Responding to the 2021 Golden Globes Nominations

Surprisingly...Not Egregious!

The Golden Globes are notorious for screwing up their nominations year in and year out, for some unknown reason. They have been the laughing stock of the film community for their lack of diversity, lack of quality, and lack of depth or real thought put into each and every one of their nominations. Now, they have finally answered back with something worthy of praise this year. Granted, they still have a long way to go in terms of catching up, but to say they've made strides this year with their nominations would be accurate and noteworthy. I will dive into what I thought were marvelous choices this year, and what were typical head-scratching Globes picks.

Something I do need to point out before I begin: I will only be posting the feature film nominations. This is not to say I don't care about TV (I don't) but I do need to mention my main girl Anya Taylor Joy being nominated for the wonderful Netflix Limited Series, The Queen's Gambit. Congratulations and bravo for such a tremendous performance. You deserve it!

Best Motion Picture - Animated

  • The Croods: A New Age (Universal Pictures)
  • Onward (Walt Disney Pictures)
  • Over the Moon (Netflix)
  • Soul (Pixar Animation Studios)
  • Wolfwalkers (Cartoon Saloon)

No surprises here. I hesitate to even mention the other nominations because we all know the race is between Soul and Wolfwalkers. It's difficult to say which will win as Wolfwalkers took an astonishing number of critics choice awards across the country, upsetting Soul numerous times. In any normal year, it would have been safe to say Soul has this in the bag, but I'm not so sure anymore. Wolfwalkers could just as easily take this one, but I'm going to predict that Soul will win. I love both, by the way.

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

  • “Fight for You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros.) – H.E.R., Dernst Emile II, Tiara Thomas
  • “Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix) – Daniel Pemberton, Celeste
  • “Io Si (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead” (Netflix) – Diane Warren, Laura Pausini, Niccolò Agliardi
  • “Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios) – Leslie Odom Jr, Sam Ashworth
  • “Tigress & Tweed” from “The United States vs. Billie Holliday” (Hulu) – Andra Day, Raphael Saadiq

This is a category that I'm admittedly unfamiliar with. I have heard "Hear My Voice" from The Trial of the Chicago 7 and "Speak Now" from One Night in Miami. I can't speak to the others as I haven't seen the films, nor have I heard the songs yet. I have to say, "Speak Now" from One Night in Miami should win. Not only because I love the film infinitely more than ...Chicago 7, but because it truly is a beautiful song. I also think it's a testament to Leslie Odom Jr.'s acting abilities to be able to sing in addition to portraying the character of Sam Cooke remarkably well. In fact, I love the song so much that I have it added on multiple playlists now.

For this and a multitude of other reasons, I am going to predict "Speak Now" from One Night in Miami will win. I will be watching Judas and the Black Messiah very soon, so anything's possible. I could easily change my tune in the coming days.


Best Screenplay – Motion Picture 

Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)

Jack Fincher – Mank (Netflix)

Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)

Florian Zeller, Christopher Hampton – The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)

Chloe Zhao – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)

This is an interesting category. Promising Young Woman has really thrust itself into the general consciousness as far as popularity, awards consideration, and possible controversy are concerned. This should definitely help its Oscar chances receiving a nomination and a potential victory here. Mank has been lauded as one of the great screenplays of the year, so this comes as no surprise here. In a similar vein, Aaron Sorkin could write the ABC's as a screenplay and receive a nomination, so the Trial of the Chicago 7 nomination isn't blowing our minds, either. The Father has been gaining some late steam in the awards conversation, so a nomination here isn't a huge surprise in the grand scheme of things. I have yet to see it, but I am eager for it. Nomadland and Chloe Zhao have been in the lead for screenplay, directing, and feature drama categories for practically the whole awards circuit, so this is another shoo-in.

All this being said, I am going to predict Emerald Fennell to win for Promising Young Woman. I do not feel this is a front-runner by any stretch, so my prediction is a bit of an outside one and will sure to be a huge upset if it comes true. Do not be surprised to see my prediction fall short, as any one of these could win; but if it hits, you read it here first.

