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.