“Poetry”: An unlikely masterpiece from Korea
I’m here to tell you that Korean director Lee Chang-dong’s film “Poetry” is both beautiful and moving, a quietly haunting meditation on death and life that combines lovely cinematic craft, a memorable central performance and prodigious emotional depth.
You’ll cry, you’ll laugh — you won’t want to leave this story and its unlikely heroine behind.
This word gets chucked around too much by critics, including me, but I’ve seen the film twice and I strongly suspect it’s a masterpiece. So why didn’t I rank it as my Salon Pick of the Week? (Even though — in case you’re keeping score at home — it is now No. 1 on my 2011 Movie List.)
Let’s review: “Poetry” is almost two-and-a-half hours long. It’s in Korean, and it’s a fairly slow-moving character drama, not a ghost story or a shoot-’em-up.