Imagine Jean-Luc Godard four decades ago, when he was still in the thrall of his leading actresses, like a 10-year-old boy in love with his teacher. Then imagine him as a Korean director, and what you get is Hong Sang Soo and his latest movie, starring French actress Isabelle Huppert (“The Piano Teacher”).
A deceptively breezy and relaxed omnibus story featuring three French women named Anne (all played by Huppert), “In Another Country” is actually all about dissatisfaction, self-destructive impulses and unfulfilled longing. Very Godard, and also typical of Hong, who has spent his career making distinctly French movies in a Korean setting. This time, however, he has the real McCoy in the form of Huppert, doing her discontented-but-in-a stylish-way Frenchwoman thing in a Korean seaside-resort setting. The first Anne is a filmmaker, on a working holiday with a Korean director and his wife. The second is a wife who uses her husband’s business trip to secure some getaway time with her Korean lover. The third (and perhaps most intriguing) is a divorcée on a rehab trip to recover from her husband’s infidelity.
Huppert turned 60 this year, but you wouldn’t guess from how Hong portrays her: her slim and girlish frame offset by knee-length dresses, the way her eyes seem full of fear and, at the same time, smoky with seduction. (K.S.)