With all the serious, morbid narratives taking root of the festival imagination in places like Cannes, it’s refreshing to see an exceptional movie with a light touch and a very warm sense of humor. In Another Country, from Korean director Hong Sang-soo, is exactly that. It is the story of stories, an examination of how a narrative takes form and is altered and rearranged until it is the most effective.
A barely-seen Korean woman dictates these stories into a notepad. All of them star roughly the same cast of characters, though their roles and importance often change. Isabelle Huppert plays the main woman in all of them, always a wayward traveler in Korea looking around for a lighthouse and meaning. There is also the woman she is staying with, an attractive young lifeguard and various other acquaintances along the way.