Nobody's Daughter Haewon

Film, Romance
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Nobody's Daughter Haewon

Long admired in France and with numerous devotees on the festival circuit, Korean writer-director Hong Sang-Soo has reached this, his fourteenth feature, before making it into UK cinemas. It’s a decent place to start, if not perhaps the pinnacle of his achievement. The story of a headstrong student trying to make sense of her on-off relationship with her film-school professor, it’s couched in a lackadaisical storytelling style which masks an underlying fascination with the moral whys and wherefores of Korean society.

While the catalogue of emotional misreadings and drink-fuelled embarrassment are almost the stuff of romcom, Hong’s tale snakes hither and thither blithely ignoring the usual formulae, even if its tension between appealing heroine Jong Eun-Chae’s possibly foolhardy honesty and her shambling lover’s deceitful pragmatism proves more fascinating than compelling. Characteristic structural playfulness adds layers of ambiguity to ponder on the way home, making this one a bit of a grower, though it loses a star for prominently featuring a pop version of Beethoven’s Seventh that’s truly hideous on the ear.

By: Trevor Johnston

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Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday October 11 2013
Duration: 90 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Sang-soo Hong
Screenwriter: Sang-soo Hong
Cast: Jeong Eun-Chae
Seon-gyun Lee
Joon-sang Yoo
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