Past Lives | One of 2023’s best films is now streaming on Netflix

Past Lives
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If you missed Celine Song’s thoroughly wonderful Past Lives in cinemas last year, it’s now streaming on Netflix. 

2023 was a year of cinematic highs and lows. One of the biggest highs however, was Celine Song’s Past Lives, which is now on Netflix. 

The film follows Greta Lee’s Nora, a Korean immigrant who moves from Seoul to Canada to New York, finds love and marries but her comfortable domestic life is interrupted by her connection to her childhood best friend, Hae Sung (Teo Yoo). We wouldn’t dare to spoil more of the film’s narrative, but you might need some tissues for this one.

At the heart of the film is the concept of in-yeon, the titular past lives, a Korean concept that determines that in order for a couple to end up together, they must have met millions of times in past lives. It’s an achingly romantic concept, one that gives Past Lives hope as we watch Hae Sung and Nora ponder their relationship and future. 

You might be surprised to learn that Past Lives, which is up for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars next month, is director Celine Song’s first film. A former playwright, Song discovered her voice as a filmmaker through making Past Lives, which is heavily autobiographical. 

In an interview with our sister site whynow, Song described the experience as follows: “Honestly, the part of myself that I poured myself into the most was filmmaking. This movie really was a discovery for me as a filmmaker, because I didn’t know that I was a filmmaker until I was on set, making a movie.”

The Film Stories team also mentioned Past Lives in our end of year podcast episode as one of the best films of 2023. For perhaps the first time ever, everyone was in agreement that Song’s film was the crème de la crème of cinema in 2023. So treat yourself this weekend with a great film and pop Past Lives on. 

Past Lives is now on Netflix. 

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