Mother (2009 film)

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Mother
Mother film poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Bong Joon-ho
Produced by Choi Jae-won
Seo Woo-sik
Written by Bong Joon-ho
Park Eun-kyo
Starring Kim Hye-ja
Won Bin
Music by Lee Byung-woo
Cinematography Hong Kyung-pyo
Edited by Moon Sae-kyung
Production
  company
CJ Entertainment
Barunson
Distributed by CJ Entertainment
Release date(s)
  • 16 May 2009 (2009-05-16) (Cannes)
  • 28 May 2009 (2009-05-28) (South Korea)
Running time 128 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Budget US$5 million
Box office US$17,112,713[1]

Mother (Hangul: 마더; RR: Ma-deo) is a 2009 South Korean drama film directed by Bong Joon-ho, starring Kim Hye-ja and Won Bin.

Plot[edit]

An unnamed widow lives alone with her only son, selling medicinal herbs in a small town in southern South Korea while doing unlicensed acupuncture to the town's women on the side. Her son Do-joon is shy, but prone to attack anyone who mocks his intellectual disability. She dotes on him and scolds him for hanging out with Jin-tae, a local ne'er-do-well.

A high school girl is discovered dead on a rooftop in town, shocking the residents and pressuring the incompetent police to find the killer. With only circumstantial evidence placing Do-joon near the scene of the crime, the police are happy with their cursory investigation and arrest the boy. His defense attorney is unreliable, and the police trick Do-joon into signing a confession, leaving him facing a long jail sentence. The police could not figure out why and who would display the girl's dead body on the rooftop where the entire town is in plain view.

The mother, horrified and unconvinced that Do-joon is even capable of murder, gets involved in unraveling the details of the murder and the background of the victim to try to prove her son's innocence. She scours the town, uncovering salacious details of the girl's life, allying with Jin-tae, who is surprisingly sympathetic towards her plight, and unsettling everyone around her in her determined quest for justice. The mother's investigation and search for the real murderer takes her to an old man at his junkyard.

The town's junkyard keeper reveals that on the night of the murder, he saw Do-joon attack the girl after she mocked him. In denial, the mother murders the old man and burns down the junkyard along with his body. Meanwhile, the police become suspicious of another intellectually disabled man and arrest him for the murder, freeing Do-joon. Do-joon confides in his mother that the girl's body was left in plain view on the rooftop so that bystanders might bring her some medical assistance. He gives her the box of acupuncture needles that she left at the junkyard, warning her to be more careful in the future.

The film ends with the mother self-administering an acupuncture needle to a point she has earlier claimed causes memory loss, in order to forget what she, and her son, have done. She joins other parents in a dance on the tour bus she is on, indicating that the treatment may have worked.

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

Mother competed in the Un Certain Regard category at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.[2] Mother attracted 3,003,785 admissions nationwide and grossed a total of US$16,283,879 in South Korea, becoming the 6th most attended domestic film of 2009, and 10th overall.[3][4] The film had its U.S. premiere in February 2010 as part of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and received a limited U.S. theatrical release in March 2010.[5]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The film was selected as South Korea's official submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards.[6]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2009
Buil Film Awards
Best Film Mother Won
Best Actress Kim Hye-ja Won
Best Cinematography Hong Kyung-pyo Won
Best Music Lee Byung-woo Won
Busan Film Critics Awards
Best Film Mother Won [7]
Best Actress Kim Hye-ja Won
Best Cinematography Hong Kyung-pyo Won
Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival
Best Actress in a Foreign Film Kim Hye-ja Won [8][9]
Grand Bell Awards
Best Film Mother Nominated [10][11]
Best Director Bong Joon-ho Nominated
Best Actress Kim Hye-ja Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Jin Goo Won
Best Cinematography Hong Kyung-pyo Nominated
Best Music Lee Byung-woo Nominated
Korean Association of Film Critics Awards
Best Film Mother Won
Best Actress Kim Hye-ja Won
Best Screenplay Bong Joon-ho, Park Eun-kyo Won
Asia Pacific Screen Awards
Best Actress Kim Hye-ja Won [12]
Best Screenplay Bong Joon-ho, Park Eun-kyo Nominated
University Film Festival of Korea
Best Supporting Actor Jin Goo Won [13]
Blue Dragon Film Awards
Best Film Mother Won [14][15]
Best Director Bong Joon-ho Nominated
Best Actress Kim Hye-ja Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Jin Goo Won
Best Screenplay Bong Joon-ho, Park Eun-kyo Nominated
Best Cinematography Hong Kyung-pyo Nominated
Best Lighting Choi Cheol-su, Park Dong-sun Won
Best Music Lee Byung-woo Nominated
Golden Cinematography Awards
Silver Medal Cinematography Hong Kyung-pyo Won
Mar del Plata Film Festival
SIGNIS Award Mother Won [16]
Dubai International Film Festival
Best Screenplay Bong Joon-ho, Park Eun-kyo Won
Women in Film Korea Awards
Best Actress Kim Hye-ja Won [17]
Director's Cut Awards
Best Actress Kim Hye-ja Won [18]
Nikkan Sports Film Awards
Best Foreign Picture Mother Won [19]
2010
KOFRA Film Awards
Best Film Mother Won [20]
Best Actress Kim Hye-ja Won
Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Best East Meets West Cinema Award Mother Won [21]
Asian Film Awards
Best Film Mother Won [22]
Best Director Bong Joon-ho Nominated
Best Actress Kim Hye-ja Won
Best Screenplay Bong Joon-ho, Park Eun-kyo Won
Best Supporting Actor Won Bin Nominated
Best Editing Moon Sae-kyung Nominated
Baeksang Arts Awards
Best Film Mother Nominated
Best Director (Film) Bong Joon-ho Nominated
Best Screenplay (Film) Bong Joon-ho, Park Eun-kyo Nominated
Best Actor (Film) Won Bin Nominated
Best Actress (Film) Kim Hye-ja Nominated
Green Planet Movie Awards
Best Foreign Culture Film of the Year Mother Won [23]
Best International Director Bong Joon-ho Won
Best International Film Mother Won
Best International Drama (Asia) Mother Won
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards
Best Foreign Language Film Mother Won [24]
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards
Runner-up, Best Foreign Language Film Mother Won [25]
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards
Best Actress Kim Hye-ja Won [26][27]
Runner-up, Best Foreign Language Film Mother Won
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards
Best Foreign Language Film Mother Won [28]
2011
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards
Best Foreign Language Film Mother Won [29]
Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics
Grand Prix Mother Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mother (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Mother". Festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  3. ^ "The Best Selling Films of 2009". Koreanfilm.org. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  4. ^ "South Korea Box Office: August 7–9, 2009". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  5. ^ "Exam and Mother Take Top Honors at Santa Barbara Film Fest". Dread Central. 16 February 2010. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  6. ^ "Film Council Selects Mother for Academy Award Submission". The Chosun Ilbo. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  7. ^ Kim, Jessica (12 October 2009). "Kim, Ha win top film critics award". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  8. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (6 November 2009). "Kim Hye-ja Named Best Actress in China Festival". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  9. ^ "Kim Hye-ja named best actress at Chinese film fest". The Korea Herald. 6 November 2009. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  10. ^ "Mother - Awards". Cinemasie. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  11. ^ Han, Sang-hee (8 November 2009). "Grand Bell Film Fest Puzzles Movie Fans". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  12. ^ Ko, Jae-wan (27 November 2009). "Kim Hye-ja wins Best Actress at Asia Pacific awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  13. ^ Garcia, Cathy Rose A. (1 December 2009). "Ha Ji-won Wins 1st Best Actress Award". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  14. ^ "Mother Sweeps Blue Dragon Awards". The Chosun Ilbo. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  15. ^ Kim, Jessica (3 December 2009). "Mother wins Blue Dragon gold". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  16. ^ Ko, Kyoung-seok (15 December 2009). "Mother wins award at Argentine film fest". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  17. ^ Ko, Kyoung-seok (16 December 2009). "Dir. Park Chan-ok named top female film figure of year". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  18. ^ Kim, Lynn (17 December 2009). "Winners of Director's CUT Awards announced". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  19. ^ "Mother named best foreign picture in Japan". Yonhap. 30 December 2009. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  20. ^ Ko, Kyoung-seok (28 January 2010). "Film journalists pick Song Kang-ho, Kim Hye-ja top actors". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  21. ^ Ko, Kyoung-seok (18 February 2010). "Korean film Mother wins award at Santa Barbara film fest". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  22. ^ Landreth, Jonathan (22 March 2010). "Mother tops Asian Film Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  23. ^ Kim, Lynn (25 March 2010). "Korean pic Mother, stars win big at Green Planet Movie Awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  24. ^ Morris, Wesley (13 December 2010). "Social Network is tops with Boston Society of Film Critics". Boston.com. Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  25. ^ Knegt, Peter (14 December 2010). "Social Network Tops San Francisco and Toronto Film Critics' Awards". IndieWire. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  26. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (13 December 2010). "Kim Hye-ja named best actress by LA critics". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  27. ^ "Kim Hye-ja Wins Best Actress Award from L.A. Film Critics". The Chosun Ilbo. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  28. ^ Harvey, Dennis (13 December 2010). "Network scores with San Fran critics". Variety. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  29. ^ Hong, Lucia (7 January 2011). "Mother receives honor by Kansas City Film Critics Circle". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 

External links[edit]