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Golden Globes nominations 2021 – but who will win and who should win?



Golden Globes nominations 2021 - but who will win and who should win?

Film categories

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his own play is dominated by a superlative performance from Anthony Hopkins, as a man suffering from dementia, and finds a wholly original way to make us empathise with the character’s confusion. Plus, after the last twelve months, the care home scenes seem even more devastating.

The fact that so many bold and brilliant films about Black lives and racism have NOT made it onto this list (Da 5 Bloods, Judas and the Black Messiah and One Night in Miami, to name but three) suggests the members of the HFPA want an easy life. Everybody loves Nomadland and a win, in this category, would make history. Depressingly, no film directed by a woman has ever won this award.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

Nominated Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Andra Day (The United States vs Billie Holiday)

Should win There’s no right answer to this one

Andra Day’s film is an unknown quantity (it’s yet to be screened in the UK) and every other nominee is swoon-worthy. Carey Mulligan though commits every atom of her being to a brazenly divisive role and successfully channels so much righteous rage that it feels less like a performance than a call to arms.

Will win Frances McDormand

Because watching emotions wash over the face of her drifter Fern is a joy and Frannie’s a firm favourite with the HFPA.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Nominated Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank), Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian), Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal)

Should win Anthony Hopkins

Can I be the first to use the term Hopkinassance? OK, so it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but this feels like a declaration of intent from the 83 year-old till recently consigned to supporting roles in superhero romps (Thor Ragnarok) and Euro cack (Now Is Everything). 

Will win Chadwick Boseman

Boseman (who died of cancer in August) is genuinely incredible as ebullient, emotionally-scarred trumpeter, Levee. The film doesn’t give him quite enough to do, but the HFPA will never be able to give him another award. I’m sure the other actors on the list wouldn’t have it any other way.

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Should win Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

The funniest film of 2020 had a massive real-world impact, exposing the grubbiness of a certain attorney. Satire doesn’t always age well, but the terrifying Washington scenes (not to mention the general preoccupation with Covid and QAnon conspiracy theorists), still feel ahead of the curve.

Because it has lots of sequins and an ageless Meryl Streep on top form.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Nominated Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Kate Hudson (Music), Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit), Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma), Rosamund Pike (I Care A Lot)

Should win Maria Bakalova

The young Bulgarian, in her film debut, rises to every challenge, demonstrating a wicked gift for comedy, as well as a dedication to undercover journalism that borders on the insane.

Will win Michelle Pfeiffer

Because Pfeiffer hasn’t made a movie for ages and Hollywood can’t resist a comeback.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Should win Sacha Baron Cohen

Because he put his life on the line for a sequel that would have made money even if he’d just stood there and farted the Kazakhstan national anthem.

Will win Sacha Baron Cohen

It’s one of the loveable quirks of the HFPA that they adore him.

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Nominated Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Bill Murray (On the Rocks), Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Leslie Odom Jr (One Night in Miami), Jared Leto (The Little Things)

Should win Daniel Kaluuya

His performance in Judas and the Black Messiah is actually worthy of a Best Actor award and the 31 year-old Londoner is the bruised and beating heart of one of the best films of the year.

Which would be no bad thing. Massively popular in the States, partly thanks to the sky-lark voice he showed off in Hamilton, Odom Jr is fabulous as the pragmatic, pugnacious and witty Sam Cooke. As long as either he or Kaluuya go home with a trophy, justice will have been served.

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Nominated Amanda Seyfried (Mank), Helena Zengel (News of the World), Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian), Olivia Colman (The Father)

The young German actress is so natural it makes you gulp and she and Tom Hanks (snubbed mightily, in case you hadn’t noticed) are charming together.

Orson Welles apologised to Marion Davies for making her look like a crummy actress in his masterpiece, Citizen Kane. Celebrating Seyfried’s wily and euphoric turn as Davies would not only be a popular move (Seyfried was superb as a ditzy blonde in Mean Girls and deserves applause for her screwball skills) but would allow Hollywood to offer a belated mea culpa to William Randolph Hearst’s much-mocked mistress.

Best Director

Nominated Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), David Fincher (Mank), Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Regina King (One Night in Miami)

The awesomeness of her directing debt, One Night in Miami, should be acknowledged.

To be fair, she is a visionary. The 38 year-old, has a reverently scientific approach, approaching the weathered faces of her cast like an astronaut taking her first steps on the moon. And every gamble pays off. She gets several real nomads to play themselves and casually orchestrates their everyday epiphanies. Zhao makes it look easy but as a piece of film-making, this is basically flawless.

Best Screenplay

Nominated Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), Jack Fincher (Mank), Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton (The Father), Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman)

Should win Emerald Fennell

Her hyper-caffeinated writing takes us through so many twists and turns and punctuates grim home truths with a gazillion well-earned giggles.

