Seattle co-stars in the moody film 'Late Autumn'
A review of the moody film "Late Autumn," which played at Seattle International Film Festival and returns to Seattle for a regular run this week. The city of Seattle plays a key role in the Korean film.
Seattle Times movie critic
'Late Autumn,' with Tang Wei, Hyun Bin. Written and directed by Kim Tae-yong. 113 minutes. Not rated; for mature audiences. In English, Mandarin and Korean, with English subtitles where necessary. Alderwood.
Cloaked in silvery mist, Seattle plays a key supporting role in Korean filmmaker Kim Tae-yong's wistful drama "Late Autumn" — for the film's two lonely main characters, the city seems a place of hope and dreams. Anna (Tang Wei) is coming home to Seattle on a three-day furlough from a California prison, where she's serving time for killing her abusive husband, to attend her mother's funeral. On the bus, she meets Hoon (Hyun Bin), a gigolo fleeing a client's angry husband. Despite Anna's initial wariness, the two end up spending a day together in the city — strolling Pike Place Market, taking the Ride the Ducks tour, wandering damp sidewalks as they try not to think about tomorrow.
Not much happens in "Late Autumn," and the film feels a little overlong. But it has moments of real magic, like the softly lit, quiet Market stalls at night (what setting could be more romantic?), and the gently whimsical dance Anna and Hoon watch at an amusement park, performed by a couple who exit the film by floating into the sky. And Wei, so good in Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution," makes something very moving of Anna, a woman who's learned in seven years of prison to keep herself still and closed. She and Hoon pretend to be tourists on vacation; on a break from lives that nonetheless follow them, like shadows in the city twilight.
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