Jane Lapotaire didn’t make the cut for her phenomenal performance as Princess Alice among The Crown’s Golden Globe nominees. It’s a travesty since she was by far the best part of Season 3.
It’s no surprise that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) decided to recognize Netflix’s critical darling, The Crown, for its third season, in their list of Golden Globe nominations. The Crown received nods for Olivia Colman’s new take on Queen Elizabeth, Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, and Helena Bonham Carter’s Princess Margaret, and of course the Golden Globe nominee for Best Drama.
This season of The Crown doesn’t pack the same punch as the first one did, thanks to the original cast’s virtuoso performances (Claire Foy, Matt Smith, John Lithgow, and Vanessa Kirby), who breathed vibrant life into a history that we all thought we knew. However, the Netflix series deserves to be recognized due to a few episodes this season that are among the best the show has ever produced.
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One of those chapters tells the story of Princess Alice, mother to Prince Philip, “Bubbikins,” that is perhaps the most fascinating story told so far on The Crown. As Princess Alice, Lapotaire turns what is a great story into a revelation. Her take as Princess Alice is a masterpiece of multi-layered emotion, understated poignancy, and fascinating character.
It’s a compassionate, heartfelt performance that hovers above all the others on a well-cast show with some famous names. Yet, Jane Lapotaire did not receive a Best Supporting Actress nomination.
It takes a strong performer to bring such a character to life. Princess Alice’s history is a fascinating one. If ever there was an unknown story that needed to be told on The Crown, it was hers. Much has now been written about Princess Alice of Battenberg, thanks to The Crown Season 3. You can read more of her extraordinary history here.
Suffice it to say, with Prince Philip’s unlucky family beginnings and considering all the tragedy that befell his other family members, Season 2’s episode, “Paterfamilias,” demonstrates why Philip is the stalwart character that he is. By the time you get to Alice’s story, you realize that Philip gets his strength of will from his mother.
Jane Lapotaire’s testament of perseverance in the most trying times comes through in every scene she’s in. If there ever was a Golden Globe-worthy performance, hers is it.
Of the three other Golden Globe nominations, The Crown‘s Menzies is the most deserving and has a good chance of winning for Philip. It also helps make up for all the snubs for his memorable performance in Outlander. None of the actors had an easy time taking over for critically acclaimed and beloved actors Smith, Foy, and Kirby.
But of all of them, Menzies’ has been the most successful. His mid-life crisis in Episode 7, “Moondust,” brings some humanity to the queen’s husband. It’s an empathetic portrayal that blends seamlessly from Matt Smith in the first two seasons. His chemistry with Colman also works, thanks mostly to Menzies. Brian Cox from Succession is likely to win over Menzies, but it would be lovely if the Outlander actor got the Golden Globe.
Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter need not have been included in this year’s Golden Globes list. Colman is a HFPA favorite, having won both times she was nominated, for her much more deserving turns in The Night Manager and The Favorite. But as the Queen? It’s a passable performance, but really, a handful of other actresses could have also done the role justice.
The most egregious case of the Golden Globes just nominating a household name is Helena Bonham Carter. The polar opposite of Kirby’s effervescent take on Margaret, Bonham Carter seems to have phoned in the role, treating it like just another one of her historical English characters thrown on the stack. She’s fully capable of turning in a terrific performance, but her Margaret on The Crown Season 3 is not one of them.
To be honest, most of the list of Golden Globe nominees announced on Monday reads like a list of best actors from the 1990s anyway. But what it should be noting are the real breakthrough performances of the year, such as Jane Lapotaire’s on The Crown. Perhaps the role wasn’t featured enough to merit Best Supporting Actress, but it’s a missed opportunity regardless, for a performance that resonates with so much powerful humanity.
The full nominees list is here. The 77th Golden Globe Awards will take place on Jan. 5, to be broadcast on NBC, with Ricky Gervais hosting.
Watch The Crown on Netflix and jump to Episode 7 for Jane Lapotaire’s portrayal of Princess Alice.