Léa Seydoux's riveting performance lights up Mia Hansen-Løve’s excellent new film, the sweetly affecting tale of a Parisian single mom who finds herself in the arms of a married friend. Sandra, a young mother who raises her daughter alone, pays regular visits to her sick father. While she and her family fight tooth and nail to get him the care he requires, Sandra reconnects with Clément, a friend she hasn't seen in a while. Although he is in a relationship, the two begin a passionate affair.
Using naturalistic style and deceptively simple storytelling to advance ideas that are deeply in tune with felt experience, Hansen-Løve allows us to experience Sandra’s emotions fully. The always superb Léa Seydoux shines in this provocative, stirring portrait of a woman keeping the universe in balance.
On an impulse to reconnect with her origins, 25 year old Freddie (an incredible performance by newcomer Ji-Min Park), returns to South Korea for the first time, where she was born before being adopted and raised in France. The headstrong young woman starts looking for her biological parents in a country she knows so little about, taking her life in new and unexpected directions.
A character drama with the twists and turns of a high-octane thriller, RETURN TO SEOUL unfolds as one of the rare movies that feels thoughtful and observant every minute. An exquisitely moving portrait of seeking identity.
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