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language 

  • Another Round (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
  • La Llorona (Shudder)
  • The Life Ahead (Netflix)
  • Minari (A24)
  • Two of Us (Magnolia Pictures)

Here's another tricky one. (Or maybe not so). I have only seen one of these, Another Round. You can find my thoughts in the review via that link. Anyway, I want Another Round to win. I think it's a lovely film deserving of all the praise it's rightfully receiving. However, there is enormous hype surrounding Minari right now, and has been for quite some time. In fact, ever since its initial release at Sundance last year, seemingly forever ago. Perhaps, this is also how the Globes manage to make up for its blunder omitting it from the grand prize at the ceremony this year.

For these reasons, and even though I haven't seen it yet (hopefully soon), I will be predicting Minari to take this category and for A24 bring home the Golden Globe for it.

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

  • The Midnight Sky (Netflix) – Alexandre Desplat
  • Tenet (Warner Bros.) – Ludwig Göransson
  • News of the World (Universal Pictures) – James Newton Howard
  • Mank (Netflix) – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
  • Soul (Pixar) – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste

A couple surprises came out of the woodwork here for me in this category. Firstly, Alexandre Desplat for The Midnight Sky. I had not heard of any hype around this score whatsoever, as the film was subpar from what I've heard and read. However, Desplat has been heralded as one of the premier, landmark composers of our time. So, I guess I shouldn't say I'm surprised by this nomination. Secondly, James Newton Howard for News of the World comes as a surprise to me as I felt the score was rather unremarkable. It didn't stand out to me as an awards worthy composition, but it's an inoffensive nomination nonetheless. As for the other three, these have been dominating the awards conversation where film scores are concerned. Especially the work of Reznor and Ross for Soul and Mank. As outlined in my previous article, Reznor and Ross dominated the critics awards for their composing in Pixar's Soul. I believe their work in Mank is almost as impressive, if not more so. This leaves me with Tenet, which is what I hope to win. It's my favorite score of the year. I feel it's simply just mesmerizing, hypnotic, and engrossing.


Even with all that being said, I will predict Reznor, Ross, and Batiste to win for their work on Soul. Frankly, this has dominated far too much across the board for me to bet against it.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture 

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

A couple surprises graced my feed in this category. Helena Zengel in News of the World caught me off guard, but in the best of ways. I praised her performance in my review of the film, which I believe was the strongest aspect of it. I do not believe she can win, but I was happy to see her recognized for her work, nonetheless. Glenn Close for Hillbilly Elegy had seemingly lost momentum for her performance in what is otherwise a lackluster film, but I was shocked to see her nomination regardless. She is a very highly respected and esteemed actress in the film community, so I have to imagine she lost no credibility in that respect. But to see her included is still a surprise, albeit a welcome one. Jodie Foster for The Mauritanian is another that I did not expect to see honored in this category. I had not heard of any buzz surrounding her performance, but I am always happy to see her name among awards consideration. I have not yet seen this film, so I cannot speak to her performance. The same goes for Olivia Colman in The Father, but to see her name here is far from a surprise. There is much hype following her around where her performance here is concerned. I will have to wait to judge any further. All this under consideration, I am still standing firm on Amanda Seyfried not only taking the golden statue come Oscar time, but I do feel she has a genuine shot at sweeping the awards circuit for her performance in Mank.

Coming as no surprise to any reader who might read these words, I will be predicting Amanda Seyfried to win the Golden Globe in this category for her portrayal of Marion Davies in Mank.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

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

Yet again, another couple surprises here in this category as well. Jared Leto in The Little Things has to be the first of many puzzling Globes picks that just makes no sense at all. I saw this film last night, and I have to say, I'm confounded by this choice. To say the film was lackluster would be a severe understatement, and his performance is no exception. I'm just going to set that one aside, as I could probably talk about how unspeakably awful this film is. In any case, he has no shot at winning, in my humble opinion. Bill Murray in On the Rocks is a nice surprise here. I loved his performance and he's always delightful in anything he finds himself a part of. I praised his performance as the best part of the film in my review. Sacha Baron Cohen and Leslie Odom Jr. are two that have been leading the pack these past couple months, so no shockers there. Last but certainly not least, Daniel Kaluuya is gaining some late steam in this category picking up a nomination here and will likely continue to do so in the awards ceremonies to come. I cannot speak to his performance yet, but I will be able to soon in my coming review.

All this being said, I will be predicting Leslie Odom Jr. to win for his portrayal of Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami. I believe his performance is too good for anyone to be able to compete. It's possible the Globes might pick Sacha Baron Cohen to be different from other awards ceremonies, such as the Oscars, SAG, or any other acting-centric awards shows. Regardless, I will be sticking to my guns and holding strong with my prediction.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

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

To be completely honest, nothing in this category really comes as a surprise to me. These actresses have all dominated the conversation around best actress throughout the course of the awards circuit thus far. However, Andra Day seemed to have lost momentum for her performance in The United States vs. Billie Holiday.  This film and performance had all but dropped out of the minds and eyes of the award talk ahead of its release. It's currently set for a late February release on Hulu and in theaters, but perhaps this nomination and its release will give it some legs. As for the others, it seems Viola Davis and Frances McDormand are ahead of the pack. Just because they're neck and neck at the top, doesn't mean that Carey Mulligan or Vanessa Kirby can surge ahead and knock them out from the throne. Mulligan, Davis, and Kirby all gave powerhouse performances in their respective films. I have no real preference, except to see a newcomer like Mulligan or Kirby win since Davis has won so much already in the past. Make no mistake, even though I haven't seen McDormand's performance in Nomadland yet, I still firmly believe she's one of the four or five who can win this thing just as well.


All this being said, and even taking my earlier prediction into consideration, I will be predicting Carey Mulligan to win for her performance in Promising Young Woman. Yes, this would be a massive upset and has an outside shot as far as a prediction goes, but I will be following through with it anyway. I feel that her performance is so complex, so layered, so multifaceted, and so versatile, I have a hard time seeing it coming up short.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy 

  • Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm)
  • James Corden (The Prom)
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton)
  • Dev Patel (The Personal History of David Copperfield)
  • Andy Samberg (Palm Springs)

This is perhaps the most egregious of categories where nominations/choices are concerned. I do feel this is kind of like a joke, which makes sense as it's the musical or comedy category. My thoughts concerning that aside, Sacha Baron Cohen receiving a double nomination is surprising here. Especially considering he is nominated for his portrayal of Borat. I love both films, but I do not feel they are awards worthy by any stretch of the imagination. Anyway, moving on. James Corden for The Prom is another joke. Moving on. I have not seen the Hamilton performance yet by Lin-Manual Miranda, but I have heard apparently deserved praise for that. Same goes for Dev Patel in The Personal History of David Copperfield. I would like to see that film at some point to form an opinion, and I genuinely want to see the film in general. Andy Samberg in Palm Springs functions as another head-scratching nomination. I loved the film and I feel he has great comedic timing, but to say it's awards worthy is puzzling to say the least. In any case, to say that I have no idea would be a massive understatement.


To just put a guess out there, I am predicting Lin-Manuel Miranda to win for Hamilton. I have no real reason for this except to say that maybe the Globes will honor something such as a performance on the Stage to be different, to be daring, and to be risky. Again, I have not seen this, and I can't speak to everything in the category with absolute confidence, but I can say that this is something the Globes might do.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

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

No surprises here, but one! I had not heard any buzz surrounding The Mauritanian as a film, nor did I hear anything about its performances. Tahar Rahim slipping in as the fifth nomination is a welcome surprise and I will have to check out the film the first chance I get now. As for the other four, they are all leaders of the pack and have been for the entire duration of the awards conversations. Gary Oldman has the most outside chance of the four and is the least likely to win, in my opinion. Anthony Hopkins is likely the other odd man out, but he is so highly regarded and there's a ton of hype around his performance, there's a chance I could be wrong. Riz Ahmed and Chadwick Boseman are rather close in likelihood - it could just boil down to preference at that point. Boseman's performance is the flashier of the two, while Ahmed's is more reserved. To reiterate, it's VERY close.


I am going to predict Riz Ahmed to win for Sound of Metal in this category. Reason being, I could see the Globes choosing him as most experts are so sure that Boseman will win the Oscar posthumously. Due to that fact, the Globes might award someone who may not receive an award otherwise since it's so likely that Boseman is going to win the Oscar and possibly many others. Again, it's highly likely Boseman could win the Globe, and possibly sweep. But I will take the chance on Riz Ahmed for his dynamic, electric performance.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy 

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

This category fascinates me. I have only seen two, and hadn't heard much hype from the others. I can't say I'm surprised by the Pfeiffer nomination, even though that film and performance had dropped out of the conversation for awhile, at least not at the forefront of it. I have seen Maria Bakalova's performance in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and Anya Taylor-Joy's performance in Emma. Since I haven't really heard of the others and I don't think they carry any weight in any of the subsequent awards ceremonies, I am going to say it's between Pfeiffer, Taylor-Joy, and Bakalova.

I am going to predict Maria Bakalova to win for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. The sheer dominance she had enjoyed in the critics awards circuit and the fact that she doesn't have much competition in my opinion, has led me to my conclusion.

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy 

  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon Studios)
  • Hamilton (Walt Disney Pictures)
  • Palm Springs (Neon)
  • Music (Vertical Entertainment)
  • The Prom (Netflix)

A couple of these nominations make my brain hurt. First of all, The Prom on Netflix is only nominated for the simple fact that it's one of the only musicals to even come out in 2020. Second, Music received atrocious critical reception and was met with much controversy concerning its handling of the subject matter. It's hard to know why this received a nomination. The other three, I'm okay with. I enjoyed Borat for what it is, Hamilton seems to be deserving of the praise it has received, and Palm Springs is simply a delight to watch and is a refreshing take on that genre. In my heart, I'd love for Palm Springs to win. In all likelihood, I know that it probably won't.

For these and many other reasons, I believe Hamilton will win this category. I just don't see anything here giving it a serious run. The lack of competition and the quality it seemingly has, I have to think it will take home the Golden Globe, pretty easily.


Best Director – Motion Picture

  • Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
  • David Fincher, Mank (Netflix)
  • Regina King, One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)
  • Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
  • Chloé Zhao, Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)

There has been much conversation surrounding these nominations this year, but in a good way for once! Three female directors have been selected as nominees this year, whereas in previous years only five total (combined) had been nominated in years past. A remarkable turn for the Globes this year. Good for them. However, they nominated Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7 which did not succeed (at all) or its direction, so this choice is a bit confounding. It's my hope his direction will not gain buzz for subsequent awards shows - I do not believe he deserves it at all. In any case, Zhao and Fincher have been the frontrunners in this category for months now. They are the least surprising of the bunch. Conversely, we have Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman and Regina King for One Night in Miami, which ARE pleasant surprises. I was very happy to see them among the five.

I am going to predict Chloe Zhao for Nomadland, despite not having seen the film. Since she's the frontrunner by a fairly significant margin, I am going to pick her to win, and quite possibly the Oscar too. I would like Fincher to win, as he's one of my favorite directors, and I am rooting for Fennell to win, as I believe her directorial choices made significant and positive impacts on her film. We will just have to see how this one shakes out.

L-R: Chloe Zhao, Emerald Fennell, Regina King

Best Motion Picture – Drama 

  • The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Mank (Netflix)
  • Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)
  • Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)

This is a tough one, as the biggest prize of the night often are. I have not seen The Father or Nomadland, but I definitely plan to as soon as I'm able. Netflix clearly has been campaigning strongly for its two drama features, Mank and The Trial of the Chicago 7.  Mank I do feel is deserving of the win, while on the other hand, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is the least deserving of the pack. Promising Young Woman is my favorite of the five, so far. I am definitely pulling for this film to win, but I'm not certain it can pull it off, unfortunately. Nomadland has been the frontrunner for the Best Picture race in Oscar awards talks. I'm not sure The Father can pull off an upset here over Nomadland, but Mank possibly could as it tugs on the heartstrings of the filmmaker community.

I'm gonna have to go with Nomadland taking home the grand prize of the night here. Nomadland won The Golden Lion at Venice and the Audience Award at TIFF. No film in history has ever taken home both in the same year. The critical reception combined with the history its made along the awards circuit already, it's hard to bet against Chloe Zhao's meditative, patient, poignant drama.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Indifferent?


Let me know in the comments!

Rob McNeil

My name is Rob McNeil. I was born and raised in Normal, Illinois and I am a 28 year-old award winning screenwriter. I am very passionate about film, so much that I watch far too many films on a daily basis. I have written fifteen feature screenplays, a spec pilot thriller series, and several short scripts. I aim to make filmmaking a career, but for now, I will write about it.

Rob McNeil

My name is Rob McNeil. I was born and raised in Normal, Illinois and I am a 28 year-old award winning screenwriter. I am very passionate about film, so much that I watch far too many films on a daily basis. I have written fifteen feature screenplays, a spec pilot thriller series, and several short scripts. I aim to make filmmaking a career, but for now, I will write about it.

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