Tag Archives: Mother

The Tourist

Watery Venice, Italy, provides the setting as Johnny Depp, playing an American tourist seeking solace for his shattered heart, instead finds it in danger again after encountering a beautiful Interpol agent (Angelina Jolie). Little does the Yank know that the artful lady has gone to great lengths to arrange their “chance” meeting and is using him to trap a thief who happens to be her ex-lover. The film earned Golden Globe nods for Depp and Jolie.

Rating: 3 out of 10

“The Tourist” should have been a good movie, maybe even great. Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in a caper through the romantic canals of Venice is a great set up. But something was missing. Chemistry, I guess.

The storyline was good enough. It starts in Paris where she is being watched by Interpol. She gets a letter from a mysterious man, hops on a train, and per his instructions picks up a look-a-like – Johnny. Depp plays a bumbling American math teacher, set against Angie’s cool, very together Brit. But from here it drags. The action never really takes off (and neither do those molasses-style boat chases) and the intrigue isn’t really that intriguing.

Johnny is better than Angie. He’s a bit charming and a little funny. She doesn’t have a moment of levity, though. It’s also odd to see her looking old and too thin.


A murder rocks a South Korean town and suspicion quickly falls on a reclusive, mentally challenged — and alibi-free — young man (Bin Won). When an inept public defender botches the boy’s case, his mother (Hye-ja Kim) sets out to prove her son’s innocence. Acclaimed director Joon-ho Bong (Memories of Murder) explores the lengths a mother will go to protect her child in this atmospheric crime thriller.

Rating: 8 out of 10

The story of a parent or family member trying to prove the innocence of another is nothing new. In fact, Hilary Swank has a film coming out with that exact same premise called “Conviction.”

But director Joon-ho Bong, who made the outstanding monster movie “The Host,” takes some interesting twists and turns in this smart, patiently developed film starring Hye-ja Kim, who is the Meryl Streep of South Korea, as the leader character simply named Mother. In her search to prove the innocence of her son in the murder of a young girl she overturns some dark stones and grasps at thin straws, even turning on friends and family.

She’s not a likable or saintly figure, and the story unfolds her own dark past and problems. It’s a fresh take on a familiar formula to American audiences with a strong cast and characters in a compelling script.