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  • Summary: A film director who no longer makes films, Seongjun, arrives in Seoul to meet a close friend. When the friend doesn't show up, Seongjun wanders the city aimlessly. He runs into an actress he used to know, shares a drink with some film students and against his better judgment, heads to his ex-girlfriend's apartment. The next day goes very much like the last; Seongjun meets the actress, has drinks with friends, and falls for woman who looks remarkably like his ex-girlfriend. Each new day plays out like a flimsy copy of the previous one, but only Seongjun knows why. Infused with a playfulness and dry wit that recalls the films of Woody Allen and Eric Rohmer, The Day He Arrives is a delightful meditation on relationships, filmmaking, and the unknowable forces that govern our lives. [The Cinema Guild] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Apr 22, 2012
    90
    But at his best - and his new movie, The Day He Arrives, is among his very best - Hong offers a strange mixture of magic, mystery, rueful melodrama and dry comedy that's like absolutely nothing else.
  2. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Apr 19, 2012
    90
    The Day He Arrives has real force and its experimentation is in the service of a moving story about a man who, as he says at the start, has nowhere to go. And so he returns to a bar, a woman and situations that are always the same and yet always different - snow falls during one kiss but not another - playing a director whose life resembles a movie he keeps remaking.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jul 4, 2012
    88
    The movie finds the right tone to present its bittersweet wisdom. It's relaxed. It's content to observe and listen.
  4. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Apr 17, 2012
    83
    Maintains a funny and sad focus on its single petulant subject.
  5. Reviewed by: Maggie Lee
    Apr 17, 2012
    80
    Serves as an amusing itinerary of dining, drinking and sexual dalliance that beguilingly plays with narrative time.
  6. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Apr 17, 2012
    80
    Like Rohmer, Hong is wonderful with atmospheric effects, using whirling snowfalls to place his characters' inchoate longing in relief.
  7. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Apr 17, 2012
    70
    An agreeably meandering exercise that brings some clever French New Wave fillips and structural repetitions to Hong's characteristically boozy party. Rougher but more approachable than his previous "Oki's Movie."

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Oct 15, 2012
    10
    "The Day He Arrives" is a wonderful film and could serve as a great introduction to the films of the Korean indie filmmaker Hong Sang-soo, for those who feel the need to start at the beginning of a artist work in order to understand what they are doing currently. Despite being his 12 feature film, it embodies the ideas and feeling the director has been striving for throughout his career. Simple action, intricate yet subdued dialogue and beautiful B/W photography of everyday scenes, all with the smallest hint of the surreal. Hong Sang-soo is an individual quickly gaining notice in international cinema and "The Day He Arrives" is a great place to start for one who desires to delve into something new and exciting in film. Expand

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