Yourself and Yours Screen 88 of 14 reviews

Yourself and Yours

2016

Yourself and Yours Poster
  • Hong Sang-soo's latest considers post-breakup misery and the role-playing, (necessarily?) amnesiac aspect of initiating romantic relationships, here heightened for deliriously comic effect. Yourself and Yours concludes on an ambiguously optimistic note, that might best be interpreted broadly as a reminder to - as Tony Soprano once put it - focus on the good times.

  • The piercingly quiet derision of Hong’s bitter ironies makes “Yourself and Yours” a comedy of sorts, but one in which the laughter leaves viewers perched embarrassingly at the glass-walled edge of a trompe-l’oeil abyss.

  • With last year’s Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong’s most accomplished, tightly conceptualized, and deeply felt film to date, there is a sense that Hong’s outlook had warmed considerably. This has carried over into Yourself and Yours. For all his characters’ many flaws, not to mention the haphazardness of their circumstances, Hong’s men and women are increasingly finding their way to moments of happiness, even if only fleeting or dreamed.

  • Hong has effectively constructed a narrative in which every character is conceivably culpable of committing an act that adversely effects those around them, and without just cause. More impressive still, these unresolved sources of blame allow for a reflexive empathy.

  • As always with Hong (and all good art), the what is less important than the why, and Yourself and Yours is slowly revealed as another nimble investigation into the communication barriers men and women often erect between each other. It’s alternately caustic and sweet, leading to one of Hong’s most hopeful conclusions. And since cautious optimism can feel like a complete triumph at a film festival, Hong’s film was a beautiful way to leave Toronto.

  • As his most structurally radical film yet, it’s bracingly disorienting and feels like a crucial new evolution in Hong’s work. And it features one of his most characteristically telling lines about perpetually disappointing men: “I’ve never met a truly impressive man.” True! This is my favorite TIFF film seen on the ground.

  • It’s another excellent film by Hong, at once harsh and hilarious, that squirms with delightful discomfort around a wonderfully perverse premise.

  • An inspired reversal of Luis Buñuel’s “That Obscure Object of Desire,” which had two different actresses playing the same woman, the film casts one actress playing multiple versions of herself — or so it would seem. Following last year’s exceptionally ambitious (and just plain exceptional) “Right Now, Wrong Then,” the film reps a confident return to the low-key pleasures of Hong’s recent work, graced by a swooning romantic spirit.

  • Representatives of the patriarchy are more manipulative and aggressive in Hong Sang-soo’s quiet, equally short Yourself and Yours, which makes for a wittier, stranger, more hard-assed film [than Hermia & Helena].

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    Sight & Sound: Giovanni Marchini Camia
    December 02, 2016 | Viennale | Sight & Sound January 2017 Issue (p. 60)

    When the heartbroken Youngsoo tries in vain to be let into his ex-girlfriend Minjung's house, he's greeted by another woman walking up the road. The camera pans right to frame her as she cheerfully calls his name, then pans back to Youngsoo as he keeps ringing the doorbell. The woman never appears again; it's unclear whether she even existed. This incident is one of many mysteries in what is arguably the Korean auteur's most confounding work.

  • Hong always has another card up his sleeve, and Yourself and Yours, while not as ingenious as his previous entry Right Now, Wrong Then (2015), is satisfyingly teasing. It also yields one of the most flagrantly self-indulgent trailers I know: faithful to the movie, but frustrating in just the right ways.

  • Though Hong elicits Youngsoo’s heartsick proclamations for comedy, to some extent he buys into the underlying romanticism. As ever, though, this South Korean auteur remains a realist about love. Amid the identity-shifting game-playing of Yourself and Yours, Hong’s view of relationships as founded on a necessary preservation of a certain degree of illusion comes through loud and clear.

  • Unlike certain past Hong scenarios, Yourself and Yours is closer to a Rohmerian moral tale, with a single narrative track containing a situation that leads to personal self-discovery. Immediately after watching it at TIFF, I felt that it was a fairly minor piece by Hong, but after a couple of days digesting it the film has grown for me, its prescription for relationships resonating in ways that go far beyond the pleasures of watching sly and elegant Hongian games play out on screen.

  • The question of perspective is collapsed onto the problems of truth vs. falsehood, paranoia vs. trust. Other than Hong occasionally aligning these themes between character behavior and some possible nondiegetic, directorial sleight of hand, Y&Y plays like an all-too-low-key riff on Vertigo.

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