Forever linked together by ruthless crime boss Fingers (Andy Garcia) and a series of unpredictable twists of fate, the characters of The Air I Breathe weave together in an existential study in luck, both good and bad. Director Jieho Lee divides this vast tale into four distinct threads: a timid businessman (Forest Whitaker) bets his life on a horse race after he discovers the fix is in; a fragile pop star (Sarah Michelle Gellar) finds her management contract unexpectedly in jeopardy; a gangster (Brendan Fraser) who sees the future must decide whether to follow his visions; and a doctor (Kevin Bacon) tries to save the love of his life from a deadly injury. As the world keeps spinning and these individual tales give way to hidden connections and underlying similarities, The Air I Breathe uses this unlikely mix of drama and characters to dramatize an ancient Chinese proverb that evokes life's four emotional cornerstones: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. It's when these four overlapping stories come to a head, however, and these emotions unexpectedly surface, collide and explode, that the movie suggests our destiny-whether it is steeped in sweet sorrow or tragic happiness-may ultimately be something we bring on ourselves. Lee fluidly maneuvers between the storylines, letting the pieces fall together organically until the final climax. The phenomenal ensemble cast, including Julie Delpy and Emile Hirsch, moves through all the twists and turns with ease as the cleverly constructed vignettes unite in an emotionally resonant whole.
About the Director(s)Collapse
Korean-American JIEHO LEE was born in New York City in 1973. Upon graduating from Wesleyan University, he began work as an editor at a small production house and within six months was directing retail spots for Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Victoria's Secret. His short film, A Nursery Tale, screened in 2000 at the Sundance Film Festival, the South by Southwest Film Festival, the LA VC Film Festival, and the Florida International Film Festival, winning the Audience Award for short film at both the Pusan International Film Festival and the LA VC Film Festival. Lee then earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and moved to Seoul, Korea, where he directed music videos and commercials for the Asian markets. He relocated to Los Angeles to pursue his first feature project, The Air I Breathe.