rising Anya Taylor-Joy, who was honored in the film categories for “Emma” and on the TV side for “The Queen’s Gambit.” Sacha Baron Cohen was also a double acting nominee, recognized for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” two polar-opposite roles. He picked up a third mention as a “Borat” producer.

Netflix, only a competitor on the movie side of the Globes since 2016, dominated to a jaw-dropping degree, amassing 42 combined nominations — and that was without its newest episodic hit, “Bridgerton,” receiving a single mention. Among companies, WarnerMedia was second, with 13 nominations, including seven for HBO and two for HBO Max.

Netflix has homegrown films in contention (“Mank,” “The Prom”) as well as films that it bought from pandemic-stricken traditional studios, specifically Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” Among the television categories, the streaming service has established crowd pleasers (“The Crown,” “Ozark”) and shiny, new hits (“The Queen’s Gambit”). In a surprise, “Ratched,” a melodramatic “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” prequel from Ryan Murphy, received three nominations, including one for best television drama.

Amazon received 10 nominations, with Regina King’s “One Night in Miami,” a fact-based drama about a meeting of four Black luminaries, picking up nods for best director, song and supporting actor (for Leslie Odom Jr., who plays Sam Cooke). And Globe voters honored “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” which arrived on Amazon Prime Video in October, in the best comedy or musical category, among others. “Small Axe,” Steve McQueen’s anthology of five films, added two nominations.

“I’m thrilled about what it says about our film strategy — a slate that has grown tremendously and really embraces diverse stories, which is something that global audiences are demanding,” Jennifer Salke, the head of Amazon Studios, said by telephone.

The best actor in a drama category reflects a broad range of talents, with Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Gary Oldman (“Mank”), Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”) and Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) all nominated. In a surprise, Tahar Rahim, best known for his role in the French film “A Prophet” and the Hulu series “The Looming Tower,” nabbed a slot for his performance as a Guantánamo Bay inmate in “The Mauritanian.”

The actress categories were filled with surprises. The group sidestepped the eight-time winner and 25-time nominee Meryl Streep, who could have been chosen for either “The Prom” or her role as a celebrated author in “Let Them All Talk.” Instead, voters opted for the Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova in the best actress in a musical or comedy category, for her ultra-crude, yet surprisingly sweet turn in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” Michelle Pfeiffer did nab a slot for her role as an aging Manhattan socialite in “French Exit” and she will compete against Taylor-Joy (“Emma”), Hudson (“Music”), and Rosamund Pike (“I Care a Lot”).

In the drama category, Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”), will vie against Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”), Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) and Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”).

Proving yet again that there is no longer a dividing line between film and television actors, Olivia Colman joined Taylor-Joy in being nominated for both mediums. Colman, a three-time Golden Globe winner, racked up nods for both “The Crown” and her supporting role in the feature drama “The Father.”


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