With the announcement of the nominees for the 78th annual Golden Globes ceremony, awards season is truly underway. And while we won't know who'll take home the trophies until Sunday, Feb. 28, we now know who at least is in the running.
And we also know who isn't in the running!
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) revealed its list of nominees in 25 categories on Wednesday via livestream with Sarah Jessica Parker and Taraji P. Henson, and we weren't surprised to see some regulars pop up again: Viola Davis ("Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"), Frances McDormand ("Nomadland"), Al Pacino ("Hunters"), Sacha Baron Cohen ("Borat Subsequent Moviefilm"), Nicole Kidman ("The Undoing") and Jim Parsons ("Hollywood").
It also won't come as a surprise that this year, streaming has already won the awards. Thanks to COVID quarantines that led to theater shutdowns, most of what's getting voted on this year came to audiences through our small screens — including films. Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu are just three of the platforms that can already consider themselves winners.
But when it comes to shows and actors, there were plenty of surprises — by inclusion and omission — that struck us throughout the selections.
Hot shows and films of the moment are often favorites with Globes voters, but this year that was no guarantee: "Bridgerton" got royally shut out of all categories, despite its popularity. But everyone's other Netflix obsession, "The Queen's Gambit," found berth in the limited TV series category, while star Anya Taylor-Joy picked up two acting nominations, for "Gambit" and the feature film "Emma."
Voters also seemed to love "Ratched," another Netflix series that didn't resonate with critics — but picked up three nominations: for stars Sarah Paulson and Cynthia Nixon, plus one for best TV series. They also said "oui!" to "Emily In Paris" with a series nomination, plus one for Lily Collins' sparkling performance.
But while the categories did feel more diverse in terms of the range of projects and performers included ("Lovecraft Country" and "Ma Rainey's" each pulled in nominations, for example, and three women made the shortlist for best director), the HFPA overlooked Spike Lee's critically acclaimed "Da Five Bloods" completely, including star Delroy Lindo. Zendaya's performance in "Malcolm & Marie" was another omission.
Still, not even veterans are guaranteed a nomination. Five-time winner Tom Hanks' new film "News of the World" picked up nominations for young supporting star Helena Zengel and James Newton Howard's original score, but not Hanks (who also got snubbed for his Apple+ film "Greyhound").
And while "The Prom" was good to James Corden, who earned an acting nomination (and the film is up for best motion picture, musical or comedy), nine-time winner Meryl Streep got shut out of both "Prom" and her film "Let Them All Talk." Plus, legend Sophia Loren wasn't tapped for her "The Life Ahead," though the movie did earn a nomination.
And yet, while we may not initially think of Kate Hudson as a veteran, she is the daughter of legends and has an over 20-year career in the business — though her nomination was for "Music," a film that hasn't even been released yet.
That's par for the course with HFPA; critics see films before regular viewers do, which may make some of the nominations a bit head-scratching for those not in the loop. (That helps explain "The Father," which isn't out yet but is likely to do quite well in award season, and earned four nominations: for stars Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman, best drama and best screenplay.)
Then there are the films and shows that make you just ... wonder. "Hamilton," for example, landed a motion picture comedy/musical nomination, and the biggest surprise was that it qualified at all: it's not a movie, it's a film of a stage production! Well, why not. And the surprise of "Promising Young Woman" receiving a motion picture drama nomination is that it was submitted as a comedy.
Which just goes to show that there are all kinds of surprises to be had at the Golden Globes. Be sure to tune into the 78th annual Golden Globes on Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC for even more shockers!