Claire's Camera

South Korean writer-director Hong Sang-soo specializes in small dramas about sexual intrigue, often centering on a lionized director one assumes to be him. His films are clever and socially observant but tend to be rather slippery, satirizing male cultural privilege even as they exploit it. In this minor effort, a woman vacationing in Cannes during the film festival (Isabelle Huppert, checking Hong off her bucket list) snaps a photo that complicates the romantic triangle between a South Korean director (Jung Jin-young), his longtime producer and lover (Chang Mi-hee), and her pretty young assistant (Kim Min-hee), whom she coldly, cryptically fires in the movie’s best scene. (“Trust my judgment,” says the boss. “It was a hard decision for me.”) The young woman later strikes up a friendship with the tourist, though this transpires mainly in English, the second language for each, and their dialogue is blandly functional. Of course the movie director can summon much bolder language in Korean when he scolds the assistant for showing off her legs.