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Golden Globe Nominations: As Befuddling As Ever

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It’s one thing to wake up early to witness a spectacular sunrise. It’s quite another to arise before dawn to take in the nutty Golden Globe nominations.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hands out the Globes, is a small fringe organization of some 80-odd foreign journalists, about 1% the size of the voting bloc for the Academy Awards. Yet its awards ceremony has become a TV hit, largely because of all the celebrities who attend.

The logistics for this year’s pandemic-era show, to be held on Feb. 28, remain murky, which, as is often the case, was also true of some of the nominations.

Music was nominated by the HFPA for best musical or comedy, even though it was widely panned and criticized for casting neurotypical actors as autistic characters. At the same time, Tahar Ramin from the little-known The Mauritanian was selected for best actor in a drama. Glenn Close, whose over-the-top performance in Hillbilly Elegy was singled out unfavorably by several critics, was nominated for best supporting actress.

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The Globe voters did do a few things right. For the first time in the awards show’s checkered history, three women were shortlisted for best director: Chloe Zhao from Nomadland, Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman and Regina King for One Night in Miami.

Because the HFPA makes multiple nominations in two movie categories -- drama and musical or comedy -- it can cast a wider net, which yielded nomination for a number of non-white performers.

A year after the Oscars nominated only one non-white performer for an acting role (Cynhtia Erivo from Harriet), the HFPA nominated multiple Black actors including Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman from Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah, Andra Day from The United States vs Billie, and Leslie Odom, Jr. for One Night in Miami.

Besides its nomination for filmmaker Zhao, “Nomadland” received multiple nominations, including best drama. But Spike Lee's well-received “Da Five Bloods” did not score picks that were anticipated. And owing to the Globe rules, “Minari,” one of the past year’s best-reviewed releases, was ineligible for best drama; instead, it will compete in the best foreign language category, as was the case with last year’s best picture winner, “Parasite.”

Netflix received the most nominations of any company, with 42 total selections, thanks to the movies The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Mank as well as two popular series, The Crown and The Queen’s Gambit.

Click here for a full list of the nominees.

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