Why Is the Golden Globes Making American Film 'Minari' Compete for Best Foreign Language Film?

'Minari'Credit: A24
The Golden Globes is known for its controversy, but this seems so stupid...

The Golden Globes are unlike any other awards show. Studios submit their movies and TV shows into the categories they think it might fit. These categories are split between drama, comedy, lead, and supporting. Then an initial committee reviews the submissions.

But according to the official rules, members can then vote to accept the studio’s submission or they can overturn the submission and switch the category. You need a 2/3 majority to overturn. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association currently includes 89 journalists from more than a dozen countries.

Okay, got all that? 

This year, A24 submitted their film, Minari, into the competition. The movie is from writer/director Lee Isaac Chung and follows the story of a Korean-American family who pursues the American dream in the rural US in the 1980s.

It's a staggeringly beautiful look at the American dream and immigrant life. Since the family is Korean immigrants, they speak mostly Korean in the film. But it takes place in America and is about what it means to become American. 

This seems like the perfect breakout hit for Best Drama, but according to VarietyMinari will not compete in the Best Motion Picture—Drama... or Musical or Comedy. In fact, it won't be considered for any of the domestic categories. Instead, it will be considered in Best Motion Picture—Foreign Language. 

This obviously created a lot of blowback across the internet. Not only does this seem shortsighted, but it also feels racist and classist. This is not the first time the Globes have done this. Last year, Lulu Wang's The Farewell had to compete in the foreign category for the same reason. 

Wang took to Twitter to voice her concern. 

And she's not the only one, there is a very loud chorus of filmmakers, critics, and other industry professionals upset over the Globes' decision to change the movie's category. Aside from social media, it also opens a conversation about what it actually means to be an American. We used to be a nation proud of its settlers and immigrants who were forging a new life here. 

In such a divisive past few years, Minari seems like a movie this country would want to embrace. 

I do not expect the Globes to go back on their decision, but they should rethink moves like this going forward. 

Let us know what you think in the comments.     

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Your Comment


Create your own awards and award whatever you wish for your film. Korean is NOT English. It is a foreign language. Period!

December 24, 2020 at 7:36AM

T. Edzeani Doh
Filmmaker in Ghana

Curious what your thoughts on Inglorious Basterds are? Should that have been in the Best Foreign Film category as well since it was roughly 30% English?

December 26, 2020 at 1:29AM, Edited December 26, 1:29AM


I think Inglorious Basterds should've been Best Foreign Film, yes. If a film is in another language other than English for majority of its runtime, I think it should be considered a Foreign Language Film. Now, I think this category shouldn't even exist anymore and any film should be included in the main categories if it's good enough, but that's the world we live in.

December 29, 2020 at 9:54AM


So what you're saying is other countries like South Korea would have an English speaking film win their top honors? Because I'm pretty sure that has never happened and will never happen. Parasite won best picture at the Oscars but South Korea's Grand Bell Awards which is their Oscars equivalent has never even nominated an American film in over 56 years.
Instead writing articles pretending the American film market and award system are one sided why don't you write one about how all films across the world are segmented and we by and large have country specific nationalism protecting the positioning of films worldwide?
Oh wait that's because this blog has just descended into just constantly complaining about Hollywood because none of you have made it there.

January 11, 2021 at 10:00AM



January 15, 2021 at 1:01AM

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But is it an American production company? American crew?

February 28, 2021 at 10:11PM, Edited February 28, 10:11PM