The Guardian's Best Films of 2019 - no. 8
One of the most critically acclaimed films to emerge from Cannes 2018, Lee Chang-dong’s (‘Poetry’) simmering thriller is an astute study of toxic masculinity.
Jong-soo (Yoo Ah-in) dreams of becoming a writer. A loner, his spirits are lifted when he encounters old school friend Hae-mi (Jeon Jong-seo). They become lovers, but Jong-soo is surprised when Hae-mi announces she is to go away. Returning, she has Ben (Steven Yeun) in tow, which finds Jong-soo’s suspicions soon spiralling into paranoia and delusion. Lee’s film is a beguiling and intoxicating mystery whose enigma pulls us deeper into its world.
★★★★ "Sex, envy and pyromania make for a riveting mystery in Lee Chang-dong’s masterfully crafted Murakami adaptation." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
★★★★★ "One of the year’s best" - Charlotte O'Sullivan, Evening Standard
★★★★★ "A daring study of class conflict and sexual longing that blazes with mystery." - Tim Robey, The Telegraph