Golden Globes 2021: A breakdown of the nominated movies

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The 2021 Golden Globes are around the corner, so it’s a good time to take a look at the films that were honored with nominations.

Streaming services were the big winner this year in terms of nods, with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+ and HBO Max all scoring nominations in various categories.

With the bizarre film release schedule dictated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the nominations left many puzzled this time around, but some nominations — such as those for the late Chadwick Boseman — came as no surprise.

Here’s a look back at the 2021 Golden Globe-nominated films:

“The Father”

“The Father” is one of the year’s most heavily nominated films, which makes sense as it stars two Hollywood heavyweights: Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman — both of whom received nominations for their performances.

The film also received a nomination for the night’s top award, best motion picture – drama, and for its screenplay.

The flick follows Hopkins’ character Anthony as he struggles with aging, turning away help from his daughter Anne, played by Colman.


A story about Hollywood itself, it’s no surprise that “Mank” scored a slew of nominations, including best motion picture, best director, best screenplay and best original score.

The movie chronicles Herman Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) as he hurries to write “Citizen Kane” and grows close with Marion Davies (Amanda Seyfried).

Both Oldman and Seyfried were nominated as well.


“Nomadland” is an awards favorite, having nabbed a nomination for best motion picture – drama.

Writer-director Chloé Zhao scored double nominations for her work and Frances McDormand also earned a nod for playing Fern, a nomad traveling through the American West in her van after losing everything.

“Promising Young Woman”

“Promising Young Woman” follows Cassandra, a grieving woman on a warpath to avenge the sexual assault of her best friend.

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

One of the year’s movies based on a true story, “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” chronicles the legal drama endured by a group of men accused of inciting a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

The movie was nominated for best motion picture, best director, best screenplay and best original song (“Hear My Voice), as well as for Sacha Baron Cohen’s portrayal of Abbie Hoffman.

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Chadwick Boseman received a nomination for his role in Netflix’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.’ The movie marks Boseman’s last on-screen role, and he portrays a confident horn player dead set on making a mark on the music industry while backing up blues legend Ma Rainey.

Based on the famous August Wilson play, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is best known for being Boseman’s final on-screen role.

He earned a nod for his performance as Levee, an ambitious and confident horn player who struggles to find his place backing up blues icon Ma Rainey.

“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”

Andra Day stars as Billie Holiday in ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ on Hulu and received a Golden Globe for her performance. (Takashi Seida/Hulu)

When targeted by the US government via an undercover sting operation, music legend Billie Holiday is forced to defend herself — and her music — on stage and in the courtroom.

Andra Day scored two nominations for the picture: One for playing Holiday and a second for writing the song “Tigress & Tweed” with Raphael Saadiq.

“Pieces of a Woman”

“Sound of Metal”

“Sound of Metal” saw Riz Ahmed receive a nomination for playing Ruben, an on-the-road metal drummer who quickly loses his hearing and must immediately learn to cope.

“The Mauritanian”

In one of the year’s biggest surprises, “The Mauritanian” earned two nominations: One for Jodie Foster and another for Tahar Rahim.

Based on the book “Guantanamo Diary,” the film follows the true story of Mohamedou Ould Salahi, who was held without charge by the US government for many years.

“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ nabbed several Golden Globe nominations.
(Amazon Studios)

The original “Borat” film earned a Golden Globe for Cohen’s performance, so it makes sense that he’d earn another this time around for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.”

Also recognized was Cohen’s co-star Maria Bakalova, and the flick also earned a nod for best motion picture – musical or comedy.


“Hamilton” became an instant hit on Disney+ in the summer of 2020 and with all of the Tony Awards the original Broadway production scored, it’s no surprise that the filmed version earned a Golden Globe nomination for best motion picture – musical or comedy.

Star Lin-Manuel Miranda also was nominated for his performance.


“Music” was marred by controversy because of director Sia’s casting of neurotypical actress Maddie Ziegler as a teenager who has autism, so it was a surprise to many to see it earn a nomination for best motion picture – musical or comedy.

Kate Hudson, who starred as a sober drug dealer raising her autistic sister, also earned a nomination.

“Palm Springs”

Andy Samberg (right) received a Golden Globe nomination for his work in Hulu’s ‘Palm Springs,’ which was also nominated for best motion picture – musical or comedy. (Photo by: Jessica Perez/Hulu)

“Palm Springs” earned a nomination for best motion picture – musical or comedy.  

The movie tells the story of Nyles (Andy Samberg) and Sarah (Cristin Milioti) as they live a “Groundhog Day”-style life after being endlessly trapped in the desert.

Samberg earned an acting nod for the film as well.

“The Prom”

Netflix’s “The Prom” sees four Broadway stars (played by Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman and Andrew Rannells) take to a small-town in Indiana to come to the defense of a young woman who is barred from taking her girlfriend to the high school prom.

Streep was considered likely to be nominated, so many were surprised to see that in addition to a nod for best motion picture – musical or comedy, Corden is the only star to have received a nomination.

“French Exit”

Michelle Pfeiffer was nominated for her performance in ‘French Exit.’
(Screen Siren Pictures)

Screen veteran Michelle Pfeiffer scored a nomination for portraying aging socialite Frances Prince who is not only battling financial struggles but is also forced to move into a small apartment with her son and cooky cat.

“I Care a Lot”

Rosamund Pike in Netflix’s ‘I Care a Lot,’ in which she plays a caretaker that manages to sneak herself some extra cash until a client gives her a run for her money. 

“I Care a Lot” was another one of the year’s surprising nominees. It scored a nod for star Rosamund Pike’s performance as Marla, a caretaker who swindles her patients.

Things take a turn, however, when she finally meets her match.


Anya Taylor-Joy, who was nominated for her performance in “Emma,” is certainly one of the year’s breakout stars.

The film follows the titular character, who meddles in her friends’ love lives in 1800s England.

“The Personal History of David Copperfield”

Another flick that might have flown under most viewers’ radar is “The Personal History of David Copperfield.” 

It is based on the classic Charles Dickens’ tale of an orphan overcoming life’s curveballs as he grows up.

“News of the World”

What would award season be without Tom Hanks?

While the star himself wasn’t nominated, his flick “News of the World — which follows Hanks’ Civil War veteran as he returns a young girl to her family — did earn nods for Hanks’s co-star Helena Zengel and for the film’s score.

“Judas and the Black Messiah”

Inspired by a true story, “Judas and the Black Messiah” tells the tale of the FBI’s infiltration of the Black Panther party during J. Edgar Hoover’s presidency.

Daniel Kaluuya’s performance as civil rights leader Fred Hampton earned him a nomination, and H.E.R.’s song “Fight for You” also earned a nod for the songstress, Dernst Emile II and Tiara Thomas.

“The Little Things”

Yet another shocker, “The Little Things” saw Jared Leto earn a nomination for his role as a man suspected of a hideous crime.

The movie, along with “Judas and the Black Messiah” debuted simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters.

“On the Rocks”

Apple TV+ entered the game by securing a nod for Bill Murray’s supporting role in “On the Rocks.”

The picture follows Murray and his daughter (played by Rashida Jones) as they work as amateur sleuths to investigate her husband and his potential extra-marital affair.

“One Night in Miami…”

Aclaimed actress Regina King earned a nomination for her turn directing this adaptation of a play that chronicles an evening shared by Black legends Malcolm X, Same Cooke, Jim Brown and Cassius Clay — later known as Muhammad Ali.

Broadway star Leslie Odom Jr. earned himself two nominations — one for playing Cooke and another for writing the song “Speak Now” with Sam Ashworth.

“The Midnight Sky”


“Tenet” hoped to be 2020’s return to normalcy when it debuted in theaters over the summer, but instead tanked at the box office.

Regardless, the Christopher Nolan-directed thriller — which saw international spies race against time in more ways than one — nabbed a nomination for its score.

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language:

  • “Another Round:” Four teachers develop a theory that keeping alcohol in their bloodstream will improve their lives — and they test that very theory.
  • “La Llorona:” An aging war criminal is haunted by the ghosts of his past while he’s being looked over by his wife.
  • “The Life Ahead:” A young thief is taken in by a Holocaust survivor and her family. The Sophia Loren-starring film also earned a nomination for the original song “Io sì (Seen).”
  • “Minari:” A Korean Family moves to the Southern United States to start a new life in the 1980s. The film’s inclusion in the foreign-language category drew controversy considering it’s largely an American film.
  • “Two of Us:” Two women have hidden their love for one another for many years, and things become even more difficult when they’re unable to visit one another freely.

Best Motion Picture – Animated: 

  • “The Croods: A New Age:” A sequel to “The Croods,” the flick sees the prehistoric family face off against another clan that claims to be more advanced.
  • “Onward:” When given an opportunity to bring their father back for just a day, two elven brothers set out on a dangerous quest.
  • “Over the Moon:” With a dream to meet a mystical moon goddess, a young girl builds a rocket to blast into outer space.
  • “Soul:” When he finally gets his big break, jazz musician Joe winds up trapped between this life and the next, and must learn about himself in order to get back home.
  • “Wolfwalkers:” A hunter takes his daughter into the Irish wilderness to wipe out a wolf pack, but plans begin to change when the daughter makes a new friend

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