Golden Globes: Why 'Parasite,' 'The Farewell' and 'Pain & Glory' Weren't Nominated for Best Picture

farewell, parasite and pain & glory- Split- Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy Photos

The HFPA's rules stipulate that contenders in the best drama or comedy/musical categories must feature at least 50 percent of English dialogue.

Bong Joon Ho's Parasite, Lulu Wang's The Farewell and Pedro Almodovar's Pain & Glory have all earned critical praise and picked up multiple Golden Globe nominations on Monday. But all three movies were notably missing from the top category. 

Parasite and Pain & Glory did not qualify for the Golden Globe best drama feature award, while The Farewell was left out of the best comedy category, as each film features more than 50 percent of non-English language dialogue.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organizers of the Globes, stipulate that contenders in its best foreign language film category must feature "more than 50 percent non-English dialogue." Parasite is fully in Korean while The Farewell is predominantly in Mandarin, and Almodovar's Pain & Glory is entirely in the Spanish language.

Meanwhile, any film with half or more of its dialogue in English is eligible for the best drama or comedy/musical categories. All three films were nominated for the Golden Globes foreign film race, along with French films Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Les Misérables.

Parasite landed three Golden Globe nominations, including best director and screenplay for Bong. The Farewell earned two nods, including best comedy actress for Awkwafina, while Pain & Glory also picked up two nods that included best drama actor for Antonio Banderas.  

All films are eligible for the Oscars international film category and for the best picture category. 

Last year, Alfonso Cuaron's Spanish-language Roma also didn't qualify for the best drama category. It did, however, win the best foreign language film and Cuaron won best director at the Golden Globes awards ceremony in January.

The debate about whether language should be a qualifying criteria for a foreign film was intensified last month when Nigeria's entry for the international feature film Oscar category, Lionheartwas disqualified because it contained only 11 minutes of non-English dialogue. The Academy's rules for the category state that films must have a predominantly non-English dialogue track, but the decision garnered backlash including from the film's director, Genevieve Nnaji, as Nigeria's official language is English.