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Never Forever

About the Film
Year Released: 
Running Time: 

Sophie seems to have an idyllic life; she's the perfect Caucasian housewife for Andrew, her successful Asian American husband. Their relationship is put to the test, though, when she can't conceive a child. To save her marriage, Sophie does something desperate. She initiates a bold and clandestine venture with Jihah, an illegal immigrant from Korea. Sophie soon finds this new arrangement spiraling into a situation that may actually destroy what it was meant to liberate.

In Never Forever, writer/director Gina Kim arranges every shot with a calculating eye, building a step-by-step urgency. Her story is rich and her filmmaking lean and precise. Kim creates the perfect tone, right down to a climate of extreme repression where the sexual energy is nearly combustible. The insightful art direction and costume design are marvelously refined for an independent film. And Vera Farmiga's incredible performance as Sophie is a true gift. Her ethereal beauty--crystal blue eyes and porcelain skin--gives her the appearance of a rare doll, which isn't too far from the pampered existence she represents. As the perfect counterpart to two gifted leading men, her mastery of Sophie's gradual transformation makes Never Forever an unforgettable cinematic experience.

— John Cooper, Sundance Film Festival
Poster Image: 
Film Director: 
Production Info
Reported or Estimated Budget: 
New York City, NY and Queens, NY
Categories About the Film
coming of age
interracial relations
urban life
Racial/Ethnic Affiliation: 
Filmmaking Team
Writer's Name: 
Gina Kim
Andrew Fiergberg, Lee Chang-dong, Lee Jun-dong
Matthew Clark
Primary Cast: 
Vera Farmiga, David Lee McInnis, Joseph Y. Kim
Exhibition/Distribution Info
Now Films, Gravitas Ventures, Arts Alliance, Surreal Films, Arts Alliance, Prime Entertainment
Box Office Earnings: 
Where to find it/How to get it: 
Streaming (Netflix or other online sites)
  • Premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2007 (Nominated for Grand Jury Prize)
  • Deauville Film Festival (Won the 2007 Jury Special Prize)
  • Rotterdam Film Festival
Personal Film Review and Cultural Context: 

Despite numerous invitro attempts, Sophie Lee (Vera Farmiga) is unable to get pregnant.  Pressured by her religious in-laws to conceive in the wake of her husbands failed suicide attempt, Sophie turns to Jihah, an undocumented Korean immigrant, whom she pays to impregnate her. But Sophie’s life quickly complicates, as her burgeoning attraction for Jihah and her husband’s neglect leave her on the precipice of two different worlds. Forced to her to confront her failing marriage, her husband’s crippling depression and the helplessness it arouses in her, Jihah’s Chinatown apartment becomes a temporary escape. The most compelling parts of the story Kim weaves are caught in her use of tight, almost claustrophobic, close up shots. Vera Farmiga is fantastic as Sophie, whose desire to make those around her happy, comes at price she finds herself no longer willing to pay. Farmiga’s ability to convey the pain of knowing that sometimes the possibility of happiness requires betraying those you love, is  what makes Sophie’s character so relatable and Kim’s Never Forever a must watch. Never Forever, Kim’s third feature after her 2003 drama, Invisible Light, ruminates on love, loss and the pressures of assimilation.

- Krystal Caban