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This is an EXCELLENT movie, the acting is incredible, Emily Mortimer is wonderful to watch as are all the other actors. This is set at the turn of the 20th Century, based on the TRUE STORY of Leonie, mother of sculptor and artist Isamu Noguchi. This film is a beautiful depiction of a richly varied life across borders, and how childhood shapes personality.
The crew on this movie include many high profile names such as the Oscar winning composer Jan A. P. Kaczmarek (Finding Neverland) and Director of Photography Tetsuo Nagata from "La Vie en Rose".
The original version that was released in Japan to rave reviews and ranked high in their top 10 box office during it's opening, is like a David Lean style epic. Set in the early 1900s, the production design and locations across the USA and Japan are nostalgically wonderful and the amount of effort put the production of this film shows clearly through the amazing footage and photography. Cinematographers take note. The American cut is unfortunately a subpar edited version of this really great Japanese original; they cut 40 mins of footage out for reasons such as "impatient US audiences" and difficulty getting a longer movie into art-house theatres under limited theatrical release. Ironically, the pacing and editing of the longer version far surpass the USA cut. In fact the longer cut seems to last less time because of the way the story is told through the editing. They sadly changed from a standard chronological movie to an unnecessary flashback style edit which makes it perhaps difficult to follow.
Without further ado, I can only say if you can, watch the Japan original cut as this is how the director intended the movie to be made and with the additional 40 minutes of relevant footage, based on true events, this charming story is a beautiful film, full of life, philosophy and feeling.
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