Wednesday, December 22, 2010
SECRET SUNSHINE, the Korean film adapted (from the novel by Yi Chong-jun) and directed by Chang-dong Lee (pictured below), could easily make this movie sound like soap-opera. Indeed, if you listed all the events that occur in this lengthy -- well over two hours -- tale (don't worry: I won't), you'd be hard pressed not to sum up: "Too much!" Yet the movie isn't.
Jeon Do-Yeon, above: She deservedly won Best Actress award at Cannes and elsewhere for her performance) -- who, with her elementary-school-age son, has come to the home town of her recently departed husband, to try to create a new life -- spends the remainder of the movie trying to come to terms with this event. Good luck.
Song Kang-ho, shown above (from Thirst, Memories of Murder and The Good, The Bad, The Weird), who just keeps on trying.
Oasis) forces us all to look at things differently, wrestling with the situation from another perspective. This is not initially thrilling -- or exciting, suspenseful, romantic or any of thse usual adjectives we might use to describe film we love. But it pays off. Perhaps not in quite so spectacular a fashion as to class this movie among the best films of the year (as two of The New York Times reviewers did this past week), but certainly enough to make it a must-see for film buffs who don't mind a movie that challenges and surprises.
IFC Films opens today in New York City at the IFC Center, while simultaneously available from IFC On-Demand (where it has appeared since early November.)