The new movie from writer/director Lee Isaac Chung follows the story of a Korean-American family who pursues the American dream in the rural US in the 1980s, and has already received huge acclaim and a number of awards.
However, according to Variety, Minari will not compete in the Best Motion Picture – Drama, or Musical or Comedy categories at the Globes. Instead, it will be considered in Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language due to the film being primarily in Korean.
However, a similar controversy arose last awards season when Lulu Wang's The Farewell was shut out for the same reason – and many, including Wang herself, have criticised the Minari decision, particularly because it tells an American story and is made by an American filmmaker.
"I have not seen a more American film than #Minari this year," Wang tweeted. "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."
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu also hit out at the decision, saying: "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.
"…And without spoiling anything it is a BEAUTIFUL story of an immigrant family trying to build a life from the ground up. What could be more American than that?"
User @angryasianman added: "Minari is the most/best American movie I saw this year. This is complete bullshit. 1. The Golden Globes, on the whole, are a joke. 2. These rules are truly terrible. 3. Clearly, nobody foresaw a scenario in which an American movie about an American family, set in America, could be performed in anything other than English."
Another user tweeted: "Golden Globes is basically saying that any immigrant story--where kids & parents speak to each other in a language other than English--is un-American."
Plenty more have expressed anger at the decision:
They saw Parasite kick down that door and said oh shit, we better not let them in the house if we're going to stand a chance https://t.co/PbOTi7p54Y
— Jen Bartel (@heyjenbartel) December 23, 2020
an intrinsically american film about people in america navigating what it means to be american while surrounded by a bunch of other americans in real deep america. but far be it for me to question a sacred institution that's about to nominate THE PROM for Best Picture. https://t.co/Ie7MaPpL6z
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) December 23, 2020
Minari was written and directed by an American and produced by American production companies. It is an American immigration story. The lead is American. English is spoken in the film. And not every American household speaks only English. https://t.co/t9hJ7gyY1N pic.twitter.com/TaqHVbErQq
— Jenn Ravenna Tran (@JennRavenna) December 23, 2020
"MINARI" is an American film, set in the U.S., by an American filmmaker with an American star. We didn't do this for Coppola or Scorsese period movies where the Italians speak Italian at home. https://t.co/GwuhXpElJK
— MovieBob Productions (@the_moviebob) December 23, 2020
Literally this movie is about the "American dream"!!! what are you guys even talking about! https://t.co/8nDyhh0r38
— Jenny Han (@jennyhan) December 23, 2020
Minari was made by an american production company with an american lead, telling an american story, & is considered foreign
'The Artist' had a french production company, staring french actors, had no english spoken & was NOT considered foreign
Foreign only applies to skin color https://t.co/rQW11Pu371
— Carlos (@CarlosCrits) December 23, 2020
Yeun spoke earlier this year at the Sundance studio about how he connected with Minari's script, and that it "captured a feeling of what an immigrant experience is like".
"He captured the feeling of what a family is like, of what marriage feels like, what growing up in a religious household feels like… there are so many things that I could relate to with Isaac," the Walking Dead star said.
"I hadn't seen many tellings of stories of the other done in a way that wasn't idealising them or romanticising them or needing them to be afflicted by some external force that validates their existence."
Minari will be released in UK cinemas on April 2, 2021.
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