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Golden Globes’ biggest losers: Glenn Close, Frances McDormand and the voters

  • March 02, 2021

semi-virtual and very messy Golden Globes ceremony kicked off a strange pandemic awards season in Hollywood. There were Zoom winners, masked first responders in the audience and hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler cracking jokes from stages on opposite coasts. And there were also a few winners celebrated for their work in film and television in 2020.  

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a small group of Los Angeles-based journalists for international outlets that presents the Golden Globes, anointed winners including Chadwick Boseman (posthumously) as supporting actor for his turn in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and Netflix’s chess-themed drama “The Queen’s Gambit” for best limited series. But although many were deserving and expected winners, other talented nominees were overlooked.

From Vanessa Kirby’s lauded turn in “Pieces of a Woman” to Maria Bakalova, who stole “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” as the title hero’s daughter, here are the biggest losers from Sunday’s 78th annual Golden Globes. 

Golden Globes:‘Nomadland’ wins best drama, ‘Borat 2’ named top comedy

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association

If there was one big loser of the 2021 Globes it was the organization behind the awards show. Embroiled in controversy after a Los Angeles Times investigation showed that the 87-member organization had no Black members, the HFPA was the butt of jokes by the show’s hosts, presenters and winners. Cecil B. DeMille award recipient Jane Fonda alluded to the issue in her acceptance speech, calling for inclusivity in Hollywood.  An all-too-brief allusion by three members of the HFPA in a taped message was not well-received on social media and did little to address institutional problems. It was an unfortunate specter hanging over the entire night.

Stars join protest:Time’s Up calls out zero Black HFPA members voting on Golden Globes

Glenn Close is transformed into the tough-love, larger-than-life Mamaw in director Ron Howard's Netflix drama Hillbilly Elegy.

Glenn Close, ‘Hillbilly Elegy’

Close was widely favored to finally win her first Oscar for Netflix’s “Hillbilly Elegy,” and a Globe for best supporting actress would have been the logical first step. But Jodie Foster scooped up the award for “The Mauritanian,” a win that shocked Foster so much she cried, “I think you made a mistake!” while accepting the award with her partner and dog. 

Vanessa Kirby (right) plays a woman whose home birth with a midwife (Molly Parker) doesn't go according to plan.

Vanessa Kirby, ‘Pieces of a Woman’ and Frances McDormand, ‘Nomadland’

Andra Day surprised pundits with a big win in the category of best drama actress for her performance in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” Many had predicted a nail-biter between Kirby, for “Pieces of a Woman,” and McDormand for “Nomadland,” which walked away with awards for best director and best drama.  USA TODAY film critic Brian Truitt favored Kirby, calling her performance “a raw, gut-wrenching portrayal of a woman trying to move on after a tragic childbirth gone wrong.”

Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen) takes his teen daughter Tatur (Maria Bakalova) to a Georgia debutante ball in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.

Maria Bakalova, ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’

Bakalova stole the show and critics’ hearts with her performance as Borat’s (Sacha Baron Cohen) daughter Tutar. Although “Borat” took  two trophies, as best comedy/musical and for Cohen as actor, Bakalova lost to Rosamund Pike for “I Care A Lot.” Cohen called out Bakalova as a “revelation” in his acceptance speech while also paying tribute to his other co-star, Rudy Giuliani. 

Kaley Cuoco plays Cassie Bowden, the title character in HBO Max's The Flight Attendant.

Kaley Cuoco, ‘The Flight Attendant’

After the “Schitt’s Creek” sweep at the Emmy Awards last September, it was no huge surprise that the Pop TV Canadian comedy series (popularized on Netflix) did well at the Globes, winning best actress in a comedy/musical series for Catherine O’Hara. But Cuoco’s post-“The Big Bang Theory” role won positive reviews for her darkly comedic performance, and the Globes often award the biggest stars they can get to attend. 

Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult put on their best furs and drink a lot of vodka as Catherine the Great and her hapless husband, Peter III, in The Great.

‘The Great’

Hulu’s deliriously funny and biting historical satire was passed over three times: for best comedy or musical series, best actor  (Nicholas Hoult) and best actress  (Elle Fanning). Although “Schitt’s,” co-star Catherine O’Hara and Jason Sudeikis (“Ted Lasso”) were worthy winners, it’s a shame that “The Great” was shut out entirely. 

Watch: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler take on Globes controversy in no-holds-barred opening monologue

Winners:See the full list

Globes:Jane Fonda calls on Hollywood leaders to improve diversity in powerful speech

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