North Korea is stuck on an island with enemies to the south.
A metaphorical island, perhaps?
Last time I looked at an atlas, the Korean peninsula was firmly attached to China.
Or it is the tail on the rump of the Chinese dragon. (metaphorically speaking)
Danny Boyle wasn't a bankable name, or, indeed, a successful director.
I think you must be talking about a different Danny Boyle. Maybe his profile isn't so high in the US but maybe you should look him up on IMDb. He has directed a number of successful movies. If that doesn't make him bankable then I don't know what does.
Directors, special affects artists, and maybe writers, yes. But good acting isn't hard to come by. Acting is pretty easy, and there are lots of great actors who are never given the opportunity to work with the best directors, producers, or writers.
Yes, acting IS easy...
However, GOOD acting is hard work and requires talent and commitment.
I'm not breathless with excitement over the results of the Oscars but I do realise that those nominated are usually there for a good reason.
"It's like deja vu all over again." -- Yogi Berra