Surprises and Snubs From This Year’s Golden Globe Nominations

While big names like Wes Anderson and Harrison Ford went unrecognized, 'Succession' and 'Barbie' came up big.

Atmosphere at the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards Nominations at The Beverly Hilton on December 11, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. Photo by Michael Buckner/Penske Media via Getty Images

After a troubled recent history, the Golden Globes continues to try to and reinvent themselves. Next January’s ceremony will move the Globes from longtime broadcast home at NBC to CBS, and 2023 has already seen massive changes as the Globes were handed off by the non-profit Hollywood Foreign Press Association to the for-profit Eldridge Industries and Dick Clark Productions. The voting body also greatly expanded, now comprising 300 voters across 75 countries. 

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That move towards diversity seems to have manifested itself in this year’s nominees, with international films highlighted across the board in a pleasant surprise for cinephiles everywhere. Of course, the nominations also brought with them plenty of other shocks and snubs, with the Globes presenting a first look at what we can expect for the rest of this awards season.

Two men in different spaces talk on corded telephones while others look on.
Jake Ryan, Jason Schwartzman and Tom Hanks in Asteroid City. Courtesy of Pop. 87 Productions/

Snub: Asteroid City crashes and burns

Wes Anderson has long been a favorite in the Globes’ Musical/Comedy categories, with The Grand Budapest Hotel winning Best Picture nearly a decade ago. Seven of the director’s previous features have been nominated at the Globes, which makes the exclusion of his Cannes hit Asteroid City quite the upset. The Musical/Comedy field is competitive this year thanks to Barbie, Poor Things, The Holdovers, American Fiction and May December, but surely Jason Schwartzman’s stellar performance should have earned a nod. 

It can be difficult for spring and summer releases to leg it out through the marathon of awards season, and the Globes are an indication that Anderson’s Asteroid City has run out of gas.

Surprise: Categories are still up to interpretation

May December is hardly the least comedic movie to be nominated as a comedy at the Globes, but how willing the awards show is to bend definitions does raise some eyebrows. Take the Best Foreign Language Film category, which emphasizes language rather than country of origin. Celine Song’s debut film Past Lives is nominated in this category; though it’s an American film, much of the dialogue is Korean. Conversely, the Palme d’Or winning Anatomy of a Fall is a French film with a hefty amount of English dialogue, but it’s also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. As per usual, there don’t appear to be many (if any) hard and fast rules when it comes to how the Globes define their categories, but it makes for a more exciting show when the unexpected come out on top.

Snub: Harrison Ford, again

First the Emmys, now the Globes! The veteran actor just can’t seem to be recognized. Ford’s exclusion from the nominations is made all the more apparent by the fact that his co-stars in two different TV series garnered nominations. While the Emmys ignored 1923 entirely, the Globes nominated the Taylor Sheridan show for Best Television Series, Drama and gave Helen Mirren a nomination. Meanwhile, Ford’s acclaimed turn in Shrinking has been overlooked once again, with only lead actor Jason Segel nabbing a nom for the comedy series.

(L to R) Margot Robbie, Ana Cruz Kayne, Greta Gerwig, and Hari Nef on the set of Barbie. Jaap Buitendijk, Warner Bros.

Surprise: Female directors fly

To date, only three women have won the Golden Globe for Best Director: Barbra Streisand for Yentl, Chloe Zhao for Nomadland, and Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog. Nominations for female directors have been sparse, with the only others being Sofia Coppola, Kathryn Bigelow, Ava DuVernay, Regina King, Emerald Fennell, and Maggie Gyllenhaal—that’s nine women in total out of an 80-year history. Thankfully, the 81st Golden Globes add to that number, with Greta Gerwig and Celine Song each receiving their first nominations for Best Director. It’s the second time two women have been recognized in the category (King and Fennell did it first only three years ago), and hopefully signals an ongoing trend.

Snub: Big names don’t mean big hauls

Michael Mann and Ridley Scott both contributed massive biopics to this year’s release calendar, but you wouldn’t know it looking at these nominations. Both Ferrari and Napoleon were shut out, with respective lead actors Adam Driver and Joaquin Phoenix ignored for their performances. Ironically, Phoenix received a nomination from an unlikely source: Ari Aster’s odd and off putting Beau is Afraid garnered the actor a nom in the Musical/Comedy category.

Justine Lupe, Alan Ruck, Kieran Culkin, Jeremy Strong, and Sarah Snook (from left) in the final season of Succession. Photograph by Macall Polay/HBO

Surprise: Succession breaks records

While it’s certainly no shock that the beloved television drama racked up multiple nods, the number that Succession got is noteworthy. The series’ final season earned nine nominations, a new record for TV at the Globes. The show also had a dominant presence at the Emmys, albeit with one big difference: Nicholas Braun missed out on a nomination for his beloved Cousin Greg, with Matthew Macfadyen, Alan Ruck, and Alexander Skarsgård holding the fort in the supporting actor category instead.

Succession isn’t the only record-breaker—Meryl Streep one-upped herself by receiving her 33rd Golden Globe nomination, the most of anyone in history. Her latest nom comes from her stupendous performance in Season 3 of Only Murders in the Building.

Sigh: Cinematic & Box Office Achievement

It’s no secret that awards show viewership has dwindled over the years, causing people all over the industry to try and find new ways to draw the audience’s attention. For the Oscars, that involved the ill-advised “Best Popular Film” and eventual “Oscars Fan Favorite” ideas. For the Globes, evidently, it’s the new Cinematic & Box Office Achievement category.

While the awards body explained the eligibility criteria of this new category, the how and why of what movie they’ll reward still seems murky. Barbie and Oppenheimer are undeniable favorites in other categories, does that mean the same for this one? Can you really compare the cinematic achievement of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse with Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour? Or will box office be the determining factor, with Barbie and The Super Mario Bros. Movie duking it out as the only two films to pass $1 billion? It’s a confusing category in any year, but when Barbie, the highest-grossing film of the year, is also the most-nominated in general, it feels especially unnecessary.

Surprises and Snubs From This Year’s Golden Globe Nominations