Who said comic book movies can’t be awards contenders? This morning, Marvel Studios scooped up its first ever Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, courtesy of the seismic box-office (and pop culture) hit Black Panther. That was one of the many pleasant surprises among this year’s crop of nominees. Unfortunately, Black Panther‘s director, Ryan Coogler, and stars Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan were also among the most high-profile snubs — a reminder that superhero cinema still has to prove itself to awards voters. Here are the biggest snubs and surprises from the nominees for the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards. —Ethan Alter, Kevin Polowy and Gwynne Watkins
SNUB: Ryan Coogler, Black Panther
The best-reviewed (and highest-grossing) Marvel movie yet shattered the Best Picture ceiling for comic-book movies, but the HFPA forgot to nominate the director who made it a global phenomenon: Ryan Coogler. The film’s charismatic stars Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan were similarly overlooked. The ball’s in your court now, Oscars — Wakanda forever.
SUPRISE: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
The buzz is real on Spider-verse, the new animated twist on Marvel’s beloved webslinger that brings Miles Morales (voiced by Dope breakout Shameik Moore) to the forefront. An Oscar nomination for Best Animated Film feels very much within grasp.
SURPRISE: Bohemian Rhapsody
Everyone expected Rami Malek to earn a Golden Globe nomination for his on-point portrayal of Queen’s superstar singer, Freddie Mercury. But controversy over the film’s historical omissions, to say nothing of director Bryan Singer’s on-set conduct, seemed to disqualify the movie from Best Picture nomination. Chalk this surprise nod up to its stellar box-office record, to the tune of $166 million and counting.
Donald Glover deservedly scored a Best Actor nomination for the acclaimed second season of his FX series, but the show’s absence from the Best Comedy Series category — where it triumphed two years ago — is an unfortunate oversight. We can’t be the only ones hoping that Teddy Perkins crashes Hollywood’s biggest party on Jan. 6.
SURPRISE: The Good Place
Everyone agrees that The Good Place is forking great, but NBC’s afterlife comedy has struggled to score serious awards recognition. That finally changed this year, as the show picked up an overdue Best Comedy Series nomination, as well as a nod for star Kristen Bell. We would have taken a nomination for Ted Danson as well, but frankly any Golden Globe attention for this show is heavenly.
SNUB: This Is Us
Fans of TV’s infamous tearjerking may be shedding a few this morning after the NBC drama was completely shut out by the Globes after back-to-back years of scoring three nominations (including Best Drama in both 2017 and 2018) and winning one (Sterling K. Brown for Best Actor, Drama in 2018).
SURPRISE: Sacha Baron Cohen, Who Is America?
The Borat star generted plenty of headlines (and lawsuits) for his stunty undercover tactics (most often taking aim at right-wing public figures) in the Showtime series, but he hasn’t been considered a genuine awards threat. That changed with a Globes nomination, where he beat out Anthony Anderson (Black-ish), Ted Danson (The Good Place), and William H. Macy (Shameless) in TV’s Best Actor, Comedy category.
SNUB: First Man
Damien Chazelle’s handsomely crafted Neil Armstrong biopic premiered to strong festival buzz, but achieved lukewarm box-office returns. Globes voters sided with the public, bestowing nominations for Claire Foy’s acclaimed performance as Armstrong’s wife and partner in his astral obsession, Janet. But the titular first man, Ryan Gosling, went overlooked and Chazelle failed to repeat as a Best Director nominee.
SNUB: Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Jenkins’s gorgeous drama set in 1970s Harlem, received a Best Picture nomination, but the Moonlight director was left out of the running for Best Director. However, Jenkins did receive a nomination for his screenplay, adapted from the James Baldwin novel.
SURPRISE: John C. Reilly
Between The Sisters Brothers, Ralph Breaks the Internet and Stan & Ollie, Reilly is having a great year (he also still has the Will Ferrell reunion comedy Holmes & Watson on the way). That had to help him land in Best Actor, Musical or Comedy for Ollie, a category that was admittedly thin with Oscar contenders like Bradley Cooper and Rami Malek competing in Drama.
Steve McQueen’s acclaimed, female-led crime drama was shut out of the Golden Globes entirely, with no nominations for the director (a previous nominee for 12 Years a Slave), the ensemble (including buzzy performances from Viola Davis and Elizabeth Debicki), or Gillian Flynn’s screenplay.
SNUB: Hugh Jackman, The Front Runner
Heading into awards season, Jackman’s performance as former Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart appeared to be the front runner for a Best Actor nomination. (The fact that he’s a perennial favourite amongst the HFPA didn’t hurt either.) Unfortunately for the former Wolverine, The Front Runner was immediately buried in a landslide of competing prestige pictures when it arrived in theaters, sending his own poll numbers plunging.
SURPRISE: Rosamund Pike, A Private War
The Golden Globes are always good for a few shockers — seemingly out-there nominees that weren’t generally on the awards radar. Top Shock #1 in the film categories goes to Rosamund Pike, who earned her second nod for playing war correspondent Marie Colvin in Matthew Heineman’s unheralded drama, and even more impressively bested the likes of Viola Davis (Widows), Julia Roberts (Ben Is Back) and Yalitza Aparicio (Roma).
SNUB: A Quiet Place
While horror movies are an easy sell to audiences, awards groups are more selective when it comes to honoring things that go bump in the night. Despite taking a major bite out of the box office, A Quiet Place couldn’t make a ruckus in the competitive Best Picture race, and director John Krasinski was similarly eliminated from Best Director contention. Ironically, the one area where the movie was recognized involved audio: composer Marco Beltrami picked up a Best Original Score nomination.
SNUB: The Romanoffs
Look, Mad Men would be a tough act to follow for anyone, including its creator, Matthew Weiner. Still, the muted critical and awards reception for his star-studded Amazon Prime series must sting a little bit, especially with all the love showered on Amazon shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Homecoming. Maybe he should have called it Mad Romanoffs?
SURPRISE: Laura Dern, The Tale
Dern gives what may be her career-best performance in this intense, taboo-busting drama, about a journalist who realises that a romanticised “affair” she had at age 13 was actually sexual abuse. Writer-director Jennifer Fox’s autobiographical film astonished audiences at Sundance but received a more muted reception from its straight-to-HBO debut. A Globe nomination for Dern is a welcome end to its year-long journey.
SNUB: Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
What about Bobby? In what might be the single most surprising snub among film categories, early Oscar favourite Sam Elliott was left off the Globes ballot for his heartrending turn as the anguished brother of anguished rock star Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) in a film that felt like it had “Globes sweep” written all over it.
SNUB: Robin Wright, House of Cards
The sixth and final season of House of Cards made Wright’s character, Claire Underwood, the center of the show, after sexual assault allegations against Kevin Spacey (who played her conniving President husband) led to his departure. Despite receiving two previous Golden Globe nominations and one win for her performance on the political series, Wright was snubbed for her most pivotal season of all.
The BBC series Bodyguard hasn’t exactly been dominating water cooler discussions (meaning social media) in the same vein as Game of Thrones. But the police drama, starring GoT alum Richard Madden (aka Robb Stark), will surely get a big boost from its recognition by the Globes, where it earned a meal ticket over The Handmaid’s Tale, This Is Us, and Westworld in TV’s top category. Madden also scored a nom for Best Actor, Drama.
SNUB: Private Life
A Netflix original film, Tamara Jenkins’s painfully realistic comedy-drama stars Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti as a middle-aged urban couple whose fertility struggles are beginning to overwhelm their lives and marriage. Unfortunately, the movie’s stellar reviews and Giamatti’s status as a Golden Globes favourite weren’t enough to persuaded the HFPA to add it to their binge-watch it.
The 76th Annual Golden Globes take place on Sunday, 6 January. Read more