Past Lives: release date, trailer, cast, reviews and everything we know about the movie

Greta Lee and Teo Yoo sitting on a ferry in Past Lives
Greta Lee and Teo Yoo in Past Lives (Image credit: Jon Pack/A24)

The Sundance Film Festival has been the launching pad for many movies that have gone on to become both critical and fan favorites. A new contender for that kind of reception is Past Lives, which many people are already planting an early flag in as one of the best new movies of 2023.

Beyond its Sundance cred, Past Lives also has A24 behind it, a popular film studio that has made buzzy hits, which in 2022 included Everything Everywhere All at Once, X and Pearl, Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, Aftersun, Causeway, The Inspection and The Whale. A24 looks poised for another big year, with Past Lives helping to lead the way.

Here is everything you need to know about Past Lives.

Past Lives release date

After premiering at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and earning rave reviews, A24 is giving Past Lives a June 2 release date, making it a nice alternative during the summer blockbuster season, like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Part 1 releasing on the same day.

Past Lives plot

Ready for some heartbreak, because Past Lives is a romantic drama that reunites two people who lost their chance at love many years ago. Here is the official synopsis:

"Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, are wrestled apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. Two decades later, they are reunited in New York for one fateful week as they confront notions of destiny, love and the choices that make a life, in this heartrending modern romance."

Past Lives trailer

Though we're still waiting on a release date, A24 has shared the first Past Lives trailer to get the word out on what is in the early days of 2023 one of the more acclaimed movies of the year. Watch the trailer right here: 

Past Lives cast

As one-half of the star-crossed lovers in Past Lives, Greta Lee plays Nora. While Lee may not be an overly familiar name with a lot of audiences, you've probably seen her before. Lee's credits include multiple episodes of TV shows like Girls, New Girl, Wayward Pines, Inside Amy Schumer, Chance, The Good Fight, Miracle Workers, Russian Doll and The Morning Show.

Playing Hae Sung is Teo Yoo. Past Lives is one of his big US movies, but for anyone who saw the 2022 sleeper hit Decision to Leave, he played the character of Lee June in that movie.

Complicating things for Nora and Hae Sung is Nora's husband, Arthur, who is played by John Magaro. Magaro's movie credits include big-budget and indie movies alike, including Unbroken, Carol, The Big Short, Overlord, First Cow and The Many Saints of Newark. He's also been a part of some well-known TV shows, including Orange Is the New Black and The Umbrella Academy.

Past Lives reviews — what the critics are saying

The early word on Past Lives could not be better. The movie has a 100% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab). Some of the early reviews call the movie "a marvel (opens in new tab)" and perhaps "the most singularly exquisite film of this year's Sundance (opens in new tab)."

Past Lives director

Past Lives is the feature directorial debut of Celine Song. Song has a background in theater and was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and a semifinalist for the American Playwriting Foundation's Relentless Award.

Her lone screen credit before Past Lives was as a staff writer on the Prime Video series Wheel of Time.

Past Lives poster

(Image credit: Zoey Kang/A24)
Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).