He didn’t get the recognition he deserved in life and his son, director David, wants to put that right. 

Best Animated Feature

Nominated Soul, Wolfwalkers, Onward, Over the Moon, The Croods: A New Age

Obvs. It’s an ingenious study of life, death and absolutely everything in between and proves that Kemp Powers (who co-wrote the script) is a multi-tasking genius.

Unless the HFPA go mad and (copying the New York Film Critics Circle) give it to Tomm Moore’s Wolfwalkers, which is nice enough but lacks the visual splendour and narrative zip of Pixar’s instant classic. 

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

Nominated Minari, Another Round, The Life Ahead, Martin Eden, La Llorona

By rights, Lee Isaac Chung’s tender and microscopically subtle drama, about a Korean family in Arkansas, should be up for a Best Motion Picture Drama award. Alas, it falls foul of the rule that says you need a minimum of 50 per cent English-language dialogue to qualify for that category. Parasite’s Best Picture win at the Oscars was a game-changer but, clearly, protectionism is still alive and well at the Globes.

Because it’s the crowd-pleaser that everyone’s talking about.

TV categories

Best TV Series – Drama

Nominated The Crown, Lovecraft Country, The Mandalorian, Ozark, Ratched

Peter Morgan’s royal saga previously picked up the Globe for Best Drama back in 2017. Series four is just as dazzling as that first season, with the added bonus of Princess Diana. 

None of the other nominated shows – bar perhaps The Mandalorian, which could be an interesting wild card – have generated a fraction of The Crown’s buzz. It’s a right royal shoo-in.

Best Actor in a TV Series – Drama

Nominated Jason Bateman (Ozark), Josh O’Connor (The Crown), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Al Pacino (Hunters), Matthew Rhys (Perry Mason)

Should win Josh O’Connor

Yes, it’s very hard to like Prince Charles in The Crown’s fourth series, but thanks to O’Connor’s performance, you can’t help but feel a glimmer of sympathy. He helped elevate the show’s lacklustre third series, and was just as good this time around.

Bear with us on this one. Amazon series Hunters proved pretty divisive on its release last year, but the HFPA loves a big name, and surely no one’s bigger than Pacino? 

Best Actress in a TV Series – Drama

Nominated Olivia Colman (The Crown), Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), Emma Corrin (The Crown), Laura Linney (Ozark), Sarah Paulson (Ratched)

Corrin is the heart and soul of The Crown’s fourth series. She transforms effortlessly into a young Princess Diana, complete with mournful Sloaney accent and Shy Di-head tilt, but her performance never feels like a caricature. She deserves to go toe-to-toe with her more experienced co-star Colman in this category.

This is surely a two horse race between two generations of Netflix royals, but Colman took the Best Actress crown last year, and the HFPA does have a track record of being swayed by new faces, so the trophy is surely Corrin’s. 

Best TV Series – Comedy

This colourful, anachronism-laden take on life in the court of Catherine the Great from the creator of The Favourite is an absolute riot, buoyed by brilliant lead performances. 

Will win Schitt’s Creek

The final season of Eugene and Dan Levy’s much-loved comedy swept the board at the Emmys last year, and now looks poised to do the same at the Golden Globes. It’s a critical hit and a success story with viewers, and has long been overlooked by the HFPA – it’d be hard to argue with a win.

Best Actor in a TV Series – Comedy

Nominated Don Cheadle (Black Monday), Nicholas Hoult (The Great), Eugene Levy (Schitt’s Creek), Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso), Ramy Youssef (Ramy)

Should win Nicholas Hoult

Hoult is skin-crawlingly ghastly as The Great’s man-child Peter III (who has more than a dash of Tony from Skins to him); he’s also long overdue some awards recognition.

In case we hadn’t hammered home the message enough, this is Schitt’s Creek’s year, and the cast are bound to clean up; as the show’s biggest name, it’s a surprise that Levy Sr has never received a Golden Globe nomination before.

Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy

Nominated Lily Collins (Emily In Paris), Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant), Elle Fanning (The Great), Jane Levy (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist), Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek)

Should win Catherine O’Hara

Moira Rose’s favourite season is awards season, and O’Hara, fresh from picking up the Emmy in September, definitely deserves some belated recognition from the Globes, who’ve wilfully ignored Schitt’s Creek so far.

From thankless love interest role in one of the most inexplicably successful shows of all time (The Big Bang Theory, sigh) to leading lady in a prestige HBO black comedy – it’s a story arc that the HFPA won’t be able to resist.

Best Limited Series or TV Film

Steve McQueen’s ground-breaking anthology series was urgent, essential viewing, which each instalment just as carefully wrought as the Oscar winner’s films; it’s an incredible achievement, and a showcase for black British acting talent. 

