Hye-ja Kim, Bin Won, Ku Jin
At once nail-bitingly tense and brimming with humanity, Korean director Bong’s (Memories of Murder and The 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. Released last month to huge critical acclaim in the US, and a strong contender for last year’s Palm d’Or in Cannes, this gripping blend of thriller and melodrama takes Bong’s already considerable skills as a filmmaker to a whole new level.