Don’t crank up “Naatu Naatu” and celebrate just yet: “RRR” did not triumph as was expected at the Golden Globes, with the award for Best Motion Picture in a Non-English Language at Tuesday’s ceremony instead going to “Argentina, 1985.”
The Amazon Studios film, directed by Santiago Mitre, beat out some of the most acclaimed films of the year to take home the Globe, including S.S. Rajamouli’s Indian smash hit “RRR,” which won Best Song earlier in the evening; Park Chan-wook’s romantic thriller “Decision to Leave”; German war film “All Quiet on the Western Front”; and Belgian coming-of-age story “Close.”
The win would have made “RRR,” a historical action musical epic from director Rajamouli, the first ever film solely produced in India to win in the Golden Globe category. In 1983, “Gandhi” won the award (when it was called Best Foreign Film), but that film was a co-production between the United Kingdom and India, in English and Hindi. (Earlier in the evening, breakout “RRR” song “Naatu Naatu” did win the Best Song in a Motion Picture category, so celebrations are still in order.)
When “Argentina, 1985” premiered at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, IndieWire’s review praised the biopic, which follows the 1985 Trial of the Juntas through an unexpected lens and with a humorous skew.
Per the review, “director Mitre raises the curtain at a moment in his nation’s history when there is but a glimmer of a possibility of making a break from the military dictatorship that operated from 1976-1983, torturing, kidnapping, and terrorizing anyone it deemed a threat. Mitre presents self-determination as hinging on what kind of trial the nine generals who ruled the military government will experience. With their power still casting a long shadow, they lobby for a military trial where they will be judged by the army they used to command. The fairer option is a federal trial and — who would be its lead prosecutor? — you guessed it, Mr. Julio Strassera.”
While Mitre’s film has shown well around the awards circuit in recent weeks, picking up nods from the Critics’ Choice Awards and various critics groups, plus a spot on the National Board of Review’s Top Five International Films list, it’s hardly the juggernaut that “RRR” has proven to be throughout the season. And yet Mitre’s film was a winner early on: it picked up the FIPRESCI Prize at Venice after its premiere. Perhaps that momentum is coming back.
Amazon released the film in theaters in September and streaming on Prime Video in October. It was selected as the Argentine entry for both Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards and Best Ibero-American Film at the 37th Goya Awards.
So, will history repeat itself at the Oscars? Not quite, as “RRR” won’t be competing in the International Feature category, as India selected “Last Film Show,” a coming-of-age film from director Pan Nalin, to represent the country instead. Both “Argentina, 1985” and “Last Film Show” appear on the Oscars’ shortlist of 15 titles in the running for the award, along with Golden Globe nominees “Close,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” and “Decision to Leave.”
That said, “RRR” did make the Original Song shortlist for “Naatu Naatu,” and could pull in other nominations when the noms are announced later this month.