S. Korea picks ‘Pieta’ for Oscar love

Kim's film will vie for foreign language award

LONDON — Kim Ki-duk’s “Pieta,” which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, is South Korea’s submission in the foreign-language film category of the Academy Awards.

The film follows the journey of a vicious debt collector, played by Lee Jung-jin, toward redemption, after he meets a woman claiming to be his mother, limned by Cho Min-su.

The pic is laced with the director’s “vintage blend of cruelty, wit and moral complexity,” according to Variety’s review.

The Korean Film Council (Kofic) chose the film from a list that also contained Im Sang-soo’s “The Taste of Money,” Hong Sang-soo’s “In Another Country,” Yun Jong-bin’s “Nameless Gangster” and Choo Chang-min’s “Masquerade.”

Kofic said in a statement, “The plot, depicting the destruction of human relationships by greed and poverty, can be widely understood and shared by Oscar juries and American audiences. That was an important factor in our decision.”

Finecut is handling foreign sales. Buyers include Maywin Media in the former-USSR and the Baltic States, MFA Plus Filmdistribution in Germany, Good News in Italy, Fidalgo in Norway, Bir Fim in Turkey, Ama Film in Greece and Edko Film in Hong Kong.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominees for best foreign film on Jan. 15. The 85th Academy Awards ceremony takes place Feb. 24.

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