The Golden Nopes: The Most Deserving Candidates Left Out Of The Golden Globe Nominations [Opinion]

An actress poses in front of a Golden Globes backsplash.
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The Golden Globe nominations are in — with the full list being available at Variety and while a number of standout films, performances, and technical achievements were honored with a nomination, there were inevitably going to be some notable absences. While it is always difficult to empirically quantify artistic merit, this year’s nominations seem to have more significant misses than usual.

Annihilation was well-regarded by critics, earning an 88 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but its intellectually ambitious script did not resonate as well with audiences. Gold Derby suggests that the film was award-worthy in a number of categories, from an arresting performance by Natalie Portman, to director Alex Garland. Rob Hardy’s cinematography, Mark Digby’s production design, the editing mastery of Barney Pilling, and the visual effects of Sara Bennett and Andrew Whitehurst were also at the top of their class. Yet Annihilation did not earn a single Golden Globe nomination.

Perhaps the biggest snub among those left out of the Golden Globe nominations was Michael B. Jordan for his performance in Black Panther. The superhero film was the first to win a Best Picture nomination, and Jordan’s characterization of the villain, Killmonger, is a huge reason why. Jordan’s Killmonger was the first Marvel villain to really have any depth and motivation, according to Wisecrack, via YouTube, and provided the film’s heroes with both a formidable physical — and emotional — obstacle that was worthy of mention.

Paul Schrader’s First Reformed racked up critical acclaim and scored nominations from both the Indie Spirit Awards and the Gotham Awards — and featured a moving performance from Ethan Hawke that many critics have considered his best in years. Yet critics and audiences were somewhat divided on the film, as reflected in its 93 percent critical score versus its 68 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, largely due to its complex ending that proved unsatisfying to some. Despite its critical acclaim and previous nominations, First Reformed was completely shut out by the Golden Globes.

Moonlight‘s Barry Jenkins was the awards-season darling last year, and his follow-up, an adaptation of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk, scored him a nomination for Best Screenplay, a Best Picture nomination, and a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Regina King. Those accolades are normally accompanied by a Best Director nomination, but Jenkins was not included by the Golden Globes in that category.

The Golden Globes were clearly impressed with Mary Poppins Returns, which earned a Best Picture For A Musical Or Comedy nomination — and a nomination for Best Score in addition to nominations for Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel-Miranda. The awards promotion push by Disney included not one, but two candidates for Best Original Song, according to Gold Derby, one of which is currently the favorite to win Oscar gold. Yet neither “Trip A Little Light Fantastic,” nor “The Place Where Lost Things Go” earned a Golden Globe nomination.

Roma has been considered by many critics to be the best film of the year, and Alfonso Cuaron’s period piece about Mexican domestic workers earned a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Yet star Yalitza Aparicio, whose moving performance drives the film — and is predicted by Gold Derby‘s Thelma Adams to win the Oscar for Best Performance By A Female Actor — did not receive a Golden Globe nomination.

Like Annihilation and First Reformed, Steve McQueen’s Widows did not earn a single Golden Globe nomination despite critical acclaim. Also like those two films, Widows is somewhat divided in appreciation between critics and audiences — with critics rating it 91 percent “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes but only a 62 percent score from audiences. Star Viola Davis and Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen were the favorites to earn recognition for the film, but Hans Zimmer’s score, Joe Walker’s editing, and Gillian Flynn’s script were notable dark horse candidates.