House of Hummingbird
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House of Hummingbird deserves a place alongside the likes of “The Virgin Suicides,” “The Ocean of Helena Lee” and “Eighth Grade” as one of the most knowing and intelligent cinematic takes on the pains and occasional pleasures of female adolescence of recent years.
Kim’s film is a compassionate piece on interpersonal connection that’ll touch your heart when it’s at its most vulnerable
Sensitive and lived-in and strong in ways that a more forceful version of this story could never have been, Bora’s debut sketches a portrait of a girl coming into her own strength, and learning to see the blank page of her life as an opportunity rather than a death sentence.
The Hollywood Reporter
Sensitive, keenly observed and unflinchingly honest. ... House of Hummingbird can be a little too deliberate in its contemplations and contextualizing Eunhee in her solitude and search for intimacy can be bloated at times, but ultimately it's an assured and affecting portrait of teenaged uncertainty and insecurity.
The New York Times
Kim works like a pointillist with lots of short scenes and daubs of textured nuance that build the portrait incrementally.
First-time feature director Kim pulls every moment back its most quiet and intimate, instead letting the ambiguity of personal moments play out. Most importantly, she keeps newcomer Park's performance as Eun-hee in constant focus at a time when she barely knows herself, and definitely doesn't understand other people.
My one complaint about the film is that it is probably about half an hour too long for my liking (it’s almost 2.5 hours long). Otherwise, I thought it was one of the more honest portrayals of growing up in less than idyllic circumstances with a less than perfect family I’ve seen in quite some time.
The film meanders a bit, and dawdles a bit more. But its compelling and unblinking portrait of a girl’s life, her expectations, prospects, obstacles and second class status.
The film is never more intense than when it’s finding parallels between its main character’s anomie and Korea’s dehumanizing expansion.
A touch overlong, “House of Hummingbird” doesn’t leave the most powerful emotional mark. Still, it lands on a poignant aftertaste through Kim’s serene attentiveness to the rhythms and details of everyday life ... with a peaceful style reminiscent of Hirokazu Kore-eda.
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