Golden Globes takeaways: A record for female directors and more!

  • The nominees for the 78th Golden Globes were announced on Wednesday.
  • Netflix earned a record 42 nominations with Mank as the top contender in the film category and The Crown in the television category.
  • The Globes gave three nods to women in the Best Director category.
  • Chadwick Boseman garnered a Best Acting nomination for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.


Netflix's Mank, a black-and-white drama that dives into Hollywood's Golden Age with the making of Citizen Kane, on Wednesday topped the nominations for the pandemic-delayed Golden Globes, as female directors finally broke through with multiple nods.

Mank earned six nominations, including best drama, followed by fellow Netflix movie The Trial of the Chicago 7 on five, in an announcement that offered an important, early glimpse into the movies leading this year's unique awards season.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which has only previously nominated five female film directors in its long history, gave Globes nods to three women in the category this year.

The unveiling of the nominations, remotely co-hosted by Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker and Taraji P Henson, whittled down the list of films and stars headed for the Globes ceremony later this month - itself seen as a bellwether for the Oscars in April.

This video screen grab obtained February 3, 2021 c
This video screen grab obtained February 3, 2021 courtesy of NBC shows Sarah Jessica Parker(L),and Taraji P. Henson during the Golden Globes nominations.

As expected, pandemic-related theatre closures and blockbuster delays boosted smaller, stay-at-home movies from streamers this year, as Netflix thrashed the competition with a whopping 22 film nominations - up from an impressive 17 last year.

Rival Amazon Prime earned seven film nominations, including three apiece for civil rights-themed play adaptation One Night in Miami and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.

Sacha Baron Cohen starred in the sequel mockumentary about fictional Kazakh journalist Borat - which famously entrapped Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani - and earned a second acting nomination for his supporting work in Chicago 7, about the city's 1968 anti-war riots.

"We're so honoured - and just in case we don't win any, I've already hired Rudy Giuliani to contest the results," tweeted the British comedian.

5 Bloods snubbed 

A small batch of prestige titles from Tinseltown's traditional major studios held their own, with Disney's Nomadland, Sony's The Father and Universal's Promising Young Woman each earning four nods.

#MeToo revenge thriller Promising Young Woman in particular exceeded expectations, with recognition for best drama, director, screenplay and actress for Carey Mulligan.

Mulligan will compete with Viola Davis for 1920s blues drama Ma Rainey's Black Bottom as well as Frances McDormand for Nomadland, which swept the prizes at the Venice and Toronto festivals and is the pick of many experts for overall best picture.

In the acting categories, late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman was also nominated for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

But he missed out on a second posthumous nod for Da 5 Bloods - which failed to snare any nominations, despite the choice of director Spike Lee's children as this year's Globes ambassadors, and a widely praised lead performance by Delroy Lindo.

Instead, the fiercely competitive best actor in a drama category will feature heavyweights such as Anthony Hopkins for The Father, adapted from a French play about dementia, and Gary Oldman for Mank.

Surprisingly, Meryl Streep missed out on a nomination for Netflix musical The Prom, which saw British talk show host James Corden honoured instead.

Female directors arrive 

Last year, the HFPA was slammed for its failure to nominate any female directors, but this time Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), Regina King (One Night in Miami) and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) all earned nods.

Only five women had been nominated for best director across 77 previous editions of the Globes, with Barbra Streisand still the only female winner for 1983's Yentl. Zhao becomes the first Asian female recognised in the category.

Disney+'s Hamilton, created from multiple performances featuring the original Broadway cast, earned two nominations, including best musical or comedy film, and best actor for creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

It is not allowed to compete at the Oscars, meaning the Globes represent the best chance for the Tony-winning musical about the US founding fathers to scoop up film accolades.

Foreign-language films, separated out into their own Globes pool, saw acclaimed Korean-American family drama Minari nominated as it bids to emulate last year's all-conquering Parasite.

In the television categories, Netflix was again dominant, scoring 20 nominations. Closest rival HBO earned seven, plus a further two for its new streaming platform HBO Max with The Flight Attendant.

The latest season of British royal family drama The Crown had the most recognition with six nominations, ahead of recent Emmys smash hit Schitt's Creek on five.

The 78th Golden Globes, voted on by the 90-odd members of the HFPA, will be broadcast on 28 February. Comedians Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will return to host the ceremony for the fourth time.

This time around though the pair will not be in the same room during the broadcast. Variety reports that Tina will broadcast live from The Rainbow Room, at the Rockefeller Center in New York and Amy will host from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California.

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