What a mess. Thunderingly trite and stuffed to the gills with distracting and unnecessary biblical allusion. To the movie's credit, the whirlwind carnage of its second half is impressive, and I was continually impressed by the sound design, but good lord—there's dialogue and ideas in here that'd be too overwrought and obvious for a lovesick teenager's diary.
Imagine making something this assured and thoughtful as your first feature. The subject matter is well-worn—familial obligations, the wider world vs. the small hometown, charismatic older men and impetuous young women—but Kogonada's attention to detail makes it all seem fresh. The performances are strong, the score is beautiful, and stepping outside the theatre I felt newly aware of every building I walked past.