Kim Jong-kwan’s film traces an evolving relationship between young student Young-seok (Nam Joo-Hyuk) and the mysterious Josée (Han Ji-Min), whose meet-cute involves him helping her after she has fallen from her wheelchair. French in origin, ‘Josée’ may well not be the real name of this bookish shut-in, as much as the stories which she tells about herself and her exotic travels seem beguilingly improbable and almost certainly mendacious. Yet Young-seok is fascinated by this strange mythomanic woman and her messy house of curiosities, and keeps coming back for her simple but tasty cooking.
Romance eventually blossoms between them during the harsh mid-winter, but in this melancholic tale of love, loneliness and loss, we are left to wonder just how much of it all might merely be Josée’s fanciful fictionalising. Hers is a peculiar story which, for all its slippery tricksiness, remains deeply affecting.