Clock Ticking, Love Blooms in Late Autumn


There’s not a more gorgeous couple gracing movie screens at the moment than Late Autumn’s Tang Wei and Bin Hyun (she from Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, he one of South Korea’s biggest stars). It’s pulchritude overload. The two play Anna and Hoon, lovers racing against the clock in a three-day affair. Anna moves in a kind of daze, still somewhat in the state of shock she fell in to seven years earlier after killing her husband in self-defense and being sent to prison. Given a 72-hour compassionate release to attend the funeral of her mother, she meets Hoon on the bus ride home. He’s a gigolo whose smooth but amped energy is partly from being a reflexive salesman of himself, and partly due to his being on the run from the furious husband of a client. As Anna absorbs how much things have changed in her absence (within her family; in the world at large), she reluctantly succumbs to Hoon’s charms. The two begin a low-key but emotionally intense relationship whose intensity rests on the built-in tragedy of how little time they have. In remaking the 1966 South Korean film Full Autumn and setting it in America, writer-director Kim Tae-Yong uses the melancholic, gray backdrop of Seattle as both character and metaphor, crafting a film that’s visually beautiful and incredibly moving.