The No. 1 box office hit movie this year in South Korea is the country's entry to the Oscars. According to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), "A Taxi Driver," starring Song Kang Ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann, has been selected as South Korea's entry to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 90th Academy Awards which will be held in March next year.
"'A Taxi Driver,' based on a real story, well-illustrated the characteristics of Korea as well as human rights and democratization in Asia. Also, (we) thought it would convey well the meaning of the film to many international viewers with its universal humanistic appeal," said KOFIC.
The film is about the Gwangju Uprising in 1980 in South Korea. Song Kang Ho is the taxi driver named Kim Man-seob who takes TV journalist Peter (Kretschmann) from Seoul to Gwangju.
KOFIC said 11 Korean films were submitted for Oscar consideration and the jury, composed of five members, chose "A Taxi Driver."
"A Taxi Driver" is Song Kang Ho's third consecutive film that was submitted to the Oscars. Last year, "The Age of Shadows" was Korea's entry while "The Throne" was submitted in 2015.
No South Korean film has ever made it to the final nominees of the Best Foreign Language Film category. Last year, "The Salesman" from Iran won in the 89th Oscar Awards.
"A Taxi Driver" is the No. 1 film this year in South Korea. Since it opened on August 2, the film has grossed US$82.7 million and sold 11.91 million tickets. It is the only film that has reached 10 million audience so far.
As of August 6, it is the No. 1 bestselling film in Korea this year followed by "Confidential Assignment," "Spider-Man: Homecoming," "The Battleship Island" and "Midnight Runners."
Of all time since 2004, "A Taxi Driver" is ranked ninth, edging out "Train to Busan," which has 11.56 million in total admissions.