The Spy Gone North

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The Spy Gone North
The Spy Gone North (p2).jpg
Theatrical poster
Hangul공작
Hanja工作
Revised RomanizationGongjak
Directed byYoon Jong-bin
Produced by
  • Kuk Su-ran
  • Han Jae-duk
  • Son Sang-bum
Written by
  • Kwon Sung-hwi
  • Yoon Jong-bin
Starring
Music byCho Young-wuk
CinematographyChoi Chan-min
Edited by
Production
company
  • Sanai Pictures
  • Moonlight Film
Distributed byCJ E&M
Release date
  • May 11, 2018 (2018-05-11) (Cannes)
  • August 8, 2018 (2018-08-08) (South Korea)
Running time
137 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
Language
  • Korean
  • Mandarin
  • Japanese
BudgetUS$14 million
Box officeUS$38.5 million[1]

The Spy Gone North is a 2018 South Korean spy drama film directed by Yoon Jong-bin. It stars Hwang Jung-min, Lee Sung-min, Cho Jin-woong and Ju Ji-hoon.[2][3][4] The film is loosely based on the true story of Park Chae-seo, a former South Korean agent who infiltrated North Korea's nuclear facilities.[5] The film was released in theaters on August 8, 2018.[6]

Plot[edit]

The story follows a South Korean spy who infiltrates the North to obtain intelligence on the country's nuclear weapons plans in the mid-1990s.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Filming began on January 24, 2017 and concluded on July 25, 2017.[8] Some parts of the film that are set in Beijing and North Korea were filmed in Taiwan.[9]

Release[edit]

The film made its world premiere in 2018 Cannes Film Festival.[10] It released theatrically in South Korea on August 8, 2018, with age 12-rating.[2] The film was sold to more than 100 countries, and was released theatrically in North America on August 17, 2018.[11]

The Spy Gone North was released on VOD by CJ E&M on September 13, 2018.[12]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, The Spy Gone North has an approval rating of 100% based on 14 reviews and an average rating of 6.8/10.[13] On Metacritic, the film received average score 69 out of 100 based 6 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[14]

Charles Bramesco of The Guardian rated the film 3 out of 5 and said, "Yoon [Jong-bin] executes all the classic double-agent set pieces with finesse, and those enamoured of the genre will appreciate a change of setting."[15]

Maggie Lee of the Variety wrote, "Instead of the usual dose of action and suspense one expects of this genre, watching this dense 140-minute political drama unfold is like fumbling through a long tunnel that’s nonetheless worth it when the ray of light emerges at the end."[9]

Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter said the film "is a stylish, blood-pounding thriller of the type Asian cinema is so good at making...For sheer topicality, the film is hard to beat, and to find a full-blown entertainment yarn in Cannes' midnight section that's partially set in newsworthy North Korea is rather astounding."[16]

Box office[edit]

The film finished second during its opening week behind Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days, with US$15.7 million gross over five days screening (Wednesday to Sunday).[17] On its second weekend, the film finished second behind The Witness, with a 45% drop in gross to US$6.3 million.[18] After finishing second for two consecutive weekends, the film placed third during its third weekend, behind On Your Wedding Day and The Witness. It had a 59% drop in gross, earning US$2.6 million from 317,447 attendance.[19]

On August 28, 2018, the film reached its break-even point with 4.7 million audience members having watched the film.[20] During its fourth weekend, the film had a 74% drop in gross compared to its third weekend, finishing at seventh place with 86,336 attendance.[21] The film stable on seventh place during its fifth weekend.[22]

As of September 24, 2018, the film grossed US$38.3 million from 4,970,004 total attendance.[1]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards Category Recipient Result Ref.
27th Buil Film Awards Best Film The Spy Gone North Won [23][24]
Best Director Yoon Jong-bin Nominated
Best Actor Hwang Jung-min Nominated
Lee Sung-min Won
Best Supporting Actor Ju Ji-hoon Won
Best Screenplay Kwon Sung-hwi & Yoon Jong-bin Won
Best Art Direction Park Il-hyun Won
55th Grand Bell Awards Best Film The Spy Gone North Nominated [25][26]
Best Director Yoon Jong-bin Nominated
Best Actor Hwang Jung-min Won
Lee Sung-min Won
Best Supporting Actor Gi Ju-bong Nominated
Best Screenplay Kwon Sung-hwi & Yoon Jong-bin Nominated
Best Cinematography Choi Chan-min Nominated
Best Editing Kim Sang-bum & Kim Jae-bum Nominated
Best Art Direction Park Il-hyun Won
Best Lightning Yoo Suk-moon Nominated
Best Costume Design Chae Kyung-hwa Nominated
Technical Award The Spy Gone North Nominated
Best Planning Nominated
2nd The Seoul Awards Best Film Won [27][28]
Best Actor Lee Sung-min Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Ju Ji-hoon Won
38th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Top 11 Films The Spy Gone North Won [29]
Best Director Yoon Jong-bin Won
Best Actor Lee Sung-min Won
Best Supporting Actor Ju Ji-hoon Won
39th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Film The Spy Gone North Nominated [30]
Best Director Yoon Jong-bin Won
Best Screenplay Kwon Sung-hwi & Yoon Jong-bin Nominated
Best Actor Lee Sung-min Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Ju Ji-hoon Nominated
Best Cinematography and Lightning Choi Chan-min & Yoon Suk-moon Nominated
Best Editing Kim Sang-bum & Kim Jae-bum Nominated
Best Music Jo Yeong-wook Nominated
Best Art Direction Park Il-hyun Won
26th Korea Culture and Entertainment Awards Best Film The Spy Gone North Won [31]
5th Korean Film Producers Association Awards Best Cinematography Choi Chan-min Won [32]
Best Lighting Yoo Seok-moon Won
Best Art Direction Park Il-hyun Won
18th Director's Cut Awards Best Actor Lee Sung-min Won [33]
10th KOFRA Film Awards Best Film The Spy Gone North Won [34]
Best Actor Lee Sung-min Won
Best Supporting Actor Ju Ji-hoon Won
55th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Film The Spy Gone North Won [35]
Best Director Yoon Jong-bin Nominated
Best Actor Lee Sung-min Won
Best Screenplay Kwon Sung-hwi & Yoon Jong-bin Nominated
Technical Award Park Il-hyun (Art) Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Spy Gone North (2018)". Korean Film Biz Zone. 23 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b "공작". Movie.naver.com. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Daum영화 <공작>". Movie.daum.net. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  4. ^ "영화 [공작] 상세정보". Cine21.com. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  5. ^ "'The Spy Gone North' is about a spy undergoing identity change, says director". Yonhap. 2018-05-14.
  6. ^ https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/art/2018/08/689_253795.html
  7. ^ "이효리, 황정민 만날까?…영화 '공작' 출연 - 머니투데이 뉴스". News.mt.co.kr. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  8. ^ "HWANG Jung-min Wraps NK Action-Drama BLACK VENUS". Koreanfilm.or.kr. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Cannes Film Review: 'The Spy Gone North' (Gong Jak)". Variety. May 17, 2018.
  10. ^ "Cannes title 'The Spy Gone North' sells to over 100 territories". Screen Daily. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  11. ^ "S. Korean spy thriller 'The Spy Gone North' released in U.S., Canada". Yonhap News. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  12. ^ "씨네폭스, 13일부터 '공작' VOD 서비스 시작!". Busan Daily (in Korean). Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  13. ^ "The Spy Gone North (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  14. ^ "The Spy Gone North (2018)". Metacritic. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  15. ^ "The Spy Gone North review – timely Korean spy thriller proves a real nail-biter". The Guardian. 12 May 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  16. ^ Young, Deborah (2018-05-12). "'The Spy Gone North' ('Gongjak'): Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Korea Box Office: 'Along With the Gods' Sequel Beats Trio of Prominent Newcomers". Variety. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Korea Box Office: Local Films, Headed by 'The Witness,' Dominate the Weekend". Variety. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  19. ^ "South Korean Box Office August 24-26, 2018". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  20. ^ '공작', 손익분기점 돌파…웰메이드 영화의 경쟁력 입증. SBS funE (in Korean). Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  21. ^ [무비:스코어] '너의 결혼식' 194만 돌파, 1위 수성…'서치'·'상류사회' 2·3위. Xports News (in Korean). Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  22. ^ [영화순위]'서치' 박스오피스 1위…2위 '너의 결혼식'·3위 '업그레이드', '신과함께2' 역대 12위 등극. Kyungin Daily (in Korean). Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  23. ^ [23회 부산국제영화제] 부일영화상. Busan Daily (in Korean). 20 September 2018.
  24. ^ 5관왕 ‘공작’, ‘허스토리’와 함께 부산 품었다(종합) [27회 부일영화상]. MK Sports (in Korean). 5 October 2018.
  25. ^ 제55회 대종상, 각 부문 후보 공개…'공작' 12개 최다부문 노미네이트. Sports Seoul (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  26. ^ '버닝', 대종상 작품상 영예...1주기 故김주혁, 특별상 수상 [종합]. Osen (in Korean). 22 October 2018.
  27. ^ ‘제2회 더 서울어워즈’ 10월27일 개최, 드라마-영화 각 부문별 후보공개. iMBC (in Korean). September 28, 2018.
  28. ^ [2회 더서울어워즈] '나의아저씨·공작' 대상…이병헌·김남주·하정우·손예진 주연상(종합). Ilgan Sports (in Korean). October 27, 2018.
  29. ^ [공식]이성민·한지민 '영평상' 남녀주연상…'1987' 작품상. Sports Chosun (in Korean). October 22, 2018.
  30. ^ 청룡영화상 후보 발표, ‘1987’ 최다·‘공작’도 9개부문 후보. Newsen (in Korean). November 1, 2018.
  31. ^ 2018년 제 26회 "대한민국 문화연예대상" 성황리 개최. NB News (in Korean). November 29, 2018.
  32. ^ 주지훈·한지민, 한국영화제작가협회상 남녀주연상 영광. Newsen (in Korean). 11 December 2018.
  33. ^ cite web|url=https://www.allkpop.com/article/2018/12/exo-s-do-kim-tae-ri-and-more-win-awards-at-the-18th-director-s-cut-awards%7Ctitle=EXO's D.O., Kim Tae Ri, and more win awards at the '18th Director's Cut Awards!|date=14 December 2018|website=Allkpop}}
  34. ^ "'올해의 영화상' 이성민X한지민, 남녀주연상..작품상 '공작'[종합]". Osen (in Korean). 30 January 2019.
  35. ^ Cho, Yeon-gyeong (April 5, 2019). 55회 백상예술대상 영화부문 최종 후보 공개. Is Plus (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved April 5, 2019.

External links[edit]