The nominations for the 78th Golden Globe Awards have officially been announced commencing the Hollywood award season. Six-time Golden Globe winner, Sarah Jessica Parker and fellow Golden Globe winner Taraji P. Henson announced the nominations virtually, another amusing signage of the Covid Pandemic.
The best director nominees this year scream empowerment with women dominating a category that historically has been run by men. Of the five nominees for the award, three are women, which is positively refreshing to see. Shockingly the last female nomination was back in 2014 when Ava DuVernay received her nom for the hit film Selma. This year, Regina King (One Night in Miami), Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Girl) have all bagged themselves a nomination for their films. All three women have made history and thus paving the way for more women to be nominated in this category, not only for the Golden Globes but for all other illustrious awards.
King, back in 2019, won an Academy Award as well as a Globe for her performance in If Beale Street Could Talk. Now, she is showcasing her talent behind the camera, after directing episodes for television, making her film directional debut.
History has been made in this category for more reason than one. King is the second black woman to be featured in this category and Zhao is the first female of Asian descent to receive a nomination for direction. Emerald Fennell, known for her role as Camilla Parker Bowles in Netflix’s The Crown, has been nominated for her first feature-length film, Promising Young Girl, which holds four nominations including Best Motion Picture (Drama) as well as Best Screenplay for which Fennell has been nominated again.
Only one woman in the history of the Golden Globes has bagged the award for best director and that was Miss Barbra Streisand for her work on the film Yentl back in 1984. Perhaps, 2021 will be the year another female joins the winner’s circle alongside Streisand, but the nominations alone have made history this year.
The biggest disappointment this year belongs to the nomination of Emily in Paris. One of the show’s writers, Deborah Copaken, described the show in The Guardian as “A show about a white American selling luxury whiteness, in a pre-pandemic Paris scrubbed free of its vibrant African and Muslim communities”. This show, whilst a fun and light-hearted watch, receiving a nomination for Best TV series (Musical or Comedy) over the genius writing of Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You is an inexcusable ‘snub’. This show follows the aftermath of a rape using humour and soul, worlds away from the monotonous writing of Emily in Paris. The lead in the show, Lily Collins, has received a nomination for Best Actress in a TV series (Musical or Comedy) which in fairness would be deserved if playing a privileged white American was acting.
Due to cinema closures and viewers stuck at home, streaming services have taken the lead in nominations this year. Netflix has the upper hand with 42 nominations including The Crown (6 noms – Best Drama, series and acting nods), Ozark (4 noms) and the popular The Queen’s Gambit (2 noms). Other platforms such as Amazon attained 10 nominations and newer platforms like Apple TV+ claimed 2 nominations whilst Disney+ took nominations for the wildly acclaimed movie Soul, and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, that arrived on the platform over Summer.
This year the Carol Burnett Award will be presented to Norman Lear for his work that, according to the HFPA President Ali Sar, has “revolutionised the industry”. He will be the third recipient of the award previously given to Ellen DeGeneres and Carol Burnett, herself. Actress and activist, Jane Fonda will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
The Globes have highlighted diversity this year in numerous categories. What once used to be an award show entirely dominated by white men has rightfully transformed into an eclectic mix of talent. The award show will be held on the 28th of February co-hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
By Jessica Matthewson and Emma Barton