Still from Mother

Mother (R/I)

Dir: Bong Joon-ho|South Korea|2009|130 mins|15

"Is any director in the world currently coming up with more surprises than Bong Joon-Ho?…luscious and blackly comic." Tony Rayns, London Film Festival

At once nail-bitingly tense and brimming with humanity, Korean director Bong's (Memories of Murder, Okja andThe Host) terrific film comes fresh from sweeping the Asian Film Awards' with a hat-trick of Best Film, Best Script and Best Actress.

This taut, unsentimental, Hitchcockian (and for once this really applies) dissection of a mother defending her son at all costs remains consistently unpredictable right up to its supremely satisfying climax. When Kim Hye-ja's nameless mother of the title discovers her 27 year old son, suffering from learning difficulties, has been arrested for the murder of a young girl, she obsessively sets out to track down the real killer and prove her son's innocence at all costs.

Worth the admission alone for its life-affirming book-end dance sequences, this is a tour-de-force from a filmmaker at the very top of his game. This gripping blend of thriller and melodrama took Bong's already considerable skills as a filmmaker to a whole new level.


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"Bong juggles styles with insouciant skill, infusing his classic noir plotline with hints of Douglas Sirk melodrama, rainswept US indie realism and a brooding, blackly comic and almost Lynchian sense of a world spiralling out of whack ... Mother is Bong's first masterpiece" Tom Huddleston, Time Out, 5 stars

"Korean maestro Bong Joon-ho's (The Host) playfully off-kilter Hitchcockian thriller refuses to play by genre rules, stir-frying slow-burn menace and Freudian drama into unpredictable combinations." Simon Kinnear, Total Film

"Joon-ho Bong's Mother is the best Korean film I've seen since Old Boy ... the twists and turns are so welltimed; it's like Hitchcock was sitting in the edit suite with a stopwatch." News of the World, 4 stars

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