A simple, novelettish tale elevated by poised, almost minimalist direction, An Affair is an arresting debut by young director E J-Yong (more conventionally transliterated as Lee Jae-yong) that will appeal to buffs and Asiaphiles who can recognize the genre-bending at work.
Seo-hyun (Lee Mi-suk), the mature, still strikingly beautiful wife of an architect, is asked by her younger sister, Ji-hyun, to look after her 27-year-old fiancé, Wu-in (Lee Jeong-jae), till she returns from the U.S. to marry him. There's an instant attraction between the young man and the older woman, which both fight but eventually consummate.
Pic is like an arty, high-concept Korean remake of All That Heaven Allows, and the spirit of Douglas Sirk hangs lightly over the whole enterprise. E, however, keeps the passion on a tight leash, with limited dialogue, touches of sly humor, the lush score deployed at only key moments, and the picture suffused with contained emotion and eroticism by Kim Yeong-cheol's immaculate, precision lensing. Lee Mi-suk, a popular, experienced actress on her home turf, is radiant as the closeted wife, and Lee Jeong-jae suitably hunky as her younger squeeze.