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A sixty-something woman, faced with a crippling medical diagnosis and the discovery of a heinous family crime, finds strength and purpose when she enrolls in a poetry class. Lee Chang-dong's follow-up to his acclaimed Secret Sunshine is a masterful study of the subtle empowerment - and moral compass - of an elderly woman. -- (C) Kino

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"True to the title, writer-director Lee Chang-dong is principally concerned with rendering emotions that seem inexpressible."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"Anyone who starts a film going to poetry classes is eventually going to come up with a poem. The one Mija finally delivers will rip your heart to shreds."
‑ David Jenkins, Time Out
"But what's so surprising about Poetry is Lee's unassuming mastery over the elements therein."
‑ Landon Palmer, Film School Rejects
"A beautifully acted, deeply moving tale that brings a lump to the throat."
‑ Allan Hunter, Daily Express
"It is a picture of something inexpressibly gentle and sad, something heartbreaking and absolutely normal, but something stirred up by a violent, alien incursion."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Those with an eye for reading between the lines can find layers of meaning."
‑ Maggie Lee, Hollywood Reporter
"Writer and director Chang-dong Lee's film is moving without ever stooping to melodrama; Yun is the main reason why."
‑ Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
"Lee is concerned with beauty in much the same way a philosopher might be -- its transcendent nature, its presence in nearly everything."
‑ Michael Nordine, Film Threat
"A fascinating, satisfying film with a remarkable central performance."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Beautifully shot, brilliantly written and featuring a terrific lead performance from Yun Jung-hee, this is a thought provoking, emotionally engaging drama that would make a superb double bill with Bong Joon-ho's Mother."
‑ Matthew Turner, ViewLondon
"A deceptively gentle tale with a tender ache at its center, as well as a performance from Yun Jung-hee that lingers long in the memory."
‑ Justin Chang, Variety
""Poetry" is daring in the ways only quiet, unhurried but finally haunting films have the courage to be."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"A valiant and touching psychodrama about an aging woman who takes on the challenge of writing her first poem from the experiences that stir her heart."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"In the way of good cinema, the full experience is entirely unsentimental and poetic."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"How many times have we seen the components of this plot? The crimes of the young; the trials of the old; the lone individual fighting for truth and decency. But they were never mixed like this before."
‑ Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
More reviews for Poetry on Rotten Tomatoes

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