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Going for the gold: Previewing and predicting the 2021 Golden Globes

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Believe it or not, it looks like we’re actually going to get an awards show! That’s right folks – the Golden Globes are coming!

Now, it won’t be the same kind of ceremony to which we’re accustomed. There likely won’t be much in the way of red carpets or auditoriums full of famous people preparing to accept their little statues. We won’t see many tuxedos or bespoke gowns. There will be tech glitches galore as an attempt is made to remotely run a globally-viewed show.

But hey – at least Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are back to co-host. Not in the same room. Not even on the same coast. But they’re back, co-hosting as well as two people separated by 3,000 miles can.

The show will air at 8 p.m. on Feb. 28 on NBC, with preshow content streaming live via the Golden Globes’ official Twitter account and at GoldenGlobes.com starting at 6:30 p.m.

Like many, I’ve taken my share of shots at the Globes (or more specifically, against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the voting body for the awards) over the years. And there’s no disputing that plenty of weird choices were made yet again this year.

I don’t care! It’s an awards show! I’m here for it!

(Note: As per usual, my focus for this preview will be the movie side of the equation – specifically, the major awards. For the rest of my movie picks and my television predictions, you can check them out – in much less detail – at the end of this feature, but honestly, my TV picks are even more guesswork than my movie selections. You’ve been warned.)

It should also be noted that as always, these predictions are aimed at who WILL win as opposed to who SHOULD win in my opinion. I’m looking to maximize my correct answers, though the truth is that when it comes to the Hollywood Foreign Press, you never really know what the hell is going on.

Let’s go to the Globes.

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM

Kate Hudson – MUSIC

Michelle Pfeiffer – FRENCH EXIT

Rosamund Pike – I CARE A LOT

Anya Taylor-Joy – EMMA.

Let’s be real – there are a couple of nominees here who have almost no chance at a win. Hudson is nominated, though no one is sure why (least of all the 14 people who have actually seen the controversial “Music”). This is a headscratcher among headscratchers. Suffering from a different issue is Pfeiffer, who by all accounts is wonderful in “French Exit,” but “all accounts” is relative – this is another film that simply hasn’t been seen all that much. So again – probably a no. I quite liked “Emma.” And I really liked Taylor-Joy in it. But that film came out a LONG time ago – so long that she actually had an even better turn in “The Queen’s Gambit.” A deserving nominee, but ultimately just happy to be here. At the risk of more recency bias, I have to say that Rosamund Pike crushes in “I Care A Lot.” She brings a brittle iciness to the proceedings that is just a delight to watch, a perfect dark comedy protagonist. And yet – this award is almost certainly Bakalova’s to lose. The Globes love making unconventional choices and this is an easy path to do exactly that. Bakalova was an unknown, yet she’s hanging with (and often outshining) a force like Sacha Baron Cohen. And comedy or not, this might be the bravest performance of anyone on this list. Bakalova’s going to win and she deserves it.

Winner: Maria Bakalova

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Sacha Baron Cohen – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM

James Corden – THE PROM

Lin-Manuel Miranda – HAMILTON

Dev Patel – THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD

Andy Samberg – PALM SPRINGS

Okay, so I have some problems with a couple of the nominees in this category, so let’s get those out of the way first. First, we’ll start with Miranda. I watched “Hamilton.” I loved “Hamilton.” I just don’t believe that it belongs here. Not because it was bad, but because in my opinion, it isn’t really a movie. As for Corden, well … yikes. “The Prom” was a valiant effort at something that largely fell flat, and while it featured a few solid performances, I’d argue that Corden’s wasn’t one of them. Just an odd choice here. I’ve always liked Dev Patel, but I – like most of you, I’d wager – never saw this movie. He’s a talented performer, but it simply doesn’t seem like the kind of performance that’s going to snag you a win. “Palm Springs” was one of my favorite movies of the year and Andy Samberg’s performance is a huge reason why; it is perhaps the first project he’s done that has suitably harnessed his weird chaotic energy in a more mainstream (but still weird) project. I’d be pleased to see him win. He won’t though, because I can’t imagine a world in which Cohen doesn’t win. Bringing Borat back was a major gamble, but he made it pay off, both in terms of the quality of the film and its impact on the zeitgeist. Plus, the HFPA loves him. One-two punch for “Borat 2.”

