2020 Golden Globes snubs and surprises, from 'Game of Thrones' and Baby Yoda disses to 'Joker' scoring big

Ethan Alter
·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Photo: HBO, Everett Collection, Universal Pictures
Game of Thrones, Joker and Cats. (Photo: HBO, Everett Collection, Universal Pictures)

Before jumping into what surprised — and what got snubbed — in this year’s batch of Golden Globes nominations, let’s first address the giant dragon in the room: HBO’s mighty fantasy blockbuster Game of Thrones only picked up a single nomination for its abbreviated final season: Kit Harington made the cut for Best Actor in a TV Drama. Sure, social media wasn’t kind to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s six-episode sprint to the finish line, but Emmy voters still rewarded the show with a record-setting number of nominations, as well as a trophy for Outstanding Drama Series. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association apparently felt that was sufficient, but notably didn’t have the same issue with Emmy comedy darling Fleabag, which nabbed multiple nods for in-demand creator, Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Here’s Yahoo Entertainment’s round-up of the biggest snubs and surprises among the nominations for the 77th Golden Globes.

SNUB: HBO favorites Game of Thrones and Veep get no love for their final seasons

Drogon destroys the Iron Fleet in 'Game of Thrones' (Photo: Courtesy of HBO)
Drogon destroys the Iron Fleet in Game of Thrones. (Photo: Courtesy of HBO)

Globes voters to Daenerys Targaryen and Selina Meyer: Don’t let the ceiling fall on you on the way out. Both Game of Thrones and Veep exited the broadcasting stage with only a lone nomination between them, despite ranking among HBO’s most popular Sunday night double bills for multiple years. Instead, voters opted to honor Big Little Lies and Succession, which both landed nominations for Best Television Drama, as well as nods for Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep, and Brian Cox, respectively.

SURPRISE: Marriage Story leads the way among Netflix’s powerhouse offerings

Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in 'Marriage Story' (Photo: Netflix)
Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in Marriage Story. (Photo: Netflix)

Netflix may have their Oscar hopes pinned on The Irishman, but Noah Baumbach’s acclaimed marital drama Marriage Story wound up being the streaming service’s most-nominated feature on Globes morning. The film received a total of six nominations, including Best Drama, Best Original Score and Best Screenplay, as well as nods for stars Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson and Laura Dern. That’s one more nod than Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half hour gangster yarn, which nabbed five. (Netflix’s sure-to-be-sleeper hit, The Two Popes was close behind at four.) Then again, it’s all gravy to Netflix: After years of trying to secure a foothold in the Best Drama race, the streaming service has not just one, but three movies in contention for the top prize.

SNUB: Greta Gerwig missed the chance to break up the boys’ club of directors

Emma Watson and Greta Gerwig on the set of 'Little Women' (Photo: Wilson Webb/Sony Pictures)
Emma Watson and Greta Gerwig on the set of Little Women. (Photo: Wilson Webb/Sony Pictures)

Based on the early raves for Little Women — raves that Yahoo Entertainment can heartily endorse — Gerwig had a strong chance being a Best Director nominee. Unfortunately, she failed to make the final list of nominees, with all five slots going to male directors. That’s exactly the kind of boys’ club that Natalie Portman famously called out onstage at the Globes two years ago, when Gerwig was similarly overlooked for her feature debut, Lady Bird. Don’t be surprised if we get a repeat performance of that moment at this year’s ceremony... and it would be well-deserved.

SURPRISE: The Morning Show puts Apple TV+ in the Globes race for the first time, without any Baby Yoda to steal its thunder

Although it launched a month before Disney+, a lot of the buzz surrounding Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV+, dissipated the minute Baby Yoda showed up onscreen. But even if Twitter can’t get enough of the 50-year-old child, Globes voters snubbed The Mandalorian in favor of Apple’s marquee series The Morning Show. Both Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon were nominated for Best Actress in a Drama, and the show, which received middling reviews from critics, scored a Best Drama nomination alongside Big Little Lies, The Crown, Killing Eve and Succession.

SNUB: It may still be a big box-office hit, but Cats didn’t roar at the Globes

(Photo: Universal)
Tayor Swift in Cats. (Photo: Universal)

Twitter can’t get enough of Cats, even though no one has seen it, or will see it, for another week. No one, that is, except Globes voters, who had the privilege of previewing Tom Hooper’s digital fur-enhanced version of the Andrew Lloyd Weber Broadway hit before anyone else. Based on the fact that the film only scored a single nomination — for Taylor Swift’s original song — we have to assume they were unimpressed. (For comparison’s sake, the 2017 movie musical, The Greatest Showman, scored three Globes nominations before it embarked on its massive box-office haul.) There’s still enough curiosity out there for Cats to find an audience in theaters, but it probably won’t have nine lives as an awards player.

SURPRISE: Controversy, shmontroversy — Joker is a serious awards player

Joaquin Phoenix gets into character in 'Joker' (Photo: Warner Bros.)
Joaquin Phoenix gets into character in Joker. (Photo: Warner Bros.)

Twitter hates Joker as much as it loves Cats, but awards votes are all in on Todd Phillips’s ultra-dark, ultra-divisive origin story for Batman’s longtime nemesis, played by Joaquin Phoenix. (Their love is real; Yahoo Entertainment attended a special awards screening of Joker recently, and the audience affection for the movie and its director and star was palpable.) The film received four nominations, including Best Original Score, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Drama, and could emerge as the dark horse winner in multiple categories.

SNUB: The awards hopes for Avengers: Endgame may have just ended

Robert Downey Jr. made his final appearance as Iron Man in 'Avengers: Endgame' (Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / © Marvel Studios / courtesy Everett Collection)
Robert Downey Jr. made his final appearance as Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame. (Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / © Marvel Studios / courtesy Everett Collection)

It’s the biggest hit in Hollywood history, but Endgame faces a bigger battle than the Avengers vs. Thanos: convincing awards voters that the Infinity Saga-capping blockbuster is worthy of statues. Globes voters weren’t persuaded, declining to acknowledge the film or Robert Downey Jr.’s final performance as Tony Stark. (At least until Black Widow comes out next May.) Maybe card-carrying Avenger, Chadwick Boseman, will help give it an Oscar bump after he’s caught up with all the other contenders.

SURPRISE: The HFPA found room for Cate Blanchett despite Where’d You Go, Bernadette? pulling a box office vanishing act

Blanchett in 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette' (Photo: Wilson Webb / Annapurna Pictures)
Blanchett in Where'd You Go, Bernadette. (Photo: Wilson Webb / Annapurna Pictures)

Richard Linkater’s post-Boyhood slump continued with Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, which vanished in the late summer box office thanks to middling reviews and word of mouth. But star Cate Blanchett is an HFPA favorite — the actress has nine previous nominations and two wins since 1999 — so they found a way to bring her total count up to an even 10 by adding her to the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy category alongside Ana de Armas, Awkwafina, Beanie Feldstein and Emma Thompson. Her chances of victory are slim, but she and Thompson should have a grand old time hanging out together. We’d want to sit at that table, for sure.

SNUB: Globes voters clearly didn’t see When They See Us

Jharrel Jerome in 'When They See Us' (Photo: Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix)
Jharrel Jerome in When They See Us. (Photo: Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix)

Netflix is typically very secretive about ratings, but earlier this year, the streaming service let the world know that When They See Us was its most-watched series ever. Apparently, the HFPA weren’t among those that watched Ava DuVernay’s moving dramatization of the Central Park Five case, because the four-episode series was completely overlooked in the Best Limited Series category, with attention instead going to Catch-22, Chernobyl, Fosse/Verdon, The Loudest Voice and Unbelievable. The latter series proved to be Netflix’s big contender on the TV side: It scored nominations for Best Limited Series or Motion Picture, and also got nods for stars Kaitlyn Dever, Merritt Wever and Toni Collette.

SURPRISE: The new Lion King won’t win the same award as its predecessor

Zazu (John Oliver) gives Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and Simba (JD McCrary) the morning report in 'The Lion King' (Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection)
Zazu (John Oliver) gives Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and Simba (JD McCrary) the morning report in The Lion King. (Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection)

Twenty-five years ago, Walt Disney’s animated blockbuster, The Lion King, claimed the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy over live-action rivals like Ed Wood and Four Weddings and a Funeral. Jump ahead a quarter-century and Jon Favreau’s remake will instead compete in the animated category that the HFPA instituted in 2006. That runs somewhat counter to Favreau’s own feelings; the director has argued that the new version exists in a middle ground between live action and animation. Regardless, with over $500 million at the box office, he should still be prepared to accept the trophy on Golden Globes night.

SNUB: Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell isn’t a Globes gem

Kathy Bates and Clint Eastwood on the set of 'Richard Jewell' (Photo: Claire Folger / © Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection)
Kathy Bates and Clint Eastwood on the set of Richard Jewell. (Photo: Claire Folger / © Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection)

Clint Eastwood has a long-established history of disrupting the awards race with a last-minute entry that leaves voters swooning. But the director’s newest film, Richard Jewell, didn’t prove to be this year’s Million Dollar Baby with the HFPA. While Kathy Bates picked up a nomination for Best Supporting Actress, the timely biographical drama was omitted from all other major categories.

SURPRISE: Knives Out is looking ultra-sharp

Daniel Craig leads an all-star ensemble in Rian Johnson's 'Knives Out' (Photo: Claire Folger/Lionsgate)
Daniel Craig leads an all-star ensemble in Rian Johnson's Knives Out. (Photo: Claire Folger/Lionsgate)

With over $120 million at the global box office, Knives Out is a certified international hit. Still, it was a mystery whether Rian Johnson’s delightful Agatha Christie riff would speak to the HFPA. Consider that case solved: Voters awarded well-deserved acting nominations to Daniel Craig and breakout star, Ana de Armas — soon to be seen together again in the 25th James Bond adventure, No Time to Die.

The 2020 Golden Globe Awards air Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle’s newsletter.