15 Snubs and Surprises From This Year's Golden Globe Nominations

  • Spike Lee's "Da 5 Bloods" was not nominated for the 78th Golden Globes presentations.
  • Three women are picked in the best director category, a historic feat.
  • All nominees in the best comedy show category are in their first season, save for "Schitt's Creek."

While "Queen's Gambit," "The Crown" "Schitt's Creek" and "Ted Lasso" will face off at the Golden Globes ceremony on Feb. 28, there are quite a few films and actors that didn't make Wednesday's nomination list.

Then, there were the actors, TV shows and films no one had expected to show up on the ballot.

The nominees for the 78th Golden Globes highlight some of the most popular TV programs and films that folks watched during the ongoing pandemic, including old favorites like "Ozark" and "Better Call Saul" as well as new obsessions like "The Mandalorian" and "Lovecraft Country."

Here are 15 of the most surprising nominations and the biggest snubs.

If you haven't had a chance to check out the full list of nominees for this year's Golden Globes, you can do so here.

Snub: 'Da 5 Bloods'

Heading into the nominations, Spike Lee's "Da 5 Bloods" was expected to pick up a number of nods, including best drama, best actor and best director. However, the Vietnam War drama was shutout.

Many were surprised considering Lee's film had nabbed a number of key critics prizes, including best film from the National Board Review and being selected as one of the top 10 films of the year by AFI.

Delroy Lindo, Norm Lewis, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and Chadwick Boseman star in "Da 5 Bloods."

Surprise: 3 female directors nominated

The Hollywood Foreign Press made history Wednesday when it nominated three women in the best director category. This is the first time that more than one woman has been honored in the category in any one year.

Regina King was nominated for "One Night in Miami," Chloe Zhao for "Nomadland" and Emerald Fennell for "Promising Young Woman."

Golden Globe nominees for Best Director: Chloe Zhao (L), Emerald Fennell (C), and Regina King
Getty Images
Golden Globe nominees for Best Director: Chloe Zhao (L), Emerald Fennell (C), and Regina King

Snub: 'One Night in Miami'

King's directorial debut may have earned her a Golden Globes nomination, but "One Night in Miami" was denied the best picture nod in the drama category.

The film, which follows Cassius Clay, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke and Malcom X as they meet one February night in Miami and discuss the responsibility of being successful Black men during the civil rights movement.

"One Night in Miami" secured nominations for best original song and best supporting actor for Leslie Odom Jr., who portrayed Cooke. Still, many expected the film to get a best picture nomination and a best screen play nod for Kemp Powers, who also co-wrote and co-directed the Pixar film "Soul."

Amazon Prime Video
Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, and Leslie Odom Jr. star in "One Night in Miami."

Surprise: James Corden, 'The Prom'

Ryan Murphy's adaption of the Broadway cult-favorite "The Prom" had middling reviews from critics and fans alike, garnering a "Rotten" 56% on Rotten Tomatoes from professional reviewers and a 65% audience score.

So, it came as a surprise when the film was not only nominated for best motion picture in the musical or comedy category, but that actor James Corden secured a nomination for best actor.

When the film was released on Netflix in December, Murphy and Corden received backlash for the latter's "stereotypical" portrayal of Barry Glickman, a gay man and Broadway star, who travels to a small town to help a lesbian student who has been banned from attending prom with her girlfriend.

Meryl Streep and James Corden performing in Netflix's "The Prom."

Snub: 'Minari'

Before the nomination announcement, the Hollywood Foreign Press had been criticized for its eligibility requirements for films like "Minari." Despite being an American production, "Minari" could not qualify for best picture as part of the drama or musical/comedy categories.

The Golden Globe guidelines do not allow a non-English-language film to be nominated in those categories. Since the majority of "Minari" is in Korean, it could only be nominated for best foreign language film.

While the film did land a nod in that category, it was the only nomination it received. Steven Yeun and Youn Yuh-Jung, who had critically acclaimed performances in the film, were not considered.

Still from "Minari."

Surprise: Kate Hudson, 'Music'

While "Music," a film written and directed by Sia, has not been released, that didn't stop the association from nominating actress Kate Hudson based on early screeners and reviews.

The inclusion of Hudson, regardless of warrant, is jarring considering the buzz of other performances and films that had been released more widely. Especially, considering how poorly received "Music" has been not only for its story, but its use of a neurotypical actor in the role of a nonverbal autistic girl. It holds a 29% "Rotten" score on Rotten Tomatoes from seven reviews.

