Playwright Celine Song pivots from theatre to film in the A24 film Past Lives. Her directorial debut brings together Greta Lee and Teo Yoo as Nora and Hae Sung, two childhood sweethearts who were separated just before love could sink in. As we had hoped, the full length trailer, which just dropped, proves that the Sundance breakout deserves to be in the running for romantic drama of the year.
Laid out over the sound of Cat Power's cover of Stay, the trailer opens with Nora teaching her American husband Arthur, played by John Magaro, about the Korean word "In-Yun", meaning providence or fate. “That’s just something Koreans say to seduce someone," Nora jokes. But this prophecy hangs in the air and is where the film finds its premise: separated in adolescence, can two would-be lovers find their way back to each other?
Of course, both Nora and Hae Sung have made their choices when the two inevitably meet again over a handful of days in New York. Nora is married and Hae Sung has grown up too. Still, there's a tangible magnetism between them both, and just through the trailer we see Song wander through questions of fate, the fabled history both characters share, and the impossibility of reality – and if a review by The Guardian is to be believed, all without cloying devices or melodrama. Will Nora leave her husband? That's beside the point.
From what the trailer presents, Past Lives is wistful, heart-aching and magically shot. Which is why you'll find us lining up at the local cinema to catch the film when it premieres sometime late this year. In the meantime, you can preview the trailer for Past Lives, below.