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Norwegian Wood Review


Very Good
"I once had a girl, or should I say she once had me?" So begins the eponymous Beatles song, which echoes literally and thematically through this delicately offbeat Japanese drama by Vietnamese filmmaker Tran.

Watanabe (Matsuyama) is a 19-year-old shaken to the core when his best pal (Kora) commits suicide. While comforting his grief-stricken girlfriend Naoko (Kikuchi), Watanabe begins to fall for her, but their mutual attraction only makes her depression worse so she flees to a healing retreat in the woods.

Watanabe's womanising pal Nagasawa (Tamayama) advises him to find another girl, but when he meets Midori (Mizuhara) the relationship is equally complicated.

Continue reading: Norwegian Wood Review

The Vertical Ray Of The Sun Review


OK
From its lazy, opening scenes set to the Velvet Underground, The Vertical Ray of the Sun is a beautiful, beautiful movie. And sure enough, with its pretty, pretty scenes of water droplets, dancing bodies, and Vietnamese vistas, the movie remains absolutely stunning. What's it all about? I couldn't really tell you. A trio of sisters discuss infidelity and relationships... or something. Really, nothing happens at all while the water drops, the bodies dance, and the vistas vist. Essentially it's the same film as Tran's earlier outing, The Scent of Green Papaya. Fine as background "music," but hardly worth watching on its own merits.

Continue reading: The Vertical Ray Of The Sun Review

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