6.9/10
263
3 user 11 critic

Nobody to Watch Over Me (2008)

Dare mo mamotte kurenai (original title)
Ryoichi Kimizuka's riveting exploration of the Japanese media's feeding frenzy focuses on a15-year-old girl forced into police protection to escape from the journalistic hordes after her ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay)
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kôichi Satô ...
Takumi Katsuura
...
Saori Funamura
...
Shogo Mishima
Yuriko Ishida ...
Kumiko Honjo
Kuranosuke Sasaki ...
Takaharu Umemoto
Shirô Sano ...
Ichiro Sakamoto
Kanji Tsuda ...
Koichi Inagaki
Yoshino Kimura ...
Reiko Onoue
Toshirô Yanagiba ...
Keisuke Honjo
Takahiro Azuma ...
Atsushi Sayama
Hiroshi Ohkôchi ...
Editor-in-Chief
Kôji Satô ...
Reiji Funamura - Saori's Father
Satomi Nagano ...
Sumie Funamura - Saori's Mother
Satoshi Tomiura ...
Tatsuro Sonobe
Kei Sunaga ...
Inspector Shigeru Yamamoto
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Storyline

Ryoichi Kimizuka's riveting exploration of the Japanese media's feeding frenzy focuses on a15-year-old girl forced into police protection to escape from the journalistic hordes after her brother is arrested for murder. It plays out like a propulsive edge-of-your-seat thriller that's sure to leave you breathless. Written by Palm Springs International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama

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Release Date:

24 January 2009 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Nobody to Watch Over Me  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Trivia

Japan's official submission to 82nd Academy Award's Foreign Language in 2010. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent drama, cultural shock
28 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I caught this at the US premiere in Santa Barbara, with the Director and the female lead, Mirai Shida. Strong social ties in Japan have an ugly flip-side: when somebody commits a crime, their family is automatically guilty by association, and all the relatives persecuted by absurd demands of apology. When Saori's brother is arrested for a double homicide, the whole family is subject to a media feeding frenzy that force police to provide protection for the family of the perpetrator.

One lonely cop is forced to take on the role of guardian to young Saori, and attempting to escape from attention and from the pervasive reach of media and internet, they will both come to terms with their personal demons. Well shot, and competently paced, the film is quite the cultural shock. Kimizuka's portrayal of the potential for web-fueled persecution is also downright scary, and reminiscent of the "Human Search Engine" tactics recently used by Chinese nationalists to locate and harass anti-Olympics demonstrators.

The role of the police, often presented as toothless facing criminals but ruthless in the treatment of witnesses, will also seem quite unusual to anyone used to US (or European) police work portrayals.

Mirai Shida gives an excellent, heartbreaking performance, showing a maturity in her portrayal of the Saori character well beyond her years.


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