Vertical Entertainment
Kate Hudson and Maddie Ziegler star in "Music."

Snub: Black-led dramas

It was a banner year for Black ensemble films. "One Night in Miami," "Da 5 Bloods," "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" and "Judas and the Black Messiah" stunned critics. However, none of these films was nominated for best picture or best screenplay.

As previously mentioned, King did secure a directing nod for "One Night in Miami," alongside two other nominations for the film. "Da 5 Bloods" was shut out.

"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" garnered acting nominations for Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman and "Judas and the Black Messiah" earned a best supporting actor nomination and one for best song.

Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Source: Netflix
Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Surprise: 'Hamilton'

There is no denying that "Hamilton" is a cultural phenomenon and has been worthy of its accolades, however, many were surprised when the film garnered a best picture and a best actor nomination. After all, it's a surprise that film even qualified in the first place considering it is a filmed version of a stage performance.

As it turns out, there are no rules that say a filmed stage play is not eligible. The film only needs to be "a comedy or drama in which songs are used in addition to spoken dialogue to further the plot" to qualify for the musical or comedy best picture category.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote and starred in "Hamilton," garnered the sole acting nomination.

Actor Leslie Odom, Jr. (L) and actor, composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (R) and cast of 'Hamilton' perform on stage during 'Hamilton' GRAMMY performance for The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Richard Rodgers Theater in New York City.
Theo Wargo | WireImage | Getty Images
Actor Leslie Odom, Jr. (L) and actor, composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (R) and cast of 'Hamilton' perform on stage during 'Hamilton' GRAMMY performance for The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Richard Rodgers Theater in New York City.

Snub: 'Dead To Me'

While season two of "Dead to Me" secured Emmy nominations for Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini, as well as a chance for best comedy series, the Netflix series was left off the ballot.

It seems the Golden Globes looked to new comedy series this year. "Schitt's Creek" was the only show nominated not in its first season. "Emily in Paris," "The Flight Attendant," "The Great" and "Ted Lasso" are all freshly minted series.

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini star in Netflix's "Dead to Me."

Surprise: Al Pacino, 'Hunters'

Oscar-winner Al Pacino made his return to TV in Amazon Prime Video's Nazi-killing drama "Hunters" this year, but the actor and the show failed to secure nominations in major categories at the 2020 Emmy Awards. That led many to believe it would also be shut out at the Golden Globes.

However, Pacino secured the lone nomination for the series — for a best actor nod.

Amazon Prime Video
Al Pacino and Logan Lerman star in "Hunters" on Amazon Prime Video.

Snub: 'What We Do in the Shadows'

The cult-favorite FX series adaptation of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi's vampire mockumentary scored eight nominations for the Emmys, including for outstanding comedy series, but struck out at the Golden Globes.

Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, and Natasia Demetriou star in the FX show "What We Do In The Shadows."

Surprise: Jared Leto, 'The Little Things'

Considering "The Little Things" only just dropped on HBO Max over the weekend, it's quite a surprise that Jared Leto snagged a nomination.

The film, which co-stars Denzel Washington and Rami Malek, was not expected to be an awards-bait movie, leaving many confused as to Leto's inclusion on the ballot. Some suggested that Leto's spot could have been given to Paul Raci from "Sound of Metal" or to make Boseman a double-nominee for his role in "Da 5 Bloods."

Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto star in "The Little Things."

Snub: Uzo Aduba, 'Mrs. America'

Uzo Aduba may have won the Emmy for best actress in a limited series or movie for her role in "Mrs. America," but that didn't guarantee her a spot on the Golden Globes ballot.

Instead, only star Cate Blanchett was nominated for the series, leaving Aduba empty-handed and critics confused.

Uzo Aduba stars in "Mrs. America" on Hulu.

Surprise: 'Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist'

"Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" was overlooked for Emmys contention last year, save for a nomination for best choreography, but that didn't stop leading lady Jane Levy from snagging a Golden Globe nomination.

The NBC musical dramedy didn't score a best comedy nomination, however.

Jane Levy stars in "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist."

Snub: Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett, 'Lovecraft Country'

The HBO series "Lovecraft Country" got a well-deserved best drama series nomination but failed to secure nods for any of its actors. Co-stars Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett were lauded for their performances but came up empty-handed.

Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett and Michael Kenneth Williams star in "Lovecraft Country."

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal owns Rotten Tomatoes.

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