Thread of Lies

Last updated
Thread of Lies
ElegantLies2013Poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Lee Han
Produced byKim Jae-joong
Noh Bong-jo
Kim Dong-woo
Written byLee Sook-yeon
Lee Han
Based onElegant Lies
by Kim Ryeo-ryeong
Starring Kim Hee-ae
Go Ah-sung
Kim Hyang-gi
Kim Yoo-jung
Music byLee Jae-jin
CinematographyLee Seung-hyeob
Edited by Nam Na-yeong
Production
company
Ubu Film
Movie Rock
Distributed by CGV Movie Collage (domestic)
CJ Entertainment (international)
Release date
  • March 13, 2014 (2014-03-13)
Running time
117 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
LanguageKorean
BudgetUS$2 million
Box officeUS$14.1 million [1]

Thread of Lies (Korean : 우아한 거짓말; RR : Uahan Geojitmal; lit. Elegant Lies) is a 2014 South Korean film based on the 2009 bestselling novel Elegant Lies by Kim Ryeo-ryeong. [2] [3] Directed by Lee Han, it starred Kim Hee-ae (in her first film in 21 years), [4] [5] Go Ah-sung, [6] Kim Hyang-gi and Kim Yoo-jung. [7] [8]

Contents

Thread of Lies deals with the aftermath of a suicide by a 14-year-old girl. The nonlinear narrative follows her mother and older sister who set out to solve the mystery of her death, insinuating themselves into the life of the girl who bullied her. [9]

Plot

Hyun-sook (Kim Hee-ae) is a widowed single mother who is raising two teenage daughters while working at a big grocery store. One day, her youngest child, 14-year-old Cheon-ji (Kim Hyang-gi) suddenly commits suicide by hanging without even leaving a note. To Hyun-sook and her older daughter Man-ji (Go Ah-sung), Cheon-ji was the sweet child of the family who rarely complained and studied hard, while always trying to comfort her hardworking, often-weary mother. Struggling with guilt and anger, and not knowing why Cheon-ji chose to kill herself, the two women wonder whether there was something they missed or something they could have said or done. Flashbacks of Cheon-ji's past show that she had been the victim of cruel acts of bullying at her middle school, led by Hwa-yeon (Kim Yoo-jung), the prettiest and most popular girl in class whose true callous and manipulative nature hides a tortured soul. [10] [11]

Cast

Critical reception

Luke Ryan Baldock of The Hollywood News called it "the best film of the year so far," with "the best exploration of bullying ever seen on-screen, as well as being an uplifting tale of life after death and the importance of understanding." He also praised the script as "brave" for "[tackling] such complex issues in a fair, balanced, and non-judgmental way," and the acting as "miraculous across the board, with the young cast taking centre stage and representing the full gamut of emotions." [12]

Describing it as a "superbly constructed drama," Richard Kuipers of Variety wrote, "Rarely, if ever, has the topic of teenage bullying been examined in such forensic detail and delivered with such devastating emotional impact," and that "helmer Lee Han maintains perfect tonal control and elicits fine performances from a predominantly female cast." [13]

Box office

Thread of Lies was released in theaters on March 13, 2014. It took the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office, the first local film to do so in six weeks, by drawing 182,620 viewers on its opening weekend. According to the Korean Film Council, the film had approximately 680,000 admissions in its first week, earning ₩3.86 billion (or US$3.61 million). [14] [15] [16]

Through positive word of mouth, the small-budget film (₩2.1 billion, or US$1.96 million) grossed more than US$8 million by its second week with 1.2 million admissions, maintaining a strong showing at the box office and online reservation sites, despite competition from Noah , 300: Rise of an Empire and other imported films. Distributor CGV Movie Collage said the film initially had problems going into production because investors doubted its mainstream appeal. But the film resonated with audiences, in a country where suicide, particularly among youths, is a major social issue (Korea has the highest suicide rate among developed/OECD countries). Select theaters screened a barrier-free version, with subtitles/narration for the blind and hearing impaired. Special screenings also took place for student and teacher groups, and the main cast members participated in an anti-school bullying campaign on March 27, 2014. [17]

After 32 days in cinemas, the film grossed ₩11.6 billion (US$11.2 million) from 1,619,188 admissions. [18]

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryRecipientResult
2014
50th Baeksang Arts Awards
Best Actress Kim Hee-ae Nominated
Best New Actress Kim Hyang-gi Won
23rd Buil Film Awards
Nominated
51st Grand Bell Awards
Nominated
35th Blue Dragon Film Awards
Best Actress Kim Hee-ae Nominated
Best New Actress Kim Yoo-jung Nominated
2015
45th Giffoni Film Festival [19]
Cinecircoli Giovanili Socioculturali AwardThread of LiesWon

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References

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  3. "Elegant Lies". Changbi Publishers. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  4. Lee, Sun-min (2 April 2013). "Kim Hee-ae will return to big screen". Korea JoongAng Daily . Retrieved 2014-03-02.
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  6. Lee, Eun-ah (20 August 2013). "Snowpiercer Star Ko A-sung Cast in New Film". TenAsia. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
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  10. Lee, Claire (26 February 2014). "Elegant Lies tackles teen bullying". The Korea Herald . Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  11. Sunwoo, Carla (7 March 2014). "Lies tells truth about survivors of teen's suicide". Korea JoongAng Daily . Retrieved 2014-03-19.
  12. Baldock, Luke Ryan (20 March 2014). "Thread Of Lies Review". The Hollywood News. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  13. Kuipers, Richard (28 March 2014). "Hong Kong Film Review: Thread of Lies". Variety . Retrieved 2014-03-29.
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  17. Lee, Hyo-won (24 March 2014). "Suicide Drama Thread of Lies a Surprise Hit at South Korean Box Office". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  18. Ma, Kevin (16 April 2014). "Captain America fends off Korean newcomers". Film Business Asia . Retrieved 2014-04-25.
  19. Conran, Pierce (11 August 2015). "COIN LOCKER GIRL Picks Up Award in Giffoni". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2015-08-18.