Will this finally be the year a Korean film gets an Oscar nomination? Despite having a rich and influential film tradition with murderer’s row of directors like Park Chan-wook (The Handmaiden; Oldboy), Bong Joon-ho (The Host; Okja), and Kim Jee-woon (A Tale of Two Sisters), no Korean film has ever received a Best Foreign Film nomination at the Academy Awards — never mind recognition in other categories. Burning, by the director Lee Chang-dong (Secret Sunshine, Poetry) might be the peninsula’s best shot yet since premiering at Cannes to critical acclaim, and perhaps more importantly, because it stars Steven Yeun as one of the leads in a Korean-speaking role.
Burning, an adaptation of a Haruki Murakami short story “Barn Burning,” takes place in modern-day Seoul, and begins when childhood neighbors Lee Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in) and Shin Hae-mi (Jeon Jong-seo in her film debut) reconnect in Seoul in an are-they-or-aren’t-they kind of relationship. She goes on a trip to Kenya only to bring back a charming ne’er-do-well, Ben (Steven Yeun), throwing their relationship into an unnerving triangle. Without getting too much into the plot, Steven Yeun is very creepy and very handsome. Here’s an exclusive look at the official U.S. trailer for Burning, which comes out in theaters October 26.
And the official poster: