Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Still No Oscar for Korea

Not a big surprise, but it looks like that once again Korea will be going Oscarless this year. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nine films that have made it to the next round of voting for the Best Foreign Language Film category, and Korea is nowhere to be found.

To make matters worse, a Japanese film did make it (Yojiro Takita's DEPARTURES).

Korea this year was pushing CROSSING, a weep-fest about the plight of North Korean defectors, and the trials they face trying to escape. A worthwhile topic, to be sure, but CROSSING was not a very good film. Heavy-handed and shallow. Rumor has it that the Korea Film Council's latest boss, Kang Han-sup, a Lee Myung-bak appointee, was pushing CROSSING hard, as part of his reforms to the Council.

Oh well, maybe next year.

No Korean film has ever been nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. Although I would argue the Oscars are so silly and irrelevant, this is hardly an "honor" they should worry about. The list of great films that were never even nominated is long (City of God), as is the list of poor films that won.

Jan. 22, that list of nine films will be further winnowed down to the five final nominees.


Zakaria said...

I live in Amsterdam, and I love Korean movies. I watch lots f movies, and I think deserves better. I really think South Korea makes the best movies in the whole world the last 10 years. It's a shame! I would really like people too aprreciate foreign films more, especially Korean cinema. I've seen so much beutifull movies from Koreas. I've seen so muich crap from Hollywood. It makes me mad, more people should know about Korean movies.

Anonymous said...

The part that angers me is how Let the Right One In was disqualified due to some petty and moronic technicality and how Gomorrah was totally overlooked. And "The Reader" for best film?!!!! WTF?!? It was pedestrian at best. I've seen TV movies on Lifetime that were better than that tepid & forgettable piece making.

Anonymous said...

Oh wait....Kate Winslet got nominated for the Best Actress category for The Reader and *NOT* Revolutionary Road?!
That woman poured every molecule of her body & soul into her role as the disenchanted suburban housewife vs. her role in The Reader where she acted like a heavily-freckled middle-aged woman with a week-long bout of constipation and a thick germanic accent.

Mark Russell said...

The whole Oscar system has always been broken and stupid. The mistake is in thinking those awards mean much of anything (besides free publicity).