It’s the halfway point of the year and about to be a long holiday weekend in the United States, which makes it a great time to look at the best entertainment the year has had to offer so far. Richard Lawson and Joanna Robinson collaborated on a list of the best films and TV shows of 2017, and on this week’s Little Gold Men they, joined by Katey Rich and Mike Hogan, discussed their picks, which include surprises (hello, The Magicians and Life!) and some valuable reminders of the gems that have already come out this year, even if the Oscar buzz-heavy festival season is still months away.
One of the movies that made Richard’s list is Okja, the film from director Bong Joon-ho that premiered at Cannes amid some controversy in May, and is now available on Netflix—a.k.a. perfect for a holiday weekend watch. In his review, Richard called the film “a rollicking rescue movie with deep ache and hope in its heart,“ and on the podcast this week he talks to the film’s star Steven Yeun, who became famous as the heroic Glenn on The Walking Dead. Yeun plays a member of the Animal Liberation Front, the group attempting to protect the titular “super-pig“ from being sent back to the corporation that created it. As The Ringer has pointed out, Yeun’s identity as a Korean American is essential to the film—he translates conversations between the Westerners in the liberation group and the film’s heroine, played by breakout star An Seo Hyun.
As Yeun says in the interview with Richard, he met Bong for coffee in Korea two years ago, and a year later learned the writer-director had created the role in Okjajust for him. “That blew my mind,“ Yeun says. “I had no idea what the film would be, and I had no idea what he was possibly thinking of me for. I would have played a tree.“
Listen to this week’s episode below, or find us, rate us, and review us on ApplePodcasts.