A Good Lawyer's Wife

Director: Im Sangsoo
Screenwriters: Im Sangsoo

Institute History

  • 2004 Sundance Film Festival


Over the past decade, South Korean cinema has undergone a remarkable transformation as a new generation of filmmakers revitalizes the industry with bold, thought-provoking dramas. The frank depiction of the complexities of deceit in A Good Lawyer's Wife represents this new wave, rooting itself in Korean society but resonating with universal insight into the embattled foundation of marriage.

Hojung (Moon Sori) is a loving mother, but a sexually frustrated wife, whose lawyer husband spends more time with his mistress than with her. Out of boredom, she strikes up her own affair with a neighborhood teenager. In fact, nearly every adult in the film has an extramarital affair, and the blind eye that is turned from these transgressions provides a potent subtext throughout.

Director Im Sangsoo, however, isn't interested in moralizing; instead, there is something oddly normal about the domestic dishonesty. Capitalizing on these elements of familiarity, Im lets the consequences of the relationships play out with subtle reverberations and soul-shattering blasts. His refreshingly candid sex scenes lend authenticity to the characters' motivations and desires. Boasting flawless performances, A Good Lawyer's Wife is an intense journey that illuminates the vast complexities of a domestic collapse.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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