One of the most critically acclaimed American films of 2020, Minari, has been classified a foreign-language film ahead of the Golden Globes.
If that sentence didn't make any sense to you, you're not alone. On Dec 22, Variety reported that Minari would not compete in the best picture categories at the Golden Globes because of its new foreign-language film status, sparking an outrage among champions of the award-winning family drama set in the United States.
Entertainment luminaries across the industry are challenging the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's controversial decision regarding director Lee Isaac Chung's festival darling about a Korean American family starting a farm in 1980s Arkansas.
In a scathing tweet, actor and producer Daniel Dae Kim called the HFPA's move "the film equivalent of being told to go back to your country when that country is actually America."
A similar debate ignited last year around director Lulu Wang's 2019 film The Farewell, which features mostly Mandarin dialogue; Minari is primarily scripted in Korean.
According to the Golden Globes website, the HFPA identifies foreign-language entries as "feature length films (70 minutes or longer) with at least 51 per cent non-English dialogue track first released in their country of origin during the 14-months period... prior to the Awards." (The "country of origin" for both Minari and The Farewell is the United States.)
The requirements also stipulate that such films can be considered "in all other categories except best motion picture drama and best motion picture musical or comedy which are for English-language films exclusively."
"I have not seen a more American film than #Minari this year," Wang tweeted Dec 22. "It's a story about an immigrant family, IN America, pursuing the American dream. We really need to change these antiquated rules that characterises American as only English-speaking."
Wang was among several who emphasised the many American components of Minari, both onscreen and behind the scenes.
The emotional feature, starring The Walking Dead actor Steven Yeun and Yeri Han, debuted in January at the Sundance Film Festival, where it collected both the audience award and the grand jury prize in the U.S. dramatic competition.
"Just for the record, Minari is an American movie written and directed by an American filmmaker set in America with an American lead actor and produced by an American production company," tweeted actor Simu Liu, who is set to star in Marvel's Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. – DPA