Golden Globes 2020 nominations: The biggest snubs and surprises

Ethan Alter
Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Joaquin Phoenix in a scene from "Joker." (Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

Before jumping into what surprised — and what got snubbed — in this year’s batch of Golden Globes nominations, let’s first address the giant dragon in the room: HBO’s mighty fantasy blockbuster Game of Thrones only picked up a single nomination for its abbreviated final season: Kit Harington made the cut for Best Actor in a TV Drama.

Sure, social media wasn’t kind to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s six-episode sprint to the finish line, but Emmy voters still rewarded the show with a record-setting number of nominations, as well as a trophy for Outstanding Drama Series. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association apparently felt that was sufficient.

However, the HFPA didn’t have the same problem with Emmy comedy darling Fleabag, which nabbed multiple nods for in-demand creator, Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Here’s Yahoo Entertainment’s round-up of the biggest snubs and surprises among the nominations for the 77th Golden Globes.  

SNUB: HBO favourites Game of Thrones and Veep get no love for their final seasons

Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington in Game of Thrones (Credit: HBO)

Globes voters to Jon Snow and Selina Meyer: Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Both Game of Thrones and Veep exited the broadcasting stage with a lone nomination between them, despite ranking among HBO’s most popular Sunday night double bills for multiple years.

Read more: Thrones show runners depart Star Wars project

Instead, voters opted to honour Big Little Lies and Succession, which both landed nominations for Best Television Drama, as well as nods for Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep, and Brian Cox respectively. 

SURPRISE: Marriage Story leads the way among Netflix’s powerhouse offerings 

Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in Marriage Story. (Netflix)

Netflix may have their Oscar hopes pinned on The Irishman, but Noah Baumbach’s acclaimed marital drama Marriage Story wound up being the streaming service’s most-nominated feature on Globes morning. The film received a total of six nominations, including Best Drama, Best Director and Best Screeenplay, as well as nods for stars Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson and Laura Dern.

That’s one more nod than Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half hour gangster yarn, which nabbed five. (Netflix’s sure-to-be-sleeper hit, The Two Popes was close behind at four.) That gives Adam Driver something to sing about.

SNUB: Greta Gerwig missed the chance to break up the boys’ club of directors

Based on the early raves for Little Women — raves that Yahoo Entertainment can heartily endorse — Gerwig had a strong chance of joining her real-life partner, Baumbach, as a Best Director nominee. Unfortunately, she failed to make the final list of nominees, with all five slots going to male directors.

That’s exactly the kind of boys’ club that Natalie Portman famously called out onstage at the Globes two years ago, when Gerwig was similarly overlooked for her feature debut, Lady Bird. Don’t be surprised if we get a repeat performance of that moment at this year’s ceremony... and it would be well-deserved.

SURPRISE: The Morning Show puts Apple TV+ in the Globes race, without any Baby Yoda to steal its thunder

Although it launched a month before Disney+, a lot of the buzz surrounding Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV+, dissipated the minute Baby Yoda showed up onscreen. But even if Twitter can’t get enough of the 50-year-old child, Globes voters snubbed The Mandalorian in favour of Apple’s marquee series The Morning Show.

Both Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon were nominated for Best Actress in a Drama, and the show, which received middling reviews from critics, scored a Best Drama nomination alongside Big Little Lies, The Crown, Killing Eve and Succession.

SNUB: It may still be a big box-office hit, but Cats didn’t roar at the Globes

Twitter can’t get enough of Cats, even though no one has seen it, or will see it, for another week. No one, that is, except Globes voters, who had the privilege of previewing Tom Hooper’s digital fur-enhanced version of the Andrew Lloyd Weber Broadway hit before anyone else.

Based on the fact that the film only scored a single nomination — for Taylor Swift’s original song — we have to assume they were unimpressed. (For comparison’s sake, the 2017 movie musical, The Greatest Showman, scored three Globes nominations before it embarked on its massive box-office haul.) There’s still enough curiosity out there for Cats to find an audience in cinemas, but this snub seems to kill any awards hopes.

SURPRISE: Controversy, shmontroversy — Joker is a serious awards player

Twitter hates Joker as much as it loves Cats, but awards votes are all in on Todd Phillips’s ultra-dark, ultra-divisive origin story for Batman’s longtime nemesis, played by Joaquin Phoenix. (Their love is real; Yahoo Entertainment attended a special awards screening of Joker recently, and the audience affection for the movie and its director and star was palpable.)

Read more: The most incredible actor transformations of 2019

The film received four nominations, including Best Original Score, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Drama, and could emerge as the dark horse winner in multiple categories.

SNUB: Globes voters clearly didn’t see When They See Us

Netflix is typically very secretive about ratings, but earlier this year, the streaming service let the world know that When They See Us was its most-watched series ever.

Apparently, the HFPA weren’t among those that watched Ava DuVernay’s moving dramatisation of the Central Park Five case, because the four-episode series was completely overlooked in the Best Limited Series category, with attention instead going to Catch-22, Chernobyl, Fosse/Verdon, The Loudest Voice and Unbelievable.