‘In Front of Your Face’ Review: The Difference Is in the Details in Hong Sangsoo’s Latest

Hong Sangsoo characters have a habit of — you might even say a genius for — diffidence in the face of profundity.

In that way, they’re very like the films in which they appear: outwardly casual, slight, polite, holding pain and truth and existential observation in check with an airy gesture, a sad smile or, in “In Front of Your Face,” the South Korean auteur’s second film this year (after the Berlin-awarded “Introduction”), an unexpected peal of utterly genuine, soul-repairing laughter.Certainly, Sangok laughs at the strangest moments.

A merry, musical gurgle bursts from her after she drunkenly shares her most painful secret — one she has not even confessed to her sister — with a relative stranger, whose sobbing response is much more appropriate.

And again, at the very end of this wonderful, winsome tale, when the potentially important grace-note opportunity she’s been offered evaporates over a single phone message,

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