Return to Seoul, Rye Lane, and the trial of Gwyneth Paltrow
From Seoul to London, plus the ski slopes of Park City, Utah
On this week’s episode of Criticism Is Dead, we discuss Return to Seoul and Rye Lane, two films with a strong sense of place.
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02:22 At times discomfiting, at times revelatory, the film Return to Seoul — playing in select theaters — is a distinctive spin on the journey of an adoptee.
Return to Seoul takes a somewhat familiar idea — an adoptee returning to her country of origin to find her birth parents — and fleshes it out in a way that probably hews closer to the truth of what this experience is really like: often uncomfortable, tense, with jagged edges. Here, the main vehicle for such a complex portrayal is the protagonist Freddie, a character whose frustrations and flaws make her feel fully realized. There’s no unnecessary exposition or dialogue here; the film trusts its viewers to read between each thing left unsaid, to nice effect.
26:19 The pleasant rom-com Rye Lane, streaming on Hulu, does a better job highlighting the charm of a city than any chemistry between its leads.
Rom-coms tend to live and die by the sparks that fly between their two stars, and in Rye Lane, the sparks are a little more akin to the fizzes of a great friendship. Nonetheless, it’s a cute movie, with some nice humor, a straightforward — maybe even a little formulaic — story, and a sense of ease that keeps the whole thing moving along. But be forewarned: The way that this film is shot may or may not be a turn-off for you (for me, it was fine; for Pelin, it rang too commercial-like).
39:29 Plus, culture notes about how Gwyneth Paltrow litigated her way into stans’ hearts.
In this week’s SUCCESSION SENDOFF — our special series following along Succession’s fourth and final season — we get into money moves, cold feet, and family bonding. Plus, our recurring segments: Daddy’s Best Boy, The Disgusting Boy, and Death Watch.
TBT this Sakamoto interview in the Creative Independent.
Kelly Reichardt interview:
That’s it for now. Thank you and see you next week!
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