‘Concrete Utopia,’ Korea’s Oscar entry, hit theaters December

Seema Rai
Seema Rai

Concrete Utopia, South Korea’s International Film Oscar entry this year. It will open in New York and Los Angeles on December 8, with a wider release on December 15. The Lotte Entertainment film is being released in the United States by 815 Pictures and Seismic Releasing.
The film debuted in South Korea on August 9 and grossed over $27 million there, as well as close to $29 million overall, including Hong Kong and Vietnam.

concrete utopia

The disaster epic directed by Um Tae-hwa revolves around a major earthquake in Seoul

Except for one structure, the entire city has collapsed. Hwang Gung Apartments still stands, as it was before that fateful day. When survivors from the outside learn of this, they flock to Hwang Gung Apartments. The original residents of the building, on the other hand, begin to feel endangered. To ensure their existence, they elect ‘Young-tak’ as their Resident Delegate.

Under his guidance, they tightly prohibit outsiders from entering and create a new set of Resident Regulations. Hwang Gung Apartments, in contrast to the horrible nightmare outside, serves as a safe and peaceful sanctuary for its occupants. However, amid the constant dangers to their life, unforeseen disputes emerge among them.

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concrete utopia

Kim Soong-Nyung’s webtoon Cheerful Outcast Part II, Cheerful Neighbor inspired the film. Lee Byung-han, Park Seo-jun, Park Bo-young, Kim Sun-young, Park Ji-hu, and Kim Do-yoon star in the film.

On August 17, the state-sponsored Korean Film Council’s seven-judge panel overwhelmingly chose Concrete Utopia’ as Korea’s official entry for the 96th Academy Awards. ‘Concrete Utopia’ was launched on August 9 and swiftly rose to the top of the box office charts. Variety reports that the picture grossed roughly USD 16.2 million in its first eight days. ‘Concrete Utopia’ was the third most popular South Korean film in 2023.

The film has also been invited to the Toronto International Film Festival 2023 Gala Presentations section. South Korea has recently enjoyed a successful run at the Oscars. It will be interesting to observe how ‘Concrete Utopia’ fares at the upcoming 96th Academy Awards. The Academy Awards will be place on March 10, 2024.

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