6.9/10
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Air Doll (2009)

Kûki ningyô (original title)
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2:08 | Trailer
A life-size blow-up doll develops a soul and falls in love with a video store clerk.

Director:

Writers:

(manga), (screenplay)
Reviews
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Nozomi
Arata Iura ...
Junichi (as Arata)
Itsuji Itao ...
Hideo
Joe Odagiri ...
Air Doll Maker
Sumiko Fuji ...
Widow
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sei Andô
Tasuku Emoto ...
Peep-tom Student
Mari Hoshino ...
Apple Woman
Ryô Iwamatsu ...
Owner of Video Rental Shop
Tomomi Maruyama ...
Moe's father
Miu Naraki ...
Moe
Masaya Takahashi ...
Ex-substitute Teacher
Susumu Terajima ...
Policeman
Kimiko Yo ...
Receptionist
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Storyline

A life-size blow-up doll develops a soul and falls in love with a video store clerk.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 September 2009 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Air Doll  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The City Clock (Westminster Tune) also Rings 3 although It's Clear That is evening time. See more »

Quotes

Nozomi: It seems life is constructed in a way that no one can fulfill it alone.
Nozomi: Just as it's not enough for flowers to have pistils and stamens, an insect or a breeze must introduce a pistil to a stamen...
Nozomi: Life contains its own absence, which only an other can fulfill...
Nozomi: It seems the world is the summation of others and yet, we neither know nor are told that we will fulfill each other...
Nozomi: We lead our scattered lives, perfectly unaware of each other...
Nozomi: Or at times, allowed to find the other's presence ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Bad Lieutenant (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
the return of ARATA
6 May 2010 | by (Hong Kong) – See all my reviews

With each of Kore-eda's new films, he tries new topics and/or narrative approaches. This film reminds me less of his previous work and more of Michel Gondry's short film that's a part of the TOKYO!(2008) compilation (a collection of 3 films with the topic being the city of Tokyo directed by three directors - Michel Gondry, Leos Carax, & Bong Jun-Ho).

Unlike some of his previous films that had connections with "family" and "memories" (AFTERLIFE, DISTANCE, NOBODY KNOWS, MABOROSI, & STILL WALKING), AIR Doll also connects but focuses on Losses - not about loved ones passing away, but the lost of values and feelings that make us human. In a much more surreal narrative compared to his previous realite approaches to story-telling (HANA being the exception as he was trying to dabble with comedy and period-pieces), AIR DOLL's story is dark and fairy-tale like. As usual the cinematography is perfect and appropriate for the story he is telling, and Kore-eda in this case works with Taiwanese DP Lee Ping-Bing to bring some of the most beautiful visuals and colors to each and every scene - the close-ups utilizing soft spot-focus are good enough to be used as Leica advertisements.

While the subject matter to AIR DOLL could have treaded onto "hentai" territory, Kore-eda keeps it in its surreal context and what results is a reflection on how we all are lost in a time where we also have all our material needs satisfied as substitutes to the valuable things in life we no longer have.

It's great to see the enigmatic Arata returning to a Kore-eda film (as always, his characters almost always come across as the alter-ego to the director), and Kore-eda again shows his love of the movies. I had no idea he actually liked THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY.

My favorite of Kore-eda's work still being THE AFTERLIFE, DISTANCE, and NOBODY KNOWS, but AIR DOLL is a bold attempt for Kore-eda, showing he can break the mold and continue on his journey of bringing new ideas to the film medium. Kore-eda and Kiyoshi Kurosawa are no doubt two of Japan's most talented filmmakers today.


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