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Golden Globes nominee profile: Vanessa Kirby (‘Pieces of a Woman’) may be lone nominee for her film but so were last 2 winners

Despite critical success and an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Princess Margaret in seasons 1 and 2 of “The Crown,” the Globes snubbed Vanessa Kirby. While she may be rooting for her successor Helena Bonham Carter to win for that same role this year, Kirby is also in contention for her tour-de-force performance as Martha Weiss in “Pieces of a Woman.”

This first-time nominee vies for Best Drama Actress against Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”), Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) and Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”). Day is also a first-timer, Mulligan is on bid #2 and both Davis (“Fences” in 2017) and McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” in 2018) have won here before.

Kirby carries the mantle for “Pieces of a Woman” as the Netflix film’s only nominee. Ellen Burstyn, who plays her mother Elizabeth, was considered a strong contender in the Best Supporting Actress field but was snubbed by the HFPA. Kirby plays a new mother who loses her baby moments after giving birth to her. From there, the family struggles to move on from the trauma and Martha must fight against Elizabeth’s wishes to properly bury the baby and her husband’s (Shia LaBeouf) desire to seek punitive damages against the midwife. The emotionally heavy drama is a showcase for Kirby.

SEE 2021 Golden Globes nominations list: Nominees for 78th annual ceremony

At each of the last two ceremonies, this award has gone to an actress who was the lone nominee for their film: Renee Zellweger for “Judy” and Glenn Close for “The Wife.” Worryingly, it was McDormand who three years ago won here as the lead of the Globes choice for Best Drama winner “Three Billboards.”

In addition to her Golden Globes bid, Kirby is in the running at both the Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild Awards. She is also among the contenders recently longlisted by BAFTA for a nomination. The Globes will be the first of those groups to announce their winners on February 28th in a bi-coastal ceremony.

This article is a part of Gold Derby’s “Golden Globes nominee profile” series spotlighting the 2021 contenders in film and TV.

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