Wonderful Radio (Korea)
Opening Jan. 5
Drama. Directed by Kwon Chil-in. Has-been star Jin-a (Lee Min-jung) works as a DJ for an unpopular radio show. Yet when the show’s new producer Jae-hyuk (Lee Jeong-jin) arrives, everything about the show is about to change. He wants to revise the show’s program without Jin-a’s consent. Jin-a, who isn’t quite ready to let go of her glory days, rebels against Jae-hyuk by pushing for a segment where listeners can choose the songs that are relevant to their personal experience, and sing them on air. She manages to have the segment on air after a long battle with her producer, but the first show turns out to be a complete disaster.
My Way (Korea)
Opened Dec. 21
Drama. Directed by Kang Je-gyu. It’s 1938 in Japanese-colonized Gyeongseong, what is now Seoul, and young Joon-sik (later played by Jang Dong-gun) works for a farm owned by a Japanese family. His dream is to participate in the Tokyo Olympics as a marathon runner. He soon learns that Tatsuo (later played by Joe Odagiri), the grandson of the farm owner, dreams of doing the same thing, making them rivals. As World War II breaks out, however, their lives and destinies are turned upside down.
Perfect Game (Korea)
Opened Dec. 21
Drama. Directed by Park Hee-gon. Two young, popular baseball pitchers, Choi Dong-won (Jo Seung-woo) of Lotte and Seon Dong-ryeol (Yang Dong-geun) of Haitai make the perfect rivals in Korea’s heated pro-baseball scene in the 1980s. Choi went to Yonsei University, while Seon went to the rival Korea University; Choi is from Gyeongsang Province while Seon is from Jeolla. The duo’s upcoming matchup becomes much more than a mere baseball game, as Korean regionalism and the long-time rivalry between Yonsei and Korea University graduates build an intense tension and excitement. The movie is based on the real-life story of the famous match between two legendary baseball players Choi and Seon back on May 16, 1987.
I Wish (Japan)
Opened Dec. 22
Drama. Directed by Hirokazu Kore-Eda. A curious 12-year-old school boy Koichi (Koki Maeda) comes up with a plan to have his fondest wish fulfilled. After his parents’ divorce, Koichi lives with his mother and maternal grandparents in Kagoshima, Kyushu, while his younger brother Ryunosuke (Ohshiro Maeda) and guitarist father (Joe Odagiri) live in Hakata in Fukuoka. Having moved to an unfamiliar town where the famous volcano Sakurajima emits plumes of ash almost every day, Koichi’s wish is for the volcano to erupt so he and his mother will have no choice but move back to Hakata and live with the rest of the family again. After hearing that a new Shinkansen line running between Kyushu and Fukuoka is almost complete, Koichi comes to believe that a miracle will occur when the first two trains of the new route, bound in opposite directions, pass each other for the very first time.
My Barefoot Friend (Korea)
Opened Dec. 15
Documentary. Directed by Lee Seong-gyou. Shalim is one of the 10,000 rickshaw workers who taxi people around barefoot in Calcutta, India. The 50-year-old man’s dream is to buy a motorized rickshaw and make more money to support his family better. He works alone in Calcutta, through the merciless traffic in the overcrowded streets, while the rest of his family live in the countryside with the money Shalim sends every month. When his wife becomes severely ill, Shalim is faced with harsh reality of having to spend his hard-earned money on her treatment. The Indian government is trying to forbid his profession altogether, banning of rickshaws on the streets of Calcutta.
Life is Peachy (Korea)
Opened Dec. 8
Drama. Directed by Kim Soo-hyun. Yoon Ji-woo (Kim Hyo-jin), a young, aloof woman working as a sales associate at a department store one day takes a mannequin that resembles herself to the rooftop of the building. Morbidly curious to know what it feels like to jump off the rooftop, she drops the mannequin to the ground. It hits a car on the road, and Kang Ji-woo (Kim Kko-bbi), a young female pickpocket who was running from the police using the vehicle, is captured right after the accident. Yoon and Kang are handcuffed to each other by the police, and have to spend each and every minute together.