'Blue is the Warmest Color' competes for foreign Globe... as does Keanu Reeves
If you're still not over the fact that France's "Blue is the Warmest Color," Japan's "Like Father, Like Son" and India's "The Lunchbox," among other titles of note, aren't eligible for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, here's some cold comfort -- any one of them could yet pick up a Golden Globe in the same category. Over at The Wrap, the ever-diligent Steve Pond has done some digging and found the longlist of 48 films up for consideration in the category by the HFPA, which has a somewhat laxer qualifying system -- and unsurprisingly, all three controversial Oscar non-submissions are on it.
32 of the 48 films (precisely two-thirds, then) are also contending for the foreign-language Oscar, and include such high-profile contenders as "The Hunt," "The Past," "Wadjda," "Gloria," "The Grandmaster," "The Great Beauty" and "Child's Pose."
But among the remaining 16 -- the options that Academy voters don't have -- are some formidable options. "Like Father, Like Son" isn't the only notable Japanese entry; Hayao Miyazaki's "The Wind Rises," which will likely feature in the animated Oscar race, is also in the mix. (Japan's Oscar submission, "The Great Passage," is not.) Agnieszka Holland's acclaimed political drama "Burning Bush" is on the list -- you might remember that it was initially submitted for the Oscar, but was disqualified owing to its television premiere.
Before we idealize the Globes too much, though, it's worth noting the number of strong and/or significant films that appear only on the Academy's far longer longlist, among them Brazil's "Neighboring Sounds," Cambodia's "The Missing Picture" and the Netherlands' "Borgman." (The Netherland is instead represented on the Globes' list by "The Broken Circle Breakdown," which is actually a Belgian film.)
It seems likely that some combination of "Blue is the Warmest Color," "Like Father, Like Son" and "The Lunchbox" -- this year's most publicized victims of the Academy's system in this category -- will get nominated for the Globe. (Though I'd like to add at this point that I've seen India's Oscar entry "The Good Road," and it's by no means an embarrassing choice.) Perhaps even all three.
But could Keanu Reeves join them? The star's directorial debut, Chinese-American martial arts adventure "Man of Tai Chi," is also on the list. Before you laugh off the notion, remember that films by Angelina Jolie, Mel Gibson and Clint Eastwood have all been nominated in this category in recent years. If there's an opportunity to inject the night's least sexy category with some Hollywood glitter, those wily Globe voters will usually take it.
Meanwhile, Pond reports that the Globes did their darnedest to disqualify Swiss entry "More Than Honey," on the basis that it's -- ewww, gross! -- a documentary. When producers of the rather compelling study of the global bee crisis pointed out that nothing in the eligibility criteria specifically stated documentaries couldn't compete, the HFPA's foreign-language committee magnanimously allowed it to compete this year -- but swiftly amended the rules to make sure that it can't happen again. So breathe easy: the Globes will be a strictly documentary-free zone from next year onwards. Whew.
Check out the full list of Globe-eligible foreign language features on the next page. What do you think they'll nominate?