Forecasting the Academy Awards just got a little bit trickier. The Golden Globes are considered a key predictor of the top Oscar races, despite their mixed track record in recent years. But 2004's two most talked-about movies, The Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 9/11, have been ruled ineligible in the top Globe races by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hands out the Globes. Fahrenheit was knocked out because the HFPA doesn't recognize documentaries in any category. As for Best Drama, only English-language pictures are eligible. ''Our bylaws state that when a film is in a language that is preponderantly non-English, it's a foreign-language film,'' HFPA president Lorenzo Soria told Variety. Globe voters could still nominate Passion in the acting, directing, screenplay, and foreign-language film categories.
At the Academy Awards, Fahrenheit is also ineligible for a documentary prize because Michael Moore declined to submit it, knowing that his plan to secure a pay-per-view airing of the film before last week's election would conflict with the documentary category's rule that bars films from airing on TV within nine months of their theatrical release. And Passion is not up for consideration in the foreign film category because it wasn't submitted by another country. Both films are still eligible for other Oscars, including Best Picture.