With today's Golden Globe nominations, the annual mouth-foaming that is the Oscar race has begun, albeit with some seemingly anomalous nominations: Under the rules that govern the Globes, there is no "Best Foreign Film category," despite the fact that the Globes are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Instead, there's only an award for "Best Foreign Language Film."
As a result, two of the five best foreign language film nominees were American movies: Mel Gibson's Mayan dialect-flecked "Apocalypto" and Clint Eastwood's Japanese language "Letters from Iwo Jima," both shoved aside genuinely foreign films.
This is, I am told, no small source of discomfort to the Rules Committee of the Hollywood Foreign Press, which may change its criteria next year -- especially after Gibson announced his intention to direct a remake of "The Miracle Worker," filmed entirely in sign language.
Ha. I kid.
But as Daily Variety's intrepid TV columnist Brian Lowry points out, this sort of conundrum won't be repeated at the Oscars, which only nominates properly foreign films.