The Snubs And Surprises Of The 2021 Golden Globes Nominations

"I May Destroy You," "Da 5 Bloods" and a handful of buzzed-about TV series, films and performances were sadly ignored this year.

January is finally over, which means the 2021 awards season is about to begin. 

On Wednesday, presenters Sarah Jessica Parker and Taraji P. Henson announced the Golden Globe Award nominations from the comfort of their own homes. Netflix received 42 nominations for their films and TV shows, including “The Crown,” “Mank” and “The Queen’s Gambit,” while distributers like Amazon, HBO and Disney earned some love, too. 

But there were plenty of snubs — like Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods” and Meryl Streep’s performance in “The Prom” — as well as surprises, including nominations for Sia’s film “Music” and the Netflix series “Emily in Paris.”  

The 78th Golden Globes are set to take place on Feb. 28, a date previously slated for the 2021 Oscars. Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will broadcast live from separate coasts, with Fey in The Rainbow Room in New York City and Poehler at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California. There’s no news yet on whether nominees will be invited to participate in person or remotely.

HuffPost reporters broke down all the snubs and surprises of the 2021 Golden Globe nominations: 

SURPRISE: “Emily In Paris” for Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy

Nothing against “Emily in Paris,” I binge-watched the heck out of it. But do I think it deserves to be nominated for a Golden Globe over the likes of “Ramy,” “Insecure” and “Dead to Me?” Non. The “American girl in Paris” story had impeccable style but very little to say. Truly odd to see it celebrated in this way. Even “Bridgerton” was snubbed! ― Leigh Blickley 

SNUB: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” for Best Motion Picture - Drama 

With a cast of stellar actors including Viola Davis, Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman and the late Chadwick Boseman, not to mention direction by Tony Award-winning playwright George C. Wolfe, it’s surprising that “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” did not make it into the Best Drama category. Happily, Davis and Boseman were both recognized for their performances, but it would have been nice to see more noms. Based on the play by August Wilson, the film has all the trappings of the kinds of films that often make it into this category. It’s a period piece, a musical biopic of sorts, and it makes some searing observations about racial politics in America ― in Ma Rainey’s time as well as today. ― Zeba Blay

SURPRISE: “Ratched” for Best Television Series - Drama 

The critics might not be fawning over Ryan Murphy’s recent Netflix offerings, but the Globes remain ever-so-committed to the prolific creator’s relatively subpar series on the streaming service. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that the HFPA rained nominations down upon the “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” prequel series, “Ratched.” But, um, did they actually watch it? The eight-episode horror thriller was ridiculously campy at best (Sharon Stone and her pet monkey) and downright nonsensical at its worst, failing to reveal anything about the iconic villain played by Sarah Paulson, who it physically pains us to root against. Here is another case of Murphy prioritizing style over substance, but hey, maybe he’ll get it right in the *groan* already-ordered second season? ― Cole Delbyck 

Meryl Streep as Dee Dee Allen in "The Prom."
Meryl Streep as Dee Dee Allen in "The Prom."

SNUB: Meryl Streep for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 

Ryan Murphy’s “The Prom” received love in the form of a Best Picture - Musical or Comedy nomination and a shoutout for James Corden in the Best Performance by an Actor category. The thing is, Corden’s portrayal of queer Broadway star Barry Glickman was lambasted by critics who called it “homophobic,” “offensive” and “so bad.” Streep, however, was celebrated as “the queen of this musical,” yet her name was left off the docket. As always, the seasoned actor showcased a well of talent in both “The Prom” and Steven Soderbergh’s “Let Them All Talk,” which was also left off the list. For the first time in what feels like forever, Meryl Streep has some competition. (And it’s in the form of Kate Hudson.) ― Leigh Blickley

SURPRISE: “Music” for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

Have you heard of the motion picture “Music”? I’m not sure most people have, including some entertainment journalists who cover movies for a living. But it somehow made off with two Globe nominations, including one for Kate Hudson’s performance and another for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. “Music” marks the pop star Sia’s directorial debut, featuring Hudson as a drug dealer tasked with caring for her autistic half-sister (Maddie Ziegler). It doesn’t premiere on VOD until Feb. 12, and while that’s not unusual for this prolonged awards season, the movie’s marketing campaign has been suspiciously muted. Perhaps that’s because the film has already seen flack for casting a neurotypical actor as an autistic character. Whatever the reason, “Music” just got a whole lot of free PR. ― Matthew Jacobs 

SNUB: Jurnee Smollett for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama

No disrespect to the women who were nominated in this category — Olivia Colman truly is a queen in “The Crown” and Laura Linney is oh so good and scary in “Ozark” — but Jurnee Smollett had the performance of her lifetime in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country.” In Episode 3 of the horror drama, she conjures up the spirits of the past to address the harm that a racist doctor had caused them and to let them know that they could still fight back. It is a stirring scene, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association should be ashamed for overlooking Smollett’s powerful performance in the series. ― Erin E. Evans 

SURPRISE: Emerald Fennell nominated for Best Director - Motion Picture 

She might play Camilla Parker Bowles on “The Crown,” but it’s fair to call Emerald Fennell queen of the Golden Globes. The actor and director’s debut feature, “Promising Young Woman,” picked up key nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress in the drama categories, as well as nods for Best Director and Best Screenplay, cementing Fennell as a cinematic force with an eye for exacting social commentary. The candy-colored, genre-blending revenge thriller isn’t exactly the easiest watch, but it proves that taking big swings can certainly pay off come awards season. Now, Fennell is part of the all-too-exclusive club of female directors to be be recognized by the Golden Globes, alongside this year’s nominees Chloé Zhao (“Nomandland”) and Regina King (“One Night In Miami”). Something tells us we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future. ― Cole Delbyck

