Golden Globes: Foreign Language Nominees Score Multiple Crossovers To Other Marquee Races

Song Kang-ho, Choi Woo-Sik, Park So-dam and Jang Hye-jin in 'Parasite'
'Parasite' NEON

UPDATE, writethru with Bong Joon-ho reaction: The Golden Globes nominations for Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language include three Oscar frontrunners, and two movies that are not eligible for the Academy Awards’ newly-named International Feature race. Among the Globes contenders, it is no surprise to see Bong Joon-ho’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner Parasite, Pedro Almodovar’s Cannes Best Actor winner Pain And Glory or Ladj Ly’s Cannes Jury Prize laureate Les Miserables in the mix today. The former two titles also saw crossover into other main categories. This is not an entirely new phenomenon (think Isabelle Huppert recently winning Best Actress at the Globes for Elle), but follows on from this year’s Oscars which spread Foreign Language films across multiple categories.

Lulu Wang’s indie breakout The Farewell is another Foreign Language Globe nominee which found mention in a key category: Awkwafina picked up a Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy nomination today. The Mandarin and English-language film debuted at Sundance and qualified in the FL race at the Globes, despite being a U.S. production. Its provenance knocks it out of Oscar contention, while movies vying for the FL Globe are not eligible in the Best Film competitions.

The Farewell has grossed $19.6M worldwide including $17.7M in North America where A24 distributes. The story centers on a Chinese family who discovers grandmother has only a short time to live and decides to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding as an excuse to reunite and say goodbye to the beloved matriarch.

The dramedy recently saw its China release shelved. Thinking is that it will get a later date with the delay allowing for potential benefit from awards momentum in early 2020.

Céline Sciamma’s French period drama Portrait Of A Lady On Fire rounds out the field of five in the FL category, scoring a Globe nomination today, though it is not France’s official Oscar entry (Les Misérables is). Neon, which also handles Parasite, acquired the Cannes Best Screenplay winner with Hulu during the festival last May. The movie opened this weekend domestically, grossing $67K at two sites. Its debut per-screen average is one of the best of any French film in the U.S. in the last 20 years.

Adèle Haenel, Noémie Merlant, Luana Bajrami and Valeria Golina star in the film about a female painter commissioned for a wedding portrait of a young, reluctant bride on an isolated island in Northern France at the end of the 18th century.

As for Parasite, Bong’s black comedy thriller that has so much heat also scored nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay today. Bong told me that it has been a “very heated and hectic day” that included, along with the Globes, learning of the LA Film Critics Association prizes while he was just about to be in transit. He added that he doesn’t believe the core reason Parasite has resonated is because the film deals with the rich and the poor. “There are a lot of films and TV shows about the same topic, what Parasite brings is a very cinematic experience (that has) restored faith in cinema.”

Parasite, about the members of a poor family who together scheme to work in a wealthy household by posing as unrelated, highly qualified help has been on an awards season tear and has grossed a fantastic $118.4M globally. Today’s nominations are the first for Bong at the Globes while he has previously repped Korea at the Oscars. But the country has never received a nomination from AMPAS despite having one of the richest and most sophisticated home-grown industries in the world.

Another pic seeing crossover into major categories is Spanish master Pedro Almodovar’s Pain And Glory. The Globe Foreign Language nominee also picked up a nod today in the Best Actor race for Antonio Banderas’ portrayal of a director reflecting on his past. Banderas won the acting prize in Cannes and also scooped the European Film Award this weekend.

This is Almodovar’s 7th Golden Globe nomination in the FL category which he has won twice previously, with All About My Mother and Talk To Her. Sony Pictures Classics handles Pain And Glory which has grossed $35.5M worldwide to date.

Finally, newcomer Ly’s Les Misérables is also in the Globes FL mix. A rare first-time feature filmmaker to compete in Cannes (and a Deadline one-to-watch), his drama is a contemporary and very timely look at strife between the police and the denizens of the Parisian suburb where Victor Hugo’s classic novel was partly set. Amazon has domestic and will release in January.

Strongly buzzed titles that didn’t make the cut today include Mati Diop’s Atlantics from Senegal and Alejandro Landes’ war drama Monos, among many others.

The Globes and the Oscars do not always match up. In recent years, there’s been a divide in the nominees with Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War snubbed by the HFPA last December (and subsequently bagging three Oscar nominations) while 2016’s Elle went all the way to the gold with the HFPA (even taking Best Actress for Huppert), but failed to be recognized by AMPAS, not even making the FL shortlist. This year’s International Feature Oscar shortlist will be unveiled on December 16.

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