Will Ben Whishaw earn his first Golden Globe nomination for his scene-stealing role in the Amazon limited series “A Very English Scandal”? He has been on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s radar before, having appeared in Globe contenders like “I’m Not There,” “London Spy,” “The Danish Girl” and “The Lobster,” but he himself has never made the cut. That could change this year with “A Very English Scandal,” which could make up for him being snubbed for another very English limited series that was near and dear to my heart, “The Hour.”
I think “The Hour” was one of the most underrated dramas of the decade. The short-lived BBC America series followed the inner workings of a fictional news program in the 1950s. It only ran for two seasons (2011-2012), and its primary notoriety in the US came when it pulled off a stunning upset at the 2013 Emmys for Best Movie/Mini Writing over HBO juggernaut “Behind the Candelabra” and superstar names like Tom Stoppard (“Parade’s End”), David Mamet (“Phil Spector”) and Jane Campion (“Top of the Lake”). But the Golden Globes were much more welcoming to “The Hour” as a whole.
It’s not too surprising that the Hollywood Foreign Press appreciated a show about the press. They nominated it twice for Best Movie/Limited Series (2012-2013), and in 2012 they also nominated two of the show’s three lead actors: Romola Garai and Dominic West — but not Whishaw for his role as a stubborn lead journalist. On top of that, Garai, West and the series were also nominated at the Critics Choice Awards, but still no Whishaw. However, he did pick up a Gold Derby Award nomination in 2013 — such wise voters, they are.
But as of this writing Whishaw looks like a safe bet for his first Golden Globe nom. In the fact-based “Scandal” he plays Norman Scott, whose lover was a prominent British politician (played by Hugh Grant) who conspired to have him killed in the 1970s. Whishaw currently ranks third in our predictions for Best TV Supporting Actor with 9/2 odds. And three of the Expert journalists we’ve polled are betting on him to win: Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Robert Rorke (NY Post) and Kaitlin Thomas (TVGuide.com). It doesn’t hurt that Globe voters will also see him this year in “Marry Poppins Returns” and hear him as the voice of the title character in “Paddington 2.” Is the “Hour” at hand for Whishaw to win?
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