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Previewing the 2020 Golden Globes

Greg W. Locke

Greg W. Locke

Whatzup Features Writer

Published February 10, 2021

Like most folks, I’m much more a fan of the Oscars than I am the Golden Globes. But those two programs are the alphas of the awards show season, whether we like it or not. 

Before we get to the recently released Golden Globe nominations for the 2020 movie year, it feels necessary to point out the major differences between the two shows.

For starters, we have the voters. The Golden Globes are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press (a flunky group of names you’ve never heard) while the Oscars are voted on by the Academy (a prestigious, carefully selected group of people who work in the industry). 

To say that the Academy is more legit than the HFP is the understatement of the year. In fact, the HFP is typically considered to be something of a joke. The rap sheet on that body of voters is that they’re simply foreigners who love famous people, and often favor British actors. So the credibility factor very much goes to the Oscars by far. Not even a conversation.

Also, the Golden Globes split their categories up into Comedy and Drama, and the Oscars do not. The Golden Globes also give awards for television shows and the Oscars do not.

And, lastly, the Golden Globes is a fun show to watch, and the Oscars is, for the most part, a very serious night. People get drunk during the Globes ceremony, people make fun of each other. 

The Oscars, on the other hand, play out with the seriousness of a Catholic Mass.

So what I’m saying is that, no, you don’t really need to take the Golden Globes very seriously. Their winners, while sometimes predictive of Oscar trends, are often baffling. But the show, which will be hosted by Amy Poehler and Tiny Fey and will air on NBC on Feb. 28, should be a fun watch.

Now, onward to a few brief thoughts on some of this year’s major Golden Globe film categories:

Best Director

This is easily the most interesting year for Best Director nominees that I can remember. 

Somehow Kelly Reichardt didn’t get nominated for the year’s most celebrated film, First Cow, but three other female directors did receive nominations. 

I’m pretty sure Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) is a lock. Her competition is David Fincher (Mank), Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Regina King (One Night in Miami), and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman). No love for Charlie Kaufman.

Best Lead Actor (Drama) 

My pick in this category would be Riz Ahmed, whose performance in Sound of Metal was easily my favorite of 2020. More than likely Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) will win. 

Also in the running: Gary Oldman (Mank), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), and ScreenTime favorite Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian).

Best Lead Actress (Drama) 

Francis McDormand (Nomadland) has this locked up. Those lucky to get a nomination include Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), and Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom).

Best Lead Actor (Comedy or Musical)

This crop of nominations is the best example of the Hollywood Foreign Press essentially just liking celebrity culture. 

I think Sacha Baron Cohen will win for the second Borat film. In his way are James Corden (The Prom), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Dev Patel (The Personal History of David Copperfield), and Andy Samberg (Palm Springs). Samberg also stands a good chance.

Best Lead Actress (Comedy or Musical) 

Here we have four blonde, white women, only one of which was in a film people saw. 

I’m guessing that that actress, Maria Bakalova (Borat), will win. Her competition: Kate Hudson (Music), Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit), Rosamund Pike (I Care a Lot), and Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma).

Best Supporting Actress 

As I’m reading through all these nominees I can’t help but think two things: 

1. The HFP is really bad at this.

2. It was a notably bad year at the movies. 

Hopefully, Amanda Seyfried (Mank) wins, as she’s the only actress who was in a film that was widely viewed. Other nominees: Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Coleman (The Father), Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian), and, lastly, Helena Zengel (News of the World), who may get a surprise win.

Best Supporting Actor 

In my opinion, this is the best category this year. All the actors gave incredible performances in films that people actually saw. 

I’m going to guess that Sacha Baron Cohen will win for The Trial of the Chicago 7, but really, any of the nominees could take this one. 

Cohen’s competition includes Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Jared Leto (The Little Things), Bill Murray (On the Rocks), and Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami). Leto might take this one, as he has the most star power and gave the best performance of the nominees from what I’ve seen.

Best Film (Comedy) 

This is the weakest crop of Best Picture nominees I can remember seeing. I’m not even going to try to predict what the HFP does with this category. 

Nominees include Borat Subsequent Movie Film, Hamilton (what?), Music (cool title, guys!), Palm Springs (seriously?), and The Prom. Oof. While I loved the Borat flick, I don’t think it’s a Best Picture kind of movie.

Best Film (Drama) 

The nominees this year aren’t so great, and Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland probably has it locked up on the strength of buzz alone. 

Also nominated: The Trial of the Chicago 7, Promising Young Woman, Mank, and The Father. Weak year.


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