Presented by Hyung Gil Kim, Consul General, Republic of Korea in Houston

This costume drama—a Korean box-office smash—traces the rise and fall of a fortune-teller in the 18th century. The Face Reader gives entertaining exposition to the ancient art of physiognomy (face-reading), but it is the vicious court intrigue that shapes the film from maverick director Han Jae-rim.

Nae-gyeong (Song Kang-ho) reads people like an open book but remains blind to sea changes behind the corridors of power. No sooner has he moved to the capital city of Hanyang than he becomes a celebrity, entrusted by ailing King Moonjong (Kim Tae-woo) with discerning the faces of traitorous courtiers. However, Nae-gyeong is swept into a deadly power struggle between the country’s two most influential men: vice premier Kim Jong-seo (Baek Yun-shik) and the King’s brother, Prince Su-yang (Lee Jung-jae).

• “The Face Reader picked up six prizes at South Korea’s equivalent of the Oscars.” —Hollywood Reporter

• “The film boasts a number of attributes in terms of its technical achievements, from the gorgeous cinematography by Go Rak-sun that beautifully captures the era’s majestic colours to the elegant production and costume design by Lee Ha-jun and Shim Hyun-seob.” —Screen Daily 

Review: The Face Reader Is a Terrific Period Yarn

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Han Jae-rim
Korean with English subtitles
South Korea
Running Time
140 minutes
Digital, Color