Posts Tagged ‘Queen of the Morning Calm’

QUEEN OF THE MORNING CALM: 3 ½ STARS. “self-assured feature debut film.”

“Queen of the Morning Calm,” a new family drama starring Tina Jung and now playing in theatres, is a story of redemption set against a backdrop of violence and sex work.

Jung is Debra, a 29-year-old Korean woman who works as a dancer in a strip club to support her precocious daughter Mona (Eponine Lee), a ten-year-old student in private school. She’s taking steps toward a better life for her family but with each move forward comes a setback, usually in the form of Debra’s boyfriend Sarge (Jesse LaVercombe), an itinerant father who comes and goes, often disappearing with no explanation.

When he isn’t gambling away all their money, he’s making pie in the sky promises of money and being a better father to Mona. Convinced that Sarge is the true love a fortune teller once predicted Debra endures his nonsense.

When he takes off with all their money, Debra’s life spins out of control. A missing-in-action babysitter and a failed job interview put her in a desperate situation. Unable to pay her rent, she’s tossed out on the street.

Ian (Shaun Benson), a kindly neighbor who has always had a crush on Debra, comes to the rescue with a job and a sense of stability. When Sarge comes back into their lives like a whirlwind, Debra must decide what is best for her moving forward.

Debra’s path in life is not easy but director Gloria Kim never wallows in the misfortune of her story. The hurdles in Debra’s life are realistically portrayed, emotional and she is even sometimes the architect of her own misfortune, but there is an optimism to the story that no matter how bad things get, they can and will, get better. It is a journey of deliverance for both Debra and Mona, made more real by engaging performances from Jung and Lee.

“Queen of the Morning Calm” is a self-assured feature debut for Kim, who worked for a decade to bring this story to the screen. Her story of Debra’s empowerment, of self-discovery, is honest and heartbreaking, steely yet vulnerable and handled with great sensitivity.


On the September 20, 2020 edition of the Richard Crouse Show we meet Gloria Kim, writer/director of a new family drama called “Queen of the Morning Calm.” In this interview we about the eleven years she spent working to get this story to the screen, How her background in journalism (former Maclean’s reporter) informed the writing of this story, how she guided her eleven year old co-star Eponine Lee through the film’s difficult material and much more.

Then, former CTV Toronto crime reporter Tamara Cherry joins the show to talk about her new book, “All the Bumpy Pebbles,” a novel based on her reporting of human trafficking cases.

Finally, Kevan Staples, former keyboardist for Rough Trade and co-writer of the classic hit “High School Confidential,” stops by to talk about the history of the controversial tune.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

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Each week on the nationally syndicated Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to hear in-depth interviews with actors and directors, to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favourite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Recent guests include Ethan Hawke, director Brad Bird, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, Eric Roberts, Brian Henson, Jonathan Goldsmith a.k.a. “The most interesting man in the world,” and best selling author Linwood Barclay.

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