• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:09/24/2023

Past Lives

Teo Yoo and Greta Lee. Photo: A24

12 years after they last saw each other, Nora and Hae-sung (Greta Lee, Teo Yoo) reconnect; he’s still in South Korea and she’s now a writer in New York… but their long-distance friendship proves challenging. Celine Song’s lauded directing debut was inspired by events in her own life, taking place over 24 years as the two leading characters maintain a connection from their childhood, ultimately leading up to an emotional reunion in New York, while Nora’s husband warily watches from the sidelines. It’s a conversation piece, mulling over what might have happened in our ”past lives” if we had made different choices. Simple, well-acted and refreshingly mature.

2023-U.S. 106 min. Color. Produced by David Hinojosa, Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon. Written and directed by Celine Song. Cast: Greta Lee (Nora/Na-young), Teo Yoo (Hae-sung), John Magaro (Arthur), Ji Hye-yoon.

Last word: “I kept the two male actors apart in the preparation of the movie until we shot that scene where the two of them see each other for the first time. That required a little bit of logistics, but the two guys were apart […] So they were both forming ideas of who the other guy is and created expectations for what that is. And then of course, when they meet for the first time, we were rolling. Because we wanted to be rolling when they met for the first time — the actors as well as the characters. And when that happened, that shot is in the movie, the first shot of them looking at each other is in the movie. And it was amazing because they could just feel all their expectations collapse, right?” (Song, The Hollywood Reporter)

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