The Brits Are On the Rise This Awards Season
For decades, hit British television shows have been adapted for the U.S. market. From The Office to Shameless, it's become clear that Americans and Brits have similar tastes when it comes to what they like to watch. But this year, the Brits are stepping firmly into the spotlight and marking their territory on U.S. soil with their mountain of nominations.
Whether they're behind-the-scenes, in front of the camera, or peppered in the scenery, it seems that wherever you look a Brit can be found. I must disclose up front that I am in fact a Brit myself, but for the purposes of this piece I promise to put my British Bias aside to serve you my mini reviews of all the British talent out there.
The Crown: All the TV nominations across all the awards!
The Crown, like its royal subject, colonized the Golden Globes Awards this year. As an anti-royalist Brit, I tried my hardest to push this show away like a bad plate of shepherd's pie... but once I started, I couldn’t stop, and it was tasty! Now I attend a support group for The Crown fans who anxiously await the next season. Maybe Meghan Markle will play herself in the most dramatic season yet?
Small Axe: Nominated for a Golden Globe in the Categories of Best Television Motion Picture and Best Supporting Actor - John Boyega
John Boyega is a charismatic champion in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe, highlighting a neglected bit of British history. It's both alive and vibrant, however sometimes there's a bit more fiction than fact and is cheesier than expected. I’ve spoken to those who lived through that time, and they have some criticisms. Overall though, it was injected with passion from Steve McQueen’s genius direction.
Normal People: Nominated for a Golden Globe in the Categories of Best Television Motion Picture and Best Actress - Daisy Edgar Jones
Snubbed by this year's SAG Awards, but a big winner at the Emmys, Normal People stabilized its awards momentum with two Golden Globe nominations this year. I’ve been obsessed with star-crossed lovers since Romeo and Juliet, and this tale is simple yet rich. Normal People stays true to the book, whilst being visually stunning and brave in its exploration of intimacy. Look out for more visual delights from Irish novelist Sally Rooney as an adaptation of her first book 'Conversations with Friends' is currently in the works.
Killing Eve: Nominated for a Golden Globe in the Category of Best Actress - Jodie Comer
We can't pretend that we're not sad that Sandra Oh wasn't also nominated this year. After all, she brings down the house with the energy she emanates in her acceptance speeches.
Watch Sandra Oh accept the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama in 2019 for her role in Killing Eve:
Of course Jodie Comer is no stranger to receiving recognition for her role on Killing Eve either. Although she may have been stunned when she won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress In a Drama Series for Killing Eve in 2019, we're hoping she's getting used to it by now.
Speaking of Killing Eve, if you haven't heard, the critically acclaimed drama will conclude with its fourth and final season.
Promising Young Woman: Nominated for a Golden Globe and Oscar in the Categories of Best Director - Emerald Fennell, Best Actress - Carey Mulligan, and Best Picture
It’s Emerald Fennell's first role as a director, with Carey Mulligan as her rape-revenge warrior protagonist. Although set in the United States, Promising Young Woman is a great example of British talent. Emerald Fennell is certainly set for a promising future in movies with her fierce engine of ideas, and I can't wait for more.
The Father: Nominated for a Golden Globe and Oscar in the Categories of Best Picture, Best Actor - Anthony Hopkins, Best Supporting Actress - Olivia Colman, Best Director
A French-British affair, The Father stars Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman who act their hearts out as father and daughter in this very emotional movie. It's directed by Florian Zeller, a French playwright who actually adapted this film from his own play by the same name. The Father is nominated for an Oscar for his exquisite direction of this very human story. The cast and crew dig deep into the relationship between father and daughter to expose its very core.
If the above wasn't enough to prove the Brits are on the rise, let's take a look at the British Actors and Actresses being recognized this awards season. I'll try not to tear up as I detail all the things I love about each and every one of these great talents.
Michaela Coel: Nominated for Best Actress at the SAG Awards for her roles in her own series, I May Destroy You
I’m not sure why I May Destroy You hasn’t reached more American screens. Although Michaela Coel is very British in her writing and sensibility, her stories are utterly universal. I May Destroy You is a masterpiece in my eyes, highlighting the ugliness of sexual assault whilst still giving us the levity, strength, and tenacity of rape survivors. It's one of the best things I’ve ever watched.
Rosamund Pike: Nominated and Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Motion Picture for her role in I Care A Lot
Rosamund Pike is slowly becoming the queen of psychological thrillers. She manages to pull off posh British elegance with ‘crazy’ person in many of her other roles. Did you see her slit that guys throat in Gone Girl? Sheesh. Beautiful and absolutely terrifying. And she doesn't let up in I Care a Lot either. She’s quite excellent and watchable as a cruel shark-like, con woman.
Daniel Kaluuya: Nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes and the Oscars for his role in Judas and The Black Messiah
Daniel Kaluuya just won’t stop being a force to be reckoned with. As an avid theater-goer in London, I paid witness to Daniel’s talent even in his early career. He has now of course become the king of the awards and the recipient of much critical acclaim in the last few years. We haven’t seen him in any U.K. movies for a long time, so I expect him to be taking over the U.S. awards for years to come. Daniel Kaluuya does do an outstanding job in Judas and The Black Messiah, and shows he can deliver tense and profound scenes with both humor and terror.
Riz Ahmed: Nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes and the Oscars for his role in Sound of Metal
Riz Ahmed has been a strong favorite of mine since his hilarious, profound role in the British indie movie Four Lions. He's slowly making his mark on American soil. Of course, his role in The Night Of got him some well-earned attention. Now he's nominated for an Oscar for his role in Sound Of Metal, which is in my Top 10 list of movies from 2020. It's a role that sets a strong path for a career full of nominations (and wins).
Gary Oldman: Nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes and the Oscars for his role in Mank
Gary Oldman is a British treasure. He actually directed one of my favorite British, gritty classics, Nil By Mouth. Oldman has of course been all over the world, spreading the seed of his talent, and is no stranger to U.S. audiences. Although Mank wasn’t for me, Oldman delivered an excellent piece of acting that brought what would have been an otherwise boring story to life. My prediction is Gary Oldman’s career will only accelerate, and we all know he's already in a pretty fantastic position where he is.
Dev Patel: Nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes for his role in The Personal History of David Copperfield
Dev Patel is no stranger to an award, with an already very successful career coming out of Slumdog Millionaire and Lion—he definitely knows how to win our hearts. If you've seen it already, you know that Dev brings magic to an already magical movie in The Personal History of David Copperfield. If you haven't seen it, you should!
Sacha Baron Cohen: Nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes and the Oscars for both his role in Borat and The Trial of the Chicago 7
Sacha must be a happy man. He was hard to miss on screen this year, and rightfully so given his gift for bringing comic relief to dramas. Borat was obviously genius with its awkwardness and ability to make us cringe at our strange political landscape. I wasn’t a huge fan of his performance in Trial of the Chicago 7, but loved him in Borat. Whether his performances are worthy of a nomination, I am unsure, but I am still inspired by his moral ambition.
Woo! We made it to the end. See, I told you there was a lot to go through, and I hope you feel I kept my promise to maintain an unbiased point of view!
So what are your thoughts on more British talent being nominated and playing American roles? Do you welcome the Brits and their talent? Let us know about your favorite British movies, TV shows, actors and actresses, and who you think will take America by storm in the years to come.
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