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Park Chan-wook misses out at Golden Globe Awards

Director Park Chan-wook attends a red carpet event at the 2023 Golden Globe Awards held at Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, Tuesday local time. (Yonhap-EPA)
Director Park Chan-wook attends a red carpet event at the 2023 Golden Globe Awards held at Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, Tuesday local time. (Yonhap-EPA)

Internationally acclaimed director Park Chan-wook’s romance thriller, “Decision to Leave,” failed to win the best non-English language film prize at the 80th Golden Globe Awards Wednesday.

The award went to "Argentina, 1985," an Argentine historical drama film written, produced and directed by Santiago Mitre. The film became the first recipient after the award was renamed from best foreign language film, amid controversy over ethical lapses and a lack of diversity in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). The HFPA, an 87-member organization, votes for the Golden Globe Awards.

After a year off the air, the ceremony took place at its usual home of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California Tuesday evening. Besides Park’s “Decision to Leave,” other contenders in the category were “All Quiet on the Western Front” from Germany, “Close” from Belgium, France and Netherlands, and “RRR” from India.

It was the second time for the South Korean film to be nominated in the non-English language film category. Director Bong Joon-ho's "Parasite" won the award in the category in 2020, as well as best director and best screenplay.

Despite its loss at the Golden Globes, "Decision to Leave" won best international film at the Austin Film Critics Association Awards Wednesday.

“Decision to Leave” (CJ ENM)
“Decision to Leave” (CJ ENM)

Korean film critics noted that other nominees in the Golden Globes category were more competitive than the 59-year-old auteur's romance thriller as awards take into consideration "various things."

“Just like ‘Decision to Leave,’ ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ and ‘Argentina, 1985’ all received positive responses globally,” said film critic Yoon Seong-eun.

Others said the HFPA stuck to awarding projects that have historical value and a universal message, as it did in previous years.

During the awards ceremony, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprising appearance and addressed the audience via a recorded message saying, “There will be no third world war, it is not a trilogy."

Although a Golden Globe award is seen as a bellwether for films hoping for a win at the Oscars, Park still stands a chance at the Academy Awards.

Academy Award voters will begin casting their ballots for Oscar nominations on Thursday, shortly after the Globes gala. Oscar nominees will be named on Jan. 24.

“Decision to Leave” is Korea's entry for the best international feature film category at the 94th Academy Awards slated for March.

Belgium’s “Close,” Cambodia’s “Return to Seoul,” Germany’s “All Quiet on the Western Front,” and Sweden’s “Cairo Conspiracy” are among the films shortlisted in the category.

“Decision to Leave,” Park’s 11th project, tells the story of detective Hae-jun (Park Hae-il), who investigates a murder and suspects Seo-rae (Tang Wei), the wife of the victim, of committing the crime. The film shows how Hae-jun slowly becomes obsessed with Seo-rae.

The film won Park the best director prize at the 75th Cannes Film Festival in May last year. It was his third Cannes prize following the Grand Prix for "Oldboy" (2003) and the Jury Prize for "Thirst" (2009).

Meanwhile, three of the films shortlisted for Golden Globe Awards’ non-English language film have been nominated for best foreign film at the 28th Critics Choice Awards taking place in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Park's film has been longlisted in four different categories in the 2023 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards, also known as the British Academy Awards. Winners will be announced on Feb. 19.

Director Park received a BAFTA award in 2018 with his 2016 film “The Handmaiden.”

Park Chan-wook (center) speaks with the two lead actors, Tang Wei (right) and Park Hye-il, on the set of “Decision to Leave.” (CJ ENM)
Park Chan-wook (center) speaks with the two lead actors, Tang Wei (right) and Park Hye-il, on the set of “Decision to Leave.” (CJ ENM)


By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)
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