This Charming Girl

Director: Lee Yoon-ki
Screenwriters: Wu Ae-ryung, Lee Yoon-ki

Institute History

  • 2005 Sundance Film Festival


Among all the nearly impossible things that a good filmmaker accomplishes, perhaps the most difficult task is drawing an audience into the emotional life of a solitary character. Director Lee Yoon-ki succeeds with unparalleled elegance in his remarkable first feature, This Charming Girl.

Jeong-hae is a young woman living a numbing daily routine of work, commuting, take-out dinners, and television. Each morning is marked by the jarring blare of an alarm clock, left to ring just a bit too long as Jeong-hae blinks awake. In her days working at a bustling post office, packages and people fly in and out, but her life remains stationary, the still point in a spinning world. Surrounded by others, she is somehow unable to connect. Delicately, mysteriously, as layers of the past are revealed, we come to know the inner life of Jeong-hae as she makes almost painfully tentative attempts to reach out to the world around her.

In her first major role, Kim Ji-soo is a revelation. At once heartbreakingly fragile, yet simmering with heat, her performance holds an almost magical hypnotic force. Equally astonishing is writer/director Lee Yoon-ki, whose graceful, restrained directorial style achieves this deeply intimate, moving portrait of a complex inner life.

— Elizabeth Richardson

Screening Details

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