The Day After
“The Day After has its share of wry musings and twitchy banter between characters to counter its visual stasis and lulling storytelling. It attains a kind of grace, however, in its final act, which all but replays an earlier encounter — Hong’s favorite narrative party trick — in a bittersweet spirit of rapprochement, via an absurd, farcical case of mislaid memory.” – Guy Lodge (Variety)
“In many ways, The Day After is a quintessential Hong joint. Copious amounts of local spirits are consumed — you just know the eventual box set of his work will be called Fifty Shades of Soju — and people sit around tables and talk, mainly about love, from early morning until well into the night.” – Boyd van Hoeij (The Hollywood Reporter)
“It’s diverting, but seems at all times to be leading to something more than just these fleetingly farcical or verbose scenes which play out without anyone appearing to be seriously affected by them… The Day After is an elegant exercise. It feels like a chapter from something bigger.” – Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian)
Not to be greedy, Hong Sang-soo has two films showing at the Cannes Film Festival, the other being Claire’s Camera, with Isabelle Huppert, in the Special Screening section. The Day After is his sole representative in the main competition. A likely no runner in terms of the film’s reception for the big prizes, I just feel other films have made, or will make, a much stronger impression when it comes to the crunch.