Unlike the Academy, the Hollywood Foreign Press likes to keep things simple. If a movie is spoken in a foreign language and is also, you know, set somewhere off these shores, it’s a contender for a Best Foreign Language Golden Globe award….even if a L.A.-based distributor funded it. The result, says Hollywood Reporter guy Gregg Kilday, is that Mel Gibson‘s Apocalypto and Clint Eastwood ‘s Letters From Iwo Jimacould” be in the running against Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck‘s The Lives of Others, Pedro Almodovar’s Volver and Guillermo del Toro‘s Pan’s Labyrinth in the 64th annual Golden Globe Awards.
The Academy, Kilday explains, “gives a certain weight to the country of origin, allows only one film to be submitted per country and has no mechanism for the U.S. to submit a movie. But the HFPA considers any film in a foreign language that screens for its members by its deadline. Does that mean a fantasy film using a made-up foreign language that takes place, say, on the ice planet of Hoth is eligible? How about a film set entirely in a U.S.-run Japanese internment camp in the early ’40s and spoken entirely in Japanese?
By the way, the online version of Kilday’s story mis-spells Henckel von Donners- marck’s first name — they left out the “l” in Florian.