The Way Home
Spoiled 7-year-old city boy Sang-woo (Seung-ho Yu) goes to live in a rural Korean village with his 70-year-old grandmother (Eul-boon Kim) while his single mother returns to Seoul to look for work. At first, he rudely rejects his grandmother’s traditional lifestyle and the companionship of the local children. When his Game Boy batteries are drained, he slowly begins sampling the customs, nature and simple pleasures that surround him. Writer-director Jeong-hyang Lee’s story about unconditional love and purity of spirit reflects on the clash of modern and old-fashioned sensibilities in deep, long breaths. The film meanders rather pointlessly at times, the ending feels too pat, and Yu falters as an ungrateful brat. But Kim, who walks with a gravity-defying forward bend and unhurried shuffle, is the personification of patience and is a mesmerizing masterpiece of humanity. M.H.