'Minari' Fans Are Happy With Golden Globes Win, But Still Upset With Foreign Categorization

The American movie Minari took home the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday night. While fans were happy to see director Lee Isaac Chung accept the award (adorably, with his daughter by his side), they were still upset that the movie was left out of the Best Motion Picture - Drama category, due to its Korean-heavy dialogue.

After receiving a hug from his daughter when the win was announced on Sunday, Chung offered his thanks and discussed the film's significance. In his speech, the director appeared to reference some of the controversy surrounding the categorization.

"Minari is about a family. It's a family trying to learn how to speak a language of its own. It goes deeper than any American language and any foreign language. It's a language of the heart. I'm trying to learn it myself and to pass it on, and I hope we'll all learn how to speak this language of love to each other, especially this year," Chung said.

Minari follows a South Korean family who moves to Arkansas in the 1980s as they try to begin farming and growing Korean vegetables. Speaking to CNN about the nomination and controversy, Chung said, "I feel really torn about everything that's happened. It's just the rules that they have in that category."

He added that he's happy to help provoke conversations about inclusion. "We're starting to see that being an American, being someone in this country—the picture of that is more complex than we might often assume. And I feel like films need to reflect that. Rules and institutions should reflect that. And it's good that we can have this conversation," he said.

Fans of the movie celebrated the Sunday night victory, but still expressed disappointment that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association—the organization that votes on the Golden Globes—included Minari in the foreign-language category despite it being an American film.

"I'm really happy for 'Minari', but let's not lose sight of the fact that it's an American film and should have been up for the main drama award. Because languages other than English are part of the American story, too," one person wrote.

i think we can all agree that minari deserved to be in the best picture category but it deserves all the recognition and more nonetheless pic.twitter.com/pcbO2T60BB

— ً (@wiIdshot) March 1, 2021

My mixed feelings about Minari’s Best Foreign Language film win comes from the fact that the film was not eligible for Best Picture despite being a quintessential American film. #GoldenGlobes https://t.co/LlTs7qx0aE

— Nancy Wang Yuen (@nancywyuen) March 1, 2021

I’m really happy for “Minari”, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that it’s an American film and should have been up for the main drama award. Because languages other than English are part of the American story, too.#GoldenGlobes

— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️‍🌈 (@cmclymer) March 1, 2021

minari winning but in the wrong category pic.twitter.com/p85ziPkGTa

— lucy (@heylucymay) March 1, 2021

A few people seemingly cast shade on the HFPA by reminding people that Minari is indeed an American film.

Reminder: Minari is an American film. #GoldenGlobes pic.twitter.com/d7y9BhBkNi

— Jason Carlos (@jaarlos) March 1, 2021

The new American classic 🌱

Congratulations to MINARI, Best Foreign Language Film. #GoldenGlobes pic.twitter.com/4hS53uoEy5

— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) March 1, 2021

Can’t wait to see Minari, that foreign film from the USA #GoldenGlobes

— Hema Mullur (@HemaMullur) March 1, 2021

AN AMERICAN MASTERPIECE. #Minari https://t.co/ctnh9Xy7q3

— William Yu (@its_willyu) March 1, 2021

Even with the controversy around the HFPA's handling of the film, Minari is favored to receive a Best Picture nomination at this year's Academy Awards. Minari is one of the most acclaimed films of 2020, and currently holds a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. (Nominees for the 93rd Academy Awards will be announced on March 15, ahead of the April 25 ceremony.)

The 2020 Oscars ceremony represented a breakthrough moment for international cinema, when the South Korean thriller Parasite took home the Best Picture award. It was the first non-English language film to do so, and its win shows that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is open to celebrating more types of films in its most prestigious categories.

Congrats Minari. Well-deserved.
Still, makes no sense it’s in “foreign film” category, & ineligible for best picture.

Hope for recognition at Oscars.

— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) March 1, 2021
Lee Isaac Chung
Lee Isaac Chung of "Minari" speaks onstage during the 2020 Sundance Film Festival Awards Night Ceremony at Basin Recreation Field House on February 01, 2020 in Park City, Utah. Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty