A Vietnam Movie Eligible for Golden Globes Nominations

A Vietnamese film and more than 100 other candidates will vie for an award at Golden Globes 2023.


“Dem Toi Ruc Ro”, known as “The Brilliant Darkness” in English, a movie on domestic violence by American director Aaron Toronto, features in this year’s list of Golden Globe Awards’ nominees, Vietnamnet reported.

A Vietnam Movie Eligible for Golden Globes Nominations
“The Brilliant Darkness” vies for award at Golden Globes 2023.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organizer of the Golden Globe Awards, on Tuesday posted a list of films, including “The Brilliant Darkness”, competing for the awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

The film by director Aaron Toronto will compete with more than 100 other movies premiered this year from more than 60 countries and territories to enter the official list of nominations to be announced on December 12.

Toronto and his wife, actress and screenwriter Nha Uyen, are in America to promote the film.

A Vietnam Movie Eligible for Golden Globes Nominations
Official movie poster via Đêm Tối Rực Rỡ!’s Facebook page.

The story of “Dem Toi Ruc Ro” starts at the funeral of a grandfather whose family members believe left them a fortune. However, his children find out that their father/grandfather lost the fortune gambling and the mafia is coming to collect the debt. They must pay the money by sunrise or else there will be another funeral.

The film screened on April 8 and was a success at the box office thanks to its interesting content and compelling story. Although not widely promoted, the film was produced with a modest budget, earning VND 20 billion (USD 849.900).

The film won five important awards at the Vietnam Film Festival 2022 in September, including: Best Film, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actor.

In March, the film won two awards at the Santa Fe Film Festival for Best Story and Best Performance by a Female, which was awarded to Nha Uyen who’s in the role of one granddaughter living with depression. Uyen was eight months pregnant when she acted in the movie.

However, it was not chosen to represent Vietnam to compete for the nomination for the Best International Film category at the Oscars 2023. However, it was recently seen in the list of more than 100 films submitted to the Best Non-English Language Film category of the Golden Globes Awards 2023.

A Vietnam Movie Eligible for Golden Globes Nominations
Inspired by a movie adaptation of the play Long Day’s Journey into the Night by Eugene O’Neill, Đêm Tối Rực Rỡ! takes place over the course of a single evening as a Saigon family gathers for their grandfather’s funeral.

Toronto, who has lived in Vietnam for 16 years, studied funeral customs in southern Vietnam for many years before making the film.

The film proceeds to throw audiences “into the crazy world of Vietnamese funerals and families,” director Aaron Toronto explained, where the stakes couldn’t be higher.

According to Saigonneer, the film is set during a very southern funeral ceremony with raucous singing, performances, drinking and gambling juxtaposing the somber matter of death. Even though the production team consisted of many southern Vietnamese, they had to do significant research to ensure that all the details surrounding funeral traditions and family dynamics were accurate.

Last year, Tran Thanh’s “Dad, I’m Sorry” – the highest-grossing film in Vietnamese box office history with VND 400 billion (USD 18 million) – failed for the Golden Globe Awards nomination.

The Golden Globe Awards, which kicked off in 1944, is ranked the third most-watched film awards show each year, behind the Oscars and the Grammy Awards.

The awards ceremony will take place on January 11, 2023 in the United States.

Hannah Nguyen