Ryusuke Hamaguchi directs Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tôko Miura and Masaki Okada in this Japanese drama where a bereaved spouse has to cast a play where his dead wife’s famous lover auditions for a role.
Oscar winning and quite classy. Nowhere near as erotic as Wheel of Fortune And Fantasy (despite a strong start that suggests otherwise). In fact, the 40 minute, pre-credits, prologue was easily the strongest section. The remainder is lengthy, gentile, almost ambient at times. Ultimately this is a film about the fake way we present ourselves to the world, how our actions don’t really match up to our image, how we are all performers. It is based on a short story by Murakami. Technically perfect and notably well acted, there is little to fault. At three hours, it is a literary and a cerebral experience. As I grow older my tastes lean back towards the emotive… and spectacle. I can’t see me rushing into watching Drive My Car again in spite of all its fine qualities. It just isn’t my flavour.
Perfect Double Bill: An Actor’s Revenge (1963)
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