The 2021 Golden Globes might just be the awards ceremony’s most contentious to date. With the announcement that Netflix series Emily in Paris was nominated for two awards (and Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You didn’t earn one) the Globes had landed themselves in hot water.
Then, the LA Times published an expose, alleging a corrupt system of bribery between studios and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association – 87 international journalists who make up the Golden Globes’ voters. Those Emily in Paris nominations could have something to do with the free trip to Paris 30 HFPA members were sent on ahead of the show’s release. Coel’s exclusion? It could have something to do with the fact that not one of those 87 journalists are Black.
The reckoning is necessary and overdue—every Hollywood awards ceremony could do with a serious upheaval—but at the same time, it’s saddening for those who saw their hard work recognised to not be able to celebrate without a sour taste in their mouths. By not doing their jobs correctly or ethically, the Golden Globes are not only running themselves into the ground, but they’re simultaneously throwing a shadow over the film and TV creators and stars whose projects deserve credit.
Below, we’ve outlined the films and TV shows on the nominations list that made it there all by themselves, and which definitely deserve to be supported and seen. Here we go…
Promising Young Woman, nominated for Best Motion Picture — Drama
Emerald Fennell’s (Killing Eve, Fleabag) feature-length directorial debut is incredibly entertaining, funny and beautifully shot. But, more importantly, it covers the aftermath of sexual assault—the trauma, anger, loss of identity and need for justice— better than any film or TV show in recent history. Coel’s aforementioned I May Destroy You does this too, but for survivors who avoid triggering content (and therefore have likely skipped IMDY), you’ll be please to know that Promising Young Woman doesn’t ever show the assault on screen. Plus, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton make up the soundtrack and Adam Brody makes an appearance. Sold? Of course you are.
The Trial of the Chicago 7, nominated for Best Motion Picture — Drama
This Netflix film is based on the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants who were charged by the federal government after taking part in the countercultural protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. At the time, the trial transfixed the nation and started a broader cultural conversation about mayhem intended to undermine the U.S. government. It’s suspenseful, thought-provoking and the entire cast is inspiring.
Palm Springs, nominated for Best Motion Picture, Musical, or Comedy
Palm Springs annoyingly is one of those nominations which hasn’t yet been released to the public, but judging by its early reviews, it looks like we finally have another actually funny, actually good rom-com on our hands—the last being Charlize Theron and Seth Rogan’s Long Shot (another must watch). Per IMDb, Palm Springs follows two wedding guests who, stuck in a time loop, meet at a wedding and “develop a budding romance while living the same day over and over again.”
Small Axe, nominated for Best Limited Series or TV Movie
Small Axe consists of five films, each of which tell a distinct story about the lives of West Indian immigrants in London from the 1960s to the 1980s. The series’ first episode, “Lovers Rock'”, is set during a single night at a house party and focuses on the love story of two attendees. It’s been widely dubbed one of the best pieces of television, not just to come out of 2020, but in years.
Ratched, nominated for Best Television Series — Drama
Give us Sarah Paulson any day and we’ll be happy, but the actress is especially brilliant in Ratched, a Netflix show which follows her as a young nurse at a mental institution, who becomes jaded and bitter before turning into a full-fledged monster. The perfect pandemic watch.
The Great, nominated for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
We’re going to go ahead and assume you’ve already binged all of The Crown. So what’s next? Well, despite being hilarious, filled with all of the beautiful costumes that make period dramas so hard to look away, and led by the brilliant Elle Fanning, The Great didn’t blow up like it should have. Trust us, soon you’ll be asking, “Diana whom?”