A Girl at My Door Screen 7 articles

A Girl at My Door

2014

A Girl at My Door Poster
  • Produced by the great Korean director Lee Chang-dong, the film is unapologetic in its debt to its handler. But whereas Lee traffics in overt melodrama, July takes a more restrained approached, with soft music cues and a nearly imperceptible sense of style.

  • The film’s treatment achieves a simple dimension, centered in describing the relationship of both characters, and in doing a portrait of this policewoman from her absences and secrets, avoiding the sensationalism of the violence plot . July Jung is more interested about the evolution of the friendship of this two woman, running away from some topics, but holding ground in the memory of films about protectors and apprentices or kids that discover the terrors of adulthood.

  • Tyro helmer-scribe July Jung’s studied film language sometimes devolves into overheated scenes of psychosis, but the pic is ultimately held together by the mesmerizing presence of Bae Doo-na in the title role and an equally bracing performance by teen thesp Kim Sae-ron.

  • There is an underlying weirdness to [Lee Chang-dong] films like Secret Sunshine (2007) and Poetry (2010) that makes them work. [Lee protégée] Jung is clearly moving in that direction. But not having mastered that tone quite yet, Girl instead strikes a note of implausibility at crucial junctures... Nevertheless, A Girl At My Door is well-acted and crisply shot, a highly assured debut from Jung who should have a bright future as she grows beyond Lee’s tutelage and develops her own voice.

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    Sight & Sound: Tony Rayns
    September 07, 2015 | October 2015 Issue (pp. 82-83)

    Whatever its moral complexities, A Girl at My Door lacks the nuanced sense of everyday ups and downs that's so strong in [Lee Chang-dong's] films. Nothing here happens without a defined narrative purpose, and the feeling that a moral conundrum is being mechanically worked out is hard to shake. The best you can say for the by-the-numbers plotting is that it's mercifully free of didacticism and open to moral ambiguities. Still, as a debut feature this is an achievement by any measure.

  • Jung’s indictment of Korean machismo is as unsparing as her depiction of the confusion of identification, desire, and guilt in the policewoman’s rescue fantasy.

  • Rural South Korea is the setting for July Jung’s courageous and quietly confrontational debut feature which boasts a pair of astonishingly nuanced performances... That this small but powerful film retains its gentleness and compassion in the face of the bleakest of subjects makes it all the more remarkable.