Buzzy Newcomers Punch Up in Oscar International Film Race

In what has been the widest open Oscars’ international feature category race in years, countries that previously had not been dominant in the category have emerged as strong contenders. 

For instance, Cambodia sent in Davy Chou’s “Return to Seoul,” which debuted at Cannes. The country has been nominated only once in this category, for 2013’s “The Missing Picture.” “Return to Seoul” follows an adoptee who makes a journey of discovery from France to her Korean birth home. Star Park Ji-min makes a striking debut. Before the end of 2022, the film would have played at more than 60 noted festivals and it has been picking up awards on the way. 

“I think the unpredictability of the narration, resulting from the unpredictability of Freddie, the main character of the film, her force and anger, her vitality and self-destructiveness, and the amazing performance of Park Ji-min who interprets her, are something the academy voters could feel sensitive to,” Chou told Variety. “Secondly, I’m hoping the thematics the film is dealing with, from identity search and the longing for belonging, to broken families and the difficulties to connect, will resonate as well with the members watching the film.

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