(2010) ★★★

Film4: Wednesday 20 May, 12.55am

Yun Jeong-hie, a 66-year-old widow in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, seeks solace in a provincial Korean community poetry class after her delinquent grandson is involved in a gang-rape at school. Returning to the screen after retiring at 50, Yun gives a terrific performance in a meandering, sometimes affecting drama that turns into a lamentation for a dead schoolgirl. Writer-director Lee Chang-dong is a novelist who made the widely admired Secret Sunshine in 2008. Poetry is somewhat similar, vague and overlong. It isn’t cinematic in the sense of Bong Joon-ho’s gripping melodrama Mother. Even so, it took the best screenplay prize at the 2010 Cannes festival. Ultimately, the film’s reticence is rather wearing and the poems are pretty bad.

Certificate: 12
Duration: 139min