SNUB: “Minari” entirely shut out other than in Best Motion Picture - Foreign Language

Back in December, the HFPA had already landed itself in hot water when its misguided and arbitrary rules required “Minari” to compete as a “foreign film” at the Golden Globes, solely because the majority of the movie’s dialogue is in Korean. The rule is deeply insulting because the film is a distinctly American story about a Korean American family cobbling together a life in rural Arkansas in the 1980s, written and directed by an American filmmaker and featuring an American star. “Minari” did land a nomination for foreign film, but received no recognition for its acting, directing or writing. Lee Isaac Chung’s film is anchored by a beautifully plaintive and ruminative performance from Steven Yeun as a father and husband trying to reconcile his rose-colored dreams with the reality of surviving as an immigrant. Yeun, who was snubbed in the Globes’ crowded Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama category, deserves all of the major award nominations. He would become the first Asian American actor to be nominated for the Best Actor Oscar — if he’s nominated, which unfortunately seems like a big if. Here’s hoping the film’s upcoming release later this month can help get it on more awards voters’ radars. — Marina Fang

SNUB: Delroy Lindo for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama, and “Da 5 Bloods” for Best Motion Picture - Drama 

Delroy Lindo was christened an awards frontrunner when “Da 5 Bloods” premiered on Netflix last June, a whole lifetime ago. That’s a long while to maintain momentum, even for a performance as fierce as Lindo’s. In fact, the entirety of Spike Lee’s ambitious Vietnam War movie — his best in years — was blanked by the Globes. To be fair, the best-actor contest is so stacked that Lindo wasn’t that category’s only omission. In a total surprise, “The Mauritanian” star Tahar Rahim also nudged out Steven Yeun (“Minari”), Tom Hanks (“News of the World”), Mads Mikkelsen (“Another Round”) and Lakeith Stanfield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”). That said, how could anyone forget Lindo’s impassioned “salt in the Vaseline” monologue? ― Matthew Jacobs

SNUB: “The Boys” for Best Television Series - Drama and Antony Starr for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama 

Like superhero Homelander trying to get his son to fly, the Golden Globes just pushed “The Boys” off the roof. In Season 2, Amazon’s anti-superhero superhero show was snubbed yet again for Best Drama series as well as all acting noms. Though no snub was more surprising than the exclusion of Homelander himself, Antony Starr, who spent Season 2 going from sensually drinking milk one minute to becoming a homicidal megalomaniac the next. Thanks to smart writing, which took on white supremacy and challenged hero-worship, coupled with giant, whale-sized set pieces, Season 2 of the comic book show was more popular and critically acclaimed than ever. Barack Obama even named it as one of his favorite shows. What more is there? But most importantly — and we can’t stress this enough — it’s objectively better than “Emily in Paris.” Excusez-moi, Golden Globes? It’s not entirely surprising for the superhero genre to get overlooked for awards, but unlike Homelander’s kid, “The Boys” is already soaring. ― Bill Bradley 

SURPRISE: Daisy Edgar-Jones for Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

In a most welcome surprise, Daisy Edgar-Jones, who captivated as Marianna in Hulu’s limited series “Normal People,” finally got the recognition she deserves. After being snubbed by the Emmys last year, Edgar-Jones’ moving performance in the young adult love story is being celebrated among the likes of Nicole Kidman (“The Undoing”), Cate Blanchett (“Mrs. America”), Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Queen’s Gambit”) and Shira Haas (“Unorthodox”). What a stacked category ― would’ve been ideal to see Michaela Coel (“I May Destroy You”) in there too, though. ― Leigh Blickley 

"I May Destroy You" was one of the most powerful shows on TV this year.
"I May Destroy You" was one of the most powerful shows on TV this year.

SNUB: “I May Destroy You” for Best Limited Series and Michaela Coel for Best Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

When it occurred to me that we hadn’t heard “I May Destroy You” mentioned at all during the nominations announcement, for a split second, I thought: “Maybe it wasn’t eligible, for whatever reason?” The Golden Globes often have some idiosyncratic rules and procedures, so I figured that had to be the only explanation for why the HBO limited series — one of the best pieces of television in 2020, if not the very best — was completely shut out. But it was eligible, making its omission baffling. Creator and star Michaela Coel crafted an astonishing meditation on trauma and interrogation of power, at times absolutely wrenching and at times slyly funny. It’s a singular creation from a singular voice. There’s nothing quite like it. Maybe it was too good for the Golden Globes. — Marina Fang

SNUB: Tom Pelphrey for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Supporting Role

Tom Pelphrey’s dynamic turn as Ben Davis on “Ozark” should have been a no-brainer for a Best Supporting Actor nom. As Ben, Pelphrey portrays Laura Linney’s on-screen brother, a man with bipolar disorder who becomes a liability to the shady family’s drug cartel lifestyle. His performance shows a level of vulnerability that is undeniable. Pelphrey was also snubbed for a nomination at the Emmys, and damn it, it’s past time he got some recognition for this role. ― Erin E. Evans