The Housemaid | Chicago Reader

The Housemaid

South Korean director Im Sang-soo (The President's Last Bang) remakes a 1960 cult favorite by his countryman Kim Ki-young. I've never seen the original, but I'm guessing the setup wasn't quite as predictable 50 years ago: an innocent young woman (Jeon Do-yeon) hires on as housemaid for a hard, wealthy couple, and before long she's carrying the husband's child. That's only the beginning, though, and as the situation continues to fester, the balance of power shifts back and forth among some wonderfully defined characters: the wronged wife is backed up by her poisonous and vindictive mother, the housemaid by the steely old cook (Yoon Yeo-jeong) who's been with the family for ages and knows their depths. The movie's stylish look and caustic tone have drawn comparison to the late Claude Chabrol, but there's nothing French about the crazed and fiery finale. In Korean with subtitles.

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