Minari has been a surefire contender for recognition as the awards season approaches this spring.

It’s compelling story of a South Korean immigrant family trying to make it in America is likely to fall on the deaf ears of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association - the body responsible for nominations - for a reason that just doesn’t make sense.

The HFPA has assessed that due to over 50% of the film being spoken in another language, Minari will not be eligible for the Best Motion Picture category.  

Question marks are being raised left, right and centre about the move, and why the association regards foreign language films as lesser than their English speaking counterparts.

In this case, having the characters in Minari speak fluent English could derail the entire premise of the movie, all to make it more palatable to Western audiences.

Filmmakers and actors have spoken out about the arbitrary barriers like this that prevent art from getting the recognition it deserves.

Lulu Wang’s film The Farewell was given similar treatment by the HFPA last year despite receiving universal critical acclaim. She was one of the first to speak with vigour on the ‘antiquated rules’ surrounding foreign language films.

Actor Simon Liu reminded Twitter that much of the production and direction of the film came from America too.

Among many others.

To add insult to injury, many of the submissions of English-speaking films have been reoriented into elevated categories, such as Saoirse Ronan’s elevation to lead actress rather than supporting for Ammonite, and Hamilton being considered for Best Motion Picture rather than it’s intended musical and comedy categories.

Think about if Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite had been given the same treatment at the Oscars - it would have never won this year’s Best Picture, in a decision that had (and still has) the potential to change cinema forever.

Like Parasite, if the quality exceeds the standards set by English language films, surely the percentage of English dialogue shouldn’t matter.

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