Let’s face it. The Golden Globes isn’t an awards show that many people take seriously. After all, it’s just a great big party where celebs gather together to get a little drunk (*cue* Glenn Close).
But if despite some of their misguided decisions of the past (remember the times when Burlesque and W.E won something?!), there were a couple of things the Hollywood Foreign Press Association got right. Here are five Golden Globe-nominated performances that you NEED to check out.
1) Barkhad Abdi in Captain Phillips
“Look at me. Look at me. I’m the captain now.”
Those three short sentences are enough to give you chills.
In his first major role, Somalian-born actor Barkhad Abdi gives an incredible performance as Muse, the leader of a group of Somali pirates who invade a ship led by Captain Phillips, played by Tom Hanks. In the film, his presence is threatening and haunting that when he enters the ship and begins to take over, you can’t just get your eyes off him. In fact, he’s so impressive that he’s also earned BAFTA and SAG nominations for the role. Not bad for his debut!
2. Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black
Let’s face it. No one in television is even close to doing the type of work Tatiana Maslany is doing on Orphan Black. Taking on the role of multiple clones (so far, we know of 10), this Canadian talent brilliantly transforms herself to play completely different characters by mastering their accents, mannerisms and expressions.
Having won the Television Critics Association Award earlier in 2013, fans were outraged that she was snubbed for an Emmy. But now that she’s managed to snag a Golden Globe nomination, this award is her’s to lose tomorrow night.
3. Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis
You may have seen him as Carey Mulligan’s criminal husband in Drive but marking his first major role in a Coen Brothers’ film, Oscar Isaac is one you should look out for.
Playing the title role of Inside Llweyn Davis, Isaac plays a struggling folk musician who has a lot of passion for what he does but is a bit of an asshole on the side. But despite being less than friendly to people he cares about, you can’t help but feel sympathy for his character. Add in the fact that he can sing and play the guitar beautifully, this Julliard graduate surely has the chops to do well in Hollywood!
4. Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years A Slave
We should just call this awards season the “Year of the Rookie.” Like Barkhad Abdi, Nyong’o blew audiences away as a young female slave named Patsey in 12 Years A Slave.
Cast right after graduating from the Yale School of Drama, it’s clear director Steve McQueen saw something special in her. As the lofty yet vulnerable woman who attracts the attention of slave owner Edwin Epps (played by Michael Fassbender), Nyong’o completely tears the audience apart with her performance. I’m not even going to lie and say I didn’t cry during the scene where she admits to leaving the plantation for a bar of soap. My bets are on her for winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in March.
5. Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years A Slave
This talent may seem like a new face entering Hollywood but he’s been around for years appearing on various British films, television shows and theatre productions.
While 12 Years a Slave is packed with impressive performances (particularly by Michael Fassbender, Sarah Paulson and Lupita Nyong’o), Chiwetal Ejiofor is so good in this film that he doesn’t even have to say a word. All you have to do is look into his eyes and your heart will just break. I’m betting that he’s going to sweep all the awards this year, including that Best Actor Oscar. God knows he deserves it. And if he doesn’t win, then a mistake would have been made.