Will win The Queen’s Gambit

This is a particularly strong category, but The Queen’s Gambit’s all-rounder status will probably swing it for the HFPA: the ensemble cast is brilliant (Marielle Heller has been robbed of a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her turn as Beth’s adopted mother), the production values are sky high and its viewing figures were wildly impressive.

Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Film

Nominated Bryan Cranston (Your Honour), Jeff Daniels (The Comey Rule), Hugh Grant (The Undoing), Ethan Hawke (The Good Lord Bird), Mark Ruffalo (I Know This Much Is True)

Give Grant the award for tentatively managing to convince us all that his character Jonathan wasn’t the total shit he obviously was until the very last episode, and then having a meltdown about clams while fleeing from the NYPD. You know it makes sense.

Hawke has won rave reviews for his turn as abolitionist John Brown, who roamed the Antebellum South freeing slaves; the winning combination of Hollywood star power and real-life story will doubtless sway voters. 

Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Film

Nominated Cate Blanchett (Mrs America), Daisy Edgar Jones (Normal People), Shira Haas (Unorthodox), Nicole Kidman (The Undoing), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit)

Should win Anya Taylor-Joy

Taylor-Joy has turned in consistently great performances ever since her breakout role in 2015’s The Witch, so awards recognition is long overdue (this is the 24-year-old’s first major nomination). Her turn as troubled chess prodigy Beth Harmon is electric – and in a Blanchett-free year, she’d probably take the trophy.

Blanchett is a long-time favourite with the HFPA: she’s won three Golden Globes, and this is her eleventh nomination (they even nominated her last year for Where’d You Go Bernadette, a film that has been roundly forgotten even by people who actually watched it). Even in this most competitive of categories, she surely has the edge. 

Best Supporting Actress

Nominated Gillian Anderson (The Crown), Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown), Julia Garner (Ozark), Annie Murphy (Schitt’s Creek), Cynthia Nixon (Ratched)

Should win Gillian Anderson

Anderson’s terrifyingly bouffanted Iron Lady steals every scene she’s in – which is no mean feat in a show as well-cast as The Crown. 

Will win Gillian Anderson

Anderson is another long-standing Globes golden girl: back in the Nineties, she picked up three consecutive nominations for The X-Files (winning in 1997) and earned another for 2007’s Bleak House. Her transformative turn as Thatcher feels like the sort of big performance the Globes like to reward, too, though she should surely share the trophy with the hair and make-up team that kitted her out in that wig. 

Best Supporting Actor

Nominated John Boyega (Small Axe), Brendon Gleeson (The Comey Rule), Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek), Jim Parsons (Hollywood), Donald Sutherland (The Undoing)

Boyega is long overdue a turn on the awards circuit, and now his filming commitments in a galaxy far, far away are over, he’s able to throw himself into projects worthy of his talent, like Small Axe. His performance as real-life Met Police officer Leroy Logan is staggering.

Sure, this might push the boundaries of ‘supporting actor’ a bit far (isn’t he a co-lead?) but the inevitable Schitt’s Creek landslide will doubtless mean that co-creator and star Levy will pick up an award of his own, which also feels well-deserved.


Joe Biden gets Covid booster jab



Joe Biden gets Covid booster jab

S president Joe Biden has received his Covid-19 booster shot, days after federal regulators recommended a third dose of the Pfizervaccine for Americans age 65 or older.

“The most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated,” Mr Biden said before getting the booster, adding that he did not have side effects after his first or second shots.

Mr Biden, 78, got his first shot on December 21 and his second dose three weeks later, on January 11, along with his wife, Jill Biden.

It was not immediately clear whether the first lady, who is 70, would also receive the booster dose on Monday.

Speaking on Friday after the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration authorised the Pfizer booster, Mr Biden told reporters, “It’s hard to acknowledge I’m over 65, but I’ll be getting my booster shot.”

Mr Biden emerged as a champion of booster doses in the summer, as the US experienced a sharp rise in coronavirus cases from the more transmissible Delta variant.

While the vast majority of cases continue to occur among unvaccinated people, regulators pointed to evidence from Israel and early studies in the US showing that protection against so-called breakthrough cases was vastly improved by a third dose of the Pfizer shot.

But the aggressive American push for boosters, before many poorer nations have been able to provide even a modicum of protection for their most vulnerable populations, has drawn condemnation from the World Health Organisation and some aid groups, which have called on the US to pause third shots to free up supply for the global vaccination effort.

Mr Biden said last week that the US was purchasing another 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine – for a total of one billion over the coming year – to donate to less well off nations.

Vice President Kamala Harris, 56, received the Moderna vaccine, for which federal regulators have not yet authorised boosters – but they are expected to in the coming weeks.

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