6 items from 2017
Try to picture a Japanese remake of “Hello, My Name Is Doris,” shot through with an undertow of quiet desperation that wouldn’t be out of place in a Cristian Mungiu film, and you’re halfway toward grasping the strange appeal of director Atsuko Hirayanagi’s feature debut, “Oh Lucy!” Like a chocolate trifle with an arsenic core, this quirky portrait of a lonely Tokyo woman who follows her English teacher to California offers a skewed take on American indie tropes, effectively gesturing toward broad comic appeal while offering peeks at a profound darkness just beneath. Expanded from her award-winning short of the same title, “Oh Lucy!” betrays some rough edges in the transition, but Hirayanagi’s idiosyncratic touch marks her as a talent worth tracking.
Set in some of the least picturesque corners of Tokyo, “Oh Lucy!” is a character study about a character rarely seen on film: a quietly miserable, »
- Andrew Barker
Exclusive: Legal thriller starring Masaharu Fukuyama due to hit screens in Japan in September.
Popular Japanese singer and actor Masaharu Fukuyama reunites with Kore-eda to play a lawyer who takes on a complicated murder case that will shake his very belief in the law.
Fukuyama starred in Kore-eda’s 2013 Cannes Jury Prize winner Like Father, Like Son, playing a successful businessman faced with a tough decision on discovering the child he brought up as his own was swapped with his biological son at birth.
Gaga will represent Asian territories and Wild Bunch is handling the rest of the world.
Toho Co., Ltd »
Exclusive: Off-beat romantic comedy set to premiere in Cannes Critics’ Week.
Top Japanese actress Shinobu Terajima stars as Setsuko, a lonely, chain-smoking office worker in Tokyo, who brings fresh meaning to her life when she starts taking English lessons, dons a blond wig and adopts a new American persona called Lucy.
In the process, she also falls for her American English teacher played by Josh Hartnett. When he suddenly disappears, she teams up with her sister to track him down in a journey that will take them to some of the sleazier parts of outer Los Angeles.
The feature builds on Hirayanagi’s short film of the same name which premiered in Cannes in 2014, after winning the second prize in the festival’s Cinéfondation Selection initiative focused on shorts and medium-length works from »
“The story is about an attorney, a murderer, and the family of a victim,” director Hirokazu Kore-eda told us earlier this year, referencing his upcoming feature The Third Murder. Following his stellar drama After the Storm, the Japanese director is shifting gears to more genre-focused fare, while seemingly still retaining a human core at the center, for his next film.
While it wasn’t ready for Cannes as editing is still underway, his next feature will arrive in Japan this September and the first teaser has arrived. Starring Masaharu Fukuyama and Koji Yakusho, the film centers on a crime trial about a homicide 30 years ago in which a president of a factory was killed, but now a lawyer has doubts about his client.
Check out the trailer below, courtesy of Cine Maldito, and see the director’s 10 favorite films.
- Jordan Raup
10 January 2017 10:03 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
International festival favorite Hirokazu Kore-eda's new film will center on a court case in which Masaharu Fukuyama plays a successful lawyer defending a convicted murderer, played by Koji Yakusho (Memoirs of a Geisha).
Fukuyama also starred in Kore-eda's Like Father, Like Son, which won the grand jury prize at Cannes in 2013 and was picked up by Steven Spielberg, who headed the jury that year, for a DreamWorks remake.
Kore-eda's films have been selected for competition at Cannes four times, the most recent entry being Our Little Sister in 2015.
The story is based on an original script »
- Gavin J. Blair
Hirokazu Koreeda, the Japanese director who is a darling of the international festival circuit (“Air Doll,” “Our LIttle Sister”,) has revealed that his next film will reunite him with Masaharu Fukuyama, star of Koreeda’s 2013 hit family drama “Like Father, Like Son.” The script is a Koreeda original.
Fukuyama plays a hotshot winning-is-everything lawyer who reluctantly defends a convicted killer and ex-convict played by Koji Yakusho (“The Last Ronin,” “Memoirs of a Geisha”) charged with another murder.
The film will shoot from mid-January to March with a September release planned. Distribution in Japan will be jointly by Gaga and Toho. The international sales agent has not yet been settled.
Describing the film’s protagonist, Koreeda said in a statement: “He is a person whose professional credo is that he doesn’t need to know the truth. He takes a certain pride in that. But in dealing with what looks at »
- Mark Schilling
6 items from 2017
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