Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s new film Biutiful has just received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. The film (remember, this is artsy so it’s not a movie) will be the representative from both Spain and Mexico. Word on the street is that it is a seriously depressing flick filled with lots of emotionally manipulative melodrama. We’re pretty sure it’s at least somewhat good given that Javier Bardem won the Best Actor Palm D’or at Cannes. That’s all fine and dandy, but here’s the thing: Is Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu really a foreign director? Hell no!
Okay, in the most literal sense, he is. The guy was born in Mexico and not in the United States, and his rise to cinematic prominence came because of a little Mexican movie called Amores Perros (you should see it if you haven’t yet). But the guy lost his “foreign director” status when he made Babel and 21 Grams. Those two movies were were Hollywood-backed schlock fests starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. Do you really get to call yourself a foreign director when you have American A-listers like Tyler Durden and Jeff Spicoli in your films? No, you don’t.
You’re probably saying, “Yeah, but he’s still a foreign director because he was born in Mexico.” That’s a completely valid point. Wrong, but valid nonetheless. Take into consideration Peter Jackson, director of big Hollywood blockbusters like The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and the craptastic King Kong remake. He was born in New Zealand. Would you call him a foreign or a Hollywood director? Obviously the latter because he is very much a part of the big Hollywood machinery. So is Iñarritu.
We’re making a big deal out of this because Iñarritu’s inclusion amongst the nominees for best Foreign Language Film prevents other truly foreign directors from getting the recognition they deserve. Directors like Carlos Carrera, whose 2009 movie The Backyard was Mexico’s 2009 entry for the Academy Awards (trailer below).
Sigh. We’re wasting our breath/word count on this rant. No one cares. At most, you’ll go, “Huh, that’s a good point.” and then continue on with your life. Biutiful will probably win all kinds of awards, and we’ll sit here in our chair being all kinds of disillusioned. Whatever. We’re just going to watch NotZombie’s hilarious spoof of the Biutiful trailer over and over to make ourselves feel better: