13th Annual New York Korean Film Festival: Wonderful Nightmare (2015)


During November 6-11,2015, the people of New York will be able to experience mainstream and blockbuster Korean cinematic hits on the big screen. Some of the screenings will also feature appearances by actors or directors of the movie. All of the movies will be screened at the Museum of the Moving Image.  Information on tickets and other films that will be screening can be found at their main homepage here.



Yeon-woo is on top of her game. She is fierce, successful, independent, and rich. She is a high profile lawyer known for being great at her job.  Thanks to a chill cat in the middle of the road, Yeon-Woo is in an accident where she finds herself at a soul relay station between Heaven and Earth. Unbeknowest to her, she wasn’t meant to die yet. The clerical error results in her taking the place of a stranger for a month. That stranger is married to a city worker and with two kids in a shabby apartment of tight financial means. This becomes quite a culture shock for Yeon-Woo and the hilarity ensues.

First off, I really enjoyed this movie. It was absolutely fun watching Yeon-Woo as the mother bring the legal smack down on all the corrupt people around her. The movie is meant to be a fun family comedy that instills the moral lesson of compassion and helping others. With that said, there is another part of me that has not stopped groaning since the opening credits.

Is it really that hard to understand that woman would be quite content being single, rich, and highly influential? I suppose in Korea cinema that means the woman must have a dark, dark heart and has no compassion whatsoever. This isn’t really an exaggeration. The movie makes it quite clear that Yeon-Woo is defective as a woman despite her obvious success. She’s pretty much held the biggest chip on her shoulder since her father passed away from ship accident and then her mother passing away afterwards. Both tragic events that made her vow to be independent, which I absolutely applaud, but her parents did nothing deserve such a derisive attitude towards them or men. Nor, should any of that dulled her sense of justice and compassion.

By the end of the movie, I felt so sympathetic to the original mother who flew straight on through heaven. Thanks to this heavenly clerical error, she is cheated out of a month with her family. Instead, this deranged woman gets to bond and love them. It is also a bit confusing if this was honestly a clerical error or a manipulation of an angel. Either way, that sucks. I cannot stand by the ending. It is too full of bull and saccharine.

The movie also comes to a screening halt for a potential rape scene. It is all a tie back to her previous life but it was too convenient and heartbreaking. If this was all in the plan from heaven for Yeon woo to understand compassion, then heaven is a jerk to this poor child.

This movie doesn’t really have much else to set it differently from other movies. It does however break the monotony of depressing and thriller movies of the festival. It is much more to enjoyable to just watch the movie and not analyze every part of it. It is also a great conversation piece for people to debate the merits of Yeon Woo before and after the possession.

Wonderful Nightmare

Wednesday, November 11 @ 7 pm

Tickets and more information HERE.




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