Winner: Sacha Baron Cohen

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

Viola Davis – MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM

Andra Day – THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

Vanessa Kirby – PIECES OF A WOMAN

Frances McDormand – NOMADLAND

Carey Mulligan – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

This is an interesting collection of talent for sure. In truth, it’s a lot closer than this category sometimes can be. We’ll start with Day – while I have yet to see “The United States vs. Billie Holliday” (it becomes available on Amazon Prime Video this weekend), I’ve heard that it is a tremendous performance. However, I’ve also heard that she’s fifth on this list. Kirby is absolutely heartbreaking in “Pieces of a Woman,” giving a vulnerable and painful foundation to this tale of grief and the damage it can do. Davis gives a bravura performance as the titular Ma Rainey in her film, bringing her exquisite energy to the proceedings. It’s a bold, brassy turn – great fun to watch. Personally, I don’t think I’ve seen a better performance this year than what McDormand does in “Nomadland,” though I’ll concede that there might be a touch of recency bias. Still, it really is an incredible performance. That said, it seems that the conventional wisdom has Mulligan winning for her genre-subverting turn in “Promising Young Woman.” It’s certainly the flashier of the performances in what I believe to be a two-person race. The HFPA clearly likes this movie and this might be the spot where it is easiest for them to recognize it. So yeah – Mulligan wins, but by rights, I think this trophy should probably go to McDormand.

Winner: Carey Mulligan

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

Riz Ahmed – SOUND OF METAL

Chadwick Boseman – MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM

Anthony Hopkins – THE FATHER

Gary Oldman – MANK

Tahar Rahim – THE MAURITANIAN

This is one place where the topsy-turvy nature of the current cinematic landscape causes some issues. A couple of these films – “The Father” and “The Mauritanian” – have yet to go into any kind of wide release; they just haven’t been seen by that many people. As such, I’m guessing that the performances by Hopkins and Rahim (both excellent, if what I’ve heard is to be believed) won’t ultimately make it to the top of the heap. Oldman is always great; his work in “Mank” is no exception. There’s an old-school Hollywood franticness to his performance that really works. Unfortunately for him, I think the movie has been somewhat lost in the discourse. I absolutely loved Riz Ahmed’s performance in “Sound of Metal,” one of the most unique turns of the year. It’s a thoughtful and nuanced take on a role that could have ultimately been very one-note. Instead, we get a symphony. Most years, I think he has a real shot. This isn’t most years. The late Chadwick Boseman is almost certainly going to win for his exceptional work in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” And no, this isn’t some sort of legacy win – I feel strongly that he would be taking home this win if he was still with us. It is a sharp, smart and shockingly poignant performance from Boseman – one that absolutely deserves to be rewarded.

Winner: Chadwick Boseman

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE

Glenn Close – HILLBILLY ELEGY

Olivia Colman – THE FATHER

Jodie Foster – THE MAURITANIAN

Amanda Seyfried – MANK

Helena Zengel – NEWS OF THE WORLD

This is another one where I’m hamstrung by the fact that a couple of the movies simply aren’t available to wider audiences yet. I’ve loved Olivia Colman in everything in which I’ve seen her and I have no doubt that she’s great in “The Father,” but … I haven’t seen it. No one has. And look – any opportunity to get the Jodie Foster discourse going, I am here for it. This is her first film in three years – hopefully, we’ll all get a chance to see it soon. It’s a no-doubt earned nomination, but it seems unlikely that she wins. I wasn’t as down on “Hillbilly Elegy” as many were, but that doesn’t change the fact that Close is blatantly awards-hunting in poverty drag here. It’s a trophy grab, but unfortunately, the film around her isn’t enough to get her over the finish line. She’ll get her win someday, but this ain’t it. The Globes love of rewarding new talent might get some traction for Zengel, who at 12 hung with Tom Hanks. People have raved about her performance; in other years, she might have had a shot. But I believe this is Seyfried’s award to win – particularly because I think the powers that be want to reward “Mank” and this is probably the easiest spot in which to do it. It doesn’t hurt that she is absolutely wonderful, giving the best performance of her career.

Winner: Amanda Seyfried

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE

Sacha Baron Cohen – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Daniel Kaluuya – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Jared Leto – THE LITTLE THINGS

Bill Murray – ON THE ROCKS

Leslie Odom Jr. – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI...

The remarkable thing about this category is that in this movie year, there were some incredible supporting turns. And yet … Jared Leto is here. His weird, in-a-different-film performance in “The Little Things” was memorable, but maybe not in the way you’d hope. The walk alone … sheesh. Not at all sure how he got here. Ditto Bill Murray, who is undeniably charismatic and charming in “On the Rocks,” but he’s essentially just doing a riff on Bill Murray. A fine performance. Good, but not trophy good. It’s interesting that they landed on Leslie Odom Jr. as the nominee for “One Night in Miami…” – you could make a case for all four actors. He’s wonderful as Sam Cooke, giving a dynamic performance. He certainly deserves to be here, but he won’t win. Cohen has an outside shot at a double win – he really is very good as Abbie Hoffman – though he’s another who was part of a cast that featured numerous other potential worthwhile nominees. Again, an excellent turn. Not excellent enough to beat out Kaluuya, though, who absolutely breathes fire as Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. It is a transformative performance, one that mixes rage and rhetoric in a way that is simply unforgettable. Honestly, I think the entirety of awards season is going to be a series of coronations of this performance – Kaluuya is going to win everything he’s up for.

Winner: Daniel Kaluuya

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BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE

Emerald Fennell – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Jack Fincher – MANK

Aaron Sorkin – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller – THE FATHER

Chloe Zhao – NOMADLAND

This is one of the few categories this year where I feel like almost every nominee has a legitimate chance at the win. The exception is probably “The Father.” For all the reasons that I mentioned with regard to Hopkins and Colman, I don’t think that Hampton and Zeller are going to win. After that, though, things get interesting. Every so often, we get what I call a “narrative” win – a win that comes courtesy of a good story. That’s Jack Fincher and “Mank” – longtime passion project of father and son finally makes it to the big screen. It’s possible that we get the narrative win here, but ultimately, I think Supporting Actress is the extent of “Mank” recognition. Fennell is in the same boat – one gets the impression that “Promising Young Woman” lands second or third on a lot of lists. Still, I wouldn’t be at all shocked if she gets the nod here – the film has gotten a ton of positive attention. If I were voting, I’d probably go with Zhao and “Nomadland” – it’s just such an exquisite, beautifully crafted film that benefits greatly from the quality of the script. But again, I just want to give all the awards to this movie and I’m not sure the HFPA shares my feelings. You know who they love, though? Aaron Sorkin. And there’s no denying that the sheer craftsmanship of his script for “The Trial of the Chicago 7” warrants recognition. I think he wins here – and it’s a deserved win, even if I’d make a different choice. Come Oscar time, I bet he and Zhao both strike gold.

Winner: Aaron Sorkin

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BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE

Emerald Fennell – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

David Fincher – MANK

Regina King – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI...

Aaron Sorkin – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Chloe Zhao – NOMADLAND

Another stacked category for sure. And let’s not sleep on the fact that we have three women among the five nominees – a first for the directing category. I hate putting King at the bottom of the list, because I genuinely loved “One Night in Miami...” That said, someone has to be last, and there’s no shame in being last on this list. It’s her first film and I expect to see her pop up on plenty of lists like this in the future. Sorkin the director doesn’t quite measure up to Sorkin the screenwriter; his work on “Chicago 7” is solid but unspectacular – not really a recipe for recognition. I’m guessing the screenplay win will have to suffice. Once again, I feel like Fennell falls victim to a wrong place/wrong time situation. Her work on the film is excellent, but I’m just not sure it has the oomph to push ahead of the more celebrated names ahead of her. Names like Fincher, who has that narrative behind him to go along with the exceptional work he did with “Mank” – if he wins, I won’t be surprised. It’s a great piece of work. It’s just not as great as Zhao’s. Even with all the great work in the category, she really does feel like a shoo-in for the victory here. The combination of epic scale and aggressive intimacy she captures in “Nomadland” is the kind of stuff that should (and usually does) get rewarded. I’m going with Zhao, but I don’t believe there’s a wrong answer here.

Winner: Chloe Zhao

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BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM

HAMILTON

MUSIC

PALM SPRINGS

THE PROM

An eclectic selection, to be sure. Let’s start with this: “Music” is definitely not going to win. Controversy surrounding a film is a great way to generate buzz, but you have to make sure that the controversy isn’t tied in with the fact that your film isn’t, you know … good. Next – “The Prom.” Sure, when the category is “Musical or Comedy,” the thought is that you’ll bring a musical into the fray. Great. Too bad this time it’s “The Prom,” a weird Ryan Murphy fever dream that was never going to have any chance of matching its stage energy on screen. Of course, they ALSO brought “Hamilton” into the conversation, which, as I’ve previously stated, shouldn’t be here at all. Not because it is bad – it’s very good – but because IT ISN’T A MOVIE. It is a filmed play and that is a very different thing. And so, just like that, we’re down to two. “Palm Springs” was a delightful subversion of multiple tropes – rom-coms, time loops, you name it. And it featured strong performances, some real feeling and a load of genuine laughs. An excellent and worthwhile nomination. Honestly, I’d be perfectly content if it won here. It won’t though, because remember what I said earlier about controversy? “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” is a prime example of the benefits. It is an unsettling and deeply weird movie that is awkward and hilarious and features two of the year’s best performances, all with an added bonus of catching Rudy Giuliani pants-handed.

Winner: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

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BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

THE FATHER

MANK

NOMADLAND

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

We’ve talked about this enough, so I’ll just repeat: no one has seen “The Father,” so it seems highly unlikely that it is going to take home a trophy for Best Picture. Again, I have no doubt that it is excellent. I – along with the vast majority of people – look forward to seeing it. From there, it’s a very tight race, with the 1-2 and 3-4 spots being almost a coin flip. I’ll go with “Promising Young Woman” over “Mank” by the slimmest of margins, though the Hollywood history of “Mank” might capture the attention of HFPA voters. Still, I think that there’s plenty of love for Emerald Fennell and her film, though probably not enough for her to squeak out the win. No, I think this race is going to come down to two – “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Nomadland.” It’s interesting to consider, because by my reckoning, we’re going to come into this one with big wins for each: Sorkin for Best Screenplay and Zhao for Best Director. I genuinely don’t know who I feel most strongly about here – I’ve gone back and forth half-a-dozen times just in the process of writing this story. For the most part, I’ve gone with my head over my heart in these picks – focusing on who I think will win rather than who should. My head is saying that I should go with “Chicago 7,” that its star-studded cast is more the HFPA’s speed. That’s probably the smart play … but this time, I’m going with my heart. I’m going with Chloe Zhao and “Nomadland.”

Winner: Nomadland

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And, as promised, here are my even-less-informed picks for the rest of the awards.

MOVIES

BEST MOTION PICTURE – ANIMATED

THE CROODS: A NEW AGE

ONWARD

OVER THE MOON

SOUL

WOLFWALKERS

Winner: Soul

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BEST MOTION PICTURE – FOREIGN LANGUAGE

ANOTHER ROUND (DENMARK)

LA LLORONA (GUATEMALA / FRANCE)

THE LIFE AHEAD (ITALY)

MINARI (USA)

TWO OF US (FRANCE / USA)

Winner: Minari

 

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BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE

ALEXANDRE DESPLAT - THE MIDNIGHT SKY

LUDWIG GÖRANSSON - TENET

JAMES NEWTON HOWARD - NEWS OF THE WORLD

TRENT REZNOR, ATTICUS ROSS - MANK

TRENT REZNOR, ATTICUS ROSS, JON BATISTE - SOUL

Winner: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & Jon Batiste - Soul

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BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE

“FIGHT FOR YOU” — JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

Music by:   H.E.R., Dernst Emile II

Lyrics by:   H.E.R., Tiara Thomas

“HEAR MY VOICE” — THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Music by:   Daniel Pemberton

Lyrics by:   Daniel Pemberton, Celeste Waite

“IO SÌ (SEEN)” — THE LIFE AHEAD

Music by:   Diane Warren

Lyrics by:   Diane Warren, Laura Pausini, Niccolò Agliardi

“SPEAK NOW” — ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI...

Music by:    Leslie Odom, Jr., Sam Ashworth

Lyrics by:   Leslie Odom, Jr., Sam Ashworth

“TIGRESS & TWEED” — THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

Music by:   Raphael Saadiq, Andra Day

Lyrics by:   Raphael Saadiq, Andra Day

Winner: "Speak Now" - Leslie Odom Jr. & Sam Ashworth

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TELEVISION

 

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

THE CROWN - NETFLIX

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY - HBO

THE MANDALORIAN - DISNEY+

OZARK - NETFLIX

RATCHED – NETFLIX

Winner: The Crown 

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

Olivia Colman - THE CROWN

Jodie Comer - KILLING EVE

Emma Corrin - THE CROWN

Laura Linney - OZARK

Sarah Paulson – RATCHED

Winner: Emma Corrin

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

Jason Bateman - OZARK

Josh O’Conner - THE CROWN

Bob Odenkirk - BETTER CALL SAUL

Al Pacino - HUNTERS

Matthew Rhys - PERRY MASON

Winner: Jason Bateman

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BEST TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

EMILY IN PARIS - NETFLIX

THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT - HBO MAX

THE GREAT - HULU

SCHITT'S CREEK - POP TV

TED LASSO - APPLE TV+

Winner: Schitt’s Creek

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Lily Collins - EMILY IN PARIS

Kaley Cuoco - THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Elle Fanning - THE GREAT

Jane Levy - ZOEY'S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST

Catherine O’Hara - SCHITT'S CREEK

Winner: Catherine O’Hara

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Don Cheadle - BLACK MONDAY

Nicholas Hoult - THE GREAT

Eugene Levy - SCHITT'S CREEK

Jason Sudeikis - TED LASSO

Ramy Youssef – RAMY

Winner: Jason Sudeikis

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BEST TELEVISION LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

NORMAL PEOPLE - HULU

THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT - NETFLIX

SMALL AXE - AMAZON STUDIOS

THE UNDOING - HBO

UNORTHODOX - NETFLIX

Winner: The Queen’s Gambit

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Cate Blanchett - MRS. AMERICA

Daisy Edgar-Jones - NORMAL PEOPLE

Shira Haas - UNORTHODOX

Nicole Kidman - THE UNDOING

Anya Taylor-Joy - THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT

Winner: Anya Taylor-Joy

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Bryan Cranston - YOUR HONOR

Jeff Daniels - THE COMEY RULE

Hugh Grant - THE UNDOING

Ethan Hawke - THE GOOD LORD BIRD

Mark Ruffalo - I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE

Winner: Mark Ruffalo

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SUPPORTING ROLE

Gillian Anderson - THE CROWN

Helena Bonham Carter - THE CROWN

Julia Garner - OZARK

Annie Murphy - SCHITT'S CREEK

Cynthia Nixon – RATCHED

Winner: Gillian Anderson

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SUPPORTING ROLE

John Boyega - SMALL AXE

Brendan Gleeson - THE COMEY RULE

Daniel Levy - SCHITT'S CREEK

Jim Parsons - HOLLYWOOD

Donald Sutherland - THE UNDOING

Winner: John Boyega

Last modified on Wednesday, 24 February 2021 13:32

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