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Nobody’s Daughter Haewon: New York Film Festival 2013

Everything old is new again in Hong Sang-soo’s melancholy romance. Acolytes know what to expect: lots of soju drinking, plentiful use of zooms...

New York Film Festival 2013: Nobody's Daughter Haewon

Everything old is new again in Hong Sang-soo’s melancholy romance. Acolytes know what to expect: lots of soju drinking, plentiful use of zooms and at least one filmmaker character, in this case the irritatingly needy Lee Seong-joon (Lee Sun-kyun). But in a twist on the usual formula, Hong’s interests are almost fully invested with his wistful female protagonist, Haewon (Jung Eun-chae), a student and aspiring actor who cautiously rekindles her romance with the married Lee after her mother moves to Canada. She almost immediately regrets the decision, and Hong explores her flip-flopping chagrin with an inventive, invigorating mix of verisimilitude and surreality. (The line separating dream and real life, a recurrent motif in Hong’s cinema, is even more blurred than usual.) It’s one of the Korean director’s best. Click for showtimes.—Keith Uhlich

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