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Film info

Director: Lee Chang-dong
Cast: Yoon Jeong-hee, Lee Da-wit, Kim Hee-ra, An Nae-sang
Film genre: Drama
Cert 15, 135 mins, 2020


Best Screenplay
Cannes Int. Film Festival 2014

Best Actress: Yun Jung-hee
LA Film Critics Association 2014

Mi-ja lives along the Han River with her teenage grandson in a small suburban city. She is a dandy old lady who likes to dress up in flower-decorated hats and fashionable outfits, but has an unpredictable attitude and inquisi- tive mind. On a whim Mi-ja enrols into a poetry class in the neighbourhood cultural centre and is challenged to write a poem for the first time. Believing that there is nothing in her life to inspire her wish to write poems, she sets out on a quest for poetic inspiration. Mi-ja becomes an observer of the everyday, the beauty in the things that everyone takes for granted. With this, Mi-ja is delightfully surprised that she has a newfound excitement over discovering sights and experiences as if for the first time. But some unexpected news brings her crashing down to a the harsh reality she had escaped. Mi-ja has to confront the idea that perhaps life is not as beautiful as she had thought.

Filmmaker Lee Chang-dong has written and directed a slew of award winning films including, Green Fish, Oasis, Secret Sunshine and Peppermint Candy. A number of these films have focused on the incredible performances of its female leads with Moon So-ri and Jeon Do-yeon winning accolades around the world. Poetry is no different with a subtle yet stirring performance from actress Yun Jung-hee as the aspiring poet battling against a stark reality.