Nominations for the 2021 Golden Globes are still over a month away, but the upcoming ceremony is already at the center of controversy after Variety confirmed Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari” is being shut out of the Best Picture race and relegated to the Best Foreign Language Film category. A similar fate befell Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell” at the 2020 Golden Globes. Both films were rejected by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) from competing in the main Best Picture races because they are predominantly in Korean.
News of the “Minari” Best Picture shut out at the 2021 Golden Globes generated outrage on social media from film critics and Hollywood talent such as Wang, Daniel Dae Kim, and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” star Simu Liu. As Wang put it in her reaction to the snub, “I have not seen a more American film than ‘Minari’ this year. It’s a story about an immigrant family, in America, pursuing the American dream. We really need to change these antiquated rules that characterizes American as only English-speaking.”
Daniel Dae Kim added, “The film equivalent of being told to go back to your country when that country is actually America.”
Several film journalists noted the hypocrisy of the HFPA for shutting out “Minari” for Best Picture while nominating films such as Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Babel” in the main Best Picture races in the past. Like “Minari,” these films also predominantly featured foreign languages. “Babel” even won the Best Motion Picture Drama prize.
The Globes’ “Minari” decision is being criticized as “racist” and “complete bullshit,” with “Kim’s Convenience” actor Andrew Phung adding, “A sad and disappointing reminder that a movie about the American dream, set in America, starring an American, directed by an American, and produced by an American company, is somehow foreign.”
“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,” Simu Liu wrote. “What could be more American than that?”
“Minari” won the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. While the film will not be eligible for the Globes’ Best Picture prize, actors such as Steven Yeun can still land nominations. The HFPA will announce the 2021 Globe nominees on February 3, 2021. A24 is set to release the film on February 12.
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