“There are scenes of touching power” – The Hollywood Reporter
Widely considered one of the giants of Korean cinema, Im Kwon-taek – recipient of Korea’s first Best Director Award at Cannes (Chihwaseon) – returns with his 102nd feature film, and it is no less exquisite and compelling than any of his extraordinary career’s earlier classics.
Based on a prize-winning short story by Kim Hoon, the film follows Mr Oh, an executive director of a major cosmetics company, who is struggling with a busy professional life and a wife who is entering the final stages of a long fight with cancer. In the midst of compassionately caring for her, he develops an uncontrollable infatuation with his female co-worker, Choo Eun-joo, whose very existence alone symbolises a fanciful life he dreams of having.
Direct from Venice and featuring a powerfully sensitive lead performance by Korean screen legend Ahn Sung-ki (which alludes to In the Mood for Love’s Tony Leung), this is a profound drama that ponders the complex issues of human frailty, desire and betrayal. A virtuosity of refined filmmaking.