The Korean Film Council has selected BONG Joong-ho's "Mother - 2009" as the country's next Foreign Language entry at the Oscars. Although not hitting the box office highs of the director's previous film "The Host" (2006) with its 13 million admissions record, Mother still managed to pull in 3 million admissions and premiered to critical acclaim at Cannes. Compared to the black, bloody ravages of Park Chan-wook's vampire thriller "Thirst", the parochial sentiments of the farmer-and-cow documentary Old Partner and the violence of indie drama "Breathless", the other Korean films considered, "Mother - 2009" walked the fine line between being colloquially Korean and yet universal enough to appeal to international audiences and judges.
Although deemed as a thriller the movie examines wider social issues and ramifications when a mother, who loves her son too much, will do anything for him. "Mother - 2009" stars veteran Korean TV actor Kim Hye-ja as a woman in a small Korean town who has to look after her mentally challenged son played by actor Won Bin. When he is charged with murder she sets about on a path to prove his innocence. Along the journey even as complications mire her own investigation and original ideas of the truth, she stops at nothing to free her son.
Korea has yet to win a foreign language Oscar. Last year's entry was Kim Tae-gyoon's "Crossing" about a North Korean man who attempts the dangerous crossing into China in order to aid save his family. As well as the Oscars, "Mother - 2009" will also screen again at Toronto this September. The 82nd Oscars award ceremony will take place March 7.
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