×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sisters on the Road

Sibling rivalry is fueled by paternal absence in the South Korean meller "Sisters on the Road." Feature bow by helmer Boo Ji-young turns sisterly polarization -- one very uptight, one excessively relaxed -- up to the max while maintaining an affectionate view of both protags.

With:
With: Shin Min-a, Kong Hyo-jin, Chu Guy-jung, Kim Sang-hyun, Mun Jae-won.

Sibling rivalry is fueled by paternal absence in the South Korean meller “Sisters on the Road.” Feature bow by helmer Boo Ji-young turns sisterly polarization — one very uptight, one excessively relaxed — up to the max while maintaining an affectionate view of both protags. Gay-themed finale may be too soap-operatic for Western fest auds, but this endearing HD effort has a good chance of making inroads with local auds thanks to solid distaff perfs and a bold script.

Moody, fastidious twentysomething career woman Myung-eun (Shin Min-a), based in Seoul, returns to Jeju Island and is reunited with her thirtyish half-sister Myung-ju (Kong Hyo-jin), an uneducated fishmonger, when their mother suddenly dies. Still resentful that her father disappeared before she was old enough to know him, Myung-eun enlists Myung-ju to accompany her on a search for him.

Myung-ju thinks it’s a waste of time but agrees to hit the road with her pushy sibling anyway. Whether they’re taking a ferry to the mainland, staying in dingy motels or driving around the Korean peninsula, odd-couple dynamics play out with the boozy and flirty Myung-ju consistently rubbing the straight-laced Myung-eun the wrong way.

Narrative uses a flashback structure to fill in the blanks on the sources of Myung-eun’s childhood frustrations, and provide the first clue to the pic’s rather audacious resolution. Western auds will be quicker on the uptake than Myung-eun, but overall, her final connecting of the dots makes for an awkwardly realized denouement, which might have played more convincingly on the page than it does onscreen.

Despite scripting issues, the one-on-one scenes between the two sisters have a familial authenticity and allow both leads to flaunt their thesping chops. Kong (also in Pusan fest entry “Crush and Blush”) is particularly impressive in a lively role that also allows for greater emotional range than that of her onscreen sister.

Boo Ji-young’s helming is generally confident, with a functional simplicity. Unfortunately, a subplot featuring Myung-ju’s own daughter is initially confusing, as these scenes appear too similar to Myung-eun’s childhood flashbacks. HD lensing varies in quality, but other tech credits are solid. At times, pic looks flawless in a good 35mm transfer, but scenes employing warm light sources reveal HD technical limitations and create fuzzy images. Other tech credits are solid.

Sisters on the Road

South Korea

Production: A DNA production. (International sales: Indiestory, Seoul.) Produced by Yoo Seung-young. Directed, written by Boo Ji-young.

Crew: Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Kim Dong-eun; editor, Kim Soo-jin; music, Choi Seung-hyun; production designer, Lee Jong-pil; sound (Dolby), Song Soo-duk. Reviewed at Pusan Film Festival (Korean Panorama), Oct. 3, 2008. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: With: Shin Min-a, Kong Hyo-jin, Chu Guy-jung, Kim Sang-hyun, Mun Jae-won.

More Film

  • 'Chambre 212' Review: A Comedy More

    Cannes Film Review: 'Chambre 212'

    Most of us, in our romantic lives, meditate here and there on the other roads we might have traveled, and movies are uniquely equipped to channel those alternate-universe-of-love possibilities. That’s the idea at the (broken) heart of “Casablanca.” And the fantasy of getting to see the turns your life didn’t take play out right in [...]

  • Zach Galifianakis Jerry Seinfeld Netflix

    Film News Roundup: Zach Galifianakis' 'Between Two Ferns: The Movie' Coming to Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, “Between Two Ferns: The Movie” is unveiled, “Friedkin Uncut” gets a fall release and Sony Classics buys “The Traitor” at Cannes. MOVIE RELEASES Netflix has set a Sept. 20 release date for Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” based on his 11-year-old talk show. Galifianakis made the announcement during [...]

  • Romanian Crime-Thriller 'The Whistlers' Bought for

    Romanian Crime-Thriller 'The Whistlers' Bought for North America

    Magnolia Pictures has bought North American rights to the Romanian crime thriller “The Whistlers” following its premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Written and directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, the film stars Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon, Rodica Lazar, Antonio Buil, Agustí Villaronga, Sabin Tambrea, Julieta Szonyi and George Pisterneanu. Magnolia is eyeing a theatrical [...]

  • Naomi Scott Talks Rebooting Princess Jasmine

    'Aladdin': Naomi Scott on Why Her Princess Jasmine Needed Nasim Pedrad's New Character

    Call Naomi Scott the queen of the reboot – or at least, the princess. The 26-year-old actress is taking on the role of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s live-action remake of “Aladdin,” but it’s not her first time jumping into a role that’s already been well-established. Audiences may recognize Scott from 2017’s “Power Rangers” update, where [...]

  • Moby Natalie Portman

    Moby Accuses Natalie Portman of Lying as the Two Spar Over Dating Claims

    In what’s become a he said/she said spat in multiple mediums, Moby, the elder statesman of electronic music, is now accusing actress Natalie Portman of lying and pleading to those on social media for his safety as “physical threats from complete strangers” emerge. To recap: this month, Moby released a new book, “Then It All [...]

  • A QUIET PLACE Emily Blunt

    'A Quiet Place' Sequel Moves Ahead Two Months to March 2020

    Paramount Pictures has moved its sequel to “A Quiet Place” ahead by two months from May 15 to March 20, 2020. John Krasinski is returning to direct the still-untitled movie with Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe reprising their roles. Cillian Murphy is joining the cast. “A Quiet Place” grossed $340 million at the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content