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Director Park Chanwook’s Decision to Leave, the Oscar Winner After PARASITE?

Oct 25, 2022
  • Writerby Hellen Park
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Released in North America on October 14, Favorable Reviews Continued by Major Foreign Media



Director Park Chanwook's Decision to Leave, the winner of the Best Director at the 75th Festival de Cannes and the Korean entry at the 95th Academy Awards, has been receiving positive reviews from major foreign media since its release in North America on October 14 (local time). Decision to Leave depicts a story that begins when Detective Haejoon (Park Haeil), who investigates a murder case in the mountain, interrogates Seorae (Tang Wei), the deceased's wife, and feels suspicion and interest in her at the same time.


The ‘Film Festival’ World Tour for Decision to Leave Continues Till the End of 2022 



Director Park Chanwook and Actor Park Haeil have been attending a series of film festivals in North America and Britain. The two attended the 60th New York Film Festival (Sept. 30 – Oct. 16), which has been taking place since September 30, drawing enthusiastic cheers and hot responses from local audiences. Director Park Chanwook, who attended the festival, said, "I'm happy to present the movie to New York audiences. When you think it's fun, don't hesitate to laugh as much as you want while watching it." Actor Park Haeil said, "It's my first time in New York, and I'm really thrilled to come here with Director Park Chanwook's film Decision to Leave."


Before the New York Film Festival, Decision to Leave was also officially invited to the 18th U.S. Fantastic Fest, which opened on September 22, and Director Park drew attention by winning the Lifetime Achievement Award from the festival. The festival organizers said, "Director Park Chanwook has been presenting genre films such as Oldboy and The Handmaiden for decades, and his latest film Decision to Leave also showed amazing achievements. We selected him as the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award to commemorate his brilliant results of delicate artworks born by his original perspective." At the Fantastic Fest, Director Park Chanwook's previous film Joint Security Area (2000) was also screened, drawing attention. 


In addition, Decision to Leave was invited to the 47th Toronto International Film Festival, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, the New Horizons Film Festival, the Jerusalem Film Festival, the New Zealand International Film Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, the Korean Film Festival in Australia, etc. 


In addition to the 66th BFI London International Film Festival, which was held from October 5 to 17, the film was also invited to the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival (Oct. 6-16), the Bergen International Film Festival (Oct. 19-27), the Cologne Film Festival (Oct. 20-27), the Sao Paulo International Film Festival (Oct. 20-11/2), the Morelia International Film Festival (Oct. 22-29), the Hawaii International Film Festival, (Nov. 3-27), the Lisbon & Sintra International Film Festival (Nov. 9-20), and Perth International Arts Festival (Dec. 26-Jan. 1, 2023). 


Decision to Leave, Released in North America on October 14, Was Introduced as a ‘Strong Oscar Candidate’ by Foreign Media



Interest in Decision to Leave, centered on the North American Film Festivals, is also expected to have a positive impact on the Academy Awards to be held in March next year. In addition, shortly after its release in North America on October 14, major foreign media have continued to favor it, and analysts say that the green light for the film has been turned on for the Oscar next year. 


The New York Times said, "Decision to Leave dazzles the audience at once with Director Park Chanwook's free imagination and beautiful mise-en-scene, along with its strong opening. And at the same time as I feel that the story has finally entered a stable period, it shakes my heart mercilessly and collapses my heart," praising the overwhelming mise-en-scene and intense afterglow of the film. 


The Los Angeles Times also said, "The film let Director Park Chanwook win the Best Director award at the Festival de Cannes. Decision to Leave, which is ready to jump into the Oscar race as South Korea’s entry, is a dense Noir film that provides subtle sensibility and rich pleasure.” Also, IndieWire referred to it as ‘the most romantic film of the year’ while The Reveal said,  "Decision to Leave is a work that holds explosive passion and emotions, beautiful mise-en-scene with Director Park Chanwook's characteristics, while delicately portraying the mysterious psychology and behaviors of humans trying to deceive themselves. " Rolling Stone praised the film highly by saying, "Decision to Leave brims with the sort of flourishes and big-swing aesthetics that Director Park excels in."  


In August, Decision to Leave was selected as the Korean entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards. Regarding Decision to Leave, the Korean Film Council (Chairperson Park Kiyong) said, "Besides the artistic quality of the film, we also considered the director's recognition, the cinematic quality of the film, the directing skills, and the potential popular appeal in the US," explaining the reason why they selected the film as the Korean entry.


The overseas film industry's interest in Decision to Leave, which is on the ‘Film Festival’ world tour, reminds us of the film PARASITE, which swept 4 Academy Awards in 2020. Both films started their winning races at the Festival de Cannes, attracted overseas reviewers by the invitation of leading overseas film festivals, and continued to receive favorable reviews even after their release in North America. Whether K-MOVIE's heyday, which is heating up on the global stage, will continue with Decision to Leave is drawing keen attention from the film industry around the world.

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