“Minari” and the Golden Globes

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Gisell Ponce, Staff Writer

The Golden Globes will kick off the cinematic award season on Feb. 28, and viewers can expect a night of critical acclaim for 2020’s entertainment. Discussions on announced nominees are going on, while discussions by the film industry and critics are commencing for different reasons.

The Golden Globes announced that the movie “Minari” is ineligible for any of the best picture categories, which has its irony. The movie will instead be considered a foreign language film due to it being primarily in Korean. “Minari,” according to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, has “at least 51%” non-English dialogue.

Director Lee Issac Chung uses his childhood as inspiration for “Minari.” Set in the 1980s, the movie follows a Korean-American family’s search for a better life in rural Arkansas. The movie debuted last January at Sundance and swiftly became beloved by critics and audiences alike, winning  the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award.

Scrutiny of the Golden Globes lies in the evident fact that “Minari” is a American film, made by Americans, produced by American companies A24 and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.

The Golden Globes characterizing “American” as English-speaking led to widespread discussion. Actors, filmmakers, critics and more pointed out that movies such as “Inglorious Basterds” and “Babel” have been nominated for best picture without meeting the language regulations, later competing and winning in the best drama categories.

With these flaws being pointed out, Hollywood has progressed in how they view foreign language movies. In 2019, the Oscars changed the “Foreign” category to “Best International Feature Film.” The change was to deem the world’s movies not as being “foreign” but part of the entertainment industry as a whole. This change answered a past assumption of what makes a movie qualified enough to be regarded by Hollywood and American media.

“Minari,” as it is predicted to be nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars, is an exception to this change, as it is not a product of a foreign country. The United States has no official language, minorities and immigrants should not expect to be excluded from the American narrative and identity.

At the 2020 Golden Globes, South Korean Bong Joon-ho accepted his award for his praised and acclaimed movie “Parasite,” after which he said, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” “Parasite” later went on to have a historic win at The Oscars for best picture.

With the recent talk surrounding the Golden Globes, no changes will be made in the categorization of “Minari”, though audiences can continue to view its recognition throughout award season and follow through with its recent movie theater debut.

It’s apparent that American stories do not fall into one uniform, it should be known that these stories might not all be told in English. For the time being, audiences can continue to see Hollywood’s changing perceptions regarding foreign language movies and American stories.