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Past Lives

Director Celine Song
Country USA/S Korea
Year 2023
Rating PG
Running Time 105
Trailer Link
IMDB Link

From The Booth


With two Oscar nominations, for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, it's time to offer another chance to watch one of 2023's best films in the cinema.

Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, are wrest apart after Nora's family emigrates from South Korea. Two decades later, they are reunited in New York for one fateful week as they confront notions of destiny, love, and the choices that make a life, in this heartrending modern romance.

"Song has crafted a deliriously honest romantic drama that is utterly singular even while it calls to mind everything from Richard Linklater to Wong Kar-wai to David Lean’s Brief Encounter. This is a movie that flows over with patience, forgiveness, and tender wisdom — qualities all the more wondrous for their relative absence from modern society and its movies." - Oliver Jones, Observer

"The debut feature from Korean-Canadian director Celine Song, Past Lives pivots on the Buddhist-influenced Korean idea of 'inyun,' or destined connection. Like karma, inyun builds up in layers both good and bad over the course of existence – enemies today might be the result of a rotten union hundreds of lives ago, while a strong marriage might only have come to fruition after layers of romantic inyun accumulated over millennia. In ways big and small, then, it seems appropriate to describe Past Lives as 8,000 layers or so of positive cinematic inyun for Song. This is a film containing oceans of truth, centuries of longing and vast feelings of open-hearted tenderness...Past Lives is not an unfailingly perfect film...But the movie is still a rare thing: honest, intimate, lasting." - Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail

Most Highly Recommended.

In English and Korean with English subtitles.