Sven Roth’s review published on Letterboxd:
Well, fuck. I did expect something good, but that was way beyond that.
Where do I even start? Over two hours long and it is a real slow burner (pun intended).Even I was skeptical at the start. I didn't know nothing about the film beforehand, so I was asking myself after some time when will the movie starts to get going. Without realizing how Lee Chang-dong built his world and his characters with nearly perfection already from the beginning. The writing is excellent, the cinematography is brilliant and some shots still give me goosebumps. The score is great, but the really effective scenes came without music.
The next thing I can only praise is the acting. Yoo Ah-in and Steven Yeun are easily the best what I've seen this year. Both playing their characters amazingly, also thanks to the script. I was skeptical at first whether I would just see Steven Yeun as Glenn. But it doesn't took him more than 1 scene to make this concern irrelevant.
But my biggest reason to love this movie is Jun Jong-seo. Can you imagine that this role is her debut? I couldn't, but it is true. She plays her role with such an ease, it's incredible. The scene, in which she dances before sunset, took my breath away. She can count me as a new fan and I can't wait to see her soon in other films. She will join my little circle of favourites, together with Chiaki Kuriyama, Scarlett Johansson and Bae Doo-na. Even if it means nothing, congratulations!
It is a movie you will think about. While you see it, and also after. One of those films that you have to watch several times to discover every detail. Which gives you more questions than answers. And the perfect ending to completely ruin your peaceful nights.
It is now almost 4am and I know that I will have a hard time to sleep. There are so many scenes going through my head right now. Especially because I write this review right now.
I haven't seen anything from Lee Chang-dong so far, I will change that. Exactly like Jun Jong-seo, he also got a new fan from now on. I'm really looking forward to rewatch this one. I just can imagine how much this movie gets even better afterwards.