Japan may have snubbed Palme d’Or-winning, Oscar-nominated director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s new film “Broker” for the Best International Feature Academy Award submission, but the family drama starring Korean actor Song Kang-ho remains one of the most acclaimed films of the year. The regular Bong Joon Ho collaborator, from “Memories of Murder” to “Parasite,” won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival for his portrayal of a laundry operator who traffics children on the black market. Watch the trailer below.
The film follows two brokers who sell orphaned infants, circumventing the bureaucracy of legal adoption, to affluent couples who can’t have children of their own. After an infant’s mother surprises the duo by returning to ensure her child finds a good home, the three embark on a journey to find the right couple, building an unlikely family of their own.
Japan wound up submitting “Plan 75” as its ambassador in the Best International Feature race over “Broker.” Kore-eda was Oscar-nominated in 2019 for his family drama “Shoplifters,” which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and he’s also known for unsentimental sprawling family dramas like “Nobody Knows” and “Still Walking.”
From IndieWire’s review of “Broker” out of Cannes: “The execution of this premise is, somehow, miraculous in its sensitivity, asking questions about issues of ethics, of choice, of money, and murder, and family, and how to find love in all this sorry mess. No answers are given — Kore-eda is an empath but has never been a utopian, rarely one for an incredible happy ending. There’s an astonishing sympathy for the unforgivable decisions we make, a patience for all the strange journeys you have to take in order to shake off the resentment passed down by generations. And, somehow, the filmmaker always finds a way to see light in it all. It’s ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ by way of ‘Juno’ narratively, but then there’s so much more that escapes comparison, as no other filmmaker could balance the sticky moral questions that color the film quite like Kore-eda Hirokazu.”
Neon releases “Broker” in New York on December 26 and in Los Angeles on December 28. The film also stars Gang Dong Wong, Lee Ji Eun, Lee Joo Young, and Donna Bae.