Golden Globes 2021: The five biggest talking points from the nominations

I May Destroy You
(Image credit: BBC)

The Golden Globes 2021 nominations have been revealed – and Hollywood is buzzing. There have been some major snubs and huge surprises, with records being broken for diversity and representation while certain choices are being highly criticized. For instance, there were celebrations that three female directors were nominated in one year – the first time more than one woman has been nominated in the category – while Best Picture in the Drama category saw major snubs for Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Judas and the Black Messiah, and One Night in Miami, all of which have predominantly Black casts. 

There's a lot to discuss and we've broken down the five major talking points from the Golden Globes 2021 nominations. 

Female directors finally get their time in the spotlight

Chloe Zhao

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Some very good news: 2021 has seen the most women ever nominated in the Best Director category. Regina King is nominated for One Night in Miami, Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman, and Chloé Zhao for Nomadland. Zhao is also the first Asian woman to ever be nominated for Best Director. 

Considering that only five women have ever been nominated for the award, that's a significant development. Only one woman has ever won the Best Director award at the Golden Globes: Barbara Streisand for her musical drama Yentl, in which she also starred. Chances are we will be seeing King, Fennell, or Zhao join her this year.

Snubs: Da 5 Bloods and I May Destroy You

Da 5 Bloods

(Image credit: Netflix)

While the Golden Globes are a celebratory occasion, there are inevitably those movies and shows that do not make the nominations line-up. Worse, there are those wholly deserving that go unnoticed by voters. 

Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods was thought to be a major contender this awards season, yet failed to pick up any Golden Globe nominations. Likewise, the TV series I May Destroy You was touted as the television show to beat, yet Michaela Coel's brilliant, heavy-hitting series went by without a nomination. That both Da 5 Bloods and I May Destroy You have predominantly Black casts has many critics condemning their omissions, while others have noted that Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Judas and the Black Messiah, and One Night in Miami all missed out on the major Best Motion Picture awards. 

Surprises: The Prom and Emily in Paris

Meryl Streep and James Corden in The Prom

(Image credit: IMDb)

Despite being a show that everybody absolutely loves to hate, Emily in Paris managed to pick up a nomination for Best TV Show – Musical or Comedy, while lead actor Lily Collins picked up a nod for her performance. Yes, really. 

Likewise, The Prom – a Netflix musical that's certified "rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes – picked up a nomination for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. And, perhaps most surprising of all, Meryl Streep didn't pick up anything for her performance, but James Corden did, putting him in contention with Lin Manuel Miranda for Hamilton. That Corden's portrayal of a gay character has been widely criticized seemingly had no impact on the voters' minds. 

Mank becomes an Oscars frontrunner

Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman in Mank

(Image credit: IMDb)

There was some question over whether David Fincher's Mank could maintain enough momentum to gain an Oscar nomination. Indeed, the former favorite began losing ground following its Netflix release last year. However, that has changed following the Golden Globes. Mank managed to pick up the most nominations of any movie – six in total, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Actor – Drama for Gary Oldman, and Best Director for Fincher. Expect the dramatization of the writing of Citizen Kane to make regular appearances this awards season. 

Netflix domination continues

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

(Image credit: Netflix)

Yes, we've spoken about Netflix a fair amount here. Among the movie categories, the streaming service picked up 24 nominations in total, primarily spread between Mank, The Trial of the Chicago 7, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. That's seven more than last year. Considering how we were all stuck inside this year, that should come as no surprise and establishes Netflix as an awards heavyweight this year. Conversely, the one blockbuster that actually played in cinemas – Tenet – only picked up one nomination, for Best Score. 

On the television side, Netflix bounced from 17 nominations to 20, bolstered by four nominations in the Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film. To no-one's surprise, the streamer's golden goose was The Crown, a series that features among the best Netflix shows of all time.

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Jack Shepherd
Senior Entertainment Editor

I'm the Senior Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features. Plus I look after the Total Film and SFX sections and socials media channels. I used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film