We all know that streamers require an endless supply of movies and TV series, many of which are created by their own production companies.
But one film studio stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to creating those truly spectacular movies that often fly under the radar when up against the marketing budget of the industry giants.
And that company is A24. A24 is an independent entertainment company founded by Daniel Katz, David Fenkel, and John Hodges in 2012 .
It is based in New York City and has gained a solid reputation for its high-quality, often innovative, and sometimes experimental films.
And now we can add Past Lives to that list.
What Is Past Lives About?
Written and directed by Celine Song, Past Lives follows the story of Nora (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo), who were best friends as children when Nora lived in South Korea.
Then Nora's family emigrates to Canada, their friendship goes by the wayside for nearly 20 years before Nora looks him up on Facebook and drops him a message.
Soon, the two are back into the swing of things, catching up over video calls as they slowly seem to be falling in love. But with Nora now in New York and Hae Sung moving to China, neither is in a position to visit the other.
So again, they decide to end their friendship and move on with their lives until years later, Hae Sung decides to visit Nora for one fateful week in America.
What follows is a heartbreakingly beautiful story of the road not traveled as both Nora and Hae Sung get reacquainted and catch up on each other's lives.
Past Lives Official Trailer
Is Past Lives Worth Watching?
Here's the thing about Past Lives; it is undoubtedly a fantastic film, led by a limited cast who excel in their roles.
It is not overly dramatic. The script is natural and on point. The situations are real and true to life, and there are no twists and turns to shock the audience.
So what's the problem? It could be that it is so understated that other than the very last scene, it elicited almost no emotional pull.
This is a story about deeply connected childhood friends, reconnecting after 25 years, who are or were, at least on the surface, in love with each other.
And yet, Hae Sung and Arthur were the only two I really felt any kind of empathy for.
That said, this isn't a ‘boy meets girl, falls in love and sails off into the sunset' kind of love story. It is there to confront notions of destiny and the ‘what could have been' in life and what happens when you get the opportunity to explore that.
Writer-director Celine Song has definitely created a modern romance that goes against all of the pre-prescribed notions of what that should be, and for that, she should be commended.
I loved watching it, even if my expectations were higher going into it. Does it deserve all of the major award nominations?
Probably, if only for going against the grain and giving viewers a story about well-rounded real people in the real world.
It's a remarkable debut for the director, and I am genuinely looking forward to seeing what she produces next.
Cast Of Past Lives Movie
Greta Lee as Nora Moon
Seung Ah Moon as young Nora (Na Young)
Teo Yoo as Hae Sung
Seung Min Yim as young Hae Sung
John Magaro as Arthur
Ji Hye Yoon as Nora's mother
Choi Won-young as Nora's father
Min Young Ahn as Hae Sung's mother
Jojo T. Gibbs as Janice
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