Breaking news, but I hear Bong Joon-ho’s film The Host has met with great critical acclaim at Cannes, receiving a standing ovation (which doesn’t surprise me, as Bong’s previous film, Memories of Murder, is the only film I can think of where I felt like applauding at the end). Here’s a quote from the New York Times:
Another offering from South Korea — and the best film I’ve seen to date at this year’s festival — is “The Host,” which for some reason is screening outside the main festival program in a parallel section called the Directors’ Fortnight. Directed by Bong Joon-ho, who made the policier “Memories of Murder,” this terrific hybrid-genre fantasy about a mutant creature with a lotuslike mouth and a steady appetite has been alternately described as a monster movie and a science fiction thriller, but is also a comedy, a family drama, a political critique and, at times, a seriously scary freak-out. Mr. Bong can shift moods and tones on a dime, and when the loudly appreciative audience wasn’t laughing at the witty dialogue it was shrieking at tensely wound scenes as effective as any in Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds.” MANOHLA DARGIS
Variety seemed to love it as well.