Captivating mystery drama is playing in Chinese cinemas

Sony’s “Where the Crawdads Sing” is the latest foreign film to hit Chinese cinemas during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing some much-needed heat to the movie market.

A still image from “Where the Crawdads Sing.” [Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment]

The film is billed as “the world’s highest-grossing romantic film of 2022.” However, “Where the Crawdads Sing” is more of a mystery drama based on a Delia Owens bestseller. With more than 12 million copies sold in total, the book was a literary phenomenon and the best-selling book of 2019 and 2020. In addition, it set a record for most weeks at No. 1 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list.

“I read the novel in one day. I just couldn’t put it down,” recalls Reese Witherspoon, an Academy Award-winning actress and muscleman. “I fell in love with Kya as the main character. The experiences she has with the two men in her life are both moving and terrifying. Delia Owens wrote this book with such authenticity, you could just tell she really grew up in this. ” Place.”

The film tells the story of Kya, an abandoned girl who grew up in the dangerous swamps of North Carolina. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, isolating the sharp and resilient Kya from her community. Attracted to two young men from the city, Kya opens up to a new and surprising world; but if one of them is found dead, she is immediately identified as the prime suspect by the community. As the case unfolds, the verdict on what happened becomes increasingly unclear, threatening to reveal the many secrets that lay in the swamp.

“Delia created a classic, timeless story with this book,” said the film’s director, Olivia Newman. It’s a romance, an underdog story, a murder mystery, a criminal trial, with a signature setting that adds to the drama and scope. We wanted to honor that with a faithful adaptation, and I’m so glad I did with this incredible team of women – the executives, the writer, the producers and most of the department heads – who were meticulous in preserving the look and feel of the book that readers everywhere have embraced.

An all-female film team and an all-female production crew were brought on board to turn the novel into a movie. “We’re focused on finding female filmmakers who bring a new perspective and stories that we’ve never seen on film before,” said Witherspoon. “For this film, these women built rich worlds focused on the characters’ highly interpersonal connections.”

“‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ is a filmmaker’s dream come true from a story,” said director Newman. “It has this incredible female heroine at the center that we’ve never seen on screen. She’s vulnerable and emotional, but also strong and resilient. And her story spans multiple genres – there’s this beautiful romance. There’s a murder mystery. There’s a survival story there. When I read the book and then the script, I thought it captured all these different worlds and elements of storytelling that, as a filmmaker, I just couldn’t wait to get into.”

A poster for “Where the Crawdads Sing.” [Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment]

“I think everyone resonates with Kya on a personal level. There’s a little bit of Kya in all of us,” Newman continued. “But I don’t think we’ve ever seen a character like Kya on screen before, not like this. ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ is a story of resilience. It’s about how love and human connection are at the core of our survival It’s a story about believing in your self-worth when others don’t. It’s about survival and how the laws of nature aren’t always the same as the laws of society.”

Besides being about women’s growth, the film has another attraction: megastar Taylor Swift, who was inspired to write and perform an original song, “Carolina”, for the film. The song contains many of the film’s haunting elements.

“Where the Crawdads Sing,” starring Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson and David Strathairn, will hit Chinese screens on November 25. As of July, it has already grossed $140 million in other markets around the world.

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