Golden Globes makes history with most nominations for women directors

Robyn BECK / AFP

From director nods for three women to Hollywood period drama 'Mank' leading the nominations, the Golden Globes was strong on diversity.

The contest for the best drama movie will also include modern Great Recession saga Nomadland, 1960s Vietnam War protest drama The Trial of the Chicago 7, #MeToo revenge fantasy Promising Young Woman, and family drama The Father about aging.

Sacha Baron Cohen's satire on former President Donald Trump's America, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Hamilton, The Prom, autism story Music, and time-loop comedy Palm Springs will compete in a separate category for movie musicals and comedies.

For television, British royal family series The Crown, whose season focused on the late Princess Diana, led the way with six nods, including for most of its main cast, followed by quirky small-town comedy Schitt's Creek.

Netflix Inc beat all comers in both film, with 22 nominations, and television, with 20. The tally followed a year in which the pandemic led Hollywood studios to push back dozens of their film releases or put them on streaming services.

Amazon Studios got seven nominations in the movie field.

Three of the five directors nominated were women, including Regina King for One Night in Miami, about a meeting of four Black icons in the 1960s; Britain's Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman and Chinese-born filmmaker Chloe Zhao for Nomadland.

Variety calculated that a record 30 per cent of the acting nominees in the film categories were nonwhite.

They included Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman, in his last film role, the jazz period piece Ma Rainey's Black Bottom; British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed as a drummer going deaf in Sound of Metal; Andra Day for her role in The United States vs. Billie Holiday; and Dev Patel for his modern twist on Charles Dickens' The Personal History of David Copperfield.

"Without question, things are changing," said actor Leslie Odom Jr., who performed in Hamilton, Music and One Night in Miami where he played singer-songwriter Sam Cooke.

"The table is getting longer, the room is getting larger, and the lens is finding new people and new interesting stories to tell," Odom said in a phone interview.

Foreign language film nods went to Minari, about a South Korean family trying to make it in the United States; elder love story Two of Us from France; The Life Ahead starring Italian legend Sophia Loren; Danish comedy Another Round and La Llorona, a ghostly drama from Guatemala and France.

The Golden Globes are to be handed out at a virtual ceremony on February 28, hosted by actors Tina Fey in New York and Amy Poehler in Los Angeles.

"Despite a stressed pandemic year, there is a comfort of sorts in embracing traditions," said Mank star Gary Oldman of the ceremony.

It was a good day for Baron Cohen, who won nominations both for his Borat sequel and for his supporting role as counterculture leader Abbie Hoffman in The Trial of the Chicago 7.

"These two films are different, but they share a common theme: Sometimes we have to protest injustice with our own farce," Baron Cohen said in a statement.

Aaron Sorkin, who was nominated for directing and writing The Trial of the Chicago 7, said the film had struck an even greater contemporary chord than he envisaged after a year of political unrest in the United States.

"This has been a film 15 years in the making," Sorkin said in a phone interview. "I always wanted the film to be about today and not 1968. I just never imagined how much about today it would end up being." 

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