“Past Lives,” July 8, 2023, Venue theater (!). First journey back to the theater in 3.5 years. We very much enjoyed this thoughtful small film about separation, expectations, and anxieties from writer/director Celine Song. Nora (Greta Lee) and Hae Sun (Teo Song) are childhood friends and budding boy and girl friends in Seoul, South Korea, when Nora’s family immigrates to Canada. Their lives progress, but they stay on one another’s minds, even as Nora meets and marries Arthur (John Magara). She’s an up-and-coming playwright, he’s a writer/novelist. Hae Sun, meanwhile, becomes an engineer. They reconnect via the internet but then face the challenge of a week together when he comes to visit her in NYC. Arthur, rightly sees this for all the threats it might contain. But what is really happening? The playing out of some torrid exit? Instead, we see a thoughtful and cautious exploration of the possibilities and emotions contained in the situation. We liked this one a lot and recommend it highly.