written and directed by Kim Hee-jung
by Walter Chaw Kim Hee-jung's A French Woman seems curiously of a piece with other recent films about dislocation and loss, such as Bi Gan's Long Day's Journey Into Night for one, Claire Denis's Let the Sunshine In for another--works at times suffocatingly pretentious but each possessed of pockets of real beauty and the occasional insight. Denis's film works the best of these, largely for the invisibility of its direction. Calling attention to oneself as a director is a high concept that can work sometimes; more often, it's a tactic that neuters emotional involvement, turning the film into an intellectual exercise and a trainspotting diversion. A French Woman follows Mira (Kim Hojung) on the worst night of her life, as she learns in the middle of a crowded Parisian restaurant that her husband's been unfaithful. She leaves to compose herself and suddenly finds herself transported back to a day some twenty years in the past when she first left Korea to pursue life and love in Paris.