Golden Globes 2012: Eight Actors Who Should Have Been Nominated

Loren DiBlasi


The nominations for the 2012 Golden Globe Awards, airing this January, have been announced, and they are all over the map. Unlike the Academy Awards, the Globes reward achievements in both television and film. The motion picture nominations are usually seen as the first step towards Oscar gold, and, more often than not, newer and more exciting television is overlooked in favor of popular and more established shows. This year, however, it seems that anything can (and will) happen.


On the film front, there are some familiar names (Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, George Clooney) but also a few unexpected nominations (Rooney Mara, Kristen Wiig, Joseph Gordon-Levitt). In television, many popular shows that we’ve seen nominated before (“Glee,” “Breaking Bad,” “Rescue Me”) were, for the most part, ignored. Instead, some surprises made the cut (“American Horror Story,” “Boss,” “Necessary Roughness”).


This only makes the Globes-- and the Oscar race that follows them-- that much more exciting to watch. Look for Streep, Mara, Tilda Swinton and Viola Davis to be locked in for Best Actress Oscar noms; but Michelle Williams, Glenn Close, Charlize Theron, Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet could all fight for that fifth and final spot. For Best Actor, Clooney, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Jean Dujardin should be shoe-ins, but anyone from Ryan Gosling to Owen Wilson could swoop in and shake things up.


But with every surprise comes a snub, and this year there seemed to be a lot of them. Here is a list of  eight actors and actresses who gave award-worthy performances only to find themselves left out in the cold.


Andrew Lincoln, “The Walking Dead”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series-- Drama

 Can we please just take a second and recognize how good this show actually is? Not just good for a zombie show; no, that would be too easy.  At its core, “The Waking Dead” is actually less about the dead than it is about the living. It is a story of humanity and some of the most personal struggles that we face; that is, with or without rotting corpses lurking in every corner, lusting over our brains. Every survival story needs a leader, and Andrew Lincoln as Sheriff Rick Grimes is the perfect classical hero in the most unconventional of settings. Last year, the show received recognition in the form of a Best TV Drama nomination; nextyear,  the light needs to shine on Lincoln.


Ted Danson, “Bored to Death”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

 Thanks to “Boardwalk Empire” and “Game of Thrones,” HBO did not exactly get shafted when it comes to the nominations. But where’s the love for “Bored to Death?” One of television’s few half-hour shows that will not only make you laugh out loud but also guarantees that you won’t be able to stop, “Bored to Death” features  a zany trio of unlikely heroes: Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis, and Ted Danson. While any of the three could easily be nominated (and easily win), Ted Danson as the young-at-heart George Christopher is the definition of a scene-stealer.


Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

 The absence of Burrell’s name on the Best Supporting Actor list is simply unjust. He was the category’s winner at the Emmy Awards earlier this year. “Modern Family” is (rightfully so) popular, and Burrell’s goofy but lovable Phil Dunphy is the type of character that people will remember fifty years from now. Like Dick Van Dyke, he’s a charming and loving husband; like Bill Cosby, he’s a somewhat sarcastic but ultimately devoted dad; like Archie Bunker, he can garner a laugh with just one look. Ty Burrell takes the best elements of the traditional TV patriarch and spins him on his head, creating a relatable and hysterical modern guy. Already a sitcom classic.


Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

 The fantastic Kristen Wiig easily scored a Leading Actress nomination, but America’s newest comedy sweetheart was somehow left in the dust. While “Bridesmaids” is great because of its brilliant-- and rare-- all-female ensemble, McCarthy simply kills as aggressively awkward sister-of-the-groom, Megan. Critics have been buzzing about McCarthy’s performance for months, some even suggesting that she might find herself up for an Academy Award; now, she doesn’t even get the Globe nomination. So, what happened? Maybe “Bridesmaids” was simply released too long ago, and with the typical fall influx of award-worthy performances, McCarthy  was forgotten. Regardless of why she was snubbed, most critics would categorize McCarthy as a new comedy queen.


Connie Britton, “American Horror Story”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series-- Drama

 This year, Connie Britton went from being Mrs. Eric Taylor in “Friday Night Lights” to Mrs. Ben Harmon in “American Horror Story.” However, for a woman who has made a career out of playing wives and mothers, Britton is always strong and fiercely independent, and her role as Vivien Harmon is no exception. The incredible Jessica Lange as the mysterious and nosy neighbor, Constance, may be the obvious choice for a nomination, but Britton has slowly and steadily taken her character on an emotional journey that stands out even among the show’s most shocking over-the-top frights and delights. Vivien effortlessly transforms from a woman hoping for a fresh start for her family into a lost soul who steadily begins questioning her own sanity. A nomination for Britton would have been a greatly deserved acknowledgement to a new and exciting role.


Charlotte Gainsbourg, Melancholia

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

 While controversial director Lars Von Trier’s "Melancholia" may not be for everyone, it is a visually stunning, dream-like work that delves deep into the personal psyche of its two leading characters: sisters Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg.) While Gainsbourg may not be well-known to mainstream American audiences, it is due time that the multi-talented actress/singer (daughter of late French singer Serge Gainsbourg and British fashion icon Jane Birkin) receives recognition for yet another powerful role. Gainsbourg is at her best as the serious but compassionate Claire, attempting to control both her sister’s illness and her own fear of the impending doom which lurks ever closer. While Dunst is the film’s poster girl and clear star, Gainsbourg is the sturdy backbone of the whole operation, and not only should have been nominated, but also should have won.


Michael Pitt, “Boardwalk Empire”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

 Chock-full of talented actors, rich writing and intense, emotional story lines, “Boardwalk Empire” just might be the best show on television right now. Nominees Steve Buscemi and Kelly MacDonald are phenomenal as Atlantic City kingpin Enoch “Nucky” Thompson and his mistress Margaret Schroeder, respectively, but it’s the young actor Michael Pitt who made the biggest splash this season. Pitt is Jimmy Darmody, a World War I veteran and Nucky’s onetime protege` who attempts to steal the throne right out from under his mentor. One of the more complex characters on the show, Jimmy’s bizarre, unhealthy relationship with his mother, Gillian, only 13 years his junior, played out at the end of this season like a classic production of Oedipus Rex. Pitt had an entire season of superb performances; equal parts subtle and jaw-dropping fierce. Easily worthy of a nomination, at the very least.


Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture: Drama

It is Kirsten Dunst’s majestic performance as the sad and beautiful bride Justine in "Melancholia" that tops the list of biggest-- and most surprising-- Golden Globe snubs. For her role, Dunst was awarded Best Actress at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and has received overwhelming critical acclaim; A.O. Scott of The New York Times wrote that “Ms. Dunst is remarkably effective at conveying both the acute anguish and the paralyzing hollowness of depression. To the extent that the destructive potential of "Melancholia" is a metaphor for her private melancholia, it is perfectly apt.” The role is a bit of a comeback for Dunst, who had been taking a break from acting and has admitted to have suffered from with depression. When life imitates art, or vice versa, the most brilliant, intense performance can emerge without even really trying. Let’s hope that the Academy tries a harder to reward Dunst later in the season, because in "Melancholia," her performance is brilliant and intense.

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