Breaking Down the 2020 Golden Globe Nominations

Netflix got plenty of attention for films with old-fashioned marquee appeal, while female directors and actors of color were largely overlooked.

With six nominations, Marriage Story was the most recognized film on the Golden Globes' list. (Netflix)

The Golden Globes kicked off a two-month march into trophy season this morning, announcing the contenders for its film and television awards and anointing films including The Irishman, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Joker, and Marriage Story as presumed favorites for the upcoming Oscar race. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a small and inscrutable group that has supremely outsized importance in the movie business for one out of every 12 months, tends to nominate films that are also on their way to Academy Awards success. By that yardstick, Netflix is due for a big year as it strives to establish legitimacy as a prestige powerhouse, while conversations about the lack of racial and gender diversity among the major players will likely rear up again in the coming weeks.

Netflix has three significant releases—The Irishman, Marriage Story, and The Two Popes—in contention this year, while most large Hollywood studios have only one. The Globes’ list reflects that disparity. On the cinema side, Netflix netted 17 nominations, far more than the runner-up (Sony, with eight); meanwhile, traditional trophy magnets such as Focus Features and Fox Searchlight could scrounge up only a couple of nominations apiece. With 2018’s Roma, the streaming studio came close to collecting its first Best Picture trophy, only a few years after it released its first original film. Its alliances with respected directors such as Martin Scorsese and Noah Baumbach might help it reach that milestone this year, despite tensions over the company’s limited approach to theatrical releases.

The three most recognized films were Marriage Story (six nominations), The Irishman (five), and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (five)—all significant works from established auteurs featuring big-name (and mostly male) movie stars. As the debates over franchise fever, sequel glut, and the future of the cinema experience continue, it looks like the Oscar race will gravitate toward films with that old-fashioned, marquee-idol appeal, even if some of them are mostly viewed on streaming services. But that also indicates that rising female filmmakers such as Greta Gerwig, Marielle Heller, and Lulu Wang are being overlooked, with their films Little Women, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and The Farewell, respectively, ignored in the directing and screenwriting categories and earning just one or two other nominations apiece.

Movies from outside of Hollywood received some welcome attention: Bong Joon Ho’s acclaimed Korean film Parasite had a strong showing, including directing and writing nominations, and Antonio Banderas followed up a week of success among criticscircles with a Best Actor nomination for the Pedro Almodóvar film Pain and Glory. Even so, of the 30 film-acting nominees, only two are black (Eddie Murphy, for Dolemite Is My Name, and Cynthia Erivo for Harriet); in total, five actors of color were shortlisted, with only Jennifer Lopez (for Hustlers) seeming like a sure bet for Oscar attention. The #OscarsSoWhite conversation, which pushed the Academy to make dramatic changes to its membership, was sparked in 2016 after two years of all-white acting nominees. The issues raised by that discussion should remain on voters’ minds as they weigh this year’s selections.

On the television side, the Globes spread the wealth among HBO, Netflix, and Amazon, showering nominations on Fleabag, Barry, Succession, Unbelievable, The Politician, The Kominsky Method, and Chernobyl. The HFPA is always drawn to movie stars who appear in television roles; true to form, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon were both highlighted for their work on The Morning Show, and Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep got nominations for Big Little Lies despite the second season being less admired than the first. The awards will be handed out Sunday, January 5, at a ceremony hosted by Ricky Gervais and airing on NBC.

The full list of nominees:

Best Picture, Drama

The Irishman
Marriage Story
The Two Popes

Best Actor, Drama

Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Best Actress, Drama

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renée Zellweger, Judy

Best Picture, Musical or Comedy

Dolemite Is My Name
Jojo Rabbit
Knives Out
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Actor, Musical or Comedy

Daniel Craig, Knives Out
Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Taron Egerton, Rocketman
Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

Best Actress, Musical or Comedy

Ana De Armas, Knives Out
Awkwafina, The Farewell
Cate Blanchett, Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Beanie Feldstein, Booksmart
Emma Thompson, Late Night

Best Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Supporting Actress

Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Annette Bening, The Report
Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Best Director

Bong Joon Ho, Parasite
Sam Mendes, 1917
Todd Phillips, Joker
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Screenplay

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won, Parasite
Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Steven Zaillian, The Irishman

Best Original Score

Alexandre Desplat, Little Women
Hildur Guđnadóttir, Joker
Randy Newman, Marriage Story
Thomas Newman, 1917
Daniel Pemberton, Motherless Brooklyn

Best Original Song

“Beautiful Ghosts,” Cats
“I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” Rocketman
“Into the Unknown,” Frozen II
“Spirit,” The Lion King
“Stand Up,” Harriet

Best Foreign Language Film

The Farewell, U.S.A.
Les Misérables, France
Pain and Glory, Spain
Parasite, South Korea
Portrait of a Lady on Fire, France

Best Animated Film

Frozen II
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
The Lion King
Missing Link
Toy Story 4

Best TV Drama

Big Little Lies (HBO)
The Crown (Netflix)
Killing Eve (BBC America)
The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Succession (HBO)

Best Actor, TV Drama

Brian Cox, Succession
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Tobias Menzies, The Crown
Billy Porter, Pose

Best Actress, TV Drama

Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show

Best TV Musical or Comedy

Barry (HBO)
Fleabag (Amazon)
The Kominksy Method (Netflix)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
The Politician (Netflix)

Best Actor, TV Musical or Comedy

Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader, Barry
Ben Platt, The Politician
Paul Rudd, Living With Yourself
Ramy Youssef, Ramy

Best Actress, TV Musical or Comedy

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kirsten Dunst, On Becoming a God in Central Florida
Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag

Best TV Miniseries/Movie

Catch-22 (Hulu)
Chernobyl (HBO)
Fosse/Verdon (FX)
The Loudest Voice (Showtime)
Unbelievable (Netflix)

Best Actor, TV Miniseries/Movie

Christopher Abbott, Catch-22
Sacha Baron Cohen, The Spy
Russell Crowe, The Loudest Voice
Jared Harris, Chernobyl
Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon

Best Actress, TV Miniseries/Movie

Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable
Joey King, The Act
Helen Mirren, Catherine the Great
Merritt Wever, Unbelievable
Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon

Best Supporting Actor, TV

Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Andrew Scott, Fleabag
Stellan Skarsgård, Chernobyl
Henry Winkler, Barry

Best Supporting Actress, TV

Patricia Arquette, The Act
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Toni Collette, Unbelievable
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
Emily Watson, Chernobyl