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'Across A Gold Prairie' is a delicately handled comedy/drama that manages to avoid obvious clichés and one-note melodrama.
The story centres on the growing relationship between 80 year-old Nippori and his new carer Narisu, who is in her early 20's. The problem is that Nippori thinks he is still 20 years old, and that he is still living in 1920's Japan. Despite being initially turned-off by the old man's behaviour, Narisu gradually becomes fond of the odd-but-kind Nippori.
Director Isshin Inudou ('All About My Dog'/'Yellow Tears'/'Gou-Gou The Cat') keeps proceedings natural, never allowing the material to sink into sentiment. The screenplay by Sakichi Sato ('Ichi The Killer'/'Gozu'/'Tokyo Zombie') nicely develops each character, involving the viewer past its potentially gimmicky premise.
Yusuke Iseya ('Sukiyaki Western Django'/'Suicide Song'/'Memories Of Matsuko') is perfectly restrained as the young-at-heart Nippori. His physical and emotional performance is pitch-perfect. Chizuru Matsuo is also excellent as Narisu.
Where Hollywood would have embraced the high-concept nature of the story, the Japanese cast and crew take it to the next level, making for a completely satisfying viewing experience.
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