The most shocking snubs and surprises of the 2021 Golden Globes film nominations
Every year, Hollywood wakes up bright and (way too) early to find out who made the cut at the Golden Globes. And every year inevitably there are those who wake up to good news, and those who sadly do not.
On Wednesday, Taraji P. Henson and Sarah Jessica Parker announced this year's crop of nominees, and per usual, there were a number of shocking inclusions and omissions on the film side. Below, EW breaks down some of the biggest snubs and surprises of this year's Golden Globes nominations list.
SURPRISE: A record THREE women nominated in Best Director
On way too many nominations mornings in years past we've decried the lack of female directors in this category (just see EW's post last year!) — but this year there's reason to celebrate! Not one, not two, but three different women's work was honored here: Regina King for One Night in Miami, Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman, and Chloé Zhao for Nomadland. It should also be noted that two of these three films — Fennell's and King's — were feature directorial debuts. Before this year, only five women had ever been nominated for Best Director at the Globes.
SNUB: Da 5 Bloods in any category
Going into nominations morning, Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods was expected to potentially pick up a number of nods, including Best Drama, Best Actor for Delroy Lindo, Best Supporting Actor for the late Chadwick Boseman, and Best Director for Lee. Unfortunately the Vietnam war drama walked away completely empty-handed, and after picking up a number of important critics prizes and precursors including AFI Top 10 honors and being named Best Film from the National Board of Review, it was pretty shocking.
SURPRISE: Best Supporting Actor — Jared Leto (The Little Things)
The Golden Globes take their role of being the first major televised awards very seriously in that they just love to be first to nominate something. Even still, nobody could have predicted this nod for Leto's role in John Lee Hancock's thriller, which also stars Denzel Washington and Rami Malek. Hearing his name called was one of the bigger shocks on Wednesday morning, especially considering the film was just released last week and only started screening for critics pretty recently.
SNUB: Best Supporting Actress — Yuh-jung Youn (Minari)
The Globes' controversial handling of Minari aside, Yuh-Jung Youn was still widely predicted to show up in Best Supporting Actress for her hilarious and touching turn as grandma Soonja, who comes to stay with her daughter's family when they struggle to make their new life in Arkansas. The supporting categories at the Globes are always interesting because, unlike with Best Actor and Best Actress, they're not split up by type of film (Drama or Comedy/Musical). This makes the category more competitive, and it looks like the presumed frontrunner lost out here to Jodie Foster, who was more of a surprise nominee for her great turn in The Mauritanian.
SURPRISE: Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical and Best Picture, Comedy or Musical — Kate Hudson and Music
This was another one that seemingly came out of left field. Music, which was written and directed by singer-songwriter Sia, has not yet been released (that happens next week), but early reviews have thus far not been kind to the film, which snuck into the Best Musical or Comedy category. This hasn't stopped the Golden Globes before mind you (The Tourist for Best Picture, anyone?), but it's nevertheless jarring when it happens. The film has also stirred some controversy for its casting of Maddie Ziegler as an autistic girl instead of an actor on the spectrum, which makes this even more of a head-scratcher.
SURPRISE: Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical — James Corden (The Prom)
The Prom, with all its "zazz" and its starry cast, is pure Globes fodder. Even still, Corden's inclusion here, which was the only performance from the film to be nominated, is shocking to say the least. Perennial nominee and castmate Meryl Streep didn't even get in, for Pete's sake! Now that's a snub.
SNUB: Best Supporting Actor — Paul Raci (Sound of Metal)
Raci, who has cleaned up with critics groups and with an NBR honor so far this awards season, was nowhere to be seen on Wednesday morning. As Joe, the leader of a community for deaf people struggling with addiction, Raci is Sound of Metal's beating heart, and brings some much-needed guidance to the main protagonist, Ruben (an astounding Riz Ahmed). Although Ahmed's nomination is much deserved, it's sad to see his mention be the only one representing the indie darling.
SURPRISE: Best Actor in a Drama — Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian)
By far the biggest pleasant surprise in the lead acting categories was Tahar Rahim's inclusion for his devastating turn as Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Guantanamo Bay inmate who's been held for years without charges. Rahim lost about 20 pounds and learned two languages for the role, which also saw him endure some of the real torture portrayed in the film. This is Rahim's first Golden Globe nomination, and he likely beat out Globes favorites Tom Hanks (News of the World) and George Clooney (The Midnight Sky) for the spot. Not bad.
SNUB: Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical — On the Rocks
While Sofia Coppola's story of a woman who suspects her husband is cheating and enlists the help of her playboy dad to investigate did earn a nom for star Bill Murray, it lost out in the major category it was expected to be a player in. Instead, this comedy's spot went to surprise nominee Music (see above), which was nominated alongside unsurprising nominees Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Hamilton, Palm Springs, and The Prom.
SURPRISE: Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical — Rosamund Pike (I Care A Lot)
Rosamund Pike is deliciously evil in this dark satire, and it's great to see her here. The film received rave reviews out of its TIFF premiere last year, but it's failed to pick up any awards buzz from voting groups so far, which is what makes this inclusion so surprising, but much deserved.
SNUB: Best Actress in a Drama — Zendaya (Malcolm & Marie)
Though Malcolm & Marie received a chilly response from critics, the Golden Globes love to bestow their honors on rising stars, and this seemed like just the place for Zendaya to stake her claim in this year's crowded Best Actress race. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, and the Netflix film was ultimately not nominated